Volvo XC60: Sweden’s answer to German luxury!

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) come to Bahrain.

Bahrain Confidential drives the new Volvo XC60.

Volvo is the Swedish alternative to German luxury cars such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes. The XC60 is Volvo’s mid-sized SUV that directly competes with rivals such as the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. 

It’s based on the same underpinnings as the company’s luxurious XC90, but it’s a bit shorter, costs less, and has five seats instead of the XC90’s seven.

The mild-hybrid powertrain in the XC60 range combines a powerful 2.0-litre engine with a 48-volt battery and energy recovery system to reduce fuel consumption and improve drivability and response.

Plug-in hybrid versions offer electric-only range of up to 50 kilometers with impressive performance. Powertrains range from 197 to 405hp, with CO2 emissions from just 55g/km.

I understand that full charging takes little more than 2 hours. Driving the XC60 over a couple of days, I admit that I wouldn’t be aware it even had an electric motor other than it being silent whenever I turned on the ignition. Otherwise, it drives as ‘normal’ – which is very nice indeed.

When it comes to interior quality, Volvos are among the best. The XC60 is classy and elegant. It feels upmarket and solid. The instruments are clear and kept to a minimum for a clean and uncomplicated look.

Its large 9.0in touchscreen is crisp and, unusually, set into the dashboard in portrait instead of landscape position. There’s a convenient home button at the bottom, just like an iPad.

There’s wireless phone charging and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring. The model I drove had the optional Bowers & Wilkins stereo which delivered seriously crisp and punchy sound quality.

General visibility is excellent and it comes equipped with front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera. You can also choose to add a 360-degree bird’s-eye-view camera and a self-parking system.

The XC60 has some of the most advanced safety features and was awarded the maximum five stars in its Euro NCAP’s safety test, with a brilliant 98% adult occupant score and 95% for safety assistance. 

For more info and to arrange your own test drive in Bahrain, call +973 17500900, or visit the Motorcity showroom in Sanad.