The second-generation Volvo XC60 has arrived and it is several steps ahead of its predecessor – the very crossover that boasted several world-firsts back in 2009. How much better is its new avatar? We find out in our first drive in India.
Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Saurabh Botre
To break new ground by oneself without a reputation in the land to lay back on and only with qualities and capabilities speaks volumes about strength. The first Volvo XC60 arrived in India in 2010 and that was when Volvo became a more popular name on the lips of potential premium car buyers. Until that moment, it was a name synonymous with luxury buses rather than super-safe cars, as is the case globally, and the old S80 and XC90 didn’t fair as well as the Swedes had hoped. Seemingly undue wrongs were righted with the arrival with the new XC90 and the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). The Thor’s Hammer LED lights, smooth lines, generous proportions, and an interior like no other were reasons enough for it to become the bestseller in India they hoped it would be. Fast forward a few years and the smaller XC60 has had a SPA date and come back refreshed better than ever.
The signature LED headlamps, the simple yet bold lines, and the sharp tail-lamp clusters look modern and extremely contemporary. This is a fine replacement for the car that first showed the world that automobiles could indeed stop themselves, guided merely by a radar and a camera. A lot more engineering and electronics have gone into the 60 since then and the new car is so much more than merely new skin on a new body. Everything is new. From the platform and the seats, to the engine and the 12.3-inch centre touch-display.
Inherently, it does look akin to the XC90, as well it should. They share the SPA platform as well as the engine, transmission, bits of the interior, and more. It’s quite like a scaled-down XC90 – and that’s a good thing. What it means is fantastic, compact looks – even for a large, wide, 4.7-metre long car that’s, simply, big overall. It means more safety, more space, optimised boot volume and an extensive list worth of cutting-edge standard equipment. The big difference is in the track widths. While the new XC60 is wider front and rear, the significant difference is that its predecessor ran a wider front track, whereas the new XC60 runs a wider rear track – and that’s 71 mm more than the older car. The wheelbase, too, is longer by 91 mm. Black diamond-cut 19-inch alloy wheels with 235/55 Michelin rubber are standard as well.
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