What is it like on the inside?
Matte wood and soft, light colours set a Scandinavian atmosphere and position Volvos as different from the German crowd. All told, the XC60 is full of nicely chosen and well stitched together materials. It's a cocoon, as calm as a morning's fishing in some Nordic pine forest. But everyone buys black leather and brushed aluminium, same as they do with BMWs and Audis. So those are available too.
What’s the seating position like?
The XC60 doesn’t immediately communicate SUV cues from the outside, it could easily be a tall looking estate car, but once you’re behind the wheel you sit reassuringly high in an extraordinarily supportive seat.
In front of you is a simple dashboard, centred around a vast upright touchscreen. That screen has high resolution and good response. The nav system has connected high-res traffic updates as standard, while more recent XC60s have full Google ability plumbed in to make it as quick and intuitive as possible. A recent over the air update has made Apple CarPlay available for the first time on the XC60 – makes you wonder what took so long.
Is the touchscreen a pain to use?
Volvo’s infotainment set-up is different to any other manufacturer’s and it does take some getting used to, which will come with running the car just a short while. The screen does carry a huge range of options and controls. Annoyingly, some you might use often are buried two or three layers down the menus and they’re not always intuitive to find. As always, we’d prefer physical controls for changing temperature etc.
What’s the space like in the rest of the car?
The back seat isn't too second class, thanks to a well shaped bench and good space for head and knees. You get two Isofix points in the rear, and the option of a trick integrated child’s seat that folds up out of the seat base.
The boot is deep enough for the outdoorsy kit that features in the lush photography of any big SUV brochure and you can buy all manner of racks and boxes to stick on the outside of the car if you want to go full hashtag-lifestyle. You get 613 litres of space in the back of the Volvo, although the PHEV version loses 15 litres thanks to whatever hybrid trickery sits in there.
You’ll barely notice a tiny difference like that – it’s only so small because the batteries have been neatly squirrelled away inside the transmission tunnel. Knock all the seats down and you’ll have 1,410 litres of space to play with, which again drops by 15 litres in the plug-in cars.