2010 Volvo XC60 Long-Term Road Test

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2010 Volvo XC60: Pleasantville, Population Me

January 07, 2011

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Last night was the first time I've gotten to drive the Volvo XC60 home. It's been here a while and I don't know how many more chances I could get. I seized the opportunity.

Where I grew up in Northern California, Bricks (200 Series) were everywhere. I grew up thinking Swedish automotive design was austere and functional. In some ways it still is. But the XC60 really opened my eyes as to how nice they are now.

Our XC60 is not the Ikea of cars.

The interior of our XC60 has that nice light filled interior accented by brushed metal, muted colors and light colored wood. Yeah, maybe that's Ikea-ish/modern Swedish design, but the XC has way more substance. I know there are folks that just aren't into the aesthetic design of the XC60, and that's fine. Everyone has their own tastes. But beyond the surface, I think our Volvo is a wonderful family vehicle.

It has solid road manners. It doesn't get jittery over bumps, it doesn't feel like it leans in corners, it just feels very connected to the road. The steering is well balanced and responsive. I'd say it's far more car than SUV in feel. The engine delivers an impressive and quick responding 281 hp. Stack all the safety features you'd expect from Volvo on top of those qualities and you've got a winner. To be honest, with its hefty $44k price tag I'd expect all of those features.

I realize the XC60 isn't for everyone. If I was looking for a family vehicle (and I was of the means), this car would intrigue me. I wish I could gt into this car a little more and explore it further. But it basically comes down to this question: Would I get this vehicle over a nicely equipped Subaru Outback? That's a tough call.

What would you prefer?

Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer

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2010 Volvo XC60: Fear No Lane Change

December 29, 2010

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I love driving our 2010 Volvo XC60. Not only does it have kickass power but it has great visibility. Unlike with our Mitsubishi Outlander GT, I feel confident when having to switch into the right lane. I don't know if you could really tell by looking at the above picture, but no blind spot! Makes passing all the slowpokes out there a lot more easier.

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor

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2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD: The Fog's Getting Thicker

December 13, 2010

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I rolled my tired bones out of bed at 4:00 am to make down to our Cars and Coffee event on Saturday. There's an eerie stillness about Los Angeles that early in the morning. Adding to that feeling was a thick blanket of fog -- an uncommon occurrence, at least as far inland as I live. It got so thick, that I deemed it necessary to make use of out XC60's foglights. But what's this? Two foglights?

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2010 Volvo XC60: Know What These Buttons Do?

December 03, 2010

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See those buttons? The ones with the arrows? Care to guess what they're for?

They're for adjusting the following distance on the dynamic cruise control system. I figured that out after RTFM as it's not very obvious at first glance.

Given the limited amount of real estate on a steering wheel, this seems like a fair amount of space for a couple of buttons (why are there two?) that probably aren't used all that often. Anyway, the system itself works as advertised. Keeps you off the car ahead of you without being overly intrusive. Haven't found much use for it, though, just don't feel the need when I'm in traffic. And when I'm out on the open road, there are usually too many speed fluctuations to just let it take control. Maybe I'm just not used to it yet, not sure if I'll ever be.

Ed Hellwig, Editor, Inside Line @ 25,795 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD: Console at 25,000 Miles

October 26, 2010

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Yesterday our long-term 2010 Volvo XC60 covered its 25,000th mile. In that time it has proven to be one of the most dependable and reliable long-term vehicles we've ever had. It's console, however, is aging. Fast.

Notice all of the nicks, cuts, digs and scrapes on the console's edge next to the driver's seat. Imagine what it will look like at 100,000 miles.

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2010 Volvo XC60: Cool Gauges

October 22, 2010

From the driver's seat, the XC60's gauge needles appear to float around the dial. It's pretty cool looking, so I took a video to show them in action as well as how Volvo created the illusion. Not only does this design look neat, it frees up space in the center of the speedo and tach for trip computer info.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 24,556 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Hot Buttons

October 15, 2010

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I drove our 2010 Volvo XC60 a few times this week. Now I've heard of heated seats. And I've heard of a heated steering wheel. But the XC60 has a new feature. It has heated steering wheel buttons.

