Volvo Cars has promised that the new 2nd generation XC-60 premium SUV will arrive in India before the year is up. While Volvo would have liked to launch the car by Diwali, it seems it is now destined for a launch sometime around the end of November 2017. The XC60 had debuted at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show in March, and its production began in Sweden in April. The car’s European sales are just kicking off later in the summer. India gets the right hand drive version of course, and hence the wait till our market’s allocation kicks in. Volvo has also stated that the XC60 will come in its top-end Inscription trim, and we will only get the 2 liter, 4-cylinder diesel ‘D5’ variant. This will be one fully-loaded model, and there will be no other offering at the start. But Volvo says there is room for both, lower spec trims, and also the 2 litre, petrol T6 variant to be brought in later. In fact it is almost a certainty that India will eventually get the petrol as well sometime in 2018.
The XC60 is built using Volvo’s SPA or Scalable Product Architecture, the same which also houses the XC90, S90, V90 and V90 Cross Country. India will get the V90 Cross Country before the XC60 arrives, and that car will be here in time for the festive period. We have driven the car and our test shows a capable, well-built and rather compact car that’s even more dynamic and yet comfortable than the previous one. The XC60 is a major improvement too and we know this because we’ve already driven it. It’s just what we’d expect of a Volvo – packed to the brim with features and safe to the core. The new XC60 has AWD – and again the Indian version will sport this as standard. There are different drive modes – Eco, Comfort, Off-Road and Dynamic. We’ll also get the 8-Speed gearbox as standard and considering we’re getting just one variant, the feature list is an extensive one. On the safety front, the new XC60 gets adaptive cruise control and Pilot Assist – that allows the car to steer itself and maintain the speed you have set – while slowing or accelerating in accordance to traffic and allowing for emergency braking too. The Pilot Assist does need you to always keep your hands on the wheel, or else it disengages, as this isn’t complete autonomous driving. The same system also helps you keep your lane, if you begin to meander inadvertently. This can be turned off, though is always on as default – and works even if Pilot Assist is not engaged. This will also help mitigate collisions with oncoming traffic, if you have wandered into it. City Safety has also been updated to avoid collisions now.
Inside, the cabin is mature and understated, and will instantly remind you of the XC90. Similar Scandinavian design as that car had, yet with a flair of its own. The dash has been designed with a strip of matte open-pore driftwood running from the steering, below the Sensus touchscreen, and back up and across the rest of the dash. Legroom and space at the back of the cabin is aplenty. The 9″ Sensus screen is identical to the one in the larger siblings, though its housing is different and it also uses the latest updated interface. It’s easy to use, provides you instant access to in-car tech, trip information, music (courtesy Bowers and Wilkins), connectivity (Android Auto/ Apple CarPlay – check), and hordes more.