The Volvo XC60 has quietly arrived in South Africa and we have pricing and some details for this new SUV.
The Volvo XC60 will be pitched competitively against key rivals – the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Jaguar F-Pace, Lexus NX, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Porsche Macan. It arrives in SA on the back of a World Car of the Year 2018 victory. "Of the 3 finalists, the new XC60 was my preferred candidate for the overall win," comments Cars.co.za Consumer Experience Manager Hannes Oosthuizen. "It probably is the best example of all that is good about Volvo at the moment – great design inside and out, quality finishes and a strong performance/efficiency balance, without sacrificing the practicality and safety aspects the brand is so famous for."
In terms of trim, the new Volvo XC60 comes to market in Momentum, Inscription and R-Design spec. The range of engines for the newcomer is limited to 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged units, both petrol and diesel. The D4 motor has 140 kW and 400Nm, the T5 puts out 187 kW and 350 Nm, T6 produces 235 kW and 400 Nm, while the top-spec diesel D5 has a mighty 173 kW and 480 Nm.
We had the opportunity to drive the new Volvo XC60 in Spain not so long ago and here, Ciro De Siena takes us through the new offering from the Swedish brand.
Volvo XC60 Price in South Africa (May 2018)
The new Volvo XC60 comes standard with a 5 year / 100 000 km warranty and maintenance plan and a 5 year / unlimited mileage roadside assistance plan.
New Volvo XC60 officially touches down in South Africa
The new Volvo XC60 has officially arrived in South Africa, with the local range comprising 12 derivatives.
While we published pricing as long ago as mid-March, the change in South Africa’s VAT rate (which kicked in at the start of April 2018) has seen the numbers change slightly. Check out the latest full pricing at the bottom of this story.
Locally, the new XC60 is offered with the choice of two diesel engines and two petrol units, each mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and each boasting all-wheel drive as standard. Buyers can choose from three trim levels.
Interestingly, Volvo Car South Africa says the T8 Twin Engine petrol plug-in hybrid is “being considered” for our market, but emphasises that there is “no planned introduction date at this stage”.
Diesel fans will be able to choose between the D4 (140 kW and 400 N.m) and D5 (173 kW and 480 N.m), while those who prefer petrol will have the choice of the T5 (187 kW and 350 N.m) and T6 (235 kW and 400 N.m).
The second-generation version of the premium crossover – which will do battle against the likes of the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Jaguar F-Pace – was revealed in March 2017. We drove it in Spain a few months thereafter. In March 2018, of course, the XC60 drove away with the World Car of the Year award.
“Locally, the XC60 is our most successful model to date. With the all-new version built on our SPA platform and incorporating all the safety and connectivity features seen in the XC90, we expect the new version to notably increase our share in the premium SUV segment,” said Greg Maruszewski, managing director of Volvo Car SA.
Volvo has been keeping its rivals on their toes of late, having seriously upped its SUV game - first with the classy second-generation XC90 back in 2015 and more recently with the funky new XC40.
The middle child in the line-up, Volvo’s XC60, has also been completely renewed, and this second-generation model has now been launched in South Africa. The new XC60 certainly puts its mid-sized dimensions to good use in that it appears more mature than its aforementioned smaller sibling, yet sportier than its bigger brother.
Rearing to take on the latest Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC, the XC60 shifts onto Volvo’s modern and flexible SPA platform that also underpins all the latest ‘90’ models and the new SUV comes jam-packed with safety tech.
The City Safety auto-braking feature, for instance, gains steering assistance, while a new function called Oncoming Lane Mitigation also uses this feature to help mitigate head-on collisions. City safety is standard along with Volvo’s Lane Keeping Aid.
The Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving package, which includes active cruise control, and which can assist with acceleration, braking and steering on well-marked roads up to 130km/h, is a R19 200 option.
As has become the norm for Volvo in SA, customers will be offered a wide variety of engine and spec options, with D4, D5, T5 and T6 engines all available in either Momentum, R-Design or Inscription trim guises. A T8 flagship, powered by Volvo’s 300kW plug-in hybrid drivetrain, is under consideration for our market.
All of the petrol and diesel engines offered are Volvo designed, 2-litre turbocharged units, with varying outputs:
All engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and Volvo’s permanent all-wheel-drive system, and for an extra R26 750 buyers can opt for air suspension with four driver-selectable modes, including an ‘Off Road’ function.
The cabin, and we say this very thankfully, follows the same design direction as the larger XC90, with a feast of soft-touch surfaces sprinkled with satin chrome trimmings and some classy stitching - and garnished with a wave-like inlay that runs across the middle of the dash, which can be finished in a variety of metal or wood trims depending on the model selected.
Your command centre is Volvo’s tablet-like Sensus touchscreen infotainment system with satnav, which is standard along with Volvo’s 31.2cm digital instrument cluster - meaning it’s an all-digital affair from the get-go.
Also standard fitment on all XC60 versions is dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable front seats, cruise control, auto lights and wipers and a multi-function steering wheel.
As for the trimmings, seats are upholstered in leather across the range and base models roll on 18-inch alloy wheels, while opting for the R-Design or Momentum grades gets you fancier-looking 19-inch alloy wheels and various trim-specific styling tweaks.
