AS far as model line-ups go, Volvo’s takes some beating. XC40, XC60, XC90, V60, V90, S60, S90… all utterly brilliant, all intrinsically linked thanks to their handsome looks, supreme interiors and interesting engines.
The way to decipher them is rather simple: S-badged cars are saloons, Vs are estates and XCs are SUVs. In truth it doesn’t really matter which you pick; all are at the top of their game in 2021.
However, some people will moan that the XC40’s boot is a little small, and the XC90 is just a bit big to manoeuvre around with ease. That’s where the XC60 comes in as it is the perfect, middle-sized SUV.
In B5 guise - basically a mild hybrid, petrol-powered motor - it starts at £42,485 but this T6 Recharge version comes in at just over £61,000.
That’s because it’s Volvo’s finest ‘Inscription’ version, with all the creature comforts anyone could possibly want. The ‘tailored wool’ seats are a joy, the ‘Pine Grey’ paint sets it off just right. A great looking car and one that looks its price.
Open the door and you’re met with a great interior that’s well-made, covered in quality leather on the dash and - as you’d expect - it’s extremely spacious.
Its iPad-like infotainment panel controls everything from its fantastic satellite navigation to the heating controls, but it’s effortlessly smooth and remains the best system I’ve ever used.
Volvo - known for their safety features - have once again gone to town with masses of kit on the XC60 and although I’m not a fan of annoying lane-keeping assists and pre-collision warnings, thankfully they’re easy to switch everything off.
It’s full of tech and has several stand-out features, including its fantastic 360-degree cameras which enable a bird’s eye view setting to help parking, while its clever headlights are adaptive so change direction through the driver’s steering inputs.
The automatic gearbox is a joy, though, and it is a great match for the XC60’s laid-back character, something which it shares with its bigger sibling. There’s undeniable pace but it’s a car you don’t ever feel like grabbing by the scruff of the neck, so selecting ‘D’ and wafting along is what it does best.
When the first generation was launched back in 2009, it quickly became the brand’s best-seller and the newer car - which was released four years ago - still feels incredibly fresh and has none of those mid-life niggles where you’re left wanting a manufacturer to carry out a ground-up overhaul to keep it feeling new.
The powertrain combines a 250bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with an 11.6KW battery pack - which yields a handy 86bhp on top - translating into a 0-60mph time of under six seconds. It’s a refined unit, one that works seamlessly and returns respectable economy - over 45mpg in my week-long loan, for reference.
So while it might be on the expensive side, in truth the XC60 feels every pound of its price as it’s a quality car, well-made and is arguably one of the very best can-do-all family SUVs on the market.
Volvo’s purple patch continues.