Volvo XC60 Drive 2.4D DRIVe (175 PS) SE Lux Premium11 | 08 | 2010Scotcars rating

    Volvo's XC90 little brother is a surefooted rival to all who challenge ... even in the snow


    I struck lucky with my timing of this test car with it arriving just as the first snowflakes of winter started to fall. As the weather deteriorated and the thermometer plummeted to record low levels – in Glasgow on one day it showed minus 9 at lunchtime – I found I was in a great machine for the job of tackling icy, snowy and very tricky roads. It’s the smaller brother of the XC90 and the Drive version is available only with front wheel drive rather than powering all four wheels, but it is remarkably capable and the improved economy is worth having. Like every Volvo – and hopefully this will continue under the new Chinese ownership – build quality is superb and everything works just as it should and feels as if it will continue to do so for many years to come. I really enjoyed the car and even without the four-wheel-drive I felt very secure in some appalling driving conditions.

    Build quality is superb and everything works just as it should

    On the road

    It performs well whatever the road surface or conditions, equally at home in the city or in the great outdoors. The 2.4 diesel engine is designed for economy which it achieves – I had the car for two weeks, covered more than 300 miles and used just over half a tankful. The automatic boot release on the key fob at first seems like a luxury until you’re coming out of the supermarket loaded with bags and only one finger free. I found the car a delight to drive, although it does have some little quirks. The electronic parking brake button seems the operate back to front – you pull it towards you to put it off and push it to engage. It just doesn’t feel right and I cursed the fact the engine will only fire if you have the clutch flat to the floor.

    Comfort & Safety

    Volvo say the XC60 is the safest car in its class and the safest Volvo ever made – which is quite come claim. It’s the first car ever to have new safety technology, City Safety, which lowers the risk of crashes below 19mph, reducing injury and cutting repair costs. City Safety, which comes as standard on all XC60s, helps the driver avoid, or mitigate, the most common of all accidents — impacts in low speed city traffic or tailbacks. Statistics show 75% of all reported collisions take place at speeds of up to 19mph. In half of the cases the driver has not braked at all before the collision, mainly due to distraction. If the car is about to drive into the vehicle in front, the XC60 brakes itself. If an accident cannot be avoided, then at least the damage — and any potential injury — will be minimised.

    Should I Buy One?

    Yes, if you need a safe, economical and well built crossover with all the status and visibility of a four-wheel-drive.

    Alan Douglas

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £30,745
    Engine / Power: 2396cc /175bhp
    How fast?: 0-62mph 9.8secs / Max 127mph
    How big/heavy?: H1713mm W1891mm L4627mm / 2430kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: Combined 47.1mpg / CO2 159g/km
    InsGP/Road tax: 13E / Band G, £150
    Alternatives: Mitsubishi Outlander; Land Rover Freelander; Ford Kuga;  BMWX3

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