After over three months of lockdown I have received my latest test car.
There was heightened expectation this time that I have not experienced in over 17 years because this was the longest I’ve gone between cars – the previous most was 4 weeks.
So, for me, it really was like getting a new car and I was, to be perfectly frank, excited. It wasn’t the car I was getting that excited me just the fact that it was new and different.
The car in question was a Volvo XC60 T8. A PHEV. I’ve driven enough cars to know that I should not be swayed by immediate impressions and let the test unfold over the time I have the car but, the instant I sat into the car it got me. It appealed to and fitted me. I got it and I so want it. I can’t put it down to the new car excitement either.
The first thing I loved were the seats. They enveloped me.
Then there was the layout and the quality of the materials used.
I had to drop my bicycle off for a service and with two seats folded the bike was in. For what I do, professionally and for leisure, it’s perfect.
Looks wise in Onyx Black with gold painted callipers it suggests a lot of power. It has.
The power available is 405PS from the petrol and electric motors that delivers an instant and powerful turn of foot. In Polestar mode you get the full potential and it’s the mode you’ll want to be in all the time.
My car had 22inch wheels with very low-profile tyres which failed to deliver the ride you’d expect as a result. It wasn’t choppy or skittish but stable and, sincerely, comfortable - a quality not usually delivered in an SUV when kitted out as such.
The Polestar Engineered element of this car must be the reason and is an engineering quality a lot more cat manufacturers need to mimic. Acceleration was epic and I can’t imagine what more you’d need or want.
Interior space is fine for 5 adults and the boot at 468l is as commodious as you’d need. If you need more, you’ve bought the wrong car.
To continue the sporty theme, mine was fitted with gold seat belts. Sounds flawed on paper but in reality, they lift the all-black interior to another level, and so simple to do.
Being a Volvo there was a myriad of safety features fitted to protect you normally and when you are exploiting the power available. Some of them, like Adaptive Cruise Control including Pilot Assist, Distance Alert, Lane keeping Aid with Drive Mode and Navigation Adaption, Blind Spot Information Syste, Cross Traffic Alert with Autobrake and Rear Collision Mitigation, were an additional option. A few marks dropped here by Volvo where they usually ace it.
But where it all falls to the ground with a sharp knock is the price tag.
XC60’s start at €53,840 but for this version you’ll need €90,689 and that includes the PHEV government €2,500 rebate.
Jaw dropping, especially considering that you could be driving some halo cars like the Audi e-tron, the Mercedes EqC, BMW X6 or Landrover Velar. Heck you could even be sitting in the bigger Volvo XC90.
You may have gathered that I’m not a buyer in the just sub €100k bracket but hear this.
If I was, and even though I feel it is overpriced, it would certainly be in my top three.
It’s a ridiculously accomplished car.