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Lesser driven. Image by Volvo.

Lesser driven
Volvo bins all-wheel drive on its DRIVe XC60, dropping CO2 emissions and fuel consumption.

 



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| First Drive | Lower Slaughter, England | Volvo XC60 2.4D DRIVe |

Volvo's XC60 joins the DRIVe range by dropping its four-wheel drive hardware and adding a 2.4-litre turbodiesel engine. With CO2 emissions of 159g/km and fuel economy of 47.1mpg, the XC60 DRIVe is a SUV you can park on your drive with a clearer conscience.

In the Metal

Volvo's newest model is undoubtedly the best looking in the range. Taking all the usual SUV styling cues and adding Volvo's broad shouldered look and solidity works extremely well indeed. The DRIVe model looks little different from its thirstier, more polluting four-wheel drive relatives, the badge on the back the only hint to your environmental saintliness.

What you get for your Money

In SE Lux DRIVe guise you get quite a lot. At just under 30,000 you'll find everything you could reasonably expect: your climate controlled electronically and your seats shifted by motors - heated and leather covered. You need to pay extra for Bluetooth, which is an oversight, and satnav will set you back a good chunk of money too. With the DRIVe it's perhaps a case of what you don't get, Volvo's economy-minded XC60 ditching four-wheel drive and coming with a 173bhp 2.4-litre turbodiesel engine that allows it to slot into Band G - the XC60 DRIVe hence only costs 150 annually to tax.

Driving it

Unless you're the sort who likes to drive as the crow flies - through fields, over hills and fording streams - then the loss of four-wheel drive is of negligible importance. You might spin up the front wheels exiting a slippery junction every now and then, but the traction control soon takes care of that. Otherwise it's all much like its four-wheel driven relative then, with decent ride comfort and refinement. More comfortable than some of its more overtly sporting rivals, the XC60 might feel softer in the bends, but you'll be thankful of the suspension's ability to cosset on longer journeys.

The steering doesn't give you much in the way of information, but turn the wheel and the XC60 follows your chosen trajectory faithfully. The 173bhp engine delivers ample urgency, its 310lb.ft of torque available from 1,500-2,750rpm. It's a flexible unit as a result, which is pretty brisk too - the 9.8-second 0-62mph time is very respectable given its focus on economy.

That's key, the XC60 DRIVe feeling little different from its relatives and certainly not compromised for its environmental credentials. There's lots of space too, the interior is nicely finished and feels like it'll last forever. The only issue is that you do feel like a bit of a charlatan driving such an obvious 4x4 looker without the hardware underneath. Just pray you're not asked to run all your friends' kids to school when it snows this winter, as it'll get you no further than a conventional car.

Worth Noting

To achieve its excellent economy and emissions figures the DRIVe is only offered in manual guise. Choose the same engine with a Geartronic automatic transmission and not only do you lose the DRIVe badging, but you'll add 24g/km of CO2 and drop your fuel economy by around 6mpg to 40.9mpg. Whether that's worth it for the convenience of the self-shifting box is down to you, the difference in road tax being just 25, though you'll spend more on fuel too.

Summary

If you like the idea of an SUV but don't actually need the ability a four-wheel drive system brings then the Volvo XC60 DRIVe is well worth looking at. Especially if you're the type who worries what the neighbours think. With emissions and fuel consumption figures to rival regular family cars, the DRIVe is one way of having your cake and eating it. So long as the cake shop isn't at the end of a rock-strewn slippery off-road path, that is.

Kyle Fortune - 18 Aug 2009









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2009 Volvo XC60 DRIVe specifications: (2.4D DRIVe)
Price: From 25,245 for S model to 30,745 for SE Lux Premium.
0-62mph: 9.8 seconds
Top speed: 127mph
Combined economy: 47.1mpg
Emissions: 159g/km
Kerb weight: 1761kg

Full technical specifications

2009 Volvo XC60. Image by Volvo.2009 Volvo XC60. Image by Volvo.2009 Volvo XC60. Image by Volvo.2009 Volvo XC60. Image by Volvo.2009 Volvo XC60. Image by Volvo.

2009 Volvo XC60. Image by Volvo.2009 Volvo XC60. Image by Volvo.2009 Volvo XC60. Image by Volvo.2009 Volvo XC60. Image by Volvo.2009 Volvo XC60. Image by Volvo.



2009 Volvo XC60. Image by Volvo.
 

2009 Volvo XC60. Image by Volvo.
 

2009 Volvo XC60. Image by Volvo.
 

2009 Volvo XC60. Image by Volvo.
 

2009 Volvo XC60. Image by Volvo.
 

2009 Volvo XC60. Image by Volvo.
 






 

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