2021 Volvo XC60 facelift gains Google Android Automotive

Subtle facelift for Volvo’s best seller brings new Google-powered in-car tech and even better safety systems.

Volvo has updated its XC60 SUV for 2021, a rival to the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 premium SUVs. The updates focus on a series of small design changes, new interior technology and updated driver assistance features for its best-selling model.

All versions of the XC60 will make use of a new infotainment set-up powered by Android Automotive – new software that sees the XC60’s nine-inch portrait touchscreen integrated directly with Google apps and services, similar to tech used by sister brand Polestar.

Hands free voice control functions are now handled by Google Assistant, navigation is provided by Google Maps, and further applications can be installed via the Google Play Store, accessed directly from the touchscreen. Buyers can subscribe to all of the new Google features through a subscription called the Digital Services Package.

Alongside the completely new infotainment technology, the XC60 gains new and upgraded hardware for the driver assistance systems, with a new sensor platform containing radars, ultrasonic sensors and cameras.

Volvo says that with the new sensor technology on board, the XC60 will boast better pedestrian and road user detection for use with the automatic emergency braking and steering intervention systems. Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving will now provide what the company calls “gentle driver support” from a standstill up to motorway speeds.

Design changes for the XC60 are kept to a minimum. A new face with a revised grille and lower front bumper is joined by a selection of new paint colours and wheel options, but overall it’s a very subtle visual upgrade. The interior can be trimmed in a selection of new leather-free upholsteries, including a new textile based option, called City Weave.

Volvo has not revealed any changes to the XC60’s engine line-up for 2021, but the old line-up of 48-volt mild-hybrid petrol and diesel four-cylinder options, badged B4, B5 and B6, will continue alongside the T6 and T8 Recharge plug-in hybrid variants.

James Brodie

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