She's Electric

Issue 70

Peter Booth takes the new Volvo XC60 for a spin.

The new Volvo XC60 looks the part. Under the bonnet it is equally impressive – demonstrating a fluidity and responsiveness that helps ensure the brand continues to remain highly competitive in this market. This XC60 driven was a T8 (petrol and electric) – 303+87hp hybrid. High on fuel economy with the beauty of moving from petrol to electric, this is a highly sophisticated adaptation of the petrol-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain. Both fuel economy and reduced emissions perform extremely well on this plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). CO2 emissions were as low as 56g/km. The XC60 is the second generation of Volvo’s premium mid-size SUV. Alongside the S60 saloon and V60 estate it completes Volvo’s mid-range ’60 series’ models. Despite recent turbulence across the motoring market due to Covid, Volvo Car UK has remained competitive over the past few years. just over a year ago it recorded its second highest annual sales figure for 25 years, at 46,139 cars. And the XC60 is one of the best selling models of all of Volvos global car sales! So I was in for a treat… The SUV market is cluttered that’s for sure. With the Audi A4 Avant, BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate all providing competition, there is a highlevel range of choice for the discerning commuter/business traveller. Its spacious inside and can fit the three teens in the back comfortably. The leg room at the back is plentiful and the boot is one of the largest of any premium compact estate, along with one of the biggest cabins in the class. A family trip to Leeds was perfectly accommodated with boot space of 483 litres with the rear seats up. While It boasted 1,410 litres with the rear seats down (measured to the roof) (468/1,395 litres for Recharge Plug-in Hybrid versions) Cornering felt sharp and easy and there was good all-round visibility as you might expect in a car of this size. In fact ease of drive was a key attribute. This of course was aided by the satellite birds eye view. The braking took a bit more getting used to. Perhaps due to this being a hybrid, some energy is recuperated under braking and fed back to the batteries. It just seemed to take a few drives to get the balance between under and over braking. Inside there are very nifty, cutting-edge connectivity features, displaying what appears at first to be a hugely busy screen. with all kinds of technological functions, until you get used to it. I did like the way it mimicked an iPad with the ability to swipe to different screens. A wide range of cloud-based apps are also available. The dawn of the driverless autonomous vehicle has clearly broken as some little features impress. I really love for instance the hands-free tailgate opening and closing. That – as an ‘autonomous’ future I could happily have every day. The lane correcting feature is still hard to get used to though. And let’s face it we shouldn’t really need ‘pulling’ back into the correct lane should we in all honesty. If we are too tired or distracted to drive properly in our own lane then should we be driving? Or am I from a different era…who knows? Maybe the time of driving to Leeds with three teens in the back, sat back relaxed as the car breaks and accelerates and turns itself is upon us. And maybe I shouldn’t be complaining…!

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