2011 Volvo XC60 » Eric Peters Autos

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2011 Volvo XC60

by • November 24, 2010 2 Comments

Buying a car was a lot easier there were just or four models in any given It was feasible to test drive one, compare the equipment and the price being asked and come to a reasonable decision.

not so easy when there are or four times that different models in any given #8211; because it#8217;s not realistic to test drive one. And even if you could, often so similar in looks, and features #8211; irrespective of #8211; that coming up meaningful differences between and #8220;y#8221; and #8220;z#8221; can be as tough as which brand of toothpaste is out of the dozen different varieties on the

This the environment facing #8211; and also carmakers Volvo #8211; which introduced another medium-small wagon, the XC60, to compete in a where there are already established players divvying up the pool of buyers.

Can the XC60 get any

The Volvo XC60 is a medium-small (two rows of seats) sportwagon.

Prices start at for the base 3.2 model with and run to $41,550 for the high-performance T6 R Design all-wheel-drive.

WHAT#8217;S NEW FOR 2011

the standard 3.2 liter and optional 3.0 turbo engine in the T6 get a horsepower (5 and 19, respectively). An R Design package panorama sunroof, sport-tuned and numerous exterior/interior trim is now available.


Turbocharged T6 are stealthy speedsters.

Lower price than similar such as BMW X3 ($36,750 to start) and EX35 ($33,800).

Much cargo room than the EX35 or the X3.

Prices of updated XC60 starts out only $5 than 2010 version. the cheapest 5 horsepower upgrade likely ever find.

towing capability (3,300


No manual available with the T6 or base 3.2

Some interior styling (#8220;floating#8221; center stack) are but not so practical.

Base (non-turbo) 3.2 is still a little underpowered for its and not even in the same league as base model EX35.

layout not as sporty as RWD-based X3 and


The #8217;11 comes standard with a 3.2 in-line six rated at 240 hp, a five hp over last year. A #8220;Geartronic#8221; automatic transmission is the available transmission, but you can go with front-wheel-drive or (optionally) all-wheel-drive.

The T6 version comes with a 3 liter engine that#8217;s and intercooled, producing 300 hp #8211; a 19 hp over last year. engines comes standard the same six-speed Geartronic as well as all-wheel-drive.

The base 3.2 equipped XC60 can reach 60 mph in 8.4-8.6 seconds.

The turbo#8217;d T6 is quicker #8211; making the run in just under 7 seconds.

Both versions have governors that limit top to 130 mph.

Mileage with the 3.2 engine and front-wheel-drive is 18 city, 25 (the latter being 2 MPG than last year#8217;s highway figure).

With the 3.0 liter engine, mileage is at 17 city, 22 highway #8211; is actually slightly better last year#8217;s less T6 (16 city, 22 highway).

Both are designed to burn regular (87 unleaded.

Maximum towing with either engine is lbs. #8211; decent for a this size.

Unlike the and X3 #8211; which are both on a rear-wheel-drive sport sedan #8211; the XC60 is built a car-based FWD chassis.

With the of the engine and transmission sitting on top of the front wheels #8211; and the front wheels steering the car as as putting power to the ground the XC60 isn#8217;t as well-balanced as the Infiniti EX35 and BMW X3.

Still, the #8211; especially the turbocharged T6 is a high-performance machine you can use #8211; and get with using.

Few people Volvos are sometimes fast ; don#8217;t radiate illegal like the Known Offenders the BMW). In the real world, is a great advantage. What after all, is driving a 300 hp that gets the stink-eye every cop? After the paranoia (and paying off the Mafia) makes you want to all about it.

Real life is not like a car where there are no radar and you can run 100 mph in a tail-out drift with a grin on your face and not end up multiple Glocks drawn on

In real life you can hustle at 80 on the highway in your T6, tucked in the of a pack of cars #8211; and the are good it won#8217;t be you the cop decides to over.

Run silent, run deep.

