Volvo was kind enough to invite C&C out to the launch of their all-new XC60 crossover. As you can tell from the pictures, the new XUV is a visually stunning machine, taking design cues from the C60 and S80 vehicles, which adds up to a very comprehensive look for their entire line.
The first thing I noticed about the car were the “DNA” lights at the front and rear. LED marker lights that run all the time, the front lights give the grill a very distinct face, which is instantly recognizable in your mirrors. The rear lights are actually a series of reflectors that give a wraparound feature to a standard array of LEDs and highlight the curves yet remain very similar to taillights on the XC90 and V50.
The high beltline that stretches from the grille to the tailgate is another striking feature. Another first impression: I was happy they did not follow the trend of thick D-pillars with rounded windows like so many other crossovers in this segment (GL-class, I’m looking at you!)
The drip rails with contrasting color and dual-panel panoramic roof give the roofline a nice look, and the integrated spoiler/third brake light at the rear finishes quite nicely. Overall I’d have to say this is without question the best looking crossover in its class, possibly anywhere.
Inside the cabin the seats are done up in a contrasting-leather X pattern. Our test vehicle had some of the softest, most comfortable Volvo seats I’d ever sat in, but lacked even basic bolstering for the spirited driving the car is capable of.
The “floating” center console found in the S80 has been carried over to the XC60, and it is tilted slightly towards the driver. The vehicle we drove was finished in birch colored wood, which unlike the glassy lacquer found most luxury cars, had the texture of real wood, and a very Scandinavian feel to it. I think it matches a piece of Ikea furniture we have perfectly. At the top of the stack is the navigation system, which worked well once we figured out that it had a wireless remote. Otherwise, the driver had to control it from a well-engineered stalk on the wheel. I found myself wishing the 5″ screen was a 7″ though, there is room in the space, but the recessed 5″ screen did reduce glare dramatically.
Above the center stack is another floating piece that protrudes upward from the dash, with a monochrome display for audio and climate control features. Overall I found this unit a bit cumbersome, and disliked having to look 3 places for information.
The rear seats fold flat in what Volvo calls a 60/60 configuration which is really a 40/20/40 scenario, and allows you to customize which side had the cargo duty and which side carries the passenger. Our test model did not have the integrated child safety seats pioneered by Volvo.
The power liftgate was a bit quirky at times, but that might have been operator error. If you give it a boost while it’s moving, it’s easy to make it change course on you and start closing in. Not being used to such fancy accoutrements, I found myself wishing I could turn it off. The hatch opening is widest in class, and according to Volvo design engineers will fit most Ikea boxes laid flat. Scandinavian synergy, maybe, but that’s actually far more important to me than a sheet of drywall. Now that I’ve mentioned Ikea twice in one article, I think it’s high time to take a trip to White Marsh and get some more disposable dressers.
In conclusion, my overall impression of the design of the XC60 was one of awe. The car looks amazing, and really redefines comfort and styling in the segment.
So how did it drive? What’s under the hood? What’ kind of safety features does it have? Stay tuned.