The Look 

The Drive

On Board Computer

Camera & Parking

Seats & Rear Bench 

Cup Holders & Cubby Holes

Boot

Safety (Euro NCAP) 

One to google!

Starting price: £53,225

Pros

Luxurious

Great safety features

Integrated booster option

Google infotainment

Cons

Higher spec lines are expensive

Intro

The Volvo XC60 is the little sister to the stylish XC90. The look is almost identical, but on a slightly smaller scale.  This car rivals the likes of the Audi Q5, Mercedes GLC, Kia Sorento and the BMW X3.

There are 3 trim levels Core, Plus and Ultimate. However, if you are after a diesel engine then you will need to plump straight for the Plus level whereas Petrol and Plug-in are available with every trim.  The Core starts at £53,225 for the Plug-In and £45,110 for the Petrol engine. The entry level is excellent and comes in a wealth of colours along with a long list of great features such as heated seats, lumbar support, powered tailgate, auto folding heated door mirrors, leather seats through to seatbelt alarm reminders.  All the Plug-in vehicles have the added bonus of a power glass tilt and slide panoramic sunroof. Very smart indeed!

Safety goes hand in hand with a Volvo and the XC60 has everything from lane assist, early breaking with the detection of pedestrians, blind spot monitoring and the car will even automatically break if it thinks you are going to reverse into something or someone. Genius!

We drove the Plug-in hybrid and found the drive to be so comfortable and easy.  A doddle to manoeuvrer around town and with both parking sensors and 360-degree cameras parking was effortless. On the main roads this Plug -In Hybrid kicked her heels and was smooth, but nippy too.  Our only small gripe was that the gear changer takes a little bit of getting use to – simple, but a bit of clicking and checking involved to start with!

Volvo state that you should get up to 49 miles in full electric mode which is perfect for the school or office run and more.  Plug-in hybrids are a great option if accessibility to a charger is not always immediately handy, or you are often on the road for long trips.  A wall box will recharge the battery within 3-4 hours and if using a household connector, you will need between 4-8 hours.

Interior

Climbing into the car you could see the quality of the interior immediately. Ticking both the contemporary and practical boxes in one.  The finish was luxurious and well thought out. The 12.3-inch digital display is visually very clear, and we loved the 9-inch infotainment screen which is at the perfect height and distance for easy use by the driver. There are large icons with good functionality. There is nothing more infuriating when the touchscreen requires a lot of prodding and then you end up in the wrong function when all you want is for things to be simple and work!  The party piece is that Volvo is the first car manufacturer to integrate google.  You can pair up google assist with your mobile account. We were able to ‘hey google’ for just about anything from warming the cabin to navigating us back to the garage.

The climate control was also on the touchscreen, but unlike some of its rivals, it was simply displayed and easy to play around with.  There are also climate controls in the rear along with good air vents on the side outer pillars.  Claire and I are very use to the back passengers complaining of being ‘too hot’ or ‘too cold’ which undoubtedly is the opposite of how you feel in the front!

Seats & Passenger Space

Volvo have given some great thought to comfort and the seating was testament to this!  The entry level is leather-faced upholstery and if you upgrade, to the Ultimate Line, soft nappa leather is available.  Great fabrics to wipe away sticky hand marks and combat the mishaps that come with the territory.  Even the Core level has heated seats and powered height and lumbar adjustment buttons – nice little touches for a comfortable bottom!   For the height of luxury, the Ultimate Plug-in has ventilated sports seats.  Claire and I tested these seats out and they really do envelope you in.

The cabin height is good and rear adult /teenage passengers have ample leg room too.  Again, the seating is comfortable, however the floor is not completely flat and the middle passenger would need to straddle the transmission tunnel.  There are isofix points in the outer rear seats and we absolutely love the option to have an integrated stage 2 booster seat.  These boosters are available on the outer rear window seats at £300 each.  They basically pop up when you need them and can be folded (integrated) back into the bench when not being used. So simple and yet so clever.   It’s worth noting that these seats are not available on the entry level model and the boosters will also replace the rear bench from having heated seats.

Cups & Cubby

The XC60 has lots of good storage spaces.  In the front the door bins can happily hold a large water bottle. The middle console space is hidden with a tambour style door to pull across.  Underneath here are some good coffee / drinks holders and wireless charging pad.  Under the illuminated arm rest there is further storage. All models have 2 USB sockets in the front and a further 2 in the back. Perfect for those long drives when iPads are an essential!  The glovebox is better than average and perfect for hiding any valuables or storing a few family essentials from winegums to a spare nappy!

The rear door bins are designed to hold a drinks bottle and in addition there are pop out cupholders from the armrest.  For those with boisterous boys these flimsy pop out extras are not ideal.  On the back of the front seats there are netted pockets which are a bit tick on the practicality stakes.  Children can stuff these with ‘things for the journey’ and still see them.

Boot Space

The Plug-In hybrid has 468 litres of load space which is just 15 litres less than the petrol / diesel models.

The boot is on the small side compared to some of its rivals, but it has a practical shape with no load lip at all.  This is great when lifting heavy or awkward items in and it can even double up as a seating bench to pull off muddy wellingtons on those wet, wintery days.  A pram / buggy could fit comfortably in the boot with plenty space left over for bags, scooters etc.

On the higher spec models you can opt for the lower suspension assistance which is especially useful if you are on the shorter side.

All models have the electric tailgate button.  Such a simple design and for a parent, juggling children and bags, it is so practical.  The higher spec models have the handsfree tailgate opening where you wiggle your foot, underneath the back bumper, and ‘hey presto’ the boot opens.

Finally, when the rear seats are put down, there is a good flat load space of around 960 litres.

Summary

The Volvo XC90 is a great family SUV which scores highly on comfort, quality and safety.

** Boosters used in this review: Cozynsafe Tambu (width 45cm), Halfords Essential (width 39.5cm), Graco Basic (width 53.7cm) – dimensions from widest part of booster

Starting Price (Plug In Hybrid) : £53,225

Starting Price (Petrol)               : £45,110

Car Dimensions - Kate and Claire

Dimensions

4708 (L) x 2117 (W) x 1653 (H)

Boot Capacity - Kate and Claire

Boot Capacity

468 litres (Plug-in hybrid)

Backseat Size Kate and Claire Reviews

Backseat Dimensions

Miles per Gallon - Kate and Claire

Miles per gallon

35.7 (B5 model)

Range - Kate and Claire

Range

282.1 (combined)

Speedometer - Kate and Claire

Speed

0-60mph in 5.4 secs