Volvo’s XC60 is a more upmarket choice of crossover than many of its competitors, without nudging into the realms of prestige “soft-roaders”. With cars like this, your choice of colour is surprisingly important – the right shade can give the impression of understated wealth or the lack of pretension, depending on your needs.
To help you on your way to XC60 ownership, here’s our guide to the Volvo‘s palette.
There are three solid colours on offer, in very serviceable white, red and black. The black is the cheapest paid-for extra at £330, but consider the detrimental effect solid colours can have on your car’s value in the secondhand market.
Ice White (£0)
Ice White is the XC60′s default shade – a no-cost choice available across the range.
Though not as fashionable as it was a few years back (now supplanted by brown), white remains a cool colour, both figuratively and literally: white cars are excellent at keeping interior temperatures down in our regular summer warm snaps. If you order darkened privacy glass to counterpoint the white, even this basic shade will look good.
Passion Red (£0)
Bright reds of this ilk have always suited sports cars and the XC60 is most assuredly not a sports car. Passion Red does little to flatter the crossover and it’s not really worth consideration unless you absolutely have to have the top spec T6 petrol model – which at least has the on-paper performance statistics to get away with it. Even then, the body colour swamps the light clusters at the rear and hide some of the design.
Though it’s also a zero cost option on R Design and R Design Lux trims, it is not available on SE and SE Lux models.
Black Stone (£330)
The most expensive of the solid colours, Black Stone is also likely to be the most common. It’s the cheapest non-standard colour on SE and SE Lux trims (it’s not available on R Design versions).
Black makes for a good choice on vehicles of this type because it – in-part – hides some of the bulk. The chrome roof rails, chrome window edging and grey scuff plates all serve to break up the black expanse and, in general, it’s the better of the three solid options. If you want to stand out from the school-run crowd though, look elsewhere.
The largest proportion of colour options come from Volvo’s metallic range. There are nine on offer, depending on your chosen trim, and all will set you back £625 over the solid hues.
Bright Silver (£625)
Although it seems almost imperceptibly different from Ice White in these configurator images, Bright Silver is essentially a white-silver shade. It flits between white in direct sunlight and reasonable silver in our more usual overcast weather, so it’s a more interesting colour than the standard hue but we’d have to be convinced it’s £625 more interesting.
This option isn’t available on R Design trim cars.
Savile Grey (£625)
This is a pretty charcoal-edged colour and it has to be said that, name aside, it works pretty well on both the R Design car pictured above and the SE versions with the kickplates. Grey picks up some of the design features and styling creases better than black, but it can appear a little drab on dull days.
Black Sapphire (£625)
Unlike the solid black, Black Sapphire is available across the range and offers a slightly more interesting take. In essence it’s a richer colour (thanks to metal flakes in the paint), and it’s far more flattering to the XC60′s shape on the forecourt. However, if you use your XC60 regularly and don’t keep it clean it’ll look less impressive than an obsessively cleaned Black Stone car and when it comes to secondhand value, few people will spot the difference from trading website photographs alone.
Seashell is a surprisingly excellent colour – a sandy gold that doesn’t quite hit the inexplicably popular brown notes. Every styling detail, every crease, every change of surface orientation is emphasised by this almost rich beige and it’ll stand out in every environment. However, it’s not available on the R Design models, which is something of a shame.
Should the mood take you to go off-roading, Seashell will hide the mud splatters pretty well until you get ’round to cleaning it, so if you’re the sort to proudly wear the evidence of you taking your crossover off road, you might want to look at one of the whites instead!
Twilight Bronze (£625)
Brown isn’t showing any signs of going away and Twilight Bronze is one of Volvo’s two offerings – though not available on R Design cars. Of the two, this one is more like a schoolchild’s experiment in mixing all the paints together to see what colour they get and the relatively flatness means that when grey skies abound it just looks drab.
This will do little to stem the popularity of it, so be cautious – popular colours don’t do well on the secondhand market because of excess supply compared to demand.
Rich Java (£625)
Rich Java is a slightly different prospect. While still unashamedly brown, the red undertones make for a deeper and richer colour. It’s a far better effort at drawing your eyes in to some of the details and manages to preserve its identity in rain or shine, when it can appear almost orange.
It’s available across the range, and we think you could do far worse than opting for Rich Java. If you’re in the market for the R Design models, it’s the best of the eight-colour option list available.
Power Blue (£625)
We’re always appreciative of a good blue, particularly on cars where more run-of-the-mill whites, blacks and silvers are most common. Although Power Blue isn’t necessarily the strongest we’ve seen (it’s a sort of petrol blue), it’s a pretty good option on the XC60.
It’s less effective on the R Design models as shown above, because the blue brings out some of the dark plastics that make up the lower grille and cheapen the car’s look slightly. This is a pity because it’s the only blue you can get for the R Design cars. So while we’d wholeheartedly recommend it on SE versions, a bit more caution is required if you go for higher specifications. It will be pretty unusual either way.
Caspian Blue (£625)
Caspian Blue meanwhile is an excellent choice not available to R Design buyers. Effectively a midnight blue, it does the twin jobs of being dark enough to hide the mass of the car while providing enough of a primary colour – much more in bright daylight – to accent the car’s neater touches.
You won’t see many of these which is both a shame and a bonus if you order yours in Midnight Blue.
Flamenco Red (£625)
While the solid base Passion Red is only really suitable for T6 R Design buyers, this Flamenco Red has more character to it than mere sporting pretensions. The richer ruby undertones make it a far less aggressive colour while still serving the purpose of a primary colour.
Another excellent shade not available on the R Design models, Flamenco Red will be just as unusual as Caspian Blue and well worthy of consideration.
An additional two metallic colours available across the range, both costing an extravagant £925. “Inscription” is intended to be Volvo’s byword for luxury and these paints provide a little extra touch.
Electric Silver (£925)
While at first glance this appears to be just another boring silver, Inscription Electric Silver adds copper particles to the paint mix to provide a quasi-pearl effect, depending on the angle of light.
However, the choice of such a generic shade means that it will look just like any other silver crossover on the market in normal British weather unless you keep it really clean and look really closely at it. It’s definitely not a shade for mudpluggers, but if you like to bring up the fact your paint has copper particles in it at dinner parties…
Crystal White (£925)
Inscription Crystal White is a three-layer pearlescent colour rather than a two-layer metallic, but it is not quite pearlescent enough to recommend as a £925 option. It looks absolutely brilliant in a showroom under carefully controlled light conditions, but out on the road there is so little difference from the zero cost Ice White that it really does beg the question why you’d bother.
There may be one or two occasions during your ownership where it really zings and you’re glad you went for it, but come selling time it’ll be listed right alongside those base models in the “white” category and you probably won’t see a return on your investment.
If you’d like to know more then check out our full Volvo XC60 review section, where there are photos, videos, stats and a buying guide. We also spent a snowy week in Wales with one; click here to read our XC60 R-Design road test.