Review

Volvo XC60 SUV

£31,660 - £39,890

The XC60 is Volvo's answer to compact premium SUVs such as the BMW X3, Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLA. However, it's not as fun to drive as any of these and is now beginning to feel its age. Since it was launched, the market has really taken off, with Nissan and Mazda now offering equally capable and attractive SUVs for much less money. The XC60's premium styling inside and out, along with Volvo's reputation for safety, mean it still manages to remain appealing.

In common with its rivals, the XC60 is not as capable an off-roader as the more expensive Land Rover Discovery Sport, since it's tuned more for on-road driving. On this point, two-wheel as well as four-wheel-drive versions are available. The former offer improved fuel economy and a lower list price.

The XC60 looks and feels like the estate cars found elsewhere in Volvo's range. It features the brand's distinctive 'floating' dashboard design, which looks cool, is easy to operate and which frees up space for an extra cubbyhole behind the centre console.

The XC60 may not be especially good fun to drive, but it does offer a composed and quiet ride and extremely comfortable seats. For these reasons, it's a great motorway cruiser. In this role, the powerful yet economical 2.0-litre D4 diesel engine really shines. It can achieve 64.2mpg for an annual road tax bill of £30, while still being capable of 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds. In SE trim, it's our pick of the XC60 range.

If the security of four-wheel drive suits you better, the 2.4-litre D4 diesel still manages an impressive 53.3mpg. However, it's an older design than the D4 fitted to the two-wheel-drive models and not as refined. In comparison, the only petrol in the range, the T6 with four-wheel drive (there's no two-wheel-drive option), achieves a disappointing 26.4mpg.

Trim levels fall broadly into two camps: comfort-oriented SE and sporty R-Design, each with luxury and navigation-equipped variants. Regardless, the standard equipment list is generous, with all versions sporting DAB digital radio, climate control and a powered tailgate.

Volvo has a reputation for building safe cars and the XC60 is no exception. It earned five stars in the Euro NCAP crash tests, not only for its impact performance but also for its array of safety equipment. This includes dual-stage airbags, a blind-spot warning system and City Safety – an automatic emergency braking system that can detect an imminent collision at speeds under 19mph and warn the driver to take action, before applying the brakes automatically.