Volvo XC60 tyres
The terms ‘crossover’ and ‘SUV’ seem to be largely interchangeable and vaguely defined. The Volvo XC60 takes that problem a stage further by being marketed as a ‘compact crossover’. Can you really describe a car that weighs 1,800 Kg and is 4.6 metres long and 1.9 metres wide as ‘compact’?!
Of course none of that matters in the real world, where pedants don’t rule and the XC60 is Volvo’s best-selling car. It was launched in 2008 and it’s amazing to think that a dozen years ago Volvo didn’t sell any 4×4 cars, so ubiquitous are this car and its larger brother, the XC90. It has a lot in common with Land Rover’s Freelander, being based on the same chassis and aimed at the same market.
The Land Rover may be better off-road but that isn’t important to many XC60 drivers. Indeed this car is more popular in two-wheel-drive than four-wheel-drive format. More often than not, it’s a car which appeals to those who want the look of four-wheel-drive rather than all the expense involved. It’s a car which is all about style, smoothness and safety, rather than speed or mud-plugging. Small wonder, therefore, that it is one of the best-selling family cars of its time.
The fact that not many XC60 models will leave tarmac can be seen by the overwhelming popularity of the two-wheel-drive format. Volvo makes a kind of tacit acknowledgement of this by equipping them with Pirelli P Zero Rosso tyres. Although those used in this case come in special SUV sizes, the tyres themselves are designed for performance road-going cars rather than having any claim to off-road ability. Effectively they are car tyres in a larger format to fit the XC60’s 18-inch wheels.
None of that is criticism of this range, which is etyres’ best-selling line of replacement tyres for these cars. These tyres, and Pirelli’s Scorpion Verde range, designed for on-road SUV use, come highly-recommended for the XC60. Continental’s CrossContact range is an able alternative to consider. At a lower price point, Nexen’s N Fera range sells well for the XC60. These tyres are known for good levels of grip on wet roads. They also offer better durability than most middle-market ranges.
Michelin’s Latitude Sport tyres are another common factory-fitted range. Customer reviews show that these offer excellent grip and roadholding on a car like the XC60, making them a popular choice.
XC60 models which feature four-wheel-drive leave Volvo’s factories with tyres more suited to occasional off-road use. Most common is Bridgestone’s Dueler range. As replacement tyres, these are available in various designs to suit the demands of different amounts of on-road and off-road motoring.
Since any tyre for an SUV vehicle will represent a sizeable enough purchase, Goodyear’s Vector 4-Season range may be worth considering. They offer good levels of grip in all conditions and are suitable for both summer and winter use. On two-wheel-drive XC60 models in particular, they make a strong case for themselves. Being suitable for all-season use, they mean that your day won’t grind to a halt at the first sign of snow yet isn’t compromised in the heat of summer.