Volvo: 2015 XC60 D4 Luxury review

Volvo: 2015 XC60 D4 Luxury review

The Volvo XC60 SUV has been the Swedish manufacturers best selling vehicle yet since its introduction in 2009, and although it is no doubt due for replacement in the not too distant future, the company has recently updated the choice of engines to the new frugal and powerful Drive-E series.

The five-seat XC60 had a minor cosmetic refresh in 2013. The exterior update was primarily cosmetic, with changes to the grille and front driving lights, loss of black cladding along the lower doorsills, and minor changes to the exhaust tips and taillights.

2015 Volvo XC60 D4 interior 2Inside the update also brought new materials, new dashboard trims and the introduction of a 7-inch touch-screen display.

When launched the XC60 included Volvo safety features including a whiplash protection system, side impact protection system, roll stability control, dynamic stability and traction control, inflatable curtain airbags, collision warning with 2015 Volvo XC60 D4 interior 1brake support, active bi-xenon lights (optional on some models), and patented front, side, and rear structures.

It also introduced the Volvo City Safety system, a collision mitigation system that has since been upgraded for the XC60 (up to 50km/h) and subsequently rolled out to all current Volvo models.

For the 2016 model year the XC60 received a new heart in the form of a 2-litre four-cylinder Drive-E common rail turbo diesel engine (D4), and there is also the option of a 2-litre four-cylinder Drive-E direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine (T5) as well.

Spec

2015 XC60 D4 rear three quarterThe new XC60 Drive-E D4 and T5 four-cylinder models are solely front-wheel-drive and are available in two specifications, Kinetic and Luxury. The sole all-wheel-drive model is the D5 five-cylinder diesel, which is available in Luxury and R-Design variants.

Our test vehicle was a D4 Luxury model which has a fairly comprehensive specification which includes city safety, cruise control, rear parking camera, automatic tailgate, Bluetooth with audio streaming and USB, TFT crystal display, Navigation, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, powered seats, active Bi-Xenon lights, gear shift paddles, leather instrument panel, and keyless entry and start with alarm.

Options fitted to the XC60 D4 test car included heated front seats, ($450) front parking sensors ($355) and the interior lighting package ($140).

Power

2015 Volvo XC60 D4 engineVolvo is racing to replace all of it’s engines with more powerful and frugal four-cylinder Drive-E units, and the all-new turbo-diesel in our XC60 is a 1996cc unit that produces maximum power of 133kW/4000 rpm and maximum torque of 400Nm/1500 rpm.

Because the Swedish company is committed to reducing fuel consumption and exhaust emissions you will no longer see larger six and eight cylinder engines being offered.

The Drive-E petrol and diesel units share the same basic engine block and architecture, and with varying power and torque outputs, these replace eight engine architectures across three platforms.

Inside

2015 Volvo XC60 D4 centre consoleIn comparison to the recently tested all-new XC90, the interior design and execution of the XC60 is starting to look a little dated but its still very functional, with exceptional build quality and very comfortable seats.

Volvos ergonomics are still the best in the business and the vehicles controls are easily understood and intuitively used while on the move. Theres plenty of space for four to five people onboard and more than enough cubbies and cupholders to keep everyone hydrated and happy.

We liked the easily cleaned leather upholstery and the rubber boot liner in the rear cargo space deserved praise for its ability to to be easily lifted out and cleaned off, without spilling mud, sand and other detritus over the carpeted boot floor.

 
Experience

2015 Volvo XC60 D5 cargo matThe new D4 diesel engine rally does inject some oomph back into the XC60, the torque is always present through the rev range and the power delivery is smooth and refined.

However, the flip side of having such great reserves of power and torque on tap, is that it can leave the front-wheel-drive XC60 struggling for front grip, and it will also produce some torque steer through the steering-wheel if drivers are too aggressive with the accelerator pedal, especially in wet conditions.

On the motorway and open road the XC60 is biased towards comfort rather than sharp handling as you would expect from a family wagon, so cornering requires the approach of being slow in, and then gently accelerate away, least the driver wants the other occupants to complain of motion sickness.

Once adjusted to the power delivery of the D4 engine, it’s easy enough to hustle the XC60 along, and it is in its element as a long distance cruiser by providing a comfortable and quiet ride.

Verdict

The new Drive-E engine range in the XC60 bodes well for the future, and it also makes the current car worth another look for premium SUV buyers who would like a Volvo but don’t want to make the leap to the much larger (and more expensive) all-new XC90 (review here).

Price: $78,990 (as tested) $79,935

Pros:

  • New engine breathes new life into XC60
  • Comfortable, economical, safe, inoffensive

Cons:

  • Starting to look dated
  • No all-wheel-drive version offered with new engine
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