By the time the car warms up in the morning, so do the buttons. We're not sure what's going on yet. I'm sure curious to find out. We'll ask the dealer to take a look at it when we take the Volvo in for service.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 24,587 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Liberal Range Prediction

October 07, 2010

Fuel-range.jpgMy wife took the Volvo XC60 on a 44.2-mile round trip this morning. When she left the XC60's range read 70 miles. At mile 39 the range meter looked like it does in the above photo.

Fortunately, she made it, but not without learning a lesson about the Volvo's liberal range predictions.

Josh Jacquot, Senior editor

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2010 Volvo XC60 T6: 10-Digit Keypad, Have You Ever?

October 05, 2010

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Our long-term 2010 Volvo XC60 T6 has a 10-digit keypad for making calls from your Bluetooth connected phone. Some Benz models also have this, but I'm not sure if they are phasing it out. I suppose this would come in handy for calling a restaurant or something that's not in your phone's address book.

But this keypad takes up a lot of space on the center stack. Most cars don't have this.

Too me it seems an anachronism -- like a cassette player.

My question is not if this necessary or even nice to have, but have you ever actually used a centerstack keypad to make a call? I never have.

Albert Austria, Senior Engineer @ 23,300 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Let It Rain

October 04, 2010

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It rained in Southern California today. Yay! Well, it was more of a light spray. But as a former East Coaster I miss the rain.

It's a problem in SoCal though. As soon as a few drops come down, people start driving like kooks. And the roads get slick from the oil buildup.

But the windshield wipers in the Volvo XC60 work well. Nothing out of the ordinary. But in a car like this with a lot of buttons and gadgets, I was glad this simple task was kept simple.

The Volvo XC60 drives well in the rain, too. It holds on while turning corners and doesn't slosh around a lot. No scary moments.

Do you like driving in the rain?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 23,273 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Do Dangling Keys Damage Dash?

September 29, 2010

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We've commented before about the idiocy associated with plugging a key fob into a dash and then pressing a separate button, be it a BMW or a Volvo. However, I'm wondering what this design does to the area beneath the fob hole over time? Are there wear marks and scratches? While ours looks perfect, I have to wonder if that's because we almost always plug the fob in by itself without the the accompanying keys a regular owner would have. The same goes for similar plug-in designs found in our A4 Avant and departed 135i.

Does anyone have an ignition design like this and how is it holding up over time? I figure the keys banging up against the dash would also be quite annoying as opposed to dangling freely from the steering column.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor

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2010 Volvo XC60: Splurge on the Power Lift Gate

September 17, 2010

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While I'm on a trunk release kick, I found out recently that our 2010 Volvo XC60's interior trunk button doesn't pop open the trunk. Yeah, that button doesn't do what it looks like it does.

I had to pick up a couple of cases of wine the other day and the delivery person carted the boxes to the rear of the XC60 while I was in the car. So I found the trunk release button and pressed it so that I could at least get that open before I got out there to greet them. But then the lift gate didn't seem to respond.

I then went outside to press the exterior trunk release button. It opened. Apparently the interior button only unlocks the hatch. This car isn't outfitted with a power rear lift gate, which is part of the Convenience Package ($1,000). I guess I assumed that since our XC60 felt so deluxe that it would have that.

If I was going to get this car I'd splurge for that package which also includes front and rear parking sensors, a grocery bag holder in cargo area, a 12V power outlet and a HomeLink garage door opener. OK, I don't need the garage door opener but I do like that other stuff, especially with a vehicle like this that has all that cargo room.

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor

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2010 Volvo XC60: Found the Clock

September 14, 2010

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At some point during dude's weekend, I was looking at the gauges (as one often does whilst driving) and wondered "what's the deal with those four lines and the colon?"

I twisted the stalk-mounted trip computer thingy, but the four lines didn't go anywhere. Then I remembered Kelly's blog post about the MIA clock. The four lines and colon were clearly the unset clock.

So finding the clock ended up taking two people, and resetting would require just as many. After failing to find the clock setting in the trip computer, I turned to the craptastic menu functions on the center stack. The clock was not within "car settings." So I gave up, content with the sundial I keep handy for such instances.

