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Classy, elegant, chic and sporty are not words you might typically associate with a 4x4 - plus you'd be exceedingly unlikely to use all of them at once to explain exactly the identical 4x4. That's until the advent of Volvo S40 Cars.
Considering bringing the pragmatic off-roader to the family entertainment marketplace, auto manufacturers have striven to design it and tailor it to offer the broadest appeal, together with varying levels of success. Some attempt a 4x4/MPV cross, while others opt for a more laidback SUV picture. There has even been an effort by a superior car maker at trying to flip its large SUV to a sleek sports coupe, with especially unsleek, nay, gruesome, outcomes!
a lot of SUVs, VOLVO handles to maintain, and even improve, the svelte lines and subtle shapes of its lightweight saloon and real estate brethren. In fact, in case you reduced an XC60 to make it embrace a road-hugging position, then it would doubtless appear like a somewhat rakish sports estate. psychological" styling.
You wouldn't accuse the VOLVO's interior of being overdone. It's modem, fresh, fashionable and, above all, simple. The all-anthracite lower-half cut of our test example might appear laborious and dull in some cars, but with more to lift it than white contrast stitching and environmentally applied bright moldings, the Volvo handles a feeling of clever viability. You'd expect nothing less from Swedish design.
The focal point is without doubt Volvo's now well known'floating' center console, in this case having a glowing metallic finish. It presents a range of logically-arranged and clearly-marked controllers - the human-shaped air-distribution picture being a particular case in point - that become nearly intuitive at first glance. Above the CD slot resides both the clear sat-nav screen, slightly inset to cut reflections from the window glass found on exactly identical|identical} plane as the tools in which a rapid glimpse enables immediate visual clarity with no refocusing.
Gauges - only the two - convey the vital details through annular analogue dials and (that word again)'drifting' pointers with electronic supplemental information displayed in their facilities|centres|facilities}. They've a chronographic appearance to these, but Volvo has thankfully resisted the usually Far-Eastern car manufacturers' tendency to beautify them with too much bling and fancy lighting.
In authentic Volvo tradition, the seats are well-shaped, supportive and comfortable with those in the front providing a useful array of adjustment. The back compartment boasts sensible should not commodious legroom, and the well contoured seat should supply three teenaged adults with cozy but comfortable travel. The 40:20:40 split/fold seat gives a level load floor when the one-touch release levers are operated.
Zoned climate control gives a degree (actually, quite a few levels ) of heating/cooling versatility and clean cabin atmosphere using filtration and Volvo's Clean Zone Interior Package, an advanced air-purging system.
motors make a deal of sense, being as responsive as a'four' however nearly as simple as a'six', even though the smoothness bit is not as apparent with an oil burner. Once heated up, however, the D5 is a pleasant enough petrol, delivering lively performance in concert with an smooth-shifting six-speed Geartronic transmission, and which likewise has Sport mode and manual override.
Having originally believed the steering over-weighted, a couple miles after it seemed to feel quicker and more receptive. Speed-dependent assistance is available as an option, depending on version, with a user-selection facility.
In normal conditions the all-wheel drive system is front-biased, with torque re-apportioned through the computer-controlled hydraulic clutch as available traction changes. Volvo's Instant Traction is designed to help with standing starts. Ride is very firm (maybe as a result of BMW X3 having an XC60 benchmark) but gives car-like cornering and handling, even though well-judged initial compliance takes the sting from many street imperfections.
The Volvo's City Safety helps prevent low-speed mishaps; Collision Caution with Automobile Brake and Adaptive Cruise Control with Distance Alert work at higher rates; BUS reveals your blind areas; DAC and LDW attempt to stop you falling asleep or straight from lane; and IDIS waits telephone calls while you cope with complex driving situations. These systems can be obtained along with Volvo's renowned safety design and engineering aided by Roll Stability Control, Hill Descent Control, Dynamic Stability and Traction Control, and Trailer Stability Assist. Oh, also there's Park Help...
The Volvo's 90kg nose weight provides a great margin to accommodate most appropriate caravans, and rectangular, straight-edged door cushions provide a better platform than many for towing mirrors.
The XC60 proved to be lively, turning into a 0-60mph time of 14.5 minutes despite initial take-off being calmed from the automatic gearbox. . Hill starts were equally as trouble-free. The outfit felt very unruffled in urban states, possibly as a result of assurance of City Safety, also with a 30-50mph time of 6.1 sec was rarely in danger of holding up other traffic. Normal auto mode coped well, easily discovering itself in the perfect equipment at the perfect moment.
The steering may sometimes feel somewhat stranger from tight, twisty urban states but enhanced at higher rates to become smooth, more responsive and precise, in which the Volvo felt in complete control through strings of minor-road bends. On steep descents manual equipment selection could be helpful, but the strong wheels using their various driver- assistance systems supplied reassurance.
At motorway speeds the XC60 tracked straight and accurate, however on a really windy test day some buffeting was experienced, as was some enforced deviation offline from large overtaking trucks and coaches.
Ride comfort in all states was business, though rarely uncomfortably so, and the XC60 was able to damp out the caravan's bulge reactions quite competently over all but the worst ruts.
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Think of the SUV as a tall, slinky, blonde Swede that will never have a blond moment, however is quite XC.
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