Ian Lamming drives the latest Volvo XC60, a car to tantalize your tastebuds.
THE meal is fabulous; it’s just a shame that it’s 80 miles home – and it’s dark.
But that’s the life I’ve chosen and the restaurant needs reviewing, even if I have to drive through Scotland to get to it, then back into Cumbria.
Full tum and ready for home, the test vehicle proves to be ideal. Big, comfy, quiet, refined, with fantastically bright Thor hammer lights.
Slipping inside the Volvo XC60 for the journey back I know it is going to be just fine. First thing I do is extend the front of the seat squab so it tucks in just behind my knees. Then I snuggle into the wonderfully supportive leather sports seats, start the 300HP motor and engage drive.
Appetite sated and late of the hour, I don’t want to fall asleep at the wheel so I Bluetooth my phone to the superb surround sound Harman Kardon hi-fi, dial into Spotify and crank up the sounds.
Twenty minutes gets Volvo and passengers through the rural stuff to the M6 and it’s off south we go – wahee. If I could be bothered I could use the cruise control and lane keep assist but I don’t as I need to concentrate on something to stay alert.
The miles flash by and before you know it we are home safe and sound. Big Volvos are a bit like that. They just whizz you comfortably from A to B and you reach journey’s end fresh as when you began.
XC60 sits in the middle of the Volvo SUV range; so it’s bigger than the XC40 but not as big as the mammoth XC90 – as Goldilocks would say to the three bears, it’s just right.
This particular variant is the B6 – a what? B6, so that’s a 2.0 litre turbocharged, supercharged petrol, with mild hybrid accompaniment, 300HP of oomph but 30+ miles per gallon. Not a bad combo that.
Don’t ask me how it works or I’ll start to whimper. Enough to say then that there are gubbins under the skin which harness petrol and electric motors and harvest kinetic energy from movement and brakes to provide performance and economy. Doesn’t really matter to the average Joe does it, safe to say it must work as the performance is outstanding and the fuel figures better than you would expect.
The now familiar XC look is enhanced in R-Design Pro specification by 21in alloys and shiny black piano key trim.
Inside, XC60 is just plain plush with lovely tactile trim and touchscreen features the techies will love. The dash is dominated by the tablet touchscreen but the satnav map can also be projected onto the space between the virtual clocks. Button fiends are going to love it, though it is important to remember that you should look through the windscreen too – where you will also notice the head-up display, by the way.
Some cars are just plain dull, others interesting but frenetic and hence tiring to drive. The Volvo manages the perfect balance – it’s great to drive, even when you are tired, and it keeps you interested throughout. But that could be just me making a meal of it.
Volvo XC60 B6 AWD R-Design Pro automatic
Engine: 2.0 four-cylinder, super-charged, turbo, petrol/mild hybrid
Top speed: 112mph
Combined: 33.2 miles per gallon:
Transmission: eight-speed automatic
Price: £59,825.000 (including options)