The XC60 comes in T5 and T6 models, with four available engines — 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo, 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbo, 2.4-liter four-cylinder, and 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbo. Front drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available. Six- and eight-speed automatic transmissions are offered.
The T5 is turbocharged and produces 240 horsepower, while the T6 is turbo- and supercharged at the same time, producing 302 horsepower.
Prices range from $36,600 for the T5 Drive-E FWD, to $51,300 for a fully loaded T6 Drive-E AWD R-Design Platinum. Models build on the previous level, with certain packages and trims available only for specific models.
For this report, I drove an XC60 T6 AWD Drive-E ($43,350) with a Platinum trim package for $4,400.
Our engine was a 2.0-liter super/turbocharged four-cylinder, connected to an eight-speed Geartronic automatic transmission with Advanced Quick Shift.
The supercharger starts immediately, while the turbo is activated when airflow builds up, providing the sensation of a larger, naturally aspirated engine, but with improved economy and reduced weight.
Advanced Quick Shift operates when the transmission is in sport mode or when using paddle shifters, producing faster gear changes by up to 50 percent between first and second, and 30 percent from second through sixth, upping the XC60’s sport factor and producing fantastic acceleration.
Stop-Start technology turned off the engine to conserve fuel when the XC60 came to a stop. EPA fuel economy estimates for my tester were 19 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway. Driving mostly on the highway, I averaged 22 mpg, which is the EPA combined estimate
The full-time all-wheel drive featured Instant Traction to deliver the best grip in any road condition by transferring power to the wheels with the best grip and reducing power if a tire loses traction.
My XC60 had Hill Start Assist, Roll Stability Control, and antilock braking with Ready Alert. Ready Alert anticipates the need for a quick stop, and moves the brake pads closer to the discs. We experienced this quick-stop feature when a car stopped suddenly in our path.
Corner Traction Control, as part of the Dynamic Stability and Traction Control system, helped maintain the desired path on winding and/or wet surfaces by applying brakes to the inner drive wheels and more power to the outer drive wheels, increasing confidence – especially on unfamiliar country roads.
Volvo is all about safety, and my XC60 had lots of standard safety equipment and technology, including whiplash-protection front seats, front side air bags and full-length side-curtain air bags. Volvo’s City Safety is a collision warning and mitigation system with automatic braking designed to be effective in low-speed driving where vehicles are close together and often make unexpected moves.
Adaptive cruise control with queue assist, collision warning with full auto brake, pedestrian/cyclist detection with auto brake, distance alert, lane-departure warning, driver alert control (warns if you need a break), active high beams, and road sign information (reads directly from the road sign using sensors, instead of relying on GPS info) were included in a Technology Package, part of the Platinum trim package.
The XC60 received a rare “Good” rating in all of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, and a “Superior” for its frontal crash-prevention technology, as well as a five-star rating in government crash testing.
Sensus (Volvo’s infotainment/connection technology) is standard, with a 7-inch color LCD monitor (angled toward the driver and oriented vertically, helping to eliminate glare); CD with WMA and MP3 capability; HD radio, satellite radio; USB and auxiliary inputs; Bluetooth hands-free phone and streaming audio; smartphone apps integration including remote engine start (Sensus Connect with unlimited data and in-car WiFi hotspot), incoming texts; voice commands; and navigation with 24/7 weather (7-day forecast), local search (with turn-by-turn guidance), Yelp (restaurants, shopping, and more), Send-to Car (directions sent from smartphone, tablet or laptop), and Glympse GPS location sharing with real-time updates.
With all this technology, the audio controls were an “old school” phone-style keypad with surrounding buttons on the center stack, simple and easy to use (thank you). The location of the controls for more-complicated functions on the center stack was a little unhandy and didn’t include a more up-to-date touch pad. Climate controls were straightforward, and a “mode man” pictogram showed exactly which area was being targeted.
With the rear seat folded, the cargo area was an impressive 67 cubic feet. Cargo space behind the upright seats was 30.8 cubic feet, a nice size for a luxury SUV.
Our ride was smooth and very comfortable, the interior was inviting and elegant, and Volvo has stepped up the attractiveness all around.
With the base price of $43,350, $8,160 in options, and $995 destination charges, the total sticker price for my Volvo XC60 T6 was $52,505.
The automotive columns of Emma Jayne Williams have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 2007. Contact her at email@example.com.