There’s excitement in the air at Volvo with the new 2016 XC90 making landfall in Canada recently. And yes, it’s beautiful inside and out, loaded with technology and those Thor’s Hammer running lights are stunning.
While that’s all well and good for bringing Volvo back into the spotlight, let’s not forget about the rest of their lineup, specifically the 2015 XC60 T6, which I recently spent some time in.
The crossover SUV market is competitive and crowded as it is. With all the manufacturers jockeying for market share and bragging rights for being “the best”, Volvo has been chipping away at the stone (probably with Thor’s Hammer) and the XC60 has plenty to offer consumers.
Refreshed for the 2014 model year, the XC60 is Volvo’s “leading actor” in the fleet. It’s good bold looks, strong styling, it’s functional for a couple or a family, it is safe and drives smoothly and it’s got plenty of power. How much power? The T6 FWD Platinum trim comes with a 2.0L turbocharged and supercharged four cylinder engine. Impressive, isn’t it? It gets better. The engine produces a whopping 302 horsepower and 295 lb. ft. of torque and it moves through and eight-speed Geartronic automatic transmission. The best way to maximize all this delightful power is to pop it into Performance mode, which I spent most of the week in. There’s the classic “Elegance” mode and for those who want to maximize fuel efficiency, there’s the good ol’ “Eco” mode.
Volvo has a reputation for having some of the most comfortable seats in the industry so I won’t spend too much time on telling you just how amazing they are.
The automatic start/stop technology is a measure to save fuel when stopped. Some folks love it, some folks, not so much. I’m all about saving fuel when I can, so this feature works for me.
Throughout the vehicle, Volvo has presented the driver with an array of features, including a seven-inch colour centre console display, 18” wheels, paddle shifters, a Harman Kardon premium sound system and a power operated tailgate with programmable memory settings.
The waterfall design isn’t my favourite part of the car (where the climate/audio settings are operated from) only because it feels dated to me. Yes, it’s easy to operate but with the full touchscreen on its big brother, the XC90, perhaps that technology will find its way into the XC60 sooner than later.
On the road, the XC60 is comfortable and smooth in city settings with a quiet cabin and even if you’re stuck in traffic, those oh-so comfortable seats will help keep you calm.
I trekked out to St. Catharines for a day and on longer highway drives, this crossover SUV receives full marks for making an hour plus drive an exercise in driving enjoyment. The steering is firm, response is strong and the high end materials used in the cabin add class to this luxury offering.
The MSRP is $51,950 for this specific XC60 and my tester came with a $1,350 climate package, $1,500 technology package and the BLIS system, worth $1,000. The stand-alone options are $1,000 for active dual xenon headlights with headlight washers and $800 for metallic paint.
All in all, the “as tested” price was $57,600.
Overall, the 2015 XC60 T6 FWD Platinum trim offers great value in this segment for the price. It is incredibly good looking, smart, powerful, practical, has tons of available safety options (and plenty that are built in) and fun to drive. True, Volvo has been the dark horse in the luxury market over the past few years but if they keep crafting vehicles like the XC60 and the XC90, the race for top spot is going to be quite interesting.