Danielle Villeneuve

Just Different: 2015.5 Volvo XC60

Be yourself: your parent’s mantra and rally cry of the Volvo driver. Volvo drivers are just different – there’s no positive or negative connotation there. Uniqueness is both a gift and a curse. The 2015.5 Volvo XC60 stakes its claim on offering something a little different. It’s not like those other luxury crossovers. Volvo’s safety-first mindset and differentiating design draw someone who abhors the status quo. There’s a bit of sport thrown in to spice things up, as well. We went behind the Swedish curtain to see what this revised XC60 has to offer.

Volvo XC60 6

Volvo designed the XC60 with simplicity in mind. That’s not to say that the XC60 doesn’t shine. Our tester, in Crystal White Pearl, demonstrates how to sculpt an attractive crossover. At night, the silhouette and wing-like design of the taillights could even be described as sultry. In a world of busy design languages and overpopulated character lines, the Scandinavian minimalism is appreciated. The attractive 20″ TITANIA wheels are a pricey upgrade over the standard 18″ alloys, but they properly fill-out the XC60’s proportions despite contributing to a slightly stiffer ride.

Volvo XC60 7

You’ll find a similar, clean design on the inside as well. Volvo prides itself on quality and comfort and the interior of the XC60 doesn’t fall short on either claim. Choosing an interior color, a task most people think of as humdrum, becomes exciting with Volvo due to the variety of choice. The stunning two-tone interior with optional sport seats catch both your eyes and your bottom. It’s the subtle things that stand out in the XC60; the frameless rearview mirror, the “waterfall” center stack that favors the driver, the simple central dial in the cluster. The XC60 offers plenty of concealed storage as well, like the cubby behind the center stack and cup holders hidden under a retractable cover.

Volvo XC60 12

Keeping safety and family in mind, Volvo offers a curious Climate Package & Child Booster Seats option. This combines everything you’d need to keep the Swedish winter at bay and the little ones safe with two-stage booster seats built into the rear outboard seats and power child locks. While there’s plenty of legroom for children, adults may find the rear seat a bit cramped. Additional safety features are bundled into the optional Blind Spot Information System package. Our tester also featured the $4,400 Platinum trim. Along with a host of convenience options, it includes adaptive cruise control with lane departure warning, collision warning with full automatic braking, pedestrian detection, driver alert control, and rear camera. These systems give the XC60 a Superior front crash prevention rating to go with the IIHS Top Safety Pick + award.

Volvo XC60 8

For the mid-2015 update, Volvo has tweaked their Sensus system and added some new features. Sensus Connect turns the XC60 into a rolling Wi-Fi hotspot. No more worrying about the family burning through your cellphone data cap. The Sensus menus have become more user friendly and streamlined, as well. There’s even an option to change the “theme” of the gauge cluster to further personalize the driver display. Finally, the car has its own app. Volvo On Call can report on the car’s location, fuel level, and control features like door locks and heater settings.

Volvo XC60 5

Volvo believes in engine options. Believe it or not, the XC60 is available with four different engines. Three turbocharged engines, a 2.0L four-cylinder, 2.5L five-cylinder, or 3.0L six-cylinder are available. The fourth option is a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0L four-cylinder. Our tester came equipped with the 3.0L six-cylinder engine with an output of 300 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. Opt for the R-Design and you’ll find even more power. FWD XC60s are graced with an 8-speed automatic, whereas AWD versions make due with 6. The extra drivetrain components and lower gear count account for the drop in mileage. The fuel economy of the XC60 was fair, averaging 19 mpg.

Volvo XC60 2

Fuel economy aside, the transition from one gear to another was smooth and on par with what we expected. The XC60 offers a pleasurable driving experience. It’s calm and composed but remains on-point. With 300hp on tap, the Volvo doesn’t waste any time, either. This T6 AWD definitely won’t put you to sleep. That makes the XC60 a great all-arounder. It’s perfect for those who want something a bit more interesting than a run-of-the-mill crossover, but still demand the safety and comfort of a luxury brand. The Volvo’s multitude of packaging and configuration options also make it flexible. Four engines, two drive trains, and a number of packaging and options mean that the XC60 is endlessly customizable. Different people need different things, and Volvo delivers.

-Danielle Assenheimer

2015.5 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD
 Platinum  $4,400
 Climate Package & Child Booster Seats  $1,550
 Sport Seats  $500
 Blind Spot Information System Package  $900
 Metallic Paint  $500
 20″ TITANIA Alloy Wheels  $1000
Destination Charges  $925
As Tested MSRP $52,225

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