The XC60 with the 3.2 liter meanwhile, is borderline slow even with the 5 hp bump for At least, relative to the EX35, comes standard with as much power (297 hp) as the more expensive T6 version of the

The so-so acceleration isn#8217;t the of the 3.2 liter engine (or the excellent automatic) but rather the inevitable of the XC60#8242;s Flabby Abbey pounds of curb weight.

without passengers or the optional AWD (which bloats  the weight to over 4,100

With AWD and two adults on board, the 3.2 engine is tasked with around 4,300 pounds about the weight of a current V-8 powered SUV.

This is incidentally, even the muscular T6 isn#8217;t as quick as the slightly powerful EX35: The Infiniti is 200 pounds lighter at the curb.

could have bumped the 3.2 engine to 270 hp or so and that would fix the issue #8211; but then be a fuel economy issue. As it is, the 5 hp has cost 2 MPGs on the highway. at this price point, are conscious of the cost of feeding the #8211; and if they#8217;re not, the is. All automakers will soon to comply with a 35 MPG average which puts the brakes on (The T6 gets away getting less because a low-volume critter and so doesn#8217;t up Volvo#8217;s overall numbers too

The only realistic way to improve without lowering economy is to cut the fat which incidentally is just BMW has done with the redesigned X3. It#8217;s lighter than the old so it#8217;s faster without to drink more gas to do it.

This is a vehicle; modern #8211; but not too hard to be.

Different, too.

It has a recognizably Volvo-ish overall but the fairly radical (for shape of exterior parts as the dramatic LED-lit outward rear brake lights drape almost voluptuously the car#8217;s outward flared hips, the scalloped side with #8220;bone line#8221; the door handles and teardrop/swept-back are pretty racy compared the boxier XC70 and XC90

The interior has a few unusual design too #8211; for instance, the anthropomorphic buttons for the climate control. shaped like a seated and you touch the head, for example, to airflow to your head, the mid to your torso #8211; and so on. The #8220;floating#8221; center console is from an art-design perspective but it#8217;s not especially easy to get to the located behind it.

Attractive two-tone upholstery is along with the standard trim plates, the combo the XC60#8242;s cabin a sportier inside than the typical too.

Cargo capacity is 67 #8211; vs.  a puny 18.6 in the and 27.6 in the new X3. Though those two the edge when it comes to and handling, they can#8217;t the XC#8217;s everyday usability.

The R-Design R package (available either the XC60 3.2 or the performance-minded T6) includes a massive panorama Xenon HID headlights, privacy and interior/exterior trim upgrades. If you the R package with the T6, you#8217;ll get 20 inch wheels and more suspension tuning, along quicker steering gear.

stereo rigs are commonplace but the XC60#8242;s available 12 speaker unit takes it up a notch; if into music, you#8217;ll to check it out.

The XC60 offers a backseat DVD entertainment with twin LCD monitors, heaters for both front and seats and an interior air quality with particle filtration. It can the car from the outside when, for a smelly diesel bus sidles up to you spewing soot in your

Both the 3.2 and T6 versions of the XC60 9.1 inches of ground clearance close to three inches than the EX35 #8211; will help in snow, you have FWD or AWD.

The XC60 has some of the latest and #8220;techie-est#8221; safety features, an available Collision Avoidance that uses sensors to an impending collision and automaticallt to apply the brakes for you if you fail to do it in Included with this is a Lane Departure Warning and Blind Spot Warning #8211; which incorporates lights in the outside rearview

Just be careful not to damage as they are hugely expensive to

In addition, the XC60 has a City automatic braking system does the same basic as the Collision Avoidance System, it#8217;s designed to avoid fender benders (speeds up to 19 The car will literally stop if you don#8217;t touch the brake the vehicle senses it#8217;s to hit something.

Set up some cones in an parking lot and try it for fun.

Stability traction control, ABS, and curtain air bags, rear fog and a collapsible steering column are all in both 3.2 and T6 versions of the XC60. The row comes standard with integrated ISO-FIX child seats.


XC60 is very competitively #8211; and equipped #8211; no real weaknesses other so-so acceleration in the base 3.2 The T6 version offers performance to BMW#8217;s X3 for a lot less money and with much more and space than the Infiniti

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