CNHI News Service


January 28, 2013

Volvo XC60 has luxury feel, plenty of power



When I think of Volvo cars, only one thing comes to mind: safety.

It's easy to imagine a bunch of Volvo engineers huddled around a cup

of coffee discussing whether they could install an airbag into a

cupholder and how to make the radio buttons cause fewer injuries.

Volvo is obsessive about things like that.

Driving the XC60 this past week, though, I was reminded that this is a

company known for building luxury cars, too.

Part of that comes from its feeling of solidity. Most cars these daysEven putting all its safety features aside — things like automatic

braking, sensors that see pedestrians, and its ability to read road

signs — it's still one really, really nice ride.

put their focus on fuel economy, so they start to feel flimsy and

hollowed out in an effort to save weight.

The XC60 isn't like that. Its heavy, massive doors close with the kind

of bank-vault thud more commonly found in $100,000 Mercedes sedans. It

feels like you're driving in a tank, wrapped in a cocoon of

high-strength steel.

Gas mileage suffers a bit as a result. It's rated for 25 mpg on the

highway and 19 in city driving, and slightly worse with all-wheel


The driving feel, though, is phenomenal — assuming you opt for the

turbocharged engine.

Some Volvos I've driven in the past have felt underpowered, but the

3.0-liter, six-cylinder turbo engine in my test vehicle made it feel

like a sports car, with 300 horsepower on tap. Even the base engine

makes 240 horses.

With a taut suspension and sensitive steering, it leaves a

surprisingly sporty impression for something so obviously designed for

family-hauling duties. The powerful engine's roar and zippy feeling in

corners almost make you forget that the XC60 has built-in booster

seats for children.

And that brings us to the heart of the stereotypical Volvo, which is

its ridiculously well-thoughy-out list of safety technology.

Some of its standard features include Ready Alert Brakes, a system

that primes the car for heavy braking if it senses a collision is

imminent, and City Safety, which will automatically stomp on the

brakes to avoid a low-speed wreck.

One optional feature on the XC60 is Road Sign Information, something

I'd never seen before on any car. It uses a video camera to scan the

road signs ahead of you — particularly the speed limits and "no

passing" signs — and displays them in a digital readout in the

instrument panel.

If you've ever forgotten what the speed limit was on a given stretch

of road, you can just look down at the dash and see it. If you choose,

you can also set it to give you an audible warning when you break the

speed limit.

Pricing starts at $34,350 for the base model, or $40,650 for the

turbocharged XC60 with all-wheel drive. It's also available in

325-horsepower R-Design trim for $44,850.

Text Only
  • portraitoflotte.jpg VIDEO: From infant to teen in four minutes

    Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester’s time lapse video of his daughter, Lotte — created by filming her every week from her birth until she turned 14 — has become a viral sensation.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • treadmill-very-fast.jpg Tax deduction for a gym membership?

    April marks another tax season when millions of Americans will deduct expenses related to home ownership, children and education from their annual tax bill. These deductions exist because of their perceived value to society; they encourage behaviors that keep the wheels of the economy turning. So why shouldn't the tax code be revised to reward preventive health?

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 4.49.09 PM.png Train, entertain your pets with these 3 smartphone apps

    While they may not have thumbs to use the phone, pets can benefit from smartphone apps designed specifically for them.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 4.02.29 PM.png VIDEO: Nebraska prom mishap goes viral

    A group of 22 high school students from Pierce, Neb., all decked out in prom finery, took an unplanned dip in a four-foot-deep pond when the bridge they were posing on for pictures gave way. Photos from the incident have gone viral on social media.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 10.43.57 AM.png VIDEO: Amazing dance moves at NCAA title game

    Eye-catching action wasn't confined to the court at AT&T Stadium Monday night during the NCAA Championship game between UConn and Kentucky. This pair -- apparently a father and son -- delighted the crowd during a timeout with some synchronized dance moves.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen shot 2014-04-04 at 3.36.06 PM.png 3 apps to make your flight easier

    Whether you fly once a week for work or once a year for a vacation, you can bet that all areas of your trip are being monitored by smart phones. While it isn't hard to find an app with your flight info, some apps make the process of flying a lot simpler.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • watching-tv.jpg Cutting the cord on cable TV, and not missing it a bit

    Three years ago, Royse City Herald Banner reporter Chris McGathey and his family decided to ditch pay TV in favor of Netflix, Hulu Plus and other cheaper web-based services. It's a decision they haven't regretted.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_amazonfiretv.jpg Amazon introduces Fire TV to challenge Apple in living rooms Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos is stepping up efforts to win over customers in their living rooms with a $99 TV box for watching digitally delivered shows and movies, challenging Apple's TV device.

    April 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • how-i-met-your-mother.jpg Legendary? Breaking down the HIMYM finale on social media

    After nine years and more than 200 episodes, the landmark CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" wrapped up Monday night with several twists in the story that left its fans sharply divided. Here is a sampling of viewer reaction.

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • ent_paltrow.jpg Even in separation, Gwyneth Paltrow makes women feel bad about themselves

    New-agey as it all sounds, Gwyneth Paltrow's sun-dappled breakup announcement is just the same tired keeping up appearances that wives and mothers have long been expected to do.

    March 26, 2014 1 Photo