2010 Volvo XC60: First Drive


The compact luxury crossover segment is set to rapidly expand with the introduction of all-new models like the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class and Volvo XC60, which I recently drove near San Francisco. As you can imagine, that’s a stunning setting in which to test a new car, and for the most part the all-wheel-drive XC60 was a pleasant companion for the 130 miles I logged behind the wheel.


Our route traversed a variety of roads, from winding mountain two-lanes to freeways and city streets, which provided a good opportunity to see how the XC60 performed in different driving situations. Over the course of the drive, the XC60's standard 281-hp, turbocharged inline-six-cylinder engine proved itself a capable performer. The engine makes a lot of low-end torque — 295 pounds-feet at 1,500 rpm — and it was nice to have that power when accelerating up hills. Overall, the inline-six makes the XC60 feel light and lively despite its more-than-two-ton curb weight, and it has power to spare at higher speeds. This performance comes at the expense of fuel economy, which Volvo expects to be rated at 16/22 mpg city/highway. As some consolation, the turbo six-cylinder can run on regular gas.

While the XC60 comported itself well on mountain roads, where it really impressed was on the freeway. It readily accelerated up to cruising speeds, it was easy to maneuver in traffic and it had a generally solid feel to it. The cabin was also mostly free of wind and road noise.

Speaking of the cabin, the XC60's interior brings a lot of style to the segment. Its thin center control panel looks like a piece of art when finished in optional Nordic Light Oak (aluminum trim is standard). Buyers can also select two-tone leather seats — like my test model had in place of the standard solid-color leather — as a no-cost option. High-grade fit and finish and materials quality seem appropriate considering the XC60 is expected to start around $40,000.


The XC60 will likely enter a challenging sales environment when it hits dealerships this March, where it will also face strong competitors like the Infiniti EX35.

By Mike Hanley | January 27, 2009 | Comments (31)



Far better looking than the chunky GLK or Infiniti EX, which in person looks like a small FX that has been left to melt in the sun like a snowman.


In the USA, the XC60 price point closely mirrors that of the XC70 T6. Seems like Volvo will be competing both automobiles for the same potential buyer. Not a smart strategy for a failing corporation.


Volvos are "Finely packaged, unreliable, overpriced, old technology."

Oh my GOD! AWD Sienna has better mileage then VX70.

I like their shell. But looks like you can't fool the consumer anymore.


Sorry... XC70...


Did you just say Volvos are unreliable? And that they have old technology, despite the technology in the S80 that reads your finger veins to make sure nobody is stealing your car? What are you smoking??


Volvo's drivetrain tehnology, not electronics.
Yes. As a matter of fact XC90 is one of the list reliable cars in the usa today. Wake up. The company is 60% down in sales where average market is 30. Before they used to be best at retaining consumers. Now - worst. Thats because their product is $@#%


Yeah, of course a big truck wouldnt be reliable. But thats not what there known for.


one more thing...
Volvo makes a car. It doesn't do electronics. Electronics and many parts are not even made by Volvo. But we know that Volvo uses European Ford engines.
It is Volvo management's decision what to use for their design. They can pick to use Honda engines. And if Honda will be happy about and sell it to Volvo their cars will be much better.
So Volvo is just a nicely wrapped Ford Machine. They can order a blod test machine inside the cabin to monitor your blood sugar and charge $$ for it. But main function here is not the navigation or raio. Thats the transportation and this part is not so good on Volvos because thransportation must be reliable. I admit- the seats in Volvos are the best.


"...big truck wouldnt be reliable. But thats not what there known for."

And broken engines on S40??? How smaller has it to be?

Exactly which Volvo uses a Ford sorced engine? And if they were just Fords in prettier packages, they would be more reliable since most of Volvos distant ford step cousins have ranked higher in reliability. Furthermore, the Sienna that you put on a pedistal is not all the reliable either, unless you are talking about a first generation model, but since you mention technology, I am guessing you aren't.



Maybe Volvos arent that reliable, but they have excellent safety features.


I never said that Volvos are wrapped up Fords but They do share platforms and Engines. For Example, when XC90 came out it had Modification of Ford SHO engine Duratec, wich in turn essencially is Yamaha engine. Now XC90 uses 4.4L built by Yamaha.
Also, Volvo S80, Volvo XC90, Volvo V70, XC70
all use 3.2L built on Ford factory.
Their T5 and 2.4 engines were Volvo's original Sweden engines.
Platforms Volvo shares with Euro Fords


Ok, Broq, you got me. I said that Volvo is nicely wrapped Ford Machine. I already regret saying that. But all I wanted to say, in the engine department, there is not much difference between Ford and Volvo in terms of progress. Their engines may be even worst then some of Fords.


