2010 Volvo XC60
There are plenty of options out there if you’re looking for a compact, capable SUV or crossover. Each new model year brings an array of vehicles that blend the comfort of a car with the high ride height and going power of an SUV. Volvo’s jumping into the fray with the 2010 XC60
– an all-new full time all-wheel drive crossover with plenty to offer. The XC60 brings svelte new styling, advanced safety features and a sharp interior with plenty of room to the fight, helping to differentiate it from the rest of the rigs in the crowd. With the company’s powerful 281 horsepower turbocharged six-cylinder engine under the hood and a well-planted suspension, the XC60 dishes up the kind of acceleration and handling you’d expect out of a low and lithe sedan. Volvo’s offering all kinds of standard features, too, including a beautifully crafted leather interior, a massive laminated panoramic sunroof and stylish 18-inch wheels. If you’re looking for a vehicle with a little more room, but aren’t quite ready to step into the bland crossover masses, the XC60 is worth a look.
What's to Like
Sharp styling inside and out, plenty of power and gobs of room behind the rear hatch all make for a vehicle that’s engaging on every level. From the exterior, the XC60 catches your eye and holds it thanks to a bold grille and emblem, aggressive headlights and a stylish rear dominated by tall LED taillights. Inside, Volvo has done what it does best – creating an interior that’s attractive and useable.
What's Not to Like
Volvo borrowed a bit too much SUV DNA for the XC60’s suspension, creating a stable, but all together rough ride. Pavement inconsistencies jar the whole vehicle, made worse by stiff seats that boarder on the uncomfortable. As with most all-wheel drive Volvos, this ride suffers from fairly lackluster fuel economy as well, pulling down just 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway.
DriverSide Driving Impressions
Aside from the occasionally rough ride, the XC60 is a pleasure to drive. Power is consistent and instantaneous, and Volvo has done a wonderful job keeping nose dive and lift to a minimum under hard acceleration and braking. Similarly, this crossover tackles winding asphalt with glee, delivering largely neutral steering that leaves typical understeer to its competitors. The XC60’s six-speed automatic transmission operates in the background, delivering smooth shifts under normal driving and perfect gear choices for more spirited motoring. Inside, the laminated panoramic sunroof allows for plenty of light in the cabin – giving the illusion of even more room in an already spacious interior. The effect is a vehicle that becomes more than a tool to transport you and your belongings from one end of town to another. Instead, the XC60 evokes an emotional and physical response every time you slide behind the wheel, helping to rescue you from a fate of motoring zombieism.
Engine and Drivetrain
The Volvo XC60 is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 281 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The capable motor is coupled to a well-chosen six-speed automatic transmission and the latest generation of Volvo’s full-time all-wheel drive. The result is a vehicle that is just as happy dashing down the freeway as it is romping through the snow.
Interesting Vehicle Features and Options
Each Volvo XC60 comes standard with what the company is calling City Safety. In effect, the system is a collection of sensors that determine the vehicle’s speed in relation to car-sized objects directly in front of it. At speeds below 15 mph, those sensors can engage the vehicle’s braking system up to 50 percent in the event of a possible collision, thereby saving occupants from injury and possibly both vehicles from unnecessary damages. After seeing City Safety in action, it wouldn’t surprise us to eventually see similar systems crop up in vehicles from other manufacturers. It’s brilliant technology that could conceivably save you thousands in damages and insurance premiums.
Key Technology Evaluation
Aside from City Safety, the XC60 comes with the usual Volvo compliment of technologically advanced safety equipment on board. A lane-minder system helps keep you pointed in the right direction, a drive alertness monitor will rouse you in the event of erratic driving behaviors and the crossover’s active seatbelts help to reduce injury in the event of an accident. Volvo boasts that this is the safest car the company has ever produced and we believe them. The XC60 also comes standard with a rearview camera and a fantastic navigation can also be had through a technology package, though the company hasn’t released pricing just yet.
Green Evaluation/Gas Mileage
As previously mentioned, fuel economy isn’t the XC60’s strong suit. At 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway, the car is on par with the much larger XC90. Still, for vehicle with full-time all-wheel drive and plenty of room, the figures could be worse.
A Closer Look: Vehicle Details
The XC60’s interior is beautiful. Unique shapes and designs, high quality materials and pleasing color options are all part of the package. Each XC60 comes standard with handsome leather seats with two available color options. Volvo’s clever center stack is equally attractive in brushed aluminum or blonde wood. Aside from the aesthetics, the rear cargo area becomes cavernous with just a few manipulations of the rear seats, which fold flat for extra room. There’s clever storage solutions throughout the vehicle, and the rear seats deliver plenty of space for adults as well.
Outside, the XC60 is uniquely stylish while still easily recognizable as a Volvo. The company has cured “badge envy” by planting a sizeable Volvo logo front and center in the car’s grille. From there, the design shirks the usual wagon-esque crossover look for a more coupe-like design. The integrated, functional roof rails follow the rake of the roof back to the rear hatch as the lower window line rises to meet it. Out back, cues from the company’s C30 coupe represent themselves in the form of form-dominating tail lights and good-looking back glass.
Market Segment and Pricing
Volvo has priced he XC60 starting at $37,200. That puts the new crossover smack-dab in the middle of the segment, just above vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz GLK at $33,900 and the Acura RDX
at $33,895, but below the BMW X3 for $39,700 and the Infiniti EX for $42,150. While it may be hard to swallow the notion of putting up more of your had earned dollars for a Volvo than a Mercedes-Benz, it’s important to keep in mind just how much you get with the XC60 in the way of safety equipment and amenities, even in the base model.
What We Think
The Volvo XC60 has such a bounty of strong attributes it’s difficult to single out a handful that shine above the rest. The company has delivered a stylish vehicle inside and out that boasts some of the most cutting-edge safety equipment as standard. Though we wish the ride were a little more comfortable, there’s the possibility of an adjustable suspension later down the road that would solve some of the rigidity issues we experienced. With plenty of power, a stout all-wheel drive system and enough cargo room to haul whatever you need, the XC60 is a great choice if a crossover is what you’re after. Expect to see it on dealer lots as soon as March 2009.
2010 Volvo XC60 with City Safety
Volvo is a company that prides itself on the safety of its vehicles, and its customers respond to that pride. Through real-world research from hundreds of traffic accidents involving its products, Volvo aims to continue to do what it can to reduce the number of traffic collisions. One of the products of that research is City Safety, a system that can help to prevent or reduce low-speed impacts by actuating the brakes at the last minute. Through an array of laser and camera sensors mounted just below the rearview mirror, City Safety can evaluate the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. If the car senses an imminent collision, it can actuate the brakes, potentially saving you from having to fish out your insurance card.
Volvo says that in the future, it will be able to fine-tune the system to account for objects smaller than a vehicle, such as a motorcycle, pedestrian or bicycle, though those advancements may still be awhile off. It’s an amazing system that could easily spread to other manufacturers, potentially becoming as widespread as airbags or ABS in a few short years. For now though, the only car on the road to boast the new tech is the 2010 Volvo XC60.