Swedish automaker Volvo has long been regarded as an icon of safe motoring, with a distinguished brand image. But it seems that the emphasis on strength and safety has also led to the other benefits being overlooked ― Volvos are often underrated in terms of performance and driving comfort.
This reporter recently test-drove the redesigned Volvo XC60 D4, a flagship SUV model in the automaker's lineup.
At first glance, it has a rather staid and conservative design but its classic lines will not quickly go out of fashion. Also, it became more and more appealing the more I drove it.
Inside, drivers will be impressed by a new digital instrument cluster. It has three different mode options _ eco, performance and elegance _ that drivers can choose from, depending on driving conditions.
This is not just about a different layout, it also shows the confidence the vehicle can offer various driving experiences as a driver wishes to enjoy.
In fact, the XC60 boasts driving versatility.
It comes with a 2-liter five cylinder turbo-charged diesel engine, which can generate 163 horsepower and the maximum torque of 40.8 kilograms-meter. It is also equipped with a four-wheel driving system.
That is good and strong enough in a city, on a highway or even in off-road driving to make it feel nimble and agile.
The Corner Traction Control, which now comes as standard in the 2014 Volvo XC60, also helps the driver avoid under-steer by applying just the right amount of brake force to the inner wheels while powering the outer wheels when accelerating out of a corner.
Of course, the XC60 D4 also boasts various safety features such as the active high beam control II and a radar blind spot information system.
The D4 model is priced at 56.3 million won. The top of the range XC60 D5 is also available for 66.9 million won.