There are three trim levels: Momentum, R-Design and Inscription, and four powertrains, all linked to all-wheel drive: the D4 and D5 diesel (the latter with PowerPulse, which is a gas canister that activates to spool up the turbo and eliminate lag), T5 petrol and T8 Twin Engine, which is Volvo’s plug-in hybrid moniker.
We tested the R-Design D4 AWD, which will be the best-seller, with over half the sales volume in the UK (Volvo predicts 12 per cent hybrid sales but says this is highly conservative – the previous version ended up accounting for 20 per cent of sales).
R-Design gives you a really lovely cabin, with leather and nubuck clad sports seats, gearshift paddles on the perforated leather steering wheel, metal mesh inlays and a 12.3in driver’s information display screen, which is a smaller version of the XC90’s iPad-style screen.
That’s on top of a healthy dose of standard equipment: satnav, two-zone climate control, heated front seats, power-operated tailgate and Drive Mode, with econ, comfort and dynamic settings.
You twist the engine start button, carried over from the XC90; another small but noticeable differentiator between Volvo and its stablemates. The D4 engine, mated to an eight-speed auto, is surprisingly perky, revving happily with a light throttle response. Volvo wants the XC60 to be the “dynamic” SUV derivate, but that steering is bizarrely quick to load, with too little resistance built into the rack. The throttle and brake pedals are also featherlight in their responses, which is not akin to the character of an SUV, but might please those who value assistance over feedback.