Volvo was one of the early adopters of the lifestyle-SUV concept when it launched the XC90. And, as the demand for smaller SUVs grew, the Swedish (but now Chinese-owned) company released its XC60 SUV in 2008.

What that means, however, is that the XC60 has been around for longer than half a decade, which in motoring terms makes it a relatively old vehicle. It did receive a mild facelift in 2013, though, and from early this year the whole range features Volvo’s brand-new series of ultra-efficient (or so it claims) 2,0-litre petrol and diesel engines.

Our T5-engined Volvo arrived with only 106 km on the odometer, but quickly racked up more than a 1 000 km in just a few weeks. Apart from its unkind nickname – The Fridge, which refers to its Ice White paint job given to the car by a (jealous) colleague – I couldn’t be happier with the XC60’s progress thus far. This vehicle on conservative 18-inch wheels wrapped in 235/60 tyres. The result is that it rides markedly better than previous XC60s we have sampled.

Secondly, considering the fact that the infotainment system isn’t quite as intuitive as those of the Germans, I managed to upload 500 Mb of music files to the hard drive in minutes, in the process also linking my phone via Bluetooth. Toggling between the radio, CD, aux, USB or Bluetooth audio streaming takes mere seconds with the push of just a few buttons.

So far I’ve driven the car like I would have if I needed to pay for the fuel myself … promise. The result is that I’m as careful with my right foot as possible. My daily commute of 70 km includes urban, rural and highway roads. And, so far, the XC60 T5 has consumed an average of 9,6 litres/100 km. This isn’t quite as low as I had expected but, considering the turbopetrol delivers 180 kW and 350 N.m, still a very good figure.

Helping to minimise consumption is the use of a new eight-speed automatic transmission, which selects the right gear every time and keeps the revs low and cruising speeds.

Options on this example include the Sport Package, which actually doesn’t offer anything remotely sporty, but rather focuses on comfort. It includes a self-opening tailgate, three-spoke leather steering wheel and park assist front and rear. So far the latter has been the most useful.

What is next challenge for the our Volvo XC60? A holiday outing for a week with four on board.

After one month:
Mileage on arrival (km): 107 km
Mileage at update (km): 1 0216 km
We like: space, comfort, well-damped ride
We don’t like: fuel consumption, few creaks in the cabin