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Volvo XC60 interior, tech and practicality

Comfort and visibility

The Volvo XC60 is a very comfortable car to live with. Long journeys melt away thanks to the extremely comfortable front seats that provide excellent support. All models get full leather upholstery and power-adjustable lumbar support for the front seats, with full power adjustment available on higher-spec trims.

Visibility out the front and sides is great, aided by a commanding, comfortable driving position. That said, over-the-shoulder visibility is, like most rivals, a slight weak spot. Parking isn't too much of a chore, however, thanks to standard rear parking sensors and a 360º parking camera on higher-end trims.

Standard equipment

Up to 2022, the XC60 came with a choice of four trim levels – Momentum, R-Design, Polestar Engineered or Inscription. As standard, Momentum gets alloy wheels, leather upholstery, rear parking sensors and climate control. You also get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Momentum Pro includes a heated steering wheel and a few other techy goodies.

R-Design adds sportier wheels and styling touches, while R-Design Pro adds the same upgrades as Momentum Pro. Polestar Engineered cars start where R-Design leaves off with even larger alloys, a mean body kit and some performance upgrades. Topping the range is Inscription, which includes softer leather and luxurious wood inlays or, in Inscription Pro form, also gains the same 'Pro' kit from the rest of the lineup.

From 2022, Momentum, R-Design and Inscription were swapped out in favour of Core, Plus and Ultimate, with those trims roughly mirroring the previous lineup. Android Auto is no longer offered, but this is because Google services are now natively baked into the XC60's infotainment system, with Google Maps and Spotify readily accessible without needing your phone.

The luxurious features from higher up in the range certainly add desirability to the XC60. Considering the entry-level trim is already well equipped, however, there isn't a pressing need to upgrade to a more expensive example.

Infotainment and audio

Screen sizes in cars have ballooned in recent years, so the nine-inch system in the XC60's dashboard looks a little dated in comparison to more modern rivals. That said, the graphics are clear and easy to read, without some of the visual excess you'll find in some competing systems.

The screen's responsiveness is about average for the class, mostly keeping up with inputs, although selecting certain functions did result in a brief delay as the system loaded. We liked the digital driver's screen behind the wheel – it's easy to read at a glance, once again using clear, unfussy graphics, and pairs well with the built-in sat nav, showing a large map in the instrument cluster.

Newer Volvos have Google software integrated into the infotainment system, including Google Maps. That means the car's built-in sat nav is always up to date and offers to-the-minute live traffic updates and hazard warnings.

While there's nothing outwardly wrong with the XC60's standard stereo, there are no fewer than two separate upgraded stereo systems for better sound quality. First up is a 14-speaker Harman Kardon system promising a tight bass response that's ideal for modern music styles or, for ultimate bragging rights, you can select a Bowers & Wilkins 15-speaker setup that somehow turns the car's cabin into its own subwoofer.

Rear seat space

This is one of the XC60's strongest selling points. There's tonnes of room in the back seats, with space for adults even if they're well over six-foot tall, with an equally tall passenger sat in the front. Few cars in this class, like the BMW X3 or Audi Q3 score poorly in this area, but the XC60 is noticeably larger than all of them in every dimension.

In fact, the only slight gripe we have is that the rear seat backs are slightly narrower than they could be thanks to a leather-lined panel that spans the gap between the side of the seat and the door trim.

Naturally, all that back-seat space also makes the XC60 an excellent family car, with lots of space to wrangle a bulky child seat into position. Access through the doors to buckle your offspring in place is good, although the BMW X3's door openings are fractionally more square.

Boot space

If the XC60's back seats are a solid A+, the boot is more like a B+. The 483-litre space – 468 on plug-in-hybrid models – is large enough for pushchairs, suitcases or a medium-sized dog. However, it's not quite as deep as rivals, with the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 both possessing slightly larger cargo areas.

Access is great, at least. The boot opening is wide and square and, while the edge of the boot itself is quite high, there's no load lip so pulling heavy items out is a little easier. We did notice a very slight rearward slant to the boot floor, however, so round objects could potentially roll out if they're not properly secured.

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