Fast forward to yesterday and I'm sitting at the gas station with Takahashi waiting to refill the XC60. While I tried futilely to find the clock reset once again, Mark RTFM'd. "Turn knob clockwise..."

That's all it took. The T1/T2 trip reset stalk-button thingy in the gauges has a little clock icon next to it (though its hidden from the driver's line of site by the T1/T2 trip reset stalk-button thingy). I turned it and sure enough, there was time.

In short, found the clock.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 21,591 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Excuse me Volvo, do you have the time?

September 10, 2010

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Our Volvo XC60 no longer shows a clock on the dash. I've looked through the navigation system several times over the past few days, and can't find a screen that reveals the time.

Can't find it in the small IP above the nav display either, nor in the instrument cluster shown in Donna's Wednesday blog post.

Sure, I could look in the owner's manual, but I'm kind of enjoying the challenge (so far) of finding it on my own.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 21,162 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Seatbelt Nanny Busts Unbuckled Fifth Grader

September 01, 2010

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Several months ago, Deputy Managing Editor Caroline Pardilla blogged about her experience with the Volvo XC60's message center and its seat belt nanny.

This morning, during our race to school for the first day of fifth grade, my daughter thought she buckled-up in the rear seat's center position, but she didn't push the buckle in all the way.

The Volvo promptly ratted her out.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 20,915 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60 T6: Interior Animation

August 31, 2010

Many of us here have admired the interior of our long-term 2010 Volvo XC60 T6.

Let's take an animated tour of the interior, courtesy Volvo media.

Albert Austria, Senior Engineer @ 20,900 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Ergonomically Designed Turn Stalk

August 31, 2010

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Just prior to Riswick's thorough cleaning of our Volvo's steering wheel, I snapped this shot of the turn signal stalk. Look odd to you? Well, it did to me. Can't remember seeing any kind of steering wheel stalk that wasn't dead straight, regardless of whether it was easy to reach or not.

I never really noticed it from behind the wheel. All I noticed was that the turn signal was easy to reach. And that, my friends, is a nice little piece of design work on Volvo's part. Oh, and that "read" button on the end of the stalk? That would be an example of poor design. Can't win them all.

Ed Hellwig, Editor, Inside Line @ 20,820 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD: You Can Feel the Grain

August 30, 2010

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Many staffers here have complimented the blonde wood center stack on our long-term 2010 Volvo XC60 T6. I was admiring it myself this weekend and noticed something.

When I ran my fingers along the surface of the center stack, I noticed that the wood seemed unfinished -- not covered with polyurethane or lacquer. It's pretty nice, and adds to the Ikea-like ambience.

It's difficult to convey this tactile sensation by description so I'll try using Caroline's macro technique in the photo below.

I'm not sure if this unfinished wood will hold up over time, but it certainly looks good today.

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2010 Volvo XC60: Tan Wheel Dirty Hands

August 27, 2010

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This blog was going to be written thusly:

"Volvo has been doing these light-colored wheel rims since at least the 1990s, and while they look great when new, they also look like horrid crap once a few years go by. When we got our long-term Volvo XC60 with this light-colored wheel I wondered how long it would take to starting looking like horrid crap. Well, I'm not sure the exact moment it made the turn, but as I drove into work this morning I looked down and was appalled by its grossness. Just look at that picture. Yuck. As such, buying the light-colored wheel is a terrible idea."

But then I realized that wouldn't be very constructive. Instead, I thought "how easy is it to clean the wheel in order to prevent it from looking like horrid crap?

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2010 Volvo XC60: Sitting in Someone's Living Room

July 19, 2010

I really like the different textures in our 2010 Volvo XC60's cabin. With blonde wood on the center console and the graininess of the chocolate brown leather on the seats, etc., I feel like I'm in someone's living room, specifically someone who shops at one of those West Elm/Pottery Barn-type stores.

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2010 Volvo XC60 T6: Are the headlights on? Always.

May 10, 2010

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Our long-term 2010 Volvo XC60 has no Auto switch for the headlamps.
This is a bit unusual, as vehicles in this segment usually have an Auto switch.

But what's really strange is that there is almost no difference between the On or Off position.
I took a picture of both lamp conditions to verify and couldn't find a difference.
They seem to always be on.

