Thursday, May 5, 2016

2016 Volvo XC60 T6 Drive-E Platinum AWD: The Brand’s Five Passenger Crossover


Highlight: Volvo, which is known for safety, offers a built-in child booster seat for the second row.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $52,505 (base non AWD model $37,595)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; power heated outside mirrors; rain sensing wiper system; rear wiper/washer; Volvo’s City Safety low speed collision avoidance system; cornering traction control; stability control system; electric parking brake; LED Daytime running lights; roll stability control; a whiplash protection seating system; and a tire pressure monitoring system

Standard Equipment (Base Model): 18-inch wheels; front wheel drive; black roof rack; front and rear skid plates (for off road driving);an 8-speed automatic transmission; a 3-year/36,000 mile complimentary maintenance; a dual zone automatic climate control system; a start/stop gas saving system; a leather wrapped steering wheel; leather-like seats; power front seats with driver’s memory; a manually-operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; and a 7-inch navigation system

Upgraded Standard Features On T6 Model: leather seats; a keyless ignition system; keyless door locks; a navigation system; and a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder supercharged turbo engine                                            

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: 19-inch wheels; Platinum package: power programmable tailgate, active dual Xenon headlights, automatic dimming rearview mirrors, cargo cover, a grocery bag holder, power folding exterior mirrors, power folding rear headrests, an upgraded 12-speaker/650-watt Harman audio system, a radar-activated cruise control system, a collision warning system with full braking, pedestrian/cycling full auto braking system, a lane departure warning system, automatic high beam lights; Climate Package and Child Booster Seats: heated front seats, dual in-vehicle booster seats, heated windshield washer nozzles, an interior air quality system, a heated steering wheel, and a heated windshield; Contour seats with charcoal headliner; metallic paint; and linear walnut wood inlay

Other Trim Level:

T5 Drive-E


T6 Drive-E

T6 AWD R-Design

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 160-watt, 8-speaker AM/FM/CD/HD with satellite radio

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder/240-hp

Towing Capacity: 3,500 lbs

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage:


What’s New: After receiving a mid-model year refresh over the past two years, which included a host of new fuel-efficient engines and styling updates, the XC60 is a basically a carryover for the 2016 model year.

Why: The luxurious, car-like handling of the five passenger crossover is available with four different powertrains and approximately three trim levels. The XC60’s all-wheel drive models are equipped with a 6-speed transmission, while the front-wheel drive models are equipped with the more fuel-efficient, 8-speed transmissions.

In fact, Volvos outfitted with the brand’s relatively new 8-speed signature Drive-E powertrain delivers greater performance by combining Volvo’s standard turbocharged system with a supercharged system. Unlike the brand’s standard turbocharged system, the fuel saving Drive-E powertrain is equipped with a gas saving start-stop feature, which automatically shuts the engine down, when at a complete stop and restarts, when the brake pedal is released.

And depending upon the powertrain, the horsepower ranges from a low of 240 to a high of 302. To accommodate the XC60’s stylish looks, the vehicle can be outfitted by 18-inch, 19-inch or 20-inch wheels.

Volvo, which is known for safety, offers a host of technological advancements, helping to reduce collisions and fatalities. Some of those safety driving aids include a blind spot lane changing warning system, a cross-traffic alert system when backing up, a radar-activated cruise control system, a collision warning all-speed braking system and a merging aid.

While most vehicles can be optioned out with the aforementioned safety aids, the radar-based lane change merging aid, which is exclusive to Volvo owners, is designed to detect traffic from a longer distance, which in turn helps the driver determine if he should enter into traffic as vehicles rapidly approach. Yes, this is a new and innovative feature, which inches us closer to the autonomous driving movement. And as it relates to safety, this is the only vehicle in the segment to offer built-in dual child safety seats.

Furthermore, Volvo is helping their occupants remain connected, while they’re being wrapped in the brand’s state of the art orthopedic seats. The XC60 keeps its occupants wired by offering everything from cloud-based Apps to the internet.

Lastly, the midsize crossover provides a car-like step in height, although the design positions the vehicle to be in the same league as midsize SUVs, which require steps.

But: There isn’t enough legroom in the rear of the cabin. And the infotainment screen it’s too small. Volvo needs to follow the lead of its grown-up sibling the XC90, offering a huge touchscreen infotainment screen. Moreover, the functions to control the audio, navigation and other areas of the vehicle can be quite intimidating. The XC90 controls definitely require a product expert from the dealership to thoroughly explain the operation of the vehicle. We’re hoping the next generation XC90 interior controls are user friendly and does not require one to read an owner’s manual.

Furthermore, why aren’t ventilated front seats available and rear heated seats? Many mainstream brands offer these comfort features on their vehicles. If Volvo is claiming to be a luxury brand, all of the bell and whistles need to be packaged into the XC60.

Verdict: While the XC60 offers a variety of powertrains and a quirky infotainment system, which requires additional training just to master the use, the overall luxurious ride and the car-like ride height make this a worthy competitor in the five passenger crossover segment.

Competition: Acura RDX; Audi Q5; BMW X3; Lexus NX; and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class


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