Test-tested in preview, the second generation of the 2019 Volvo XC60 is distinguished by a remarkable comfort and safety level.
The first generation of XC60, launched in 2008, has arrived at the right time to satisfy a demand that has since never ceased to grow. For nine years, over a million copies of the Swedish SUV have already taken the road, the model becoming the most popular in the range. This great rival of the German premium that is the Audi Q5, the BMW X 3 and the Mercedes GLC has even offered the luxury of getting ahead of the very demanding European market.
This year, the high-end family SUV category will be profoundly renewed and the cards could be redistributed. So, after the Mercedes GLC, the Audi Q5 and thus the Volvo XC60, the BMW X 3 is about to make its molt.
We will also have to count with the challengers: Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Jaguar F-Pace, Lexus NX and DS7 Crossback. Waiting to be able to bring them all together for a proper comparison, we looked at the Volvo case, which continues to offer a Scandinavian approach of its kind.
2019 Volvo XC60 Redesign, Dimensions
Significantly longer (+ 44 mm), wider (+ 11 mm) and less high (-55 mm) than its predecessor, this new 2019 Volvo XC60 displays better proportions, without departing from a certain elegance, embodied by a sleek style. More compact than the large seven-seater XC90, the XC60 enjoys a full technology transfer. It uses the same modular Spa platform, offers the same pallet of 4-cylinder drive-e petrol, diesel and hybrid engines, and accesses the same level of excellence in terms of finishing and equipment. However, this XC90 concentrate is not lacking in character. This sometimes nests in details, like those diurnal fires in the shape of Thor’s Hammer, the god of thunder.
By hoisting on board, the driver discovers a lower driving position than in the XC90. The dashboard evokes that of the big Brother. The aerators are different, but the instrumentation, the touch screen, the steering wheel, the center console with the Start button and the driving mode selector, in diamond-notched aluminium, are strictly identical. Some will regret the disappearance of the floating console which distinguished its predecessor, but it was necessary to be able to house the battery of the hybrid version. In return, the qualitative leap is immediately perceptible. The gap with the German premium no longer exists. By opting for clear leather and wood, the cockpit shines with its clarity, especially as the surface of the panoramic roof increases by half.
Significantly longer than its rivals, the 2019 Volvo XC60 does not forget that since 2010, the owner of the brand is the Chinese Geely. For proof, the priority given to the rear passengers is to sacrifice somewhat the capacity of the safe, which concedes 50 litres to the competition. Volvo obliges, the XC60 multiplies the driving aids. This SUV offers semi-automatic driving up to 130 km/h on motorway. We also noted assistance to the evasive manoeuvre, another avoidance of frontal collisions, and monitoring of dead angles which, if necessary, will block the steering wheel to prevent a change of line when another vehicle is approaching.
The XC60 will be launched next September with its most powerful engines, the D4 (190 hp) and D5 (235 hp), T5 (250 hp) and T6 (325 hp), and the rechargeable T8 (407 hp). All these blocks will be coupled with an automatic Aisin 8-speed gearbox and integral transmission. The small diesel D3 (150 hp) with two-wheel drive will follow in April 2018. Volvo has offered to test a diesel version D5 AWD with a tariff starting at €53,600 and climbs up to €64,830 for our luxury registration finish test car.
With a stepped overfeed-a small turbo blows in a big-and “power pulse”, a compressed air supply reducing the response time, the “small” 4-cylinder 2-litre engine ensures, according to Volvo, Times comparable to that of a “big” 3 liter V6. Another reason for satisfaction, a remarkable operating silence. He participates, with the pneumatic suspension option (€2300), in the comfort of an SUV that places the wellbeing of the occupants at the heart of his concerns. The other side of the coin, the heavier of a good quintal compared to the last Audi Q5, the 2019 Volvo XC60 proves to be more fuel-efficient and less agile on winding roads.
While its German rivals continue to offer family SUVs propelled by 6-cylinders and striving to reproduce a sedan behavior, Volvo has chosen another way. With the 2019 Volvo XC60, the Swedish builder puts on the efficiency of small engines and gives a high priority to comfort, not forgetting to deploy a real Arsenal safe. The choice of reason, in short, but fortunately tinted with a zest of passion.