Final Report - 30th July 2020
As the driver from Volvo arrived to prise my fingers off-of the steering wheel and collect the XC60 at the end of its tenure on the CCT long-term fleet, there will be plenty about this mid-sized premium SUV that I’m going to miss.
Everything this Volvo does it does with its own style of unassuming Swedish swagger and, for me at least, it hits the notes in all the right places. It’s subtly elegant with both its exterior and interior styling showing clean lines and a minimalist style, but it’s packed with tech ranging from the expected safety-focussed elements which we all associate with the Volvo brand, through to the simple but ingenious three-pin plug or indeed the clean and functional mobile app.
Every time I get in the XC60, I look forward to the journey. It’s frugal, tax-efficient (compared to its four-wheel drive diesel siblings), 190bhp front-wheel drive set-up belies its comfy, cossetting mile-munching ability wrapped in a very classy package that doesn’t scream ‘look at me’, but rather sets a statement of refined individuality.
Yes, there have been a few niggles, as with all cars, with the XC60’s petulant retractable load-cover prime among them.
But, if you’re looking for an alternative to the standard German premium offerings like the established Audi Q5 or BMW X3, you can’t go wrong with this fleet-focussed Swedish SUV. Volvo has come on leaps and bounds over the last five years or so and the XC60 is a clear statement of the brand’s intent as a premium player in the market. If it’s not on your fleet’s choice list, it simply should be.
Update - 22nd July 2020
Our XC60 D4 R-Design is the fleet-friendly version of Volvo’s premium mid-sized SUV being the 190bhp FWD (front-wheel drive) diesel, emitting less emissions and providing reduced tax and fuel costs compared to the all-wheel drive versions above it in the range. But don’t let this fool you that it is any less of a XC60 than its AWD siblings.
The addition of an Off-Road setting in the drive selections offers some of the benefits of the AWD variant, without the additional weight of 4×4 running-gear.
Operating below 25mph, selecting the Off-Road setting alters the driving profile of our Swedish steed by calibrating changes to the
Obviously we wouldn’t recommend taking this FWD version on an off-roading adventure weekend, but for coping with damp fields on camping trips or slippery driveways during the winter, the Volvo will take it all in its stride.
Update - 2nd July 2020
Mobile Apps allowing remote control of some elements of a car are becoming more, and Volvo’s app is no exception.
Called Volvo On Call App and available for Apple and Android devices, the app provides key information such as the maintenance status (brake fluid, light bulbs, service, washer fluid), average fuel consumption and odometer mileage – but dig a little deeper and you can find trip, average speed, average fuel consumption, fuel type, fuel range, and even a driving journal.
On top of this, you can set the parking climate for your car, run a diagnostic check and remote start (great on cold mornings) – it’ll also show you where your car is at any given time. Oh, and as I mentioned in an earlier report, you can also send destinations directly to your cars sat-nav via the app.
And, if you’ve left your car unlocked, the app will send a notification to your mobile device letting you know the car is unlocked giving you the opportunity to lock it directly from the app.
It’s a nice, clean, easy to use app. Another tick box for Volvo and the XC60!
18th June 2020
Since my last report the source our XC60’s slow puncture was identified as a large nail embedded into the inner shoulder of the rear passenger side tyre – unrepairable!
However, it offered the perfect opportunity to experience my local dealership (Lookers Volvo Colchester), ‘post-lockdown’ to replace the cracked windscreen and punctured tyre.
The booking process was through a central number and an appointment made. On arrival at the dealership the obligatory two-meter social distance markers on the floor, a marker to wait at until called forward, and perspex screening around desks to protect staff – all in-line with today’s customer facing environments.
I was met at the service desk by Rachel, who I had spoken to on the phone a number of times prior to my arrival. Paperwork completed it was slid through a hole in the perspex screen for my signature, and I was asked to place the keys into one of the available plastic bags on the desk, before sliding paperwork and keys back through the hole. No big deal.
Work completed, Rachel called to say the car was repaired, cleaned and ready to collect – bravo Lookers Volvo Colchester, particularly Rachel on the service desk for keeping me informed throughout. A very positive experience!
4th June 2020
With lockdown gradually easing, I’ve managed to get a few more limited miles on the Volvo.
Getting back on the road has reminded me how comfortable and welcoming the XC60’s cabin is. Unfortunately, the enjoyment was short lived as the XC60 suffered a badly cracked windscreen this week.
The irony hasn’t been lost on me that in 6,500 miles of driving since the XC60 arrival, only mileage since lockdown has seen issues with tyre pressure loss and now a cracked windscreen. Still, it will give me the opportunity to experience the Volvo customer service and repair experience. Watch this space…
22nd May 2020
With lockdown continuing to impact our daily lives, businesses on shutdown, millions of staff furloughed and a ban on non-essential travel, my Swedish companion is getting very little in the form of exercise, other than to the supermarket so I can join the now common-place queues for the weekly shop.
However, this enforced ‘down-time’ has given me some time to take a closer look around the Volvo’s cabin and exterior. And what a thing of beauty she is.
The Scandinavian vibe resonates throughout the car with simple clean lines on the outside and a real meeting of form and function on the inside – everything looks sharp, well designed and does its job without any fuss or flurry. It just feels solid. From the engineering of the start/stop twist-switch, the buttons which drop the rear head restraints, the beautifully crafted door pulls or the twist-switches on the air vents, the Volvo really shows its premium credentials.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some hard plastics used in places such as the door bins, which is to be expected unless you up your budget significantly, but with a P11D of just over £45,500, you could do far worse than the XC60.