The only difference I noticed is that you can't operate the highbeams with the lamps switched Off.

Kind of a waste, don't you think?

Albert Austria, Senior Engineer @ 15,500 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60 T6: Lots of Telescope

April 07, 2010

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The telescoping steering wheel is a magical invention if you have long legs, and I particularly like the one in our 2010 Volvo XC60. It has a wide range of adjustment. I can bring the steering wheel close enough to hold it at 9-and-3 with my elbows lightly bent while still having the seat scooted back for my legs. This adjustability contributes to the XC60's excellent driving position -- not something to take for granted in a crossover SUV.

I took a couple quick photos this morning to show you where the steering wheel is when it's fully extended (left) and fully retracted (right). (The seat is in the same position on its track.)

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 14,731 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Panel Mystery Solved?

March 30, 2010

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Back in February, I posted about the panel behind our XC60's steering column being popped out of place. I think I've figured out why it happened. The above photo is of the same panel with the telescoping steering wheel is telescoped all the way out. That panel goes right where it's supposed to be. When you telescope the steering wheel all the way in, the panel pops out.

Do any XC60 owners out there notice the same thing?

Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 14,137 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Gauging Success

March 24, 2010

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I recently spent some time in the C30, and that cool little hatch reminded me that Volvo does a great job of creating vehicles that feel special and non-generic. The cabin of our XC60 offers further proof.

We've already spotlighted the neat waterfall design of its center console. I also dig the gauges. They're straightforward yet elegant, with a design that's simple without being boring. Love the generous metallic accents, and the clean black, silver and red color scheme.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 14,031 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Rear Booster Seat Video

February 17, 2010

It was so beautiful this morning, it made me want to make you a video. So, I'm going to show you how easy it is to work the booster seats in the Volvo XC60. Scott already wrote a review of these seats, but here they are in action.

Sorry, I had to shoot in direct sunlight. I tried to do this in the garage but it was too dark.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2010 Volvo XC60: Popped a Panel

February 09, 2010

2009 volvo xc60 loose panel

I noticed a few weeks ago that a small panel underneath the gauges in our XC60 had come loose. I tried my best to snap the three prongs that hold it to the dash back in place, but while my skinny fingers were able to fit into the awkward space to push it up, my hand strength just wasn't enough to get the job done. I did manage to get one of the prongs back in place, which just made it look worse. Then I promptly forgot to mention it to anyone.

When I got in the Volvo this weekend, I noticed that the panel was off again. I didn't even try to push it back into place. If none of my strong-handed colleagues can pop it back into place, I guess we'll have to mention it at our next service visit.

Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 11,260 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: My, What a Colorful Cabin

February 02, 2010

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I've only driven our long-term 2010 Volvo XC60 a handful of times, and everytime I climb in the cabin, I'm still overwhelmed by the variety of materials used to create this polychromatic experience.

This morning I counted six different materials. And not just in a variety of colors, but all different textures as well.

I don't hate the unusual combination, but there's something to be said about classic black-on-black as well.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 11,142 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Controls are Great for Blind People

January 29, 2010

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Earlier this week I complained about the silly display screen set-up of our Volvo XC60. Today, I will compliment the button lay-out. While complex tasks like controlling an iPod or programming the navigation system are not even close to being this car's forte, most-common tasks are.

For one, common controls literally fall right at hand. I reach my right arm out and the number pad is right there. Second, since it's a telephone-style number pad with the little nub on the 5, you've already been programmed to know which button you're pressing without looking. These Chiclet-like buttons are also separated from each other and raised from the surrounding backing. The volume button and the driver-side climate control knob are close to you and well-separated, while the little fan knob is not only placed by itself, but a unique size. Again, you know what they are without looking.

Directional man is another such control. Want air blowing at your head, press that round thing at top. Want it on your middle, press the middle. There was clearly a lot of thought put into this lay-out.

One of my good friends is blind, and I know he'd appreciate riding shotgun in the XC60. Nothing drives him crazy like an iDrive-like system or a touchscreen where he has no idea how to change a radio channel. He'll often just stab at something, calling up random commands just to piss me off. Come to think of it, maybe the XC60 isn't so great.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 10,705 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Rear Passenger Space

January 27, 2010

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