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Volvo XC60 Review: Volvo XC60 Review

Volvo XC60 Review

By Aditya Chatterjee; 22nd October, 2011
Introduction

Volvo XC60 Review: The Sophisticated, Compact and Safe SUV

With ruling issues of traffic chaos, parking issues and other conveniences the practicality of small car can’t be neglected and thus, we see all the major car companies jumping the small car bandwagon. However in this scenario, we have totally lost the focus from bigger luxurious cars, especially luxury SUVs. In India, the high-end SUV space has lots of players which include BMW, Audi, and Land Rover. Volvo is one more name among them.

Volvo entered India with its heavy duty truck range followed by buses (India is the only country where you will find travel service being highlighted with the manufacturer name, Volvo and charging premium from customers). Throughout the world, almost all can vouch for the safety standards that Volvos are famous for.

Joining the brigade of compact SUVs is the new Volvo XC60 which made a debut on Indian shores end 2010. The XC60 is Volvo`s answer to Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Land Rover Freelander2. We take the Volvo XC60 D5 AWD variant and find out whether it really stands tall with its rivals.

Volvo XC60

Exterior

The Volvo XC60 has a very aggressive front look as compared to the others in its class. The chrome chunky logo sits firm on the traditional trapezoidal grille. A V-pattern can be easily observed in the entire front design line. The flared up side profile gives the junior Volvo a bigger SUV look. 

Volvo XC60

The bifocal Xenon dual lamps are not too stretched and fit just right. The turn indicators integrated with the front light assembly completes the arch of the headlight curve, its subtle positioning is the best I feel. Volvo XC60 has a longish bonnet, with a firm shoulder line which runs through the front and climbs its way up to rear boot.

Day running LED strips which are parallel to the chrome lining of the radiator grille also contribute to the overall V-shaped theme of the front.

Contours made on the front bumper run down from the headlights to the lower line. The positioning of the side air takes on the front bumper is very relaxed. It’s situated at the extreme ends on both sides.

The exterior dimensions of the Volvo include 4627mm length which is lesser as compared to the X3 and Q5. 2120mm width, which is more than that of Q5 and X3 and 2774mm wheelbase, which is lesser than the Q5 and X3.

The ground clearance of this low slung Volvo XC60 is 230 mm, more than its rivals Q5 – 201mm and the X3-203mm.

Side profile of XC60 is very interesting as the lines run in an ascending manner. The Chrome lining that starts from the front window goes right upto the rear quarter panel. The parallel roof-rails are in contrast with the paint scheme. While the front is low slung, it’s complemented by the raised rear end with those flowing tail lamps.

Volvo offers the XC60 in 9 colors which are the Flemenco Red metallic, Terra Bronze metallic, Cosmic White metallic, Silver metallic, Seashell metallic, Ice White, Seville Grey metallic, Black Sapphire metallic and Barents blue metallic. We drove the Black Sapphire metallic shade.

The chrome laden Volvo syllables sit on the tail gate. The flowing tail lamps are quite a sight in the evenings. Something which we didn’t like in the exteriors were the exhaust mufflers, it should have been integrated with the rear bumper. In India, cars half the price of it have that arrangement these days.

Volvo XC60

The 17” wheels give a nice side profile. The “XC” syllables embossed on the wheels in a nice touch .The overall design of the Volvo XC60 has been made to create a motion-when-standing look.

Interior

As soon as you enter the Volvo XC60, you won’t feel anything massive or chunky - instead, the interiors have a sober touch of class to it. Volvo have put in some good effort in raising the fit and finish of the interiors but then it takes a lot to match up with the BMW X3's interior levels. 

Volvo XC60

The first thing that comes to your sight is the floating centre console in a classic wooden finish, which also is tilted slightly to ease the driver all the access for different controls. Its design lines just flow down like a waterfall from the centre dash.

Volvo XC60 seats 5 people. The stepless lumbar supported seats have 3 position memory settings meaning, you can save upto 3 different seating positions in its memory. The seats are power adjustable and have a 40/20/40 split folding rear seats.

The legroom and the headroom proportions are very generous. No matter if you have a larger or smaller build, the seating positions take care of your driving comfort. 

The Leather Soft Beige with classic wood centre console interior looks the best among all the other options being offered such as Leather Offblack/Soft beige with brushed Aluminium centre console, Leather Offblack with Nordic Light Oak centre console and Leather Soft Beige/Espresso brown with Nordic Light Oak centre console.The interior trims have an aluminium line running on them which blends with the door handles.

