Three months ago, when pterodactyls filled the skies and all the world seemed new, I wrote a review of a Volvo XC60 with the T5 petrol engine. No, really, I did! Here it is. One of my comments, as you’ll remember if you read it, was that although it was a fine car in itself, it seemed to make less sense financially than a diesel XC60, even though unfortunate things that some people knew about diesel engines all along have only recently come to the attention of others.
Avoiding political discussions on that subject, I present the XC60 D4, which has a two-litre diesel under the bonnet. There is little to be said about it that has not already been said of the T5, and that in itself is quite a thing to say.
Even in these modern times, you’d expect a diesel engine to be significantly noisier than a petrol one, but the D4 is splendidly quiet. Equally, it must be heavier than the T5, yet it doesn’t make the XC60 noticeably different to drive.
In either form, the steering is astonishingly light and very smooth, no matter which setting you choose in the drive mode system. This might be unsettling if you have a strong-arm driving style, but it works for me. The other controls feel very similar.
The ride is excellent on all the surfaces I’ve encountered. While the XC60 would once have been described as an off-roader, it’s particularly good on motorways, as a colleague and I discovered when we shared the car for around 650 miles in 36 hours. I didn’t find this at all tiring, and if the other bloke felt otherwise he didn’t mention it (which I’m sure he would have done).
During that time, never pushing the car particularly hard, we averaged a measured 44.1mpg, a little short of the indicated 46.8 and no small distance from the combined EU figure of 55.4. Still, if a reasonably large SUV with a 187bhp engine, four-wheel drive and eight-speed automatic transmission can get that close to 45mpg on a long motorway run, I’m fine with it.
The Momentum tested here is the least well-equipped XC60 if you don’t add any options, but the specification is hardly niggardly. City Safety, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a 9″ central touchscreen, LED headlights, two-zone climate control and a powered tailgate are all included in the £37,205 list price.
You have to pay between £350 and £950 for any colour apart from Ice White, though, and the test car was loaded with many extras including a retractable towbar for an eye-watering £995 and the £1500 Intellisafe Pro package (Pilot Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Information, Cross Traffic Alert and Rear Collision Mitigation) which, given Volvo’s continuing history of promoting safety, I’d have hoped would be fitted as standard.
With these and other items, the test car was worth £46,200, or a bit more than an unmodified R-Design Pro with the T5 engine.
Engine size 1969cc
Top speed 127mph
0-62mph 8.4 seconds
Fuel economy 55.4mpg combined
CO2 emissions 133g/km
Towing capacity 2400kg (braked)
Euro NCAP (2017) Overall 5 stars Adult occupant 98% Child occupant 87% Pedestrian 76% Safety assist 95%
Information correct at publication date