Volvo XC60 D5 R-Design is a comfortable, safe, clever and surprisingly sporty SUV
The all-new second generation Volvo XC60 has garnered quite a lot of attention since it was launched in late 2017. And, in that time, it has collected a number of motoring accolades from around the world, largely for safety, technology and value for money.
Volvo Car Australia offers the XC60 in three trim levels: the base Momentum, the luxurious Inscription and the sporty R-Design. The range kicks off with the XC60 D4 Momentum priced from $59,990 and climbs to the XC60 T8 R-Design priced from $92,990 plus on road costs and options.
The XC60 D5 R-Design is priced from $73,990 plus on roads and options.
We sampled the XC60 T5 Inscription a while ago and we were impressed by the car’s inherent sense of prestige, luxury, quality and technology. That blonde oh-so-Swedish interior was uplifting and it did an excellent job of making passengers feel special.
But what if you want your XC60 to have a sporty flavour? Well, the XC60 R-Design is most likely the XC60 for you. Volvo has reserved its most powerful drivetrains for the R-Design, with buyers able to choose from the twin turbo diesel D5, the turbocharged and supercharged T6 and the T8 plugin petrol electric hybrid, which also happens to be the most powerful production Volvo ever.
The 2.0 litre twin turbo diesel in the XC60 D5 R-Design produces a healthy 173kW @ 4000rpm and 480Nm from between 1750-2250rpm. That engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic which sends power to all four wheels.
Performance is brisk, and the XC60 D5 is probably the fastest accelerating four-cylinder diesel we’ve ever driven. Speed is built up quickly and smoothly, and it makes the D5 R-Design and joy for overtaking or even punting down a country road. That eight-speed auto generally shifts rapidly, and keeps the engine on the boil. However, at lower speeds, we found the auto to be a little clunky on occasion.
Volvo quotes and official 0-100km/h time of 6.9 seconds, hardly slow, and a combined fuel consumption figure of 5.6 litres per 100km. We averaged around 8 litres on the combined cycle, still decent for a mid-size SUV.
Our test car was fitted with Volvo’s optional FourC air suspension which offers a number of different heights and settings. Dynamic, for instance, lowers the car and firms up the ride and handling. Impressively, this setting worked rather well. The ride is firm without being brittle or uncomfortable, body roll is reasonable and the steering is light without being vague or wooly. That said, we would have liked a touch more feedback.
Inside, the sporty theme continues – brushed silver and dark coloured inserts replace woodgrain, there are sports seats that are wrapped in dark coloured leather and suede-like inserts and an abundance of R-Design badges about the place. It’s a little dark, but it’s beautifully designed, made and very sporty.
Those sporty aspirations don’t get in the way of comfort, though. The front seats have extendible squabs and are both plush and supportive. Rear passengers don’t miss out either, enjoying the same level of support as those up front. Leg, head and shoulder room is more than adequate all round.
What we like:
- Potent diesel drivetrain
- Sharp styling
- Beautiful build quality
- Stunning and comfortable interior
Not so much:
- Diesel can be a little noisy
- Transmission can be a little clunky a times
- Start/stop system can be a little slow to disengage
- Not a lot else, really. Volvo seems to know what it’s doing with its new product line
Sale or no sale?
If you’re looking for a mid-size SUV that offers something different from the mainstream prestige rivals, packs plenty of punch and serves up plenty of style and luxury, then the XC60 D5 R-Design is worth a look.