I was offered the chance to review a Volvo XC60 for several weeks to put it through it’s paces (as an ex driving instructor) as a standard family car and see what I thought about it.
We have a Vauxhall Zafira at the moment mainly for the extra seats for the kids friends and a massive boot for when we go camping as it easily holds all our gear. When the Volvo XC60 was delivered to us and was placed side by side with the Zafira on my small drive, I was actually surprised that it was the same length as the Zafira, which holds an extra two seats or can be used as an estate sized boot space.
On first look at the Volvo I had expected the boot to be small, and this was simply going on the outline shape of the car itself. There’s no denying that it’s a meaty monster and sturdy as you would expect from Volvo and luckily for us it was pimped to the hilt.
The boot space was incredibly deceptive and if you want you can also half the size if it by putting up a divider so your lonely bag of shopping does not roll around as you drive.
One of the hidden advantages is that this bottom panel can be locked. So if the kids have their games consoles on a journey and you want to leave them in the car, you simply hide them under the panel and it locks, Therefore, even if someone broke into the back of the car this bottom panel would remain locked and hopefully this added security measure will keep those valuables safe.
So yesterday the boys went to school and me and my husband took the Volvo XC60 on a drive out to the coast to give it it’s first major run. I know, you can hand me the ‘Bad Mother of the Year’ award now, but the trip was combined with Christmas shopping, so we could hardly take the boys with us, right?
My husband was eager to drive ,no surprise there, and it meant I could get some pics of the inside and take a proper look at things while I didn’t have to concentrate on actually driving. Granted the photos were taken on my phone and on the move but you can get the gist.
The control panel was pretty impressive without being overly technical. It has everything from a sat nav, a digital TV, a DVD and CD player, a phone and a reverse view camera. Not to mention the heated seat controls.
Now I’m only 5f 2 myself I tend to get a restricted view out the rear view mirror on most makes of car, and the Volvo XC60 is no exception. However, they have made an easy, straight forward and frankly common sense answer to this. Simply you can adjust the back seat headrests forward to get a more comprehensive view. Obviously this can only be used if no one is sitting in the back but this one adjustment makes all the difference for me as a driver. I can safely see as much as possible without any obstructions. As an ex driving instructor I can tell you this was huge for me. I am forever moving in my seat to give myself the most information in order to drive safely.
There is actually a button to put the headrests down. Be warned though when this button is pressed the headrests do spring down with urgency, so best not to make the mistake of pressing it while you have passengers in the back.
The car was definitely comfortable on a long run out. Both myself at only 5ft2 and my 6ft husband found the seats comfortable for both our needs .The sat nav worked a treat and when we had the radio on it would automatically lower in volume in order for you to hear the directions/ instructions clearly. We had a play around with the cruise control which was definitely interesting and took a while to get used to not putting your foot on the accelerator. But we both felt this would be a great asset when doing a long motorway journey and wished we had planned a trip to see my family in Devon as we could have really put this to the test as we would be driving from London. However, even on a shorter journey we felt this was still a great advantage to
One of my favourite safety tricks it had was blind spot indicators. Now a an ex driving instructor I can tell you there is absolutely no better safety check than that glance over your shoulder before overtaking on a motorway. But I do admit that on a long journey that this is probably one of the areas that most people with overlook and just use the mirrors. So having a light indicator near your side mirrors is a simple but brilliant reminder to double check before you attempt to move lanes.
Now although we tried our best to fill the boot with the Christmas shopping we bought that day, I’m sorry to say it looked a little pitiful in the spacious monster. I would have loved to have tried filling it with all our camping gear for a trip though. But to be fair my husband is a tetris master at packing so would probably have no problems fitting it all in anyway.
We now only have just over one week left with the Volvo XC60, and I will be very sorry to see it taken away. We have just a run of the mill family car at the moment which does the job. However, its only when you actually test drive others in this class do you see and feel the real difference. So in the meantime I will just have to make every excuse possible to get back in this beauty and drive it as much as possible before it goes. To say I’m going to miss the heated seats is the biggest understatement ever.