Having tackled the XC90 in last month’s issue, how does its little brother stack up?

FOLLOWING the original introduction of its very successful large SUV, the XC90, 12 years ago, Volvo followed along with the launch of a smaller sibling, the XC60.

A new XC90, unveiled six years ago, heralded Volvo’s new interior design style. This design has since been introduced to all new Volvos and the second-generation XC60 was next in line for this refreshed approach. It is a unique and well-developed interior, for sure.

READ MORE: Volvo XC90 review: Forestry Journal tests new model

This second-generation XC60 launched a few years ago and was recently refreshed with slight cosmetic changes, priced from £42,485 for the two-wheel-drive petrol and £43,370 for the 4WD tested here. A petrol hybrid is available from £53,070. A wide range of models is available.

Forestry Journal:

The B4 AWD (diesel) Momentum entry model tested here came with some extras giving an on-the-road price of £48,205. The 2-litre engine provides 197 hp and 420 Nm torque and is the only diesel available. The more powerful B5 diesel engine, available on the XC90, is not an option on the XC60. It has a top speed of 112 mph, being Volvo’s new upper limit, and accelerates from 0–60 mph in 7.8 seconds. It weighs 1,898 kg and is 4,708 mm long and 1,915 mm wide, which compares to the larger XC90 at 4,953 mm and 1,958 mm, respectively.

The XC60 is a good size, with a useful, spacious boot. The rear seats fold down giving a flat area which slopes slightly upwards. The fuel tank holds 71 litres and, in my hands, averaged 38 mpg, but 40 mpg should be achievable. The car can tow a 2,400 kg braked trailer. Ground clearance is 216 mm, which makes it a useful country car.

Forestry Journal:

Standard features include the 8-speed automatic gearbox, the nine-inch centre console touchscreen, automatic headlights with active high beam, rear parking camera, front and rear parking sensors, power-operated tailgate, cruise control, heated front seats and 18-inch alloy wheels. The test-drive car had optional interior lighting and bending headlights, heated rear seats and heated steering wheel, a fancy stereo, temporary spare wheel and jack (£150, and very necessary in this business) and 19-inch wheels, etc.

The interior is a very comfortable place to spend time, though the cream leather seats would not suit forestry. The central screen controls all functions. I do prefer when the heating controls are physical knobs.

Forestry Journal:

The XC60 is a very nice car to drive, handling well and braking without fuss. The auto gearbox works well and the car feels nippy without being overly fast. The engine noise is not as well insulated as in the XC90, but it is fairly quiet, just a little whiny if you are doing a lot of back-road driving, going through the gears. Power goes to the front wheels and, once slippage is encountered, power is diverted to the rear wheels.

The colour, wheel and chrome window surround on this particular model work really well, making it look very smart. All in all, I enjoyed my time with it.