• The Volvo XC60 was named World Car of the Year in 2018.
• The XC60 is the Swedish carmaker's mid-size SUV.
• All derivatives are powered by 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines.
I've spent a lot of time behind the wheel of Volvo's SUVs over the past several years. The Swedish company car that's majority owned by China's Geely, has produced some stellar cars.
Their XC range consists of the XC40, XC60, and flagship XC90. They're all impressive, pleasant to drive, have frugal engines and are good to look at. Volvo isn't a top selling brand locally; it's a niche one compared to the usual suspects from Germany.
But I have noticed more Volvos on the road, particularly the smaller XC40 and XC60, the latter is the 2018 World Car of the Year.
It competes in South Africa with the Audi Q5, BMW X3, and the Mercedes-Benz GLC.
I had yet another reminder of how impressive the XC60 package is after spending time behind the wheel of the D5 Inscription model.
Firstly, this car has presence.
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The bold grille, Thor hammer-shaped daytime LEDS and large 20-inch black wheels give it sophisticated appeal. The rear is finished off with the signature Volvo LED taillight-design and lots of chrome.
The XC60's interior has aged well since the mid-size SUV's introduction.
A large portrait-shaped 22cm touchscreen, the largest in the class, dominates the dashboard and houses the infotainment system and climate control settings. A few swipes to the left and a menu with settings for the safety systems becomes available.
Deactivating the heads-up display, stop-start and blind-spot warning can all be done effectively while on driving. The City Safety pack is standard and will make the driver aware of pedestrians, cyclists and large animals and will even apply the brakes to avoid a collision.
The interior is just a good place to be, a large 31cm screen in front of the driver houses the digital dials and can display the sat-nav map if needed.
Soft-touch materials, superb seats (heatable and cooled), and good ergonomics means I didn't mind spending a long time in it.
The optional air suspension provides a cosseted ride and while it is dear at R26 750 I'd say it's the one option you should tick.
Powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel with 173kW and 480Nm of torque and mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the Swede is really a pleasure to drive.
All the power is sent to four wheels and the low-down torque makes getting off the line a swift and stress-free activity.
It's not overtly sporty in high-performance mode, with the revs a touch higher than in eco or comfort and it does its business with little fuss.
So, what to make of the serene Swede at cost of R803 436 as standard and R963 150 as tested? It's dear but has pretty much everything you'll ever need.