Volvo XC60

The Centre console houses the central Infotainment screen followed by the AC vents, CD player, controls for the central infotainment system, Automatic Climate control, Park Assist, Hill Decent control, Media selection, Phone pairing, the navigation system and all this is concluded by my favorite part , the three buttons namely Comfort, Sport and Advanced.

These buttons are not just fancy but do their part for sure too. Comfort is basically for irregular roads, Sport as the name suggests and Volvo puts it, is for “Active” driving and then Advanced, which is the high performance mode of the car.

The 4 spoked leather clad steering wheel has controls mounted on it, which facilitates enabling the cruise control and also operating the music system. Hidden after the steering wheel, are the 2 levers, the one on the left helps you to surf thru the different options on the instrument cluster like Distance to empty, average speed, average fuel consumption, instantaneous fuel consumption along with reading the warning messages. The panoramic sunroof is one more mention in the interiors; it can be opened in a semi or a full way depending on the need and the mood. The sunroof can be operated with just a touch of the finger tip.

In dark conditions, the lights have a very lounge effect be it the illuminated vanity mirrors or the map reading lights which subtly dim down.The Glove box could carry one 1L bottle of mineral water and the owners pouch. We also could snug in some documents in that area.The central aisle is equipped with 2 cup holders and a roll-top cover. The Central armrest also has provisions for keeping important documents and essential commodities. It also has USB port connectivity and AUX inputs fitted in there. 

The rear seat armrest houses 2 cup holders and also has storage for some documents and necessary papers.The Luggage space is a generous 495 litres meaning those long trips don’t have to be planned any more, you can just throw in anything in that big luggage space and move out. The list of features that the VolvoXC60 is equipped with is very hefty. The music system is a kicker as it has 8 high performance loud speakers with iPod connectivity, USB, AUX, Radio and Bluetooth enabled.

Volvo XC60

The instrument cluster features speedometer and the tachometer along with active independent trip meters T1/T2, the fuel gauge with a symbol showing which side is the fuel cap located, low fuel indicator, clock , and warning messages that the car displays to communicate with the driver.

The infotainment system was a very positive system as it was extremely user friendly. It’s a premium car but still the features or the system won’t compel you to refer the owner’s manual every now and then. The infotainment system could also be operated from the steering controls. 

We were gaga about all the features of the Infotainment system until we switched on the Navigation System. The Navigation system in this is a total turn off. It’s not user friendly at all. You have to surf through different and tiresome options to finally get what you want only to the discontent of it not being there. The system failed to guide us out of the city, so ultimately we ended up paying fines for wrong lanes and continued to use just the music system of it.

The auto dimmer equipped rear view mirrors are very useful when travelling on highways, especially as these days almost every high end car is equipped with projector lamps which cause stress when driving at night.

The Electronic Climate control when set, cooled the cabin very adequately. You have to press the head, the body or the legs of the “guy” to choose from the different cooling styles. By “guy”, I mean the chrome buttons which look like a person sitting sideways. The second row cooling is done through vents provided on b-pillar.

The rear park assist with camera automatically gets activated while maneuvering the vehicle in reverse, though the camera view is not very effective at night as much as it is during the day conditions. The park assist which uses sensors located at front and rear help to warn the driver of any obstacle in front or the rear of the vehicle. When crossing toll nakas, the park assist can be very irritating as the toll boots are very narrow.

Power retractable door mirrors with ground lighting - this feature is very useful when you have parked your car in mall parkings. As soon as you lock the vehicle, through the remote, the mirrors automatically fold in the inner direction until the vehicle is unlocked next time.

Volvo XC60

Some other features which can be mentioned are the auto rain sensor wipers, Power operated tail gate, power terminals at different sections of the vehicle including the rear luggage area.

Performance

We drove the Volvo XC60 D5 AWD diesel variant of its big lineup. The Volvo XC60 D5 AWD has a 5 cylinder turbo diesel 2400cc engine, which can produce a power of 205 bhp at 4000 rpm and a torque of 420Nm at 1500 – 3000 rpm. The D5 comes with a 6 speed Geartronic transmission. Volvo claims 0-100 km/hr in 8.3 seconds.  

Volvo XC60

The D5 features the sequential twin-turbo, the low pressure turbo charger is engaged in lower revs. The sudden splurge can be felt at initial take off due to this. The high pressure turbo charger is engaged at higher revs.The figures for the Volvo XC60 speaks volume but is the drive as good? Yes indeed, is our answer.