Generous as the standard amenities are, there is still a fairly substantial list of optional items, including among others, head-up display (R14 900), massaging front seats (R5600), Park Assist Pilot (R7900) and a 360-degree camera (R12 750).
All models are sold with a five-year/100 000km warranty and maintenance plan.
Somewhere in the Free State - If I fall asleep now, God forbid, will I wake up platooning behind a truck?
For obvious reasons, this is not a theory one should ever test - at least not until cars are ‘actually’ autonomous. Relying on so-called ‘semi-autonomous’ driving gadgets is a fatal move, as some Tesla drivers have found out the hard way after putting their faith in that dubiously named ‘Autopilot’ gizmo.
But it’s a curious thought that crossed my mind while ‘piloting’ Volvo’s new XC60 D5 from Gauteng to the KZN coast recently for a mid-winter thaw. Well, I did actually have a lot of time to think, and it was enlightening to experience Volvo’s Pilot Assist semi-autonomous tech on a long-distance journey.
Available on most modern Volvos, and a R19 200 option on the XC60, it is in essence a very larney radar and camera based active cruise control system that not only accelerates and brakes for you at speeds of up to 130km/h, but also provides steering assistance when the road markings are clear enough on both sides - although it will protest and deactivate if you don’t keep at least one hand on the steering wheel, and rightfully so.
The steering gizmo works better than similar systems that I’ve sampled, and you might accuse it of being a pointless gimmick, but I do appreciate the extra safety margin it provides. The active cruise control componentry worked exceptionally well too, braking calmly when slower vehicles got in the way and promptly accelerating back to the chosen cruising speed when said slowpokes moved over.
On curvy country roads, this Volvo handles neatly, although it doesn’t feel quite as sharp as BMW’s X3/X4 range. The ride is a bit firmer than it perhaps should be, largely thanks to the low profile 19-inch rubber fitted to the Inscription model that we had on test, but it’s still reasonably comfortable on most surfaces.
All XC60s have permanent all-wheel-drive as standard and an extra R26 750 gets you air suspension with four driver-selectable modes, including an ‘Off Road’ function - although don’t ever mistake this Thor’s hammer eyed SUV for a traditional bush warrior.
The D5, powered by a 173kW, 480Nm version of Volvo’s 2-litre turbodiesel, is easily the pick of the bunch here - although if it doesn’t match your budget there’s also a 140kW D4 on offer, or turbo petrols in 187kW T5 and 235kW T6 guises if performance is at the top of your wish list.
The D5 employs Volvo’s simple but ingenious PowerPulse compressed air tank to breathe life into the combustion chamber before the turbo spools up, ensuring lag-free pull offs. Power delivery is impressively linear, although the vehicle doesn’t feel particularly punchy - it’s got enough get up and go to do its job, nothing more and nothing less really. Consumption averaged 6.8 litres per 100km on the open road, which is fair for a vehicle of this size and stature.
Now that we’re talking dimensions, the XC60 is very much the ‘Goldilocks’ option in Volvo’s SUV line-up. Obviously if you need seven seats then the XC90 is your go-to Volvo, but if five chairs will suffice, the XC60 provides a spacious package with decent - although not quite exceptional - rear legroom and a biggish (505 litre) boot.
The XC60’s exterior also strikes that perfect design balance. Though it’s not as funky as the new XC40, it packs the elegance of the larger XC90 into a more athletic wrapping, complete with bow-and-arrow-like feature lines dug into lower side sections to lend a more taut, compact appearance.
Inside, the dashboard is reminiscent of the S90’s, although closer inspection reveals some neat new details such as a wave-like horizontal panel that runs along the lower dashboard, and which can be finished in a variety of classy-looking metal or wood trims.
Classy. Now that’s an understatement. Seemingly every panel and surface in here just oozes elegance, right down to the satin chrome door handles and that miniature Swedish flag label on the edge of the driver’s seat.
This cabin is a visual and tactile mästerverk, as Ludvig would put it, although the ergonomics might not prove ideal for all buyers as most functions are operated from the huge tablet-like central screen that hosts Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system.
It’s relatively easy to operate but you do have to swipe sideways between menus to access many functions. The climate controls are digitally housed too and require more eyes-off-the-road distraction than good old fashioned rotary dials would.
Thankfully, then, the City Safety auto braking feature (now also featuring steering assistance) is standard, along with Oncoming Lane Mitigation and Lane Keeping Aid.
You will have to fork out extra for some of the fancier options, including that aforementioned Pilot Assist, as well as things like head-up display (R14 900), massaging front seats (R5600), Park Assist Pilot (R7900) and a 360-degree camera for parking, which costs R12 750 extra.
What’s standard then? All XC60s come out the box with leather seats (power adjustable upfront), dual-zone climate control, auto lights and wipers and conventional cruise control. Upgrading to one of the design lines, such as R-Design or the opulent Momentum trim that our car featured, brings unique styling garnishes and larger 19” wheels (18” alloys are standard).
Priced between R666 000 and R784 500, and with the D5 inscription featured here retailing at R779 800, the XC60 range is well priced and specced in relation to its rivals, though by no means is it a ‘cheap’ option.
Sure, the ride and performance are average at best, and the ergonomics can get a bit iffy, yet the new XC60 is such a class act in terms of style, cabin finish, luxury, technology and overall refinement that its rivals must surely be having a hard time falling asleep at night.