- Attractive styling
- Well-trimmed interior
- Good handling and acceleration
- Poor fuel economy
- Lots of techno buttons
The 2010 Volvo XC60 brings unexpected style and a heavy dose of safety technology to families with all-weather needs.
The 2010 Volvo XC60 is the Swedish car company's first foray into the compact crossover segment—the same niche that includes the BMW X3, Land Rover LR2, Acura RDX, and Infiniti EX35. Happily, the Volvo entry is one of the handsomest of the bunch, comes standard with all-wheel drive and surprising off-road specs, and adds to the brand's reputation for safety with a new twist.
With the $38,025 XC60, Volvo allows its designers freer rein. The XC60 is a handsome machine—particularly from the side, where it reminds other drivers of a four-fifths-scale Buick Enclave, and from the rear, where the taillights flow into its shoulders like the deltoids of a muscular athlete. The large "ironmark" badge and big grille complete the pro-sports analogy and may be a little big for some tastes. Inside, it's even more appealing: The Volvo trick of making a thin-panel console leaves storage behind its wood-paneled center stack, metallic trim outlines big geometric shapes, and all sorts of pleasing colors and textures fill out the cabin.
The XC60 shares some mechanical and structural pieces with the Volvo S80—the crossover's turbocharged V-6 engine and Haldex all-wheel drive will be familiar to fans of the big four-door. The XC60's 3.0-liter V-6 spins out 281 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, and delivers it to the four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. The slight whistle that accompanies the turbo six is expected; there's also a little vibration that sounds more akin to diesel thrum, but it's not too loud. The six-speed automatic has a sport-shift mode that accesses the six's torque in abundant scoops, too. Together, the pair combines to scoot the XC60 to 60 mph in about seven seconds, quick for a sport-ute.
All-wheel drive is of the as-needed variety; wheelspin calls the rear wheels into action, while in most dry situations the XC60 is essentially a front-driver. And the XC60 has a surprising 9.1 inches of ground clearance, for anyone who cares to off-road this nearly $40,000 machine.
Handling and braking are a strong point for the 2010 Volvo XC60. The electric power steering's been programmed with decent feedback, and ride quality is well sorted. The brakes feel strong as well, and 18-inch wheels are standard, with 19-inchers available. The XC60 tracks smoothly on freeways and is almost entertaining to drive on twisted trails, particularly when you engage the transmission's sport mode. It's still a heavy machine, though, and in all scenarios, fuel economy disappoints at 16/22 mpg. That's only 2 mpg better than Volvo's own seven-passenger XC90 ute.
Crossover vehicles need to deliver carlike handling and SUV-style space. The XC60 succeeds with a cargo-friendly cabin and supportive seats. Up front, there's a little less support from the bottom cushion than Volvo seats normally deliver, and the passenger footwell loses room to the front right wheelhouse. Plenty of room exists fore and aft, but the console trim rubs uncomfortably on the knees. In the second row of seats there's good legroom for two large adults. Overall, the XC60's interior speaks of quality trim and textures, with lots of upscale finishes and feel. The rear seats fold down into a large cargo area, but they don't fold quite flat.
Volvo stakes its reputation on safety, and the 2010 XC60 meets that mission with a raft of new features. One is City Safety; it uses cameras and sensors to detect imminent impacts with vehicles in the lane ahead. If the XC60 is about to drive into the vehicle in front at 19 mph or less and the driver does not react, the car brakes itself. City Safety is standard on the XC60, and its sensors occupy a not-so-small chunk of the windshield behind the rearview mirror. It's joined by standard anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, the usual airbags, and an optional set of lane-departure, collision, and blind-spot warning systems. That makes for lots of buttons, bleeps, and blinks; if you're not used them, it takes a while to get used to piloting the XC60.
The 2010 Volvo XC60 is stuffed with a long list of standard features. Along with leather trim, the XC60 has standard Bluetooth connectivity, HD Radio, Sirius Satellite Radio with six months' service, USB and auxiliary inputs for audio players, a large moonroof, roof rails, and power front seats. The first three years or 36,000 miles of maintenance are included. A Dynaudio 650-watt sound system is an option; with a rearview camera and navigation, it runs $2,700. Volvo's nav unit takes some getting used to also, by the way—it's not a touchscreen device, and only the driver can operate it from wheel-mounted controls. Heated seats are part of a $1,000 package; adaptive cruise, distance alerts, lane-departure warning, and collision warning are bundled for $1,695.