The super stylish look of an SUV, The figures of a SUV but the SUV factor ends there. When you get in the XC60, it feels more of a sedan than a SUV. The power steering and the other driver support functions make maneuvering this vehicle a breeze. We were travelling in Mumbai traffic which has its generous shares of jams everywhere but not once were we made to realize about the nature and size of the vehicle we were driving.

The low slung height of the XC makes driving a sporty experience. The Start/Stop button activated ignition has a very soft feel. When you try and push the XC, the turbo notes come out as music. Push the throttle harder and you can hear the roar of this baby Volvo SUV. I was not a big Automatic transmission fan but the Volvo XC60 changed my perception towards auto transmission vehicles.

You can shift from auto transmission to manual 6-speed geartronic shift just with a swift slide to the right. The Shift is so smooth that you won’t feel any difference while driving the vehicle. We used the manual transmission and the Sport mode mainly as these are the most fun combinations on the XC60.

The different modes as mentioned earlier, Comfort, Advanced and Sport are very active and you can literally feel the change in the vehicle dynamics during driving. “Comfort”, when the road conditions went little off the tarmac. “Sports” gets the dampening little bit stiffer and it acts at a faster rate. The Sports mode is the mode for the very sharp maneuvers you wish to make. The “Advanced” mode makes the dampening to its max stiffness level. The Advanced dampeners stiffness is more than Comfort levels thus obtaining the best vehicle dynamics.

Volvo XC60

We couldn’t play with the cruise control for long as traffic these days makes it totally impossible to drive with cruise controls; the small patch that we did use it for was satisfying.

Volvo XC60 is not for those who are the i-can-go-anywhere types. If all the travelling you do is smooth road, the XC is yours, However, the XC doesn’t perform well on off roads. The 230mm wheelbase despite being more than its rivals still won’t give you the adventure element of off road driving. We tried all different combinations but you can literally feel the off road terrain. It’s more of a soft roader than an off-roader.

All the Volvo models have been referred as very safe models and the tradition is accentuated in the XC60. The inner cage of the vehicle is developed by a compact steel mesh. The steel frame structure has been divided into different zones which act according to the type of collision taking place. The entire body of XC60 is made up of 5 different grades of steel along with aluminum and magnesium. 

The different crumple zones help to evenly the distribute impact energy throughout the vehicle. The XC60 incorporates Volvo`s V!VA (That`s not a typo, its pronounced as “viva”) construction which gives more space in the engine bay during an impact as the engine layout is transversal.

The safety belts with pre-tensioners securely hold the passengers during the impact. The dual-stage airbags inflate according to the level of impact or type of collision. The XC is equipped with Driver, passenger and side airbags.

Volvo XC60

Volvo XC60 is equipped with a first in class safety feature called the “City safety”, according to this system, the vehicle when travelling at speeds upto 50km/hr computes the distance between itself and the car ahead at a range of 6 to 8 meters and prepares itself to stop or reduce the speed. The driver is warned about it on the instrument cluster too. This system was very helpful in bumper-to-bumper Mumbai traffic.

Active Bending Lights (ABL) with Dual Xenon technology is a system where the lights turn according to the steering of the vehicle. The motorized lamps can turn upto 15° in either of the directions. These lights proved very helpful to us when travelling in ghats in pitch black conditions.

The Side Impact protection System (SIPS) is another safety feature. This feature helps protect the driver during side impact. As claimed by Volvo the SIPS can help curtail the injuries incurred during side impact by over 40percent.

The inflatable curtains airbags promise special care head protection for both the front and the rear passengers

The WHIPS or the Whiplash protection seating system helps the passenger during a rear end collision. The seats perform a combination of front and upward movements to absorb the impact completely; it also makes sure the head is not jolted in the opposite direction. 

The Dynamic Stability Traction Control (DSTC) automatically regulates the vehicle sensing a sudden skid and it regulates the output or applies the brake on one or more wheels depending on the potential. The Adaptive Cruise control which continuously monitors the car immediately ahead of you and auto adjusts the vehicle speed in sync with the trailing car. The Adaptive Cruise Control System (ACC) works upto a speed of 30 km/hr.

Volvo XC60

The ROPS or the roll over protection System, during a roll over situation, the vehicle uses a gyroscopic arrangement to measure the leaning angle of the vehicle and accordingly the safety pre-tensioners are activated which help to securely hold the passengers. The Inflatable curtains activate to provide more protection to the passengers.