8th May 2020
The XC60 has been doing very few miles since the start of lockdown, but surprisingly despite this the TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System) light has come on for the rear passenger side tyre.
A visual inspection shows that the tyre is indeed low on pressure, but ac check of both the valve and the tyre shows no obvious puncture/cause for loss of pressue.
My trusty electric tyre pump soon has the tyre back up to pressure and a quick reset of the system removes the error light on the dashboard. Let’s hope the problem doesn’t recur.
28 April 2020
The UK and indeed the world seem to be rather surreal places right now, and certainly there’s plenty more important things than test drives occurring. However, in the interest of trying to keep some normality, we’ll carry on with this one.
Before the lockdown was imposed I put the XC60 through its paces on a business trip from Essex to Swansea and back – a 617-mile round trip. With the sat-nav set (programmed via the excellent Volvo On Call app – more about this in future updates), it was time to cycle through the drive settings to Eco mode ,and away we go. With such a long and sustained run of mostly motorway, the adaptive cruise control came in handy, proving a doddle to operate using the steering-wheel buttons to set speed and distance from the car in front.
Five hours later, including a coffee break and toilet stop on the M40, I arrived at my destination – no aches, pains or numb bum – testament to contoured Nappa/textile sports seats in this XC60.
Meeting over, the return leg beckoned. Another 5 hours back, coffee and toilet stop en-route, the Volvo made light-work of the miles. And at an average of 52.2mpg for this journey, the Volvo is proving relatively frugal.
18 March 2020
My Swedish steed seems to have developed a rather annoying niggle – the retractable load cover.
Normally, this is great for keeping items in the boot safe from prying eyes. The cover is operated manually by popping it into the tracks in the tailgate, where it’s held by a small lip/catch. But herein lies the problem.
At best it can take 10 or so attempts to locate the cover into the tailgate tracks securely, and at worst leads to the cover working loose, blocking the rear-windscreen while I’m driving. Which means pulling over and trying to securely locate the cover into the tailgate tracks again. At least 10 times.
4th March 2020
Crossovers and SUVs have good load capacity for when you need to do mundane stuff such as the tip run.
The XC60 is no exception and, although its boot is smaller than those in rivals such as the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, it isn’t small by any means, providing a practical 505 litres of space without any intrusion from wheelarches. Once you drop the rear seats flat, the boot area increases to decent 1462-litres of usable loading space.
My local Air Cadets fundraiser saw the XC60 cope with eight six-person tables, boxes of raffle prizes and the bingo machine without fuss. For me, it passes the load-lugging test!
18th February 2020
Following our CCT100 Awards run-down in the last issue of Company Car Today, our Volvo XC60 clocked up almost 850 miles over the course of three days while visiting the 2020 winners to hand over some shiny and well-deserved new trophies.
Despite doing such high mileage in a short time frame over a mix of motorway, A- and B-roads as well as a few ‘roads’ which were little more than tracks, our Swedish SUV acquitted itself well.
We had a dozen meetings during those three days, and I didn’t once arrive feeling tired or achy from long miles at the wheel.
The fanfare continues as the XC60 also managed 701 miles on a single tank of fuel, averaging 46.4mpg during our road-trip – no mean feat for a car as big and heavy as the XC60.
What’s even more impressive is that this is bang-on the official WLTP combined fuel economy of 42.2–47.9mpg – a rare achievement in real-world driving conditions for any car. The overall average since the XC60 joined our fleet is 40.9mpg, just 3% shy of the official figure. And our road-trip gives me hope that the Volvo may well achieve its official MPG while on our fleet.
22nd January 2020
So, the wait is over and Volvo’s mid-size family SUV has arrived with us. We’ve gone for the newly added front-drive D4 diesel, which cuts emissions to below 130g/km.
On first impressions you can see why the R-Design trim level will be the most popular with fleets: it gets body-coloured bumpers, rear tailgate spoiler, shark fin antenna, twin exhausts and 19-inch alloys. Move inside the cabin and the sporty feel continues with the nappa/textile contoured sports seats combined with typical Volvo attention to detail and, in this version, aluminium dash inserts and high-gloss panels.
But it doesn’t stop there. Our car is equipped with three additional packs: Intellisafe Pro, Winter and Convenience, all of which we’ll look at in detail within later reports. We’ve also specced individual options of rear park assist camera, powered memory driver’s seat, spare wheel/jack and metallic paint, electing to go for a rather nice Fusion Red with contrasting black door mirrors.
However, there are other standard goodies – a 9.0-inch vertical central touch screen, 12.3-inch TFT driver information display, voice activation, Volvo’s Sensus navigation, front and rear parking sensors, LED headlights with active high-beam, adaptive cruise control, two-zone climate, powered tailgate and a plethora of safety features, that help justify the £45,565 price tag.
11th December 2019
As the Seat Tarraco ends its time with me, I can reveal that I’ll be sticking with the crossover/SUV theme of the past 12 months with the addition of a Volvo XC60 to the Company Car Today fleet and more importantly, my driveway!
There are five trim levels available, including the top-end Polestar Engineered version, and having played with Volvo’s website, we’ve opted for the sporty and popular R-Design trim, with the 190hp D4 in newly added front-drive guise. With Volvo’s eight-speed auto fitted, the XC60 emits just 129g/km.
This mix of trim/power/CO2 and gearbox should prove to be the pick of the range for fleets and company car drivers. Putting it to the test should be fun.