Volvo XC60 SUV - Interior & comfort
Stunning materials and design set the Volvo XC60 interior apart in the class
Owners of the previous Volvo XC60 will be rightly bowled over by the new model, which leads the class for interior quality and design. It might have a lot of hand-me-down trim and technology from the XC90, but as that SUV had one of our favourite interiors, that’s no reason to complain.
Comfort is a highlight, too, with excellent refinement, ride quality and seats ensuring you’ll get out of the Volvo feeling refreshed. While it might not be very sporty to drive, the air suspension does smooth out bumps even with large alloy wheels fitted, and the diesel engine we tried was barely audible at cruising speeds.
There were also a few upgrades for the mid-2021 facelift, including a vegan artificial leather steering wheel and a touch-sensitive panel to control the sunroof, when fitted. A wireless smartphone charging pad was integrated nicely into the centre console, hidden under a retractable cover.
Volvo XC60 dashboard
After Tesla pioneered the portrait-orientated infotainment screen, Volvo introduced its Sensus system with the XC90 and this was upgraded in 2021 to run on the Android-based software first seen in the Polestar 2.
The nine-inch touchscreen is clear and controls almost every aspect of the car, from the sat nav to the stereo and climate control. Voice commands powered by Google Assistant work well, and mean you rarely have to take your eyes off the road. Navigation is taken care of by Google Maps and few rivals have such an impressive infotainment setup.
Because of the lower driving position, you feel closer to the dashboard than in the XC90, and every material is of fantastic quality. Volvo has also done a great job of putting every control exactly where you expect it, taking some of the stress out of driving.
Even the standard XC60 Core model is packed with equipment, with all the basics like 18-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, wireless smartphone charging, Bluetooth connectivity, sat-nav, cruise control and climate control ticked off, along with items such as powered tailgate and TFT digital instrument gauge that you might not expect to be standard. For 2021, this 12.3-inch display also has updated graphics.
The Plus trim makes the XC60 even more luxurious, adding larger 19-inch alloys, a heated windscreen, four-zone climate control, a 360-degree surround view parking camera, heated rear seats and a premium Harman Kardon stereo system. The Plus spec also adds ambient lighting in the door panels, a heated steering wheel and Volvo’s Pilot Assist driver assistance system with adaptive cruise control.
Step up to the Ultimate trim and the XC60 gets even more standard features, with 20-inch alloy wheels, adaptive air suspension, a headlight cleaning system, a panoramic glass sunroof and tinted windows. Inside, Nappa leather interior trim, ‘Driftwood’ contrasting inlays, a head-up display and powered front seats with memory function are fitted.
Both of the Plus and Ultimate trims can be specced with additional design themes. The Dark theme adds high-gloss black styling accents to the front grille, window surrounds, door mirrors and roof rails. While opting for the Bright theme adds a chrome finish to the same items.
The starting price for an entry-level XC60 is around £5,000 more than that of an equivalent Jaguar F-Pace, but the Volvo gets a bit more equipment as standard, like auto-folding heated mirrors and full LED headlights. It also undercuts the entry-level BMW X3 by around £1,000.
Volvo offers several options for the XC60 depending on the trim level. These include a useful retractable tow bar for £1,250, and upgraded 21- and 22-inch alloy wheels ranging from £750 to £1,500. For an extra £300, buyers can spec an integrated child seat fitting, and rear tinted windows are priced at £300. For those that want the added security of a spare wheel, a temporary space saver can be added for an extra £150.