Volvo XC60 T6 Review: XCeeding the norm

Volvo XC60 T6 Review: XCeeding the norm

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
21 Feb 2009
The last T6-powered Volvo I drove (the first-gen S80 T6) was powerful, but it definitely feels sedate compared to this...
What we like:
pros
Solid
pros
well-built SUV that's also stunning to look at. Potent powerplant and decent handling for its size.  And those comfortable seats...
What we dislike:
cons
Slightly off-center seating position for the driver. Potentially thirsty when it comes to fuel consumption.

The small LCD monitor remains blank until you engage reverse, and when you do, it flickers to life as the display for the reversing camera. But aside from this, our press car was unfortunately devoid of any other “toys”, such as GPS navigation, or even a sunroof for that matter.

The raft of safety features built into the XC60 however, are too numerous to even bear mentioning. You could probably roll this car over five times, plunge it into Bedok Reservoir, and still emerge unscathed.

What is worth mentioning however is the City Safety system. The XC60 can automatically brake and come to a complete halt (only from a maximum of 15km/h) if the car senses an obstruction ahead and the driver hasn’t depressed the brake. It’s great, but personally, I think this system only serves to encourage drivers who insist on using their cell phones while driving.

An SUV weighing in at 1,900kg is pretty hefty. But with the XC60’s 3.0-liter inline-6 powerplant (with a twin-scroll turbocharger bolted on), it is capable of 285hp. Also, it musters 400Nm of torque from as low as 1,500rpm, all the way up to 4,800rpm - the powerplant is very tractable, and only runs out of puff near redline. For a heavy SUV, the XC60 is fast. The last T6-powered Volvo I drove (the first-gen S80 T6) was powerful, but it definitely feels sedate compared to this.

In their quest to make the XC60 handle better, Volvo’s engineers also stiffened the suspension to lessen the amount of body roll. Despite these efforts, you can’t defeat the fact that this is a tall vehicle – lean is just inevitable. But I’m happy to report that overall handling was still considerably better than anticipated.

The XC60 makes a good case for those in the market for a luxury SUV. Not only is it one of the safest cars around - its looks alone could be reason enough for buyers to order one…

Volvo finally jumped onto the mid-size SUV bandwagon, and the XC60 proves that sometimes, you just have to be honest when coming up with an SUV. It has all the elements to impress buyers looking around in this segment, and in all honesty, the asking price makes it a very tempting proposition.

It succeeded with the XC90, and it is set to repeat itself with the XC60. Looking at the order books, it seems many understood the value-for-money factor. Although it looks more suited for the urban jungle, it has the capability to go off the beaten path.

Well done, Volvo.

Credits: Story by Azfar Hashim, Jarvis Seo and Jeremy R. Chua. Pictures by Azfar Hashim

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