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 particularly easy to use.
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 – just like Audi’s Virtual Cockpit display. This display can show sat-nav directions and media playback info in front of the steering wheel where it’s easy to glance at on the move.
All cars come with aluminium interior trims, partial leather seats 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.
Sportier R-Design models add a set of more supportive front seats and a glossy black finish for the shortcut buttons on the steering wheel. You also get a black headlining, some extra interior mood lighting on the doors and footwells and some metal pedal trims. R-Design Pro versions add some contrasting stitching while high-spec Polestar Engineered cars go one step further with eye-catching gold seatbelts – tasteful.
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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 and the menus aren’t quite as logically laid out as those in an Audi Q5 or BMW X3, but the bright, bold graphics help you hit the right icon with just a quick glance – most of the time anyway.
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.
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.
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.
If you don’t fancy using Volvo’s own navigation system, you can connect your phone using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring in Edition models and above. This lets you use a selection of apps through the XC60’s built-in screen, including music-streaming services such as Spotify.
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.