Volvo XC60 interior
The Volvo XC60’s interior looks far more stylish than anything you’ll find in a BMW or Mercedes and feels almost as well-built as the Audi Q5. It’s just a shame that its infotainment system isn’t quite as intuitive to use as in these cars.
The Volvo XC60 has a slick, minimalist interior that looks even more upmarket than its bigger brother, the XC90. Everything feels soft and suitably plush – no matter how far down the doors you prod – and the general fit and finish is almost as good as the seemingly airtight Audi Q5.
Almost all the cabin’s functions are controlled through a huge 9-inch portrait infotainment screen with bold icons and clear graphics. It’s fairly simple to use, if not quite as easy to operate on the move as BMW’s iDrive system or Audi’s MMI.
Every Volvo XC60 features a second 12.3-inch digital screen in place of conventional instruments, too, just like Audi’s Virtual Cockpit display. This display can show sat-nav directions and media playlists and helps keep your eyes on the road.
All cars come with aluminium interior trims and four-way adjustable lumbar support for both front seats, while range-topping Inscription versions have full leather upholstery and what Volvo calls ‘driftwood’ dashboard inserts. The latter look and feel far more expensive than their name suggests… and don’t smell like the seaside.
It’s hard to fault the XC60’s cool Swedish interior – it’s more stylish than many German SUVs and looks even better than the bigger, more expensive, XC90
The Volvo XC60 has a 9-inch portrait infotainment screen in the dashboard that feels just like an iPad to use. Its menus are logically laid out and it responds quickly to your prods and swipes.
There aren’t any physical shortcut buttons to help you access key features quickly but the bright, bold graphics help you hit the right icon with just a quick glance – most of the time anyway.
All models come with satellite navigation as standard but it’s neither as easy to input a postcode, nor as quick to calculate a route as the systems offered by Audi and BMW. Thankfully, adding a petrol station waypoint is easy and you can simply pinch and swipe to preview your route ahead.
Every Volvo XC60 gets a 12.3-inch screen behind the steering wheel in place of analogue dials. This second screen can display a range of infotainment features, including sat-nav directions, but it isn’t quite as sharp or as clear as Audi’s superb Virtual Cockpit.
The optional Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring feature allows you to use a selection of apps through the XC60’s built-in screen – ideal if you’d rather use your phone’s sat-nav or music streaming apps instead of the built-in systems, although it seems stingy that it costs extra at this price level.
The heated seats and air conditioning are both controlled through the infotainment screen. In some cars, this is a source of huge frustration but a handy set of dedicated icons at the bottom of the XC60’s screen mean you won’t have to dive into a sea of menus every time it gets too hot or cold.
On the music front, the Volvo XC60’s standard stereo sounds pretty impressive, but you can upgrade to a pricey but fantastic Bowers & Wilkins system. It comes with 15 upgraded speakers, a subwoofer and customisable playback settings that can mimic the acoustic properties of Gothenburg Concert Hall – naturally. It’s worth paying for if you’re serious about your music.