Tech specs
Technical Specifications
 Make Volvo
 Model XC60
Variant D5 AWD(205 hp)
EX-Showroom price Mumbai 41,41,970
Engine name D5 AWD
Type 5 cylinder turbocharged diesel
Power train All wheel drive
Engine displacement 2400
Power in PS/RPM 205/4000
Torque in Nm/RPM 420/1500-3250
Transmission SIX-Speed geartronic transmission
Fuel Tank capacity 70L
Fuel consumption in Litres/100km
Mixed 7.5
City 10.1
Highway 6.1
Dimensions in mm
Length 4627
Width 1888
Height 1713
Wheel base 2815
Ground clearance 230mm
Turning circle Dia 12.1M
Boot space with all seats on in litres 495
Features
Features D5 AWD(205 hp) 33.0TDI Quattro xDrive 30D
Laser assisted automatic braking-City safety Yes No No
Turn-With-Steering light,Active Bending Lights Yes No No
Inteligent Driver Information System Yes No No
Hill Descent control-Forward Yes Yes Yes
Hill Descent control-Reverse Yes No No
Power parking brakes Yes No No
Power tail gate Yes No No
Interior Air Quality System Yes No No
Continuously controlled chassis concept Yes No No
Adaptive cruise control with distance alert Option Only cruise control Only cruise control
Lane departure warning Yes No No
Collision warning with auto brake Option No -
Driver Alert control Yes No No
Personal car communicator
Two way communication+Heart beat sensor Option No No
Safety
Roll stability control Yes No Yes
Side impact protection system Yes No Yes
Roll-over protection system Yes No No
Whiplash protection system Yes No No
Advanced brake technologies Yes ABS With EBD ABS With EBD
Infotainment
Road and traffic information Available No No
Rear parking camera Available Option Option
Front parking camera Available No No
Rear seat entertainment dual screne with dual DVD Player Available Option Option
EX-Showroom price Mumbai 41,41,970 50,72,674 50,05,600
Competition
Specifications
Volvo
XC60
Audi
Q5
BMW
X3
Variant D5 AWD(205 hp) 3.0TDI Quattro xDrive 30D
Engine name D5 AWD 3.0TDI Quattro xDrive 30d
Type 5 cyliner turbocharged diesel 6 Cylinder 6 Cylinder
Power train All wheel drive All wheel drive All wheel drive
Engine displacement (cc) 2400 2967 2993
Power in PS/RPM 205/4000 240/4400 258
Torque in Nm/RPM 420/1500-3250 500/1500-3000 560
Transmission 6-Speed geartronic transmission 7 Speed S tronic 8 Speed automatic transmision
Fuel consumption in Litres/100km,KMPL
Mixed 7.5 LP100KM 12.3 KMPL 12KMPL
Dimensions (mm)
Ground clearance 230 201 203
Length 4627 4629 4569
Width 2120 1880 1853
Height 1713 1653 1674
Wheelbase 2774 2807 2795
Feature
Laser assisted automatic braking-City safety Yes No No
Turn-With-Steering light,Active Bending Lights Yes No No
Inteligent Driver Information System Yes No No
Hill Descent control-Forward Yes Yes Yes
Hill Descent control-Reverse Yes No No
Power parking brakes Yes No No
Power tail gate Yes No No
Interior Air Quality System Yes No No
Continuously controlled chassis concept Yes No No
Adaptive cruise control with distance alert Option Only cruise control Only cruise control
Lane departure warning Yes No No
Collision warning with auto brake Option No -
Driver Alert control Yes No No
Personal car communicator,
Two way communication+Heart beat sensor Option No No
Safety
Roll stability control Yes No Yes
Side impact protection system Yes No Yes
Roll-over protection system Yes No No
Whiplash protection system Yes No No
Advanced brake technologies Yes ABS With EBD ABS With EBD
Infotainment
Road and traffic information Available No No
Rear parking camera Available Option Option
Front parking camera Available No No
Rear seat entertainment dual screne with dual DVD Player Available Option Option
EX-Showroom price Mumbai 41,41,970 50,72,674 50,05,600
Conclusion

The Volvo XC60 is a Volvo finally. The safety standards, features in it are very impressive. It won’t have the highest level of sophistication which the Beemer has but that won’t be a turn down as such. The pricing of the Volvo XC is also on the compact range, when compared with its rivals. We could squeeze in a best mileage of 8.5 KMPL.

The Freelander2 is comparatively a better vehicle if an all terrain vehicle is what you need. The Volvo passenger car brand has still not developed as much as its HCVs in India. Volvo is taking efforts to change this scene by opening more number of dealerships. So yes , Volvo XC60 is a strong recommend if you wish to go for a compact and safe SUV. 

Volvo XC60