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Volvo XC60 T6 a global player, thanks to its foot-tailgate movement

THE VOLVO XC60 T6 Geartronic AWD R-Design is a top notch hence it bagged the Car of the Year in Sweden...

Volvo XC60 T6 a global player, thanks to its foot-tailgate movement

Global appeal that is the Swedish made Volvo XC60 T6. Had an opportunity to fiddle with some of its state of the art features, namely the foot tailgate movement.

Having launched in mzansi early this year, it replaces Volvo’s highly-successful original XC60, which in the nine years since its launch became the best-selling premium mid-sized SUV in Europe with one million units sold globally.

Locally, the XC60 is available with two diesel engines (D4 and D5) and two petrol (T5 and T6), all mated to an 8-speed Automatic AWD gearbox. Three trim levels are available – Momentum, R-Design and top-of-the-range Inscription.

One of the feature that caught everyone’s attention is the Opening/Closing the tailgate with the foot movement- yes, exactly as seen on TV Ad.

To open or close the tailgate with a foot movement, the remote control key needs to be within 1 metre of the tailgate. You do not need to get out the remote control key, you can just leave it in your pocket. This may be convenient during loading if you have your hands full.

But its not fitted in all other models, unfortunately.

To be honest, despite its fancy safety features, ABS brakes, creamy leather interior- the conversation I had with maternal family at the funeral in Coligny- North West Province- was the tailgate feature, that ignited a response from cheeky teenagers winding under the tree to avoid the scorching heat of the province “ke yona ya mo TV” (that’s the one that appears on TV).

As indicated, its one of the safest cars,  fully-loaded with new technology and when tested by Euro NCAP in 2017 it received the highest score of all new vehicles tested, with a near-perfect 98% in the Adult Occupant category.

Volvo’s City Safety Autonomous Emergency Braking system has been enhanced with steering support for when automatic braking alone may not help avoid a potential collision. In addition, Oncoming Lane Mitigation with Steer Assist (which helps mitigate head-on collisions) and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Steer Assist functionality, has been added to reduce the risk of lane-changing collisions.

Pilot Assist, Volvo’s advanced semi-autonomous driver assistance system, which takes care of steering, acceleration and braking on well-marked roads up to 130 km/h, is available in the new XC60 as an option.

But it is not just under the bonnet that the new XC60 delivers healthy performance. The new CleanZone air quality climate system removes harmful pollutants and particles from outside the cabin to deliver Scandinavian-fresh air on the inside.

Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is also available. Aha…

As my Cousin took it for a spin, he unflinchingly declared “Benz and BMW should be wary of this beau”, bloody coward, said.

Pilot Assist, Volvo’s advanced semi-autonomous driver assistance system, which takes care of steering, acceleration and braking on well-marked roads up to 130 km/h, is available in the XC60 as an option.

On hairpin roads, the Volvo XC60 T6 handles neatly, although it doesn’t feel quite as sharp as Benz SUV range. The ride is a bit firmer than it perhaps should be, largely thanks to the low profile 19-inch rubber fitted to the Inscription model that we had on test, but it’s still reasonably comfortable on most surfaces.

It provides a spacious package with decent rear legroom and a biggish (505 litre) boot enough to carry a sheep, cow and handful of mielies…

Seemingly every panel and surface just oozes elegance, right down to the satin chrome door handles and that miniature Swedish flag label on the edge of the driver’s seat.

The ride and performance are top notch; a class act in terms of style, cabin finish, luxury, technology and overall refinement that its rivals must surely be having a nightmare.

The redesigned XC60 scoots 60 mph in 6.1 sec and hangs on to a cloverleaf at a very  carlike 0.87g, but it not built for those feat.

Psychedelic back lights and grille that also drew attention.

A less expensive, base-engine BMW3 will easily keep up while a similarly priced Porsche Macan S will embarrass the Volvo on a winding two-lane. Ja, well.

Buying an XC60 for its performance is like purchasing a Rolex for the way it keeps time. No, you get the XC60 to salve the right part of your brain: You buy it for its quiet, comfortable, and all-around stunning interior. Amen!

It carries a 5 year / 100 000 km Warranty and Maintenance Plan (Volvo Plan).

Anyone from VBS or PIC listening to my plea for this beau?

With the D6 inscription featured, it retails for R777 400

Verdict

Performance: 1-10 (8)

Diesel 1-10 (7)

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