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Volvo XC60 Diesel Estate

Andy Williams - Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Joe Bryan Reviews the Volvo XC60 Diesel Estate D5 [215] R Design Nav 5dr AWD

The vehicle was delivered to me on Friday 15th March 2013 and staying with me for use until Thursday 28th March 2013.  My wife and I were going to Wales and would be spending time in the Snowdonia National Park.  The weather forecast suggested that it would be wet and windy and with the likelihood of snow toward the end of our week there.

First Impression

Sadly it was raining when the car arrived but it was “easy on the eye” and felt sturdy. The delivery driver took me through the controls and although they looked complex the reality was that they were fairly easy to use. The leather upholstery was nice, the seats were very comfortable and I liked the electric switches for adjusting the seats in all directions. Lots of space in the boot for both our luggage and our dog!

 

Safety Features

Unsurprisingly with a Volvo there were lots of these and using them showed up lots of benefits and a few downside issues.

Blind Spot Indicators

I’ve never come across these before and found them quite helpful.  In essence they consist of a small triangle on each front door, adjacent to the side mirrors, which light up if a vehicle is in your blind spot. The automatic reaction when they come on is to look in the side mirror – a nice touch.

 

Lane Wander Warning

Again this is a useful tool and initially a bit of fun, however it soon became irritating on a long motorway journey when you are regularly changing lanes.  I was glad that it had an off switch as the warning, which put me in mind of the William Tell overture, bleeps every time you get close to the white lines (I think it actually reacts to the “cat’s eyes”)

 

Cruise Control

This is something that a lot of cars have now but this is first one I have come across that actually changes the speed you are travelling at. If you get too close to the vehicle in front it slows you down to the same speed. The first couple of times this happened I was unsure of what was going on, but once I understood it I was fine with it and was able to combine it with lane changes to maintain a regular speed.

 

Distance from car in front warning

The first time this went off it was a bit alarming, but as with the other safety devices I quickly got used to it.  On the top of the dashboard in the “Top Gun” heads up display position there are a row of red lights.  If you are getting too close to the car in front these begin to light up in groups of four, and if you get very near all of them come on at once, flash very brightly and a loud bleep warning sounds.

 

A good safety feature to stop you hitting the vehicle in front, but the somewhat startling nature of its activation may potentially cause someone using the car for the first time to be distracted from driving safely!

 

Sat Nav

The built in Sat Nav is very good, with detailed maps and accurate location finding and the female voice is probably the politest I have heard on any system. I found the fact that it switched the rest of the audio system of completely when giving instructions just a little annoying. On any other system I have used the sound just drops down.  A couple of times I lost fairly important parts of news and traffic reports.  In fairness there may be a setting that can change this but I didn’t find it!

 

Fuel Consumption

We drove about 1000 miles over the 10 days that we had the car and I put in about £170 worth of fuel, which at £1.46 per litre was equivalent to about 25 gallons of diesel.  Overall we got a little over 40 miles to the gallon.  Given that a lot of that driving was on narrow country lanes and up some very steep hills, that seems reasonably good to me.

 

Overall

An enjoyable car to drive, which performed very well; we subjected it to driving in towns, the countryside, on motorways and on our journey home through some very heavy snow and it took all of them in its stride.

Key Facts:
  • OTR: £37160
  • CO2: 139 g/km
  • 0-62mph: 8.1s
  • Economy: 53.3mpg (combined)
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