2010 Volvo XC60
The 2010 Volvo XC60 marks Volvo's entrance into the world of stylish crossovers.
If you asked a dozen Volvo owners why they purchased their vehicles, chances are none of them will mention the cutting-edge design. Volvos have many, many attributes, but looks have never been one of their primary selling points. That might change with the introduction of the 2010 Volvo XC60, a stylish and very eye-catching new crossover from the Swedish automaker.
Edmunds reviewers describe the XC60 Volvo as a "small luxury crossover [that] is available in one well-equipped T6 trim level." TheCarConnection.com's research shows that the radical—for Volvo, at least—styling is a big hit with reviewers, and it should strike a similar chord with consumers. Cars.com raves about the "stylish design," while also calling the XC60 Volvo "one of the sleekest luxury crossovers available" thanks to a "windshield [that] flows smoothly into the roofline." Car and Driver finds that "the face and stern are unmistakably Volvo, but the shape is more fluid and stylish than anything recent from the Swedish automaker and makes the bigger XC90 look boxy." Motor Trend labels it "possibly the curviest Volvo ever, certainly more voluptuous than the former looker of the line, the C30." The 2010 Volvo XC60 also boasts an impressive amount of ground clearance, which at 9.1 inches is "more clearance than the other players in this premium-small-crossover class," according to Car and Driver.
The interior of the XC60 Volvo features standout styling as well, though that's nothing out of the ordinary for Volvo. ConsumerGuide reports that the XC60 Volvo's "cabin is pretty much exactly what you would expect from Volvo: simplistic luxury." Other reviewers heap more emphatic praise on the interior, especially the center panel. Cars.com contends that "the thing that really pulls the cabin together—and is one of the XC60's most eye-catching design cues—is the slim center control panel. When finished in optional Nordic Light Oak (aluminum trim is standard), it has an appearance that's unlike anything else in its class; it recalls high-end furniture." Edmunds agrees, finding that the center panel "combines with the optional two-tone upholstery to make the XC60's cabin look upscale and inviting." On the downside, ConsumerGuide says that "the navigation system screen is on the small side, making some readouts difficult to decipher at a glance." Edmunds also points out some ergonomic inefficiencies, warning that some of the 2010 Volvo XC60's "controls, particularly those for the optional navigation system, aren't immediately intuitive."
2010 Volvo XC60
The 2010 Volvo XC60 performs well enough to satisfy all but the most performance-minded buyers, but if gas prices creep back up, it will look significantly less appealing.
Most luxury crossovers like the 2010 Volvo XC60 aren't defined as much by their 0-60 mph times as by how well their engines handle daily driving situations. By either measure, the XC60 Volvo is a capable machine that handles much more responsively than you might expect.
All 2010 Volvo XC60s are powered by a single powerplant, which ConsumerGuide lists as "a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder, which produces 281 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque." TheCarConnection.com's research uncovers largely positive reviews, like that from Cars.com, which notes that "it's one of the more powerful base engines available in a compact luxury crossover." Road & Track calls the engine "super smooth," offering "best-in-class torque of 295 lb-ft" from 1,500 all the way up to 4,800 rpm. Car and Driver is also impressed, reporting that "turbo spool-up is immediate, midrange power is impressive, and overall operation is smooth." As for that 0-60 time, Road & Track says that "Volvo estimates the 4,175-lb XC60 can hit 60 mph in 7.1 seconds (it feels faster)."
In addition to a single engine offering, the XC60 Volvo comes exclusively with one transmission, which ConsumerGuide reports is "a six-speed automatic with a manual shift gate." Once again, reviews are largely positive, and Cars.com says that "most shifts are smooth and refined, but I experienced a couple of jerks during my drive. The Sport mode is less inclined to upshift, which keeps the engine revving faster, and it seemed best suited to the task of winding mountain roads." ConsumerGuide test drives reveal that "the transmission shifts smoothly but occasionally hunts for the right gear when driving on hilly terrain." As for the user-selected gears, Motor Trend remarks that "manually toggling the six-speed automatic gearbox is fun, but nowhere near quick as some of the fancier transmissions on the market." Also worth noting is the fact that "the XC60 [Volvo] has standard all-wheel drive," which typically routes 90 percent of the engine torque to the front wheels, according to Cars.com.
