ON SALE in Australian showrooms since February 2009, the Volvo XC60 range has established itself as one of the mainstays of the Swedish automaker’s local line-up.
Boasting a sharp design, a rugged image, strong powertrains and a healthy dose of family-friendly features, the XC60 has endeared itself to middle-class families and those with “active” lifestyles alike.
Powered by a range of thrifty diesels and grunty petrol engines, Volvo’s compact SUV has a lot to offer.
The XC60 is the first Volvo model to usher in the company’s new corporate ‘look’, with strong, muscular lines and sculptural curves giving the new SUV a more dynamic appearance than Volvos of old.
Four headlamp units flank the brand’s “Iron Mark” grille (the inner ones are LED parking lamps) and the tall tail lamps use LEDs and fibre-optics to create its distinctive .light bars.
Black plastic cladding covers the lower reaches of each bumper as well as the sideskirts, a set of alloy-faced side steps are available as options. Alloy-look bumper garnishes can also be opted for, and provide a small degree of protection from minor bumps and scrapes.
Roof rails are standard equipment.
The base 3.2 litre petrol and D5 diesel are fitted with 17-inch alloys, while the up-spec LE versions of both get 18-inch alloy wheels. The T6 comes with 18-inch alloys, while the range-topping T6 R-Design is equipped with its own unique 18-inch wheel design.
Inside, the XC60 offers enough room for five people and their luggage.
Leather upholstery is standard, and the 3.2 petrol and D5 feature aluminium trim on the centre stack. The LE variants and the T6 come get light oak trim as a no-cost option, while the T6 R-Design features special “Deco” trim material instead.
The driver’s seat is power-adjustable on the 3.2 petrol, D5 diesel and T6, while LE models get a power passenger seat as standard.
The steering wheel adjusts for both reach and rake, and also carries buttons for the stereo and cruise control.
The rear bench features ISOFIX child seat anchorages on each outboard seat (as well as the usual child seat tether points), and also incorporates built-in booster seats for small children.
Modestly-sized storage bins are built into each door, and there’s a generous amount of storage room in the centre console, front seatback pockets, glovebox and behind the floating centre stack.
The 40/20/40 split rear seatback folds flush with the boot floor, and so does the front passenger seat. With all seatbacks up there’s 490 litres of boot space, but fold them all down and a huge area is opened up.
Beneath the boot floor is a shallow tray for smaller items, while a 12V power outlet is also provided for devices like portable fridges.
As an added bonus the tailgate is power-operated on all models, making loading the boot an easier task for those of shorter stature.
Standard equipment across the range includes climate control, a trip computer, rear parking sensors, a self-dimming rearview mirror, power-retractable heated wing mirrors and cruise control.
A single disc, six-speaker MP3-compatible CD tuner is the base stereo on offer, with the LE and T6 models gaining a six-CD stacker, USB auxillary input and eight powerful speakers.
The LE variants of the D5 and 3.2 petrol also get an pollution-removing interior air filter, front and rear parking sensors, rain sensing wipers and a panoramic glass sunroof.
Bluetooth phone integration, satellite navigation, and a reversing camera are all available as optional extras.
Safety equipment is comprehensive, with technology such as stability control, traction control and ABS with brake assist standard across the XC60 range.
Volvo’s City Safety system is also standard fit on all models, and automatically brakes the car when it detects an imminent collision with a vehicle ahead. It works at speeds up to 30km/h, and is capable of avoiding an accident altogether if the speed differential between both cars is less than 15km/h.
Optional safety features include lane departure warning, a blind spot monitoring system and radar-assisted cruise control.
Active safety features include a full complement of front, front side and curtain airbags, as well as front pretensioning seatbelts. Volvo’s anti-whiplash technology is standard, as is an extra-strong passenger safety cell.
There are three powertrains on offer in the Volvo XC60 – a 3.2 litre petrol inline six, a 2.4 litre turbodiesel inline five and a turbocharged 3.0 litre petrol inline six.
The 3.2 litre petrol develops 175kW at 6200rpm and 320Nm at 3200rpm. Average fuel consumption is a claimed 11.5 l/100km on the combined cycle, and the inline six is capable of launching the XC60 to 100km/h in 9.4 seconds.
Volvo radically updated the D5 engine late last year, gifting it with two turbochargers, more power and more torque.
A total of 151kW and 420Nm is now generated by the D5 engine, with the former available at 4000rpm and the latter between 1500-3250rpm.
Fuel consumption for the new D5 is claimed to be 7.6 l/100km on the combined cycle – 0.7 l/100km better than the engine it replaced.
The T6 engine offers the most performance, with 210kW and 400Nm on offer from its three-litre capacity. Fuel consumption is the highest at 11.9 l/100km, but acceleration is the briskest: the T6 can sling the XC60 to 100km/h in just 7.5 seconds.
All engines are mated to a tiptronic six-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is a standard feature of all XC60 models too, with a Haldex rear coupling directing up to 50 percent of drive to the rear wheels in slippery conditions.
Under normal driving conditions, 95 percent of drive is sent to the front wheels.
Volvo’s Four-C high-performance suspension package is available as an option on the XC60, and incorporates electronically-adjustable dampers that can be configured for sport, comfort, or left to automatically find the best compromise between the two.
In ‘Sport’ mode, Four-C also tightens up steering feel, brake pedal response, throttle mapping and the stability control system to help impart a ‘sportier’ feel.
The XC60 range starts at $56,950 for the 3.2 petrol, rising to $69,125 for the flagship XC60 T6 R-Design. For full retail pricing, see below.
Volvo XC60 3.2: $56,950
Volvo XC60 D5: $58,950
Volvo XC60 3.2 LE: $63,450
Volvo XC60 D5 LE: $65,450
Volvo XC60 T6: $64,950
Volvo XC60 T6 R-Design: $69,125
The Drive Assist package, which incorporates the Lane Departure Warning system, adaptive cruise control and Blind Spot Information System, costs $5190 on the 3.2 petrol and D5, and $4990 on the 3.2 LE, D5 LE and T6.
Sat-nav, Bluetooth integration, a reversing camera and active cornering lights are available in the Teknik package, which costs $4990 on the 3.2, 3.2 LE, D5 and D5 LE, and $3990 on the T6 models.