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Volvo XC60 road test

by Mark Walker

12th February, 2013

Home > Road Tests > Volvo

Related story:
Volvo XC60 updated for MY13
6th September, 2012

While Volvo sales increased in the USA, Volvo Car's largest market, total global sales for the Chinese-owned Swedish brand fell slightly during 2012. Some 421,951 units were sold globally last year. With the exception of Russia, European sales were down. Volvo believes the discontinuation of their smaller models in favour of the new S40 which was released throughout Europe in the latter part of 2012 will arrest the decline.

And we find a way to put ourselves behind the wheel of one Volvo's most popular.

Test Car particulars

The vehicle we drove for this road test was the Volvo XC60 D4 finished in Ice white with Anthracite black interior.

Variants and Prices*

There are currently twelve versions of the XC60 available in Australia with the seven different engines and there are front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive versions.

The XC60 D4 has a starting price of $58,490*. Our test car came in at $60,390* as two options were fitted. The test vehicle came with the options of heated front seats ($325*) and keyless entry/drive and alarm ($1,575*).

The XC60 range starts at $55,490* for the T5 2WD, pushing up to a pricey $78,490* for the T6 R Design AWD. Premium paint adds $1,550*. The T5 and D4 are offered with the choice of two solid and nine metallic colours.

The entry level T5 is powered by a two-litre four-cylinder direct injection turbocharged petrol engine.

Model background

The XC60 is Volvo’s best selling model line in Australia – based on 2012 sales. Volvo managed to deliver 5,375 vehicles in 2012, of which 2,179 were the popular XC60 SUV.

The XC60 was first sold in Australia in 2009 and the new D4 comes to Australia for model year 2013.

Driving the XC60

The test car is the D4 automatic with front-wheel drive powered by transverse mounted five-cylinder, 2-litre turbocharged, all aluminium diesel engine. The engine is low on power with maximum power output of just 120kW @ 3,500 rpm but it more than makes up for it with 400 Nm of torque between 2,500 and 4,600 rpm. The automatic is a 6 speed Geartronic with a manual shift option.

Engine performance is decent, given the overall vehicle size and engine displacement.

Acceleration from stand still to 100 km/h takes 10.3 seconds. The XC has top speed of 195 km/h which is more suited to European motorways than here, but Australians can benefit from seemingly effortless cruising at highway speed, even when climbing long, steep gradients.

Around town, the XC60 offers a decent turn of speed and traction when accelerating.

Handling is designed for comfort and not cornering speed which will please many buyers. The XC60 rides on 17 inch alloys as standard with a space saver spare tyre in the boot.

If the standard wheels are not to your liking, Volvo offer plenty of optional wheel packages on the XC60 giving choice in size, style and colour.

Living with the XC60 D4

The interior is a big plus point for the XC60. It gets Volvo’s floating centre console, leather trim, plenty of technology and the quality is top shelf.

The seats are finished in black leather as standard. The test car was also fitted with heated front seats. Door trims and the steering wheel are trimmed in matching leather. The driving position is high although it retains easy access and overall comfort is very good in the front seats. It’s not spacious in the rear but there is definitely adequate comfort provided.

The Volvo infotainment system is easy to use. Integrated satellite navigation is not standard although Bluetooth connectivity is – including both phone and audio streaming. The typical Volvo number pad makes controlling your mobile phone a breeze.

The gear stick is quirky. The cover is transparent and shows the selected gear lit up below. Automatic folding mirrors are another handy feature that help protect the car when its parked.

The electric tail gate is operable from key fob, dash or button on tailgate and it is standard on all XC60 variants. This convenience isn’t always necessary but it will be appreciated often. We find it benefits most when you are unloading some cargo and want to close the tailgate without putting your load down.


No surprises here – the XC60 has a five star safety rating as awarded by Euro NCAP. The model tested by this leading authority was a European spec left-hand drive 2.4 litre diesel.

Integrated child seats in the rear are a neat feature for those with young kids. Volvo has included this feature on many cars for some years now.

Parking sensors and an excellent rear camera is included. The picture quality is well above average ensuring you can actually see everything behind you. Another plus point, you can switch on the reverse camera without selecting reverse gear.

Other safety features include 6 airbags, Volvo’s “City Safety” collision avoidance technology, traction control and ABS brakes. Additional safety features can be fitted as optional items including blind spot monitors ($1,275*) and adaptive cruise control ($6,250*).

Fuel and emissions

Volvo claim impressive fuel consumption ratings of 6.9L/100 kms on a combined cycle thanks to the frugal diesel engine. The 70 litre tank capacity means the XC60 D4 can travel more than 1,000 kms of highway driving before needing more diesel.

Over a distance of 456 kilometres on our road test, the XC60 consumed 7.3 litres per 100 km. Most of our driving (approx. 60%) was at highway speeds between 80 km/h & 110 km/h and for the most part we were cautious to ensure steady use of the throttle to give the Volvo the best possible chance of impressive fuel economy. Whilst we were hoping for better economy, it’s probably reasonable to not be displeased with the result.

Combined CO2 emissions are 178g per km from the Euro 5 compliant engine.


Length: 4,627 mm
Width: 2,120 mm (including side mirrors)
Height: 1,713 mm (including roof rails)
Wheelbase: 2,774 mm
Weight: 1,,8434 kg
Boot capacity: 495 litres (495 litres below the cargo blind)


The maximum towing capacity is 1,600 kg.

After Sales

The XC60 is covered by warranty, subject to conditions, for 3 years or 100,000 kilometres, whichever comes first.


It’s easy to understand why the XC60 is the highest selling Volvo in Australia. The broad range together with generous levels of equipment and competitive pricing against other European SUVs will ensure it continues to sell well.

NOTE: * Manufacturer's List Price (MLP) excludes dealer delivery fees and the numerous statutory charges (commonly known as on-road costs). Additionally, please note that all prices, fees and charges are subject to change without notice, as are the specifications.


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