Let’s be honest: there is a gaping chasm between a proceed we romanticise about a open highway and a existence we are mostly presented with.
Visions of pushing off into a nightfall competence seem all good and good when you’re formulation an journey from a comfort of your loll room, though existence shortly sets in once behind a wheel.
From a at-times controversial strategy of speed-obsessed military to a dodgy use hire toilets, desirous passengers, tired and complicated day time pressures, adventures by automobile can mostly be vapid and stressful.
But as transport companions go, a Volvo XC60 delights like a jumbo-sized parcel of beef jerky.
This sold journey – one of many opposite a long-term reign with Volvo’s renouned mid-sizer – takes us from Sydney to Orange, a behind way.
The true ‘Crystal White’ XC60 D5 R-Design has only had a wash, opening and a oil level, washer liquid and tyre pressures checked; and after discerning diversion of Tetris, is installed to a knob with all a outfit for dual adults and a child for a weekend away.
Anyone local to Sydney or Melbourne would conclude a delights of peak-hour traffic, generally on a Friday afternoon.
Nonetheless, we walk along a dreaded M5 during 2pm to make a proceed south toward Goulburn, before streamer internal past Crookwell, Tuena, Barry and Blayney, completing a 400km outing during lifelike Orange.
A forced de-tour to Goulburn explains a unusual track ,which is differently a good forgive to tackle some backroads.
In stop-start traffic, there are few complaints from a D5 R-Design’s 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder and relating eight-speed automatic.
The torque converter delivery resists a binding, hesitating urgencies of rivalling dual-clutch ‘boxes, and a engine is linear and stretchable for a many partial – a difference being some initial perplexity on pick-up that is brought about by turbo lag.
A signature diesel complain permeates a cabin during low speed and while underneath tough acceleration, though fades to a gloomy credentials sound during intermediate speeds.
Elsewhere, a XC60’s 4.68-metre long, 1.9-metre far-reaching proportions are easy to stratagem in stop-start conditions, with light, linear steering, glorious physique control underneath braking and steering applications and decent strike termination that tends to lay on a firmer side of a ledger.
Finding holes in a flitting line is partially limited around comparatively tiny wing mirrors and a massive C-pillar imposed by a XC60’s fashionable rear, however, a arsenal of reserve aids (including blind symbol monitoring) keenly keeps tabs on any intensity slip-ups.
Once adult and moving, a full element of a diesel’s 177kW and some-more reasonably 500Nm becomes accessible – a latter figure accessible on a bandwidth of revs between 1500rpm and 2500rpm.
The torque-laden engine zings a XC60’s two-tonne heft along with smallest fuss, again regulating a slick-shifting automobile to transition uniformly into highway speeds once we proceed Sydney’s ever-stretching outdoor boundary (virtually Picton nowadays).
In a name of fuel economy, we switch a expostulate mode selector to economy to learn of a crafty duty where a Volvo radically disengages a engine and gearbox when coasting – effectively a same proceed as a neutral rigging would.
On a occasional skirmish streamer south, a automobile binds a speed (and spasmodic increases it with journey control incited off) down prolonged declines to save fuel. After 120km of this, including stop-start traffic, a fuel total reads 6.5L/100km total – marginally above a claim.
At highway speeds, a engine ticks over underneath 2000rpm, highway sound and breeze sound are abundantly suppressed and a physique feels planted and good tranquil labyrinth down a Hume.
With a car-full of luggage and 3 occupants aboard, a diesel has no qualms with a combined weight, and seamlessly meanders down a highway.
Similarly, a XC60’s active journey control is effective nonetheless soft with a applications, creation tiny steering interventions where probable and progressing good chain behind other cars on a road.
Half a parcel of beef jerky into a weekend adventure, it’s time to try by Goulburn before commencement a twisty, undulating expostulate towards Orange’s fantastic booze country.
Turning a expostulate mode dial to opening once out of town, there’s a revelation spike in response, both from a steering, engine response and suspension.
The Polestar container propitious to a exam car creates a intentions improved famous during this point, transferring some-more pounding bumps by a cabin and reacting some-more definitely to crook bumps in a road.
The float is never neck-breaking and always regains control, though a trade-off elicits most some-more suggestive weighting from a steering and controls, engine and suspension.
The tauter underpinnings immediately lead to some-more coercion into and out of corners, a XC60 holding justice with well-weighted steering and sitting prosaic by longer apexes, irrespective of mid-corner bumps.
Out of tighter, ascending corners, there is again a duration perplexity from a engine brought about by turbo lag, though a gearbox is discerning to carillon in where required and collect adult a slack, motoring a 2.0-litre diesel behind into a robust mid-range.
The diesel lacks a top-end oomph of rivalling Volvo petrol units – a T6 immediately springs to mind – though potency stays strong: rolling into a Orange, a fuel normal now reads 7.4L/100km, a series we ceaselessly repeat via a long-term loan.
If anything, one bugbear about operation is a digital instrument cluster’s proceed of presaging a stretch until empty. The calculation is predicated on a form of pushing we are doing during that indicate in time rather than over an extended period, and as such, can fast vacillate depending on conditions. It’s not always accurate.
The XC60 eventually lacks a energetic nous of BMW’s X3, though it’s a lot of a proceed there even in this diesel form; a engine claims a 0-100km/h time of 7.1sec.
Elsewhere, a XC60 enamours with calming braking, well-spoken weight transfers and easy coverage of a b-grade surfaces underneath. The car’s high-riding standing isn’t infallible, though from a furloughed capacity, it works intensely good while charity a lifted opinion of a road.
Pampered and plush
Arriving into Orange about 30 mins after than designed (stemming behind to a dreaded M5), night is on us and a review has incited to a theme of dinner.
Specifically, good pub grub, of that there is copiousness in these parts.
The Volvo’s fuel sign sits above a median symbol (71-litre tank) and a occupants are still strangely uninformed and comfortable, due in partial to a cosseting interior and glorious ‘Thor of Hammer’ headlights, that expel a clever trail of lighting ahead.
That we’ve arrived into Orange feeling so uninformed says a lot about a XC60’s furloughed and ubiquitous pushing ability. It means a biggest preference for a weekend is that winery we’ll select to revisit first.
How most does a 2019 Volvo XC60 D5 R-Design cost?
Price: $75,990 (plus on-road costs)
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Fuel: 5.6L/100km (ADR Combined)
CO2: 148g/km (ADR Combined)
Safety Rating: Five-star ANCAP