2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Review


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2010 Volvo XC60

SEE ALSO: Volvo Buyers Guide: 2011-1997

THE AUTO PAGE
By JOHN HEILIG

SPECIFICATIONS

Model: 2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD
Engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6
Horsepower/Torque: 281 hp @ 5,600 rpm/295 lb.-ft.@ 1,500-4,800 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic with manual
Wheelbase: 109.2 in.
Length/Width/Height: 182.2 x 74.4 x 67.4 in.
Tires: P235/60R18
Cargo volume: 30.8/67.4 cu. ft. (rear seat backs up/down)
Fuel economy: 16 mpg city/21 mpg highway/18.4 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 18.5 gal.
Curb weight: 4,174 lbs.
Sticker: $37,200 (base, plus $850 destination charge)

The Bottom Line: There's no doubt that the Volvo XC 60 is a beautiful package, from its overall lines to the artistically designed and crafter tail light assemblies. It offers luxury, power and performance at a reasonable price compared to similar luxury vehicles.

Volvo's XC60 is a crossover sport utility that leans more toward the station wagon side of things than the SUV side. By that I mean Volvo used its considerable wagon experience to craft the XC60 rather than sharing some of Ford's Explorer experience (Volvo was a part of Ford when the XC 60 was designed). That's a good thing.

For years, Volvo wagons have led the market. Adding all-wheel drive to the equation only adds to their practicality without reducing their overall appeal. The price is higher than a Toyota Highlander, for example, but the luxury part of the equation is also higher, making it almost worth the sticker.

Under the hood is a 281 horsepower turbocharged inline six that doesn't suffer from the dreaded turbo steer when you tromp down on the accelerator. This super-smooth engine is hooked to a 6-speed automatic transmission with a manual mode. I guess if you take the XC60 truly off-roading you might want the manual, but for 99 percent of the driving you'll ever do in this car, the automatic will suffice. Shifting the gearbox manually requires shifting the lever, and those of us who have been spoiled by steering wheel-mounted paddles find actually shifting to be so 1990s.

The XC60's ride is quiet and comfortable on all road surfaces, yet it still offers decent handling. The front seats are comfortable with decent side support. The rears are also comfortable but the center hump precludes carrying a third passenger back there.

Cargo capacity is excellent. Even with the second row seat backs in place there is (are?) 30.8 cubic feet of cargo capacity. Even my wife and daughters would have a challenge filling that space. Fold the rear seat backs down, though, and cargo capacity explodes to 67.4 cubic feet, more than enough for a long romantic weekend for two. Heck, there's even enough room to sleep in the back, and also a small covered cargo area under the cargo floor, and a mini spare tire under that. I liked the fact that the rear headrests fold when you lower the seat backs, aiding in creating a flat floor.

A new Volvo safety feature on the XC60 is city safety. This feature actually stops the car (if you're traveling at a city-proper speed) if a pedestrian or stopped car is in front of you. It's a bit disconcerting when the car stops, but the value is immeasurable.

The XC60 has a unique pushbutton start/stop. There's a slot for you to insert the key, step on the brake and push the start/stop button on the dash. Reverse the procedure to shut the engine off. Adding to the styling, there's a huge panoramic sun roof covering the entire passenger area. Only the front part over the driver and front passenger opens, though.

The dash is nicely styled with a few oddities. For one, there's the audio read-out, which is in a pop-up style screen on top of the dash. This doesn't pop down, however.

The navigation screen is used primarily for the back-up camera's video, since our tester either didn't have navigation or it wasn't hooked up. Actually, the blank screen didn't prove to be a distraction.

Overall, the Volvo XC60 is beautiful, safe (it is a Volvo) and delivers the quality performance you'd expect from a luxury station wagon. It's interesting that the Cadillac CTS SportWagon is very similar to the XC60, yet Cadillac bites the bullet and calls it a wagon. Hmmm.

SEE ALSO: Volvo Buyers Guide: 2011-1997

2010 The Auto Page Syndicate

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