2014 Volvo XC60 Review [Video]
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When considering buying or leasing a premium family compact SUV, away from the German offerings you must consider the 2014 Volvo XC60. This 2nd generation model has been totally rejuvenated with the inclusion of Volvo’s very own cutting edge Drive-E engine in its cheapest form, sleeker looks all round and impressive infotainment technology; there is certainly a lot in the appeal of this SUV. The old Ford-based engine is still available should you want it and the safety standards are as classically ‘Volvo’ as ever. One thing’s for sure – this is a Volvo for today’s market.
The 2014 Volvo XC60 is on the larger side of the compact segment. This 2 tonne vehicle measures up to a bulky 4.6 metres in length but it hides it very well through the sleek exterior styling. The front end has been specifically revised to look more cohesive and appealing, with nice detailing which gives it a more upmarket vibe. Inside, the ambiance has improved with plenty of nice trims and plush details plus a good amount of spacy-ness. The standard infotainment system is nicely angled towards the driver for accessibility and safety when operating and driving simultaneously. The hi-tech Driver Control Select system allows you to control its many multimedia functions as well as all driving controls.
The screen is however fairly small at 5”. If you opt for sat-nav, you’ll be able to get the even more sophisticated Sensus Connect system which comes with a state of the art 7” beam scan interface which works even with gloves! This is a first in the car world and will certainly be handy (excuse the pun!!) for those cold winter days. You get a reasonable amount of equipment as standard but there are some pretty good options of which to deck your vehicle out in.
This includes some of the best stereo options available in a car of this kind. In the back, the airy theme continues, leaving the occupants with a decent amount of comfort even on long journeys. Over to the boot – the tailgate opens to reveal the widest load bay in the class and a Mercedes GLA beating 495ltrs of cargo room. There is also a handy secure underfloor compartment back here which is handy if you wish to store any valuables on family day trips.
Quality driving dynamics aren’t usually the hallmark of the Volvo brand, but you might be pleasantly surprised with this 2014 Volvo XC60 if you spec it right. The key is to remember that this isn’t going to handle like a BMW 3 Series and you’ll discover it has a lot to offer those looking to have a comfort focused family car. The electric steering is a little on the heavy side, which is probably well in proportion with its bulk. The turning circle can be a tiny bit unwieldy on the street, but aside from that it’s a pretty decent thing to cruise about in. To improve the handling significantly then you might consider opting for the R-Design spec sports chassis set up, which is low and stiff. Most people simply wishing to accept the 2014 Volvo XC60 for what it is, it would do you well to forgo the standard dynamic chassis for the 4C setup. This allows you to have control over the style of suspension you have in accordance with the road quality and the mood you’re in. The refinement here is typically impressive with quiet diesel engines and great soundproofing.
The biggest development in the Volvo XC60 is the inclusion of Volvo’s very own cutting edge 2.0ltr 4 cylinder Drive-E diesel engine, which offers a phenomenal blend of performance and economy. With 181bhp to play with, it can reach 62mph from standing in 8 seconds up to a top speed of 130mph; all while returning incredible economy figures of 62mpg and 117g/pk of CO2 . That’s an astounding combination that rivals can’t even come close to. This engine also comes with a fancy 8 speed transmission. Perhaps one downside of this is the fact that it doesn’t (yet) come in 4WD form, which will no doubt turn a few people off who think an SUV should allow for that kind of all-weather traction.
The 4WD comes with the older Ford derived 2.4ltr diesel unit which has been upgraded to match the Drive-E engine in output while also having a few tweaks to its efficiency. It might be the older engine but it is still very competitive and if you plan on any prolonged amount of off-roading then this is the one to go for. The 2014 Volvo XC60 has impressive ground clearance of 230mm and a wading depth of 350mm. That’s not to mention some nice stability technology such as Hill Decent assist and the Intelligent Traction 4×4 system which automatically distributes torque accordingly to whichever wheels need it. All this aside, it’s important to note that this certainly isn’t designed to be a serious off-roader. Road is definitely the key focus in this car, but it’s always nice to have the flexibility and the ability to do some off-roading.
All in all, what’s the lowdown with the 2014 Volvo XC60? This car has been thoroughly rejuvenated for the modern market. It’s sleeker in looks, cleverer in technology and boasts the astounding Drive-E engine which can offer little Ford fiesta levels of efficiency and great performance to boot. This is an especially important factor to consider if you’ve ever been hesitant to get an SUV because you associate them with the fuel guzzling pollution machine stereotype. This 2014 Volvo XC60 is certain to change your mind and show you that an SUV can perform well, tick all the boxes and be cheap to run.
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