"Volvos arent that reliable, but they have excellent safety features"


There is this bunker in the mountains, where US government can operate while nukes explode around it. It can sustain direct hit. What is the use of it if everybody else is dead and nuclear winter is on?

Can't we all just get along?

I think it's safe to say that Volvo's traditionally score lower on reliability ratings than many others, yet have improved.

They also offer a lot of luxury for the money and are way ahead of the competition on many safety features.


The Volvo I6 Engines are not shared with any Fords at all. They are only shared with the Land Rover LR2. The T6 in this XC60 is only put in Volvo cars and nothing else. And let's not all forget that the most reliable car in the world is a Volvo P1800 with 2 Million Miles! The technology is not old because City Safety is a new feature. Even Volvo's top Stereo by Dynaudio has topped those from BMW and Audi.


Durability does not equal reliability, but Miguel does make a point because Volvos are known for longevity. The problem with this new model, IMO, is that it's irrelevant in today's world. Who wants a mid-size wagon that gets only 16 mpg? Volvos are boutique items and this one can't compete with the 29 mpg Toyota Venza, not to mention a host of other vehicles that are superior at a much lower cost.


Nice crossover...bad fuel economy. Unfortunatley in this current market offerings like the Toyota Venza will win out. Which is too bad because a lot of good products are just going to die on the vine unless the economy picks up.


GLK 350 4Matic has 13 hp less, and has 16/21 mpg.

Original sheth


LEts compare apples to apples. The Venza gets 29mpg on the hwy with a 187hp four cylinder. This volvo has 281hp and AWD. I believe the AWD V6 Venza gets 25mpg on the hwy which is about 10% better than the more powerful Volvo. I really dont even know why you compared the 29mpg to the 16mpg.

I saw one of these the other day and it looks good in the flesh. Better than the boxy, inefficient GLK.


The XC90 is pretty reliable, just be careful of the T6 which uses a sourced transmission that has been very problematic. This model alone brings down the XC90's relibility ratings.

It's sourced from General Motors btw

Original sheth


what are basing this on? IN CR GM trannies always get the highest reliability rating. What source are you using?

I seriously doubt what you are saying about the tranny in the XC. For one, why would they have to get a tranny from their parent company's competition, when there are tons of them available in the umbrella, be it from ford, jaguar, mazda, or landrover.


Original sheth


He is probably right about the tranny because Volvo has used GM trannies for years. So has BMW. A lot of people dont know that. The old S80 had a GM four speed auto because it was one of the few that could handle the S80s torque output in a FWD car with a transverse engine.

I did not know that.



don't be fool. Any car can run long miles if repaired. On Cuba they have cars from 1950- they run


Any car? Try driving a Range Rover for 150,000 miles +.

Original sheth


any modern car can run to 150k miles with maintenance. I'm not saying you wont have ANY repairs during that period but I am saying the vehicle will last that long. Modern engines and transmissions are much more durable than their predecessors. "reliability" is often uses interchangibly with "problem area" today and thats a shame. A Volvo may not be quite as problem free as a Lexus but that doesnt mean its unreliable. Unreliability indicates frequent failure of key components of a vehicle that are necessary for safe, comfortable and proper operation of a vehicle. A funny noise, malfunctioning keyfob or rattle can not be qualified as reliability problems.


I know. A Lexus still needs occasional trips to the shop, but its the number of times that counts. Thats why i brought up Land Rovers. Im not saying that they would die at 150k, im saying that it would become very hard to take care of. For example, my sister had a 2004 Jetta that we sold maybe a month ago. It had about 80k miles on it. The last year that she had it, she had to take it into the shop about every month. All sorts of problems. Leaking coolant fluid (meaning no AC), turn signals that got stuck (major safety issue), windows that got stuck in its up position and cracked when you tried to put it down. Those are reliability issues. (Like you were saying, failure of key components.) But, Volkswagens have good QUALITY. Some of the best in the business. Which, like you were saying, is a different issue.


Good interior quality at least.


For Volvo, they even got this http://www.volvoproblems.com/

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