Up to this point, there has been little to dislike about the 2010 Volvo XC60, but that changes once fuel economy numbers enter the discussion. Cars.com notes that "gas mileage...may be a sticking point for some," and TheCarConnection.com's editors agree. According to the official EPA estimates, the 2010 Volvo XC60 should return around 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway—certainly not the worst on the market, but a disappointment nonetheless.
We all know that first glances can be deceiving, but for some reason it's hard to describe the 2010 Volvo XC60 as nimble after giving it the once-over. However, Motor Trend comments that, "despite the class-leading ground clearance, the XC60 doesn't feel tall or unstable." Other reviewers are inclined to agree, with Cars.com raving about the "sporty handling performance—the suspension keeps body roll nicely controlled." The 2010 Volvo XC60 also has a unique handling feature, according to ConsumerGuide, as it features "the ability for the driver to adjust steering feel via the onboard computer. Three settings, ranging from light to firm, are available."
2010 Volvo XC60
Comfort & Quality
With the 2010 Volvo XC60, Volvo has crafted an upscale crossover with gorgeous interior materials and practical cargo capacity.
The 2010 Volvo XC60 isn't a class leader in terms of all-around comfort—rear passengers will likely find themselves short on space—but reviews read by TheCarConnection.com indicate that the XC60 Volvo can match any of its competitors when it comes to materials and cargo space.
The XC60 Volvo is a small luxury crossover with available seating for five inside its relatively comfortable cabin. Reviews of the seating positions vary, however, with many critics raving about the front seats while at the same time deriding the lack of rear-seat room. On the positive side, Edmunds reviewers simply love the "sublime front seat comfort" inside the 2010 Volvo XC60, while ConsumerGuide points out that the front seats "are long-haul comfortable." Cars.com agrees, stating that "the front bucket seats are supportive, though some people might find them to be a little too firm." Unfortunately, Cars.com also remarks that "the backseat is snug," and while "taller adults should be able to make the seat work for a short trip," you definitely shouldn't "expect a lot of room to stretch your legs." ConsumerGuide seconds that opinion, noting that one of the few "significant [faults] of the XC60's interior is the lack of rear-seat room. It's not that the split-bench seat isn't comfortable, but there's no excess legroom, even for adults less than six feet tall."
The interior of the 2010 Volvo XC60 is good for much more than just accommodating passengers, as the ample dimensions of this crossover allow for quite a bit of cargo room. Edmunds reports that "maximum cargo space, at 67 cubic feet, is above average." ConsumerGuide notes the availability of the "large, wide cargo hold" and "additional storage is available under the cargo floor, but the spare tire and jack take up a good chunk of that space." With the rear seats in place, Cars.com mentions that the XC60 Volvo still "offers 30.8 cubic feet of cargo room," which bests competitors like "the Mercedes-Benz GLK350 (23.3), Land Rover LR2 (26.7) or Acura RDX (28.8)." Car and Driver reviewers summarize that the Volvo XC60's "dimensions are generally at or near the top of the charts in its class."
Another standout area for the 2010 Volvo XC60 is the interior build and materials quality. To put it simply, the XC60 Volvo's interior easily qualifies for the luxury class. Cars.com states that "the interior features premium materials and some interesting two-tone color schemes," while Road & Track raves that "the interior is simply Volvo's best effort yet, from the wafer-thin center stack to the contrasting materials throughout." Volvo's high-end materials are more than enough to impress ConsumerGuide reviewers, who are pleased to note that "the optional oak interior trim" is crafted with "genuine hardwood where you can actually feel the grain and texture. Very nicely done, Volvo."
One area where the build quality shines through is in terms of cabin noise levels, and the 2010 Volvo XC60 does a commendable job of keeping road noises outside of the vehicle. ConsumerGuide reports that "most noise sources are well squelched," adding that "the only really noticeable ruckus comes from the engine during hard acceleration." The ride is suitably comfortable as well, as Edmunds describes the XC60 Volvo as "quiet and stable" on the highway.
2010 Volvo XC60
With conventional occupant protection plus all sorts of accident-prevention technology, the new 2010 Volvo XC60 is a good choice for the safety-conscious.
The 2010 Volvo XC60 wins rave reviews in reports read by TheCarConnection.com for its innovative and extensive safety features. Long an industry leader when it comes to safety, Volvo has introduced yet another first on the Volvo XC60: a feature known as City Safety.
As a new vehicle, the XC60 Volvo has not yet been tested by either of the major crash-testing authorities in the United States. However, given Volvo's nearly impeccable safety pedigree and the wealth of safety features found on the 2010 Volvo XC60, it's a pretty sure bet that the scores will be on the very high end.
In terms of safety features, the 2010 Volvo XC60 comes loaded to the gills and includes one revolutionary new bit of technology that could prevent countless minor accidents. Volvo's own research has shown that the vast majority of accidents occur in urban driving environments at relatively low speeds, incidents commonly known as fender benders. In order to combat fender benders, the XC60 Volvo is equipped with a system that ConsumerGuide says "uses an infrared sensor located under the center rearview mirror" that is designed to "detect reflective objects—mostly other vehicles." Once an object is detected, Cars.com contends that the system will "automatically brake in an attempt to avoid a crash." ConsumerGuide reports that "City Safety is engaged at all times and is active at speeds up to 19 mph," and "from 1-9 mph, City Safety can stop the vehicle completely." At 10 mph and above, the system can still apply the brakes, but a collision is likely.
The safety gear on the XC60 Volvo doesn't stop with the new City Safety system—in fact, Motor Trend says that "Volvo's current safety offerings are an absolute alphabet soup of acronyms. In addition to ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control), PA (Parking Assist), and LDW (Lane Departure Warning), here are few more standard and optional safety features: DAC (Driver Alert Control), DA (Distance Alert), BLIS (Blind Spot Information System), DTSC (Dynamic Traction Stability Control), RSC (Roll Stability Control), CWAB (Collision Warning with Auto Brake), WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System), and TSA (Towing Stability Assist)." Cars.com notes that the standard safety features include "antilock brakes, side-impact airbags for the front seats, side curtain airbags to cover all door windows, and an electronic stability system." That same source also states that the available optional features include the aforementioned blind spot and lane-departure warning systems, "which are designed to monitor other cars near the XC60 [Volvo], and to alert the driver when the vehicle begins to drift into another lane, respectively."
2010 Volvo XC60
The 2010 Volvo XC60 offers nearly everything you would expect on a luxury crossover.
With the XC60, Volvo has clearly aimed at the upscale small crossover market, and the well-equipped 2010 Volvo XC60 is a worthy competitor in this class.
The 2010 Volvo XC60 comes in just one trim level, and its standard features cover a broad range of interests. Edmunds states that the XC60 Volvo "comes packed with plenty of amenities, including leather upholstery, an eight-speaker audio system and power front seats." Adding to the list of features on the front seats, Cars.com says that "the driver's seat includes a three-position memory feature." Other standard features include a dual-zone automatic climate control system and steering-wheel-mounted controls for the eight-speaker sound system. While all these amenities sound nice at first, Edmunds reports that "you'll likely be disappointed by the XC60 T6's high MSRP, which is partially a result of having so much equipment as standard."
Not everything on the 2010 Volvo XC60 is standard, however, as a lengthy options list leaves plenty of room for customization. ConsumerGuide notes that "several option packages are available," including a $2,700 Technology Package that adds "a 650-watt Dynaudio sound system with USB port, navigation system, and rearview camera" to the XC60 Volvo. Edmunds reports that "additional safety equipment comes courtesy of the Collision Avoidance Package, which contributes adaptive cruise control, a lane departure warning system and other driver aids." For those interested in adding some daily practicality to their XC60 Volvo, Cars.com says that the Convenience Package "includes a 12-volt power point and grocery-bag holders for the cargo area, a HomeLink garage door opener, front and rear parking sensors, and a power liftgate." Aside from the various packages offered on the 2010 Volvo XC60, Edmunds remarks that stand-alone options include "adaptive xenon headlights, various exterior styling enhancements, a panoramic sunroof, keyless ignition/entry and dual integrated rear booster seats."