VOLVO XC60 B5 INSCRIPTION: it’s ability is crystal clear

HOW many cars have you driven that come with an Orrefors crystal gearshift lever as standard?

South of zero, I’d guess, but it’s one of the classy little touches you’ll find in Volvo’s latest XC60.

A car that is so well screwed together you’ll find the quality of finish hard to fault.

There is just nothing shoddy about the way the Swede is put together. Everything shuts with a reassuring clunk and the dash area, seat covering and plastics used all exude one thing – quality.

When it comes to comfort, it has few peers, and that comfort extends not just from the supportive seats but to the amount of space that each of the five passengers has to themselves.

Sitting proudly in the middle of the dash is Volvo’s big SENSUS infotainment screen, in portrait rather than landscape form, housing all your necessary information at the touch of the screen. To keep you company solo, there’s a classy Bowers and Wilkins sound system.

They say you’re safer in a modern day Volvo than going for a walk with the Green Cross Code man.
We’ll skip over the safety points for the moment and pay tribute to the super smooth ride that soaks up the bumps in a way you wouldn’t expect a sports utility vehicle like this to be able to achieve. There’s very little that can upset its limo-like progress.

Far from being just ‘another’ soft roader, the XC60 has all the practicality of that genre but with a coupe-like sweep to its lines and with some overtly sporty driving dynamics.

You’re vaguely aware of a distant rumble from the 2.0 litre diesel engine as you accelerate but as with everything else on this car it’s well subdued and you’re left simply to marvel at just how well this big car moves down the road.

Road noise is down to an absolute minimum, wind noise is nothing to note and despite this being a fairly high riding vehicle it has a very secure feeling though bends because its body control is very good indeed.

235hp is decent by today’s standards but it’s the 480Nm of torque that comes in low down at 1750rpm that gives the Volvo its get up and go.

Stamp on the throttle hard and it gives the impression that it’s got up and gone. Very, very adequate acceleration.

All variants come with an automatic box and most with all wheel drive. The B5 diesel also benefits from Volvo’s mild hybrid technology, in that it has a 48 volt battery and a KERS energy recovery system to reduce fuel consumption and give you improved response, particularly at low speeds. It also has an integrated starter generator to provide faster and quieter restarting.

Engines in the range – and there are plenty to choose from – are all Volvo’s own E-Drive units which are imbibed with high levels of power and efficiency. There are three diesels, three petrols and a couple of petrol-electric plug-in hybrids, with power ranging from 109 to 405hp and CO2 as low as 47g/km.

This is the second generation of the premium mid size SUV, and Inscription, sampled here, is the most luxurious level.

Part with north of £52,000 and it’ll arrive on your drive with Nappa soft leather upholstery, front and rear air suspension, a massaging front seat, heated steering wheel, big 20 inch diamond cut alloys and a level of safety equipment not bettered anywhere.

Volvo XC60 B5 AWD Inscription Pro

Price: £52,035 (£59,485 as tested)
Engine: 2.0 litre, four cylinder, diesel
Power: 235hp
Torque: 354lb/ft
Transmission: eight speed automatic
Top speed: 137mph
0-62mph: 7.1 seconds
Economy: 46.3mpg
CO2 emissions: 147g/km

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