Volvo XC60 T8 Twin Engine interior & comfort

The XC60's interior is nicely trimmed and feels decidedly different to its rivals, offering individuality alongside quality, technology and comfort

The Volvo XC60 T8 is one of the Swedish firm’s latest generation of vehicles, and as a result uses the brand’s smart new design language inside. Volvos of old were practical, but their interior layout and technology always felt a little confused. Not here, however: the cabin is spacious, high-quality and boasts lots of the latest technology.

Volvo XC60 T8 Twin Engine dashboard

All XC60s get a nine-inch portrait-orientated tablet touchscreen infotainment system in the centre of the dashboard. It’s flanked by a pair of nice metal air vents, while the plastics and leather that line the rest of the interior mean that, when you factor in the hybrid technology as well, the T8’s price tag starts to make sense.

That display is joined by a 12.3-inch digital dial panel, which continues the hi-tech theme. It’s not as configurable as some rival systems, but there’s enough functionality on offer here that you certainly won’t feel short-changed.

One drawback of the system is that the climate controls are integrated into the touchscreen. It’s a small point, and while it means the dashboard is free of buttons and therefore clutter, you have to use the screen to adjust the temperature and fan speed. At least there are shortcuts for these points, so it’s not as bad as some systems that work in this way.

You also get steering-wheel controls that you can use to manipulate the digital dashboard, but they also control radio presets and volume, as well as the adaptive cruise control and semi-autonomous driving systems where fitted.

Equipment, options and accessories

Sat nav is standard across the range, which works well. The touchscreen operates like a tablet, so you pinch to zoom and swipe to scroll, and as it’s portrait in orientation, you can see more of what’s ahead of you on the map. Climate control, 19-inch alloy wheels, heated part-leather seats, strong safety kit and LED headlights are included. R-Design trim gets Volvo’s ‘Sports Chassis’, for improved responses. R-Design Pro adds 21-inch alloys and air suspension.

Inscription is the top trim level, with ventilated, power-adjustable leather seats, different interior trim and some upgraded ambient lighting inside, while the Pro version of this model features air suspension, 20-inch wheels and a gesture function for the tailgate, which means you can swipe your foot under the boot to open it in case your hands are full of bags.

There's also a sporty 'Polestar Engineered' model, which (in addition to a power boost for the engine) builds on the R-Design Pro's spec with a premium Harmon Kardon sound system and styling details such as black chrome exhaust pipes, 21-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, aluminium tread plates and a high-gloss black mesh front grille.

Infotainment, apps & sat nav

Along with sat nav, Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system comes loaded with apps. Spotify is included, along with internet radio functionality for example, but if you want Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity you’ll need to pay £300 for Volvo’s Smartphone Integration pack.

This seems a little steep given how much the car costs and the level of technology that’s otherwise included. It’s also worth pointing out that you’ll need an internet connection or to use your phone's data to use apps such as Spotify. Otherwise, the infotainment system is one of the best on the market.

There are pros and cons to the touchscreen setup in that it’s a little more difficult to use on the move, but it’s also quicker to navigate. Only occasionally does the screen lag behind your inputs. The sat-nav map’s graphics could be a little sharper, but having directions displayed on the digital panel right in front of you is a nice touch.