Editor: Jason “The Bok”

Some two years back it was awarded the very prestigious World Car of The Year title. Immensely well-crafted and impeccably well built, I have driven the diesel variant previously and having been given the chance to experience the powerful petrol-driven T6 just confirms what I already knew, the XC60 is at the pinnacle of its motoring segment.

Firstly, Volvo has an automotive manufacturer has been on an upwards trajectory since the inception of the current generation XC90 back in 2015. With the brand’s distinctive Thors Hammer LED headlight design, to the cutting-edge Scandinavian craft that is both the exterior styling and interior attention to detail, the XC60 very much follows the Volvo family line sitting right in the middle of the uber-chic XC40 and the very grand XC90.

R-Design in Every Detail

I have previously driven the XC60 D5 Inscription, and a full detailed video review can be seen below;

But now let’s discuss R-Design and then the mighty T6 engine. On the outside the effect of the R-Design styling is immediately apparent. Distinguished by its deeper front bumper, more sculpted air dams and a glossy grille with satin chrome detailing as well as many R-Design badges, if first impressions are lasting, it’s certainly job done with the XC60 R-Design.

The interior, much like the body is as purposeful as it is crafted. Taking centre stage in the modern Volvo is the Sensus multimedia display, a large tablet orientated display which features every form of multimedia and vehicle setting. It remains easily one of the best media systems anywhere in the automotive world and the perfect way to tailor and tune everything to your every need. With spec options such as Bowers & Wilkins sound, to 360-degree camera’s, a heads-up-display (HUD), heated seats with perfect contours to vast interior space, the cabin of the XC60 R-Design features specially embossed headrests, as well as combination leather and material seats. This really is the perfect place to take in the views and enjoy the adventure.

T6 Performance

Having had the chance to feast on the cutting-edge Scandinavian art that is the exterior and interior design elements, it was time to put the XC60 T6 AWD through its paces. The range-topping petrol model within the line-up, the T6 is powered by a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-litre petrol engine with 235 kW and 400 Nm of torque, driving all four wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission. 0 – 100 km/h is claimed in 5.9 seconds with a top speed limited to 250 km/h.

Performance is brisk and you will never want for power whether it be around town driving or open road. Volvo claims an average fuel consumption figure of 7.2 L/100km and I averaged in the region of 10.0 L/100 km during my test period, however, to be fair this was with “performance footed” type driving. There are 3 driving modes (including Eco, Comfort and Sport), each with their own unique qualities. I spent my time usually in Comfort mode, with Dynamic and the paddles engaged when sporty driving was required. The XC60 strikes a great balance between comfort and luxury in Comfort mode, which remaining firmer and more sure-footed when in Dynamic mode. Air suspension is offered as an option within the XC60, a very worthy option, particularly on bumpier SA roads.

Technology and safety have always been of top priority for Volvo, and naturally, the XC60 offers many very advanced systems in both departments. I can highly recommend taking the Driver Support Pack – R25,750 when optioning your XC60 as this includes Volvo’s simply magical Pilot Assist drive, which allows the vehicle to drive semi-autonomous at speeds of up to 130 km/h and also includes the awesome HUD.

To Conclude

The XC60 T6 AWD R-Design retains all the best qualities of what is certainly one of the very best vehicles within its segment. With a base price of R882,700 including VAT and sold with Volvo’s 5-year / 100,000 km warranty and 5-year / 100,000 km service plan, there is an excellent reason that this vehicle was awarded World Car of The Year and remains one of my favourite SUV drives.

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