Surprisingly, Volvo has launched the XC60 in SA without fanfare, preferring instead to make some noise a few weeks ago for the new XC40, which has proven so popular that Volvo has had to double its allocation for SA from 350 in 2018 to 700.
The XC60 probably does not need fanfare, though. Its history and new awards speak for themselves. We drove it in 2017 and were highly impressed. Since then it has won the highest accolade, the 2018 World Car of the Year title. It’s a very good start for the latest generation.
The previous one sold more than 1-million units globally in its nine-year life and was the top-selling premium SUV in Europe. It was also the best-selling model in Volvo SA’s line-up.
The all-new XC60 is the fourth model based on the company’s SPA (Scalable Platform Architecture), following the introduction of the top-of-the-line 90 cluster in recent years including the S90 sedan and XC90 SUV.
"Locally, the XC60 is our most successful model to date, says Greg Maruszewski, MD of Volvo Car SA.
"With the all-new version built on our SPA platform and incorporating all the safety and connectivity features seen in the XC90, we expect it to notably increase our share in the premium SUV segment."
Styling cues follow on from the XC90 up front with those Thor’s Hammer daytime running lights and dominating grille. The side profile keeps the cab rearward look of the last generation; and the rear sticks to tall tail lights but with a more modern design interpretation.
The new model is one of the safest cars made and is fully-loaded with new technology. When tested by Euro NCAP in 2017 it received the highest score of all new vehicles tested, with a near-perfect 98% in the adult occupant category.
The brand’s City Safety Autonomous Emergency Braking system has been enhanced with steering support for when automatic braking alone may not help avoid a collision.
In addition, Oncoming Lane Mitigation with Steer Assist (which helps mitigate head-on collisions) and Blind Spot Information System with Steer Assist functionality, has been added to reduce the risk of lane-changing collisions.
Pilot Assist, Volvo’s advanced semi-autonomous driver assistance system, which takes care of steering, acceleration and braking on well-marked roads up to 130 km/h, is available in the new XC60 as an option.
The cabin also takes its cue from larger models with elegant Swedish design and that large touchscreen infotainment system that dramatically reduces the number of buttons required. There is also a new CleanZone air quality climate system which removes harmful pollutants and particles from outside the cabin and is said to deliver Scandinavian-fresh air on the inside.
Locally, the new XC60 is available with two diesel engines (D4 and D5) and two petrol (T5 and T6), all mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive.
There are three trim levels — Momentum, R-Design and Inscription — with prices starting at R664,000. Currently there is no plug-in hybrid option like there is in the XC90 but Volvo SA says it is considering it.