Volvo is overhauling its engine and gearbox line-up, and the XC60 D4 is a good example of where the firm is going.
It’s powered by a new four-cylinder diesel – the first in a range of fresh engines set to be rolled out by 2015 – and a brand new eight-speed auto box.
The engine is impressively quiet at idle, and can launch the XC60 from 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds. But under hard acceleration it does sound rough. And even though the gearbox works well for the majority of the time, in slow traffic when you’re constantly adjusting the throttle, it can result in jerky, mistimed shifts.
The figures do at least add up. This engine is more powerful than the equivalent diesels in the BMW X3 and Land Rover Freelander, but it’s cleaner than all of them by quite some margin – it boasts 60.1mpg compared with the X3’s 55.4mpg or the Freelander’s 47.1mpg.
Motorway refinement and ride comfort are both good but the steering feels a bit too slow, a bit heavy and could do with more self-centering.
On this SE Lux model you get new a new customisable TFT driver display, sat-nav, air-con, leather-faced seats and rear parking sensors. A powered tailgate and keyless also feature.