In-depth reviews

Volvo XC60 review - Interior, design and technology

Another stunning Volvo interior that’s well-made, looks great and is dominated by a fantastic 9-inch touchscreen

There’s a good reason why the XC60 looks a bit like a smaller XC90; it’s based on the same Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform as the seven-seater. It lives up to its name and really is scaled down. It’s easy to see the design similarities as well; the ‘Thor’s Hammer’ headlights, large grille and prominent Volvo badge are all still present.

From an interior design and quality point of view, the XC60 leads the class. This is another stunning Volvo interior, dominated, as usual, by a large nine-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen in the centre of the dash. There's also an impressive 12.3" driver's information display.

Every model gets leather seats, while there’s more leather elsewhere around the cabin and subtle amounts of chrome to lift things. You can choose various finishes, all with a cool Scandinavian feel to them, while the tiny Swedish flag on the driver’s seat is joined by a tiny metallic one just beneath the vent on the passenger’s side – nice details.

The plastics around the cabin all feel really good, too, apart from the lid of the glovebox, which is surprisingly cheap.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment 

Updates to the XC60 have added Google Automotive, which replaces the older Sensus system. There’s still a large nine-inch portrait touchscreen, and the system gets the basics right, but it takes time to get used to. Touching the screen requires taking your eyes off the road, and occasionally the system doesn’t respond to your inputs. The XC60 also gets a digital driver’s display as standard, but the resolution looks fuzzy compared with the best systems on offer.

The main plus point is the addition of Google Maps-based navigation, which is as effective here as it is in a smartphone app. It’s quick to set a route, and it offers plenty of search functions. Volvo also includes a four-year subscription with the XC60, so that you can load your own apps into the system.

One downside of this Google-based set-up is that, unlike the Android Auto system, Apple CarPlay isn’t compatible, although you’re still able to connect via Bluetooth to take calls and stream music. Volvo uses the newer USB-C sockets throughout, with two in the centre console armrest and two for the back seats as well.

The £2,500 Bowers & Wilkins 14-speaker stereo upgrade is absolutely superb, but it’s only available in Ultimate trim and will only be worth it for those who are serious audiophiles.

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