Volvo XC60 T6 Review
XCeeding the norm

Story by Azfar Hashim, Jarvis Seo and Jeremy R. Chua. Pictures by Azfar Hashim
21 Feb 2009

Need an SUV to keep your family safe in town? Here's the Volvo XC60...

The Ed says...

It’s time for a new car. But you don’t want a car this time. You want a change and you quite fancy an off-roader. The trouble is, you’re worried you’ll end up with something that handles like a bendy bus. Well, fear not and say hello to the Volvo XC60 – the SUV that thinks it’s a car. Actually, make that the SUV that thinks it’s a hot-hatch.

This model was introduced just last year, so you’ll be buying something that still has its milk teeth, yet has plenty of bite. Our regular three lads – The Ed, Jarvis and Jeremy – give you their personal take on this much-lauded SUV.

I’ll ‘fess up – I’m never fond of SUVs, and can never imagine myself ever owning one. Yeah sure, I’m sounding like a critical Greenpeace activist, but honestly, I can never fathom to that thought. While its tall height gives you a commanding view of the road, and the muscular outlook gives you a machismo image, it saps out all the driving fun by having too much body-roll and how can we forget, not-so-earth-friendly economy.

But with this Volvo XC60, I seem to have a soft spot (I’m still not giving in yet though).

I’ll start with the outlook and tell you why I think it could potentially convert executive sedan drivers into SUV owners. It has the height of your typical SUV, but at the same time, the silhouette of a coupe – making it stand out, particularly in the sea of SUVs you normally see in car parks.

Dimension wise, the XC60 is 4,628mm long, 1,713mm tall and 1,891mm wide. While it’s smaller than the XC90, it’s still significantly larger than the Land Rover Freelander 2 and BMW X3. The rear, which I find the most prolific, takes the cake for thinking out of the box – especially those svelte tail lights which bring out the broad shoulders very well. Plus, those twin exhaust pipes should be able to warn tailgaters that the XC60 is no ordinary SUV. Up front, the XC60 gets a less angular face that sees cool LED lights placed between the trapezoidal grill and curvy headlamp, while a closer scrutiny should show off the finer details of the bumper. Those 19-inch rims wrapped in 235/55 R-19 rubbers tops off the exterior aesthetic nicely…

Inside, the XC60 has the typical fundamentals of a Volvo – solid, well put together and simply premium. Storage areas are in abundance, leg, shoulder and head rooms are ample, with a sprawling bootspace to boot (no pun intended). Even the seats are nicely contoured, with the rear seats able to seat three full-sized adults with ease. The floating center console remains, and the controls are well laid out for the driver. It doesn’t lack in feature either – premium eight-speaker audio system (with iPod and auxiliary input), power seats for both driver and front passenger, reverse camera, Bluetooth handsfree system and rear air-con vents (on the B-pillars) all come standard in the XC60.

The XC60 is propelled by a 2,953cc 6-cylinder turbocharged powerplant, and mated to a 6-speed Geartronic automatic transmission, produces a potent 285bhp at 5,600rpm, with 400Nm of torque kicking in from as low as 1,500rpm. Power is transmitted to all four wheels, pushing this 1.9 tonne SUV from zero to hero in a scanty 7.5 seconds before it gets pushed to a limited 210km/h. So how’s that for an SUV? Impressive eh?

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