Make and model: Volvo XC60 T5 Luxury Drive-E
Engine type: 1969cc, Transverse mounted direct injection four-cylinder, 16 valve DOHC turbocharged petrol engine, with start/stop technology; front-wheel drive.
Power: 180kW @ 5500rpm
Torque: 350Nm @ 1800-4800rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed adaptive Geartronic automatic with sports mode with steering-wheel mounted gear shift paddles.
Fuel consumption: 7.0 litres (combined)
Dimensions: 4644mm long, 1891mm wide, 1713mm high and 2774mm wheelbase
Suspension: Front: Coil over strut Rear: Multi-link system.
Steering: Rack and pinion
Country of Origin: Belgium
The freshly revised XC60 is Volvo’s contribution to the jostling premium SUV sector and, as the Swedish brand is pumping its models full of more style, performance and technology. We thought we’d see what’s what by testing the mid-spec XC60 T5 Luxury with Drive-E stop start fuel saving technology.
What we like:
• Fuel consumption
• Build quality
• Head lamps
• Rear booster seats
Not so much:
• Torque steer
• No front parking sensors
• Specification levels
• Navigation and some information systems tricky to use
• Interior lacks storage cubby holes
Price and Equipment
The XC60 range starts at $57,890, exclusive of government costs, for the entry level T5 Kinetic. The T5 Luxury Drive-E, starts at $62,890 and adds push button start with Volvo’s Personal Car Communicator, an alarm, satellite navigation with voice control, cornering headlights with washers and a power passenger seat to the list of standard features that includes: Adaptive Digital Display with Active 8" TFT Display, City Safety, rain sensor with Tunnel Detection, climate control, Sensus infotainment system, bluetooth and audio streaming, power tailgate, leather upholstery, power driver’s seat, rear parking camera and rear parking sensors.
The car tested also featured optional heated seats for $375 and metallic paint for $1750.
The XC60’s interior design is generally clean, tasteful and aesthetically fuss free. The dash features tasteful silver inlays and is angled towards the driver and, personally, we prefer it to the unusual asymmetrical design in the S60 and V60 models in which the XC60 shares many components.
The thick rimmed steering wheel with shift paddles is satisfying to behold and to the touch but, it lacks “answer” and “end call” buttons. Instead, the driver must use buttons on the centre stack-overlooking safety as the driver is forced to take their hands off the wheel. Although the voice control is highly effective and does have a dialling function.
Additionally, the Sensus Connect infotainment system doesn’t offer touch capability. Users must scroll through functions which include WiFi and internet based applications using knobs on the centre stack and the mobile phone style keypad. Conceptually a little dated, perhaps, but its workings are fairly easy to learn.
Volvo’s digital instrumentation read out is crisp and easy to read and there are three different themes: Eco, Elegance and Performance which can be selected according to the driver’s personal preference.
However, graphics on the infotainment screen are high definition and there are three-dimensional maps when the satellite navigation is put to use, and there are also traffic updates, to make planning trips that little bit easier.
All-round visibility is impressive and makes good use of the car’s elevated ride height and seating position. Speaking of seating, all pews are firm, but comfortable and supportive. Front seats are electrically adjustable, with optional seat heating and the driver’s seat has three memory settings.
In the rear row, the seats of course fold down and the outboard rear seats have inbuilt (and easy to use) child boosters which reflects the car’s family focus.
Legroom up front is more than acceptable, rear legroom is best described as sufficient for adults but, said quarters could be a bit of a squeeze if one needs to install car seats for small children. Headroom, through, is exceptional for all passengers, even those exceed six-feet.
Despite stylish appearances, excellent fit and finish, comfort and headroom, the biggest gripe with the XC60’s cabin is the lack of oddment storage. The glove box is only average, the centre console is a little small and the door bins are large but they don’t have bottle holders. In a car that could very well spend a good portion of its life carting families and their small children around, useful cubby holes should be a priority in order to cart around their paraphernalia.
The boot is a decent size at 650 litres which can be expanding by folding the rear seats with a 40/20/40 split configuration and the remote tail gate that makes loading bulky cargo that little bit easier. However, it doesn’t have a foot operated opening sensor, so even if one’s hands are full, they still must push the button on the keyfob.
Engine and Transmission
The XC60 T5’s drivetrain consists of a smooth and decisive an eight speed Geartronic automatic that stirs the 2.0 litre engine that develops 180kW @ 5500rpm and 350Nm @ 1800-4800rpm commendably.
The mechanical combo is tuned for both spritely performance and economy. The self-shifting transmission quickly progresses to the higher gears and, the first three ratios are very short indeed.
Similarly, the Start Stop technology prevents wasteful fuel consumption when stationary. The system was generally quick to respond, with the four-pot motor firing into life as soon as one lifts their foot off the brake pedal and, the ECO+ mode can reduce consumption by an additional 5%.
Volvo says that the XC60 T5 Luxury can hit 0-100 in 7.2 seconds. In the real world these figures are a little meaningless, however, the SUV does provide ample acceleration and excellent overtaking power.
Engine noise is suitably quiet at cruising speeds, but can become aurally harsh higher up in the rev range. Power delivery can also be a little abrupt, with the turbo boosting proceedings in an immediate “on/off” manner, rather than gradually.
Ride and Handling
The XC60’s handling is generally safe and secure. It’s not sporty, but nor does it lean excessively.
Additionally, ride is a little firm but comfortable. Minor road imperfections do make their way into the cabin but at the same time, the XC60’s suspension set up isn’t so soft that it wallows and thumps over broken road surfaces. It’s a happy medium.
In a similar fashion, steering feel is a touch heavy but is fluent and communicative. It would benefit from being lighter in low speed parking situations.
A black mark on the whole driving experience is notably torque steer: prod the accelerator and the steering wheel squirms from left to right and, this could very well be a consequence of channelling 180 kilowatts through the front wheels.
The XC60 is one of Volvo’s safest models. The firm’s City Safety system-which can automatically apply the brakes to avoid low speed impact is standard across the range, as are anti-lock brakes (ABS); Trailer Stability Assist (TSA); Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD); Emergency Brake Assist (EBA).
Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC); Roll Stability Control (RSC) are also part of the active package.
The XC60 features a number of standard safety features: driver and front passenger dual-stage airbags, two full-length curtain airbags, Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) including SIPS airbags in front seats; Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS); Intelligent Driver Information System (IDIS). A high quality dual-stage reversing camera and in addition to rear parking sensors help to avoid obstacles.
Disappointingly, some of the XC60’s advanced safety features such as queue assist with pedestrian and cyclist detection, automatic brake and adaptive cruise control are bundled into an expensive $6,250 package. Some of which-especially pedestrian and cyclist detection-should be standard.
Likewise, blind spot monitoring and cross traffic alert are an extra $1,275, should come as part of the off-the shelf XC60 package.
Verdict: Well made, safe, zippy, frugal and stylish, the Volvo XC60 should be a consideration for those after a multi-talented SUV.
Overall score: 16/20
For pics, click here: http://themotoringguru.com/2014/09/17/reviewed-volvo-xc60-t5-luxury-drive-e/
Questions, comments and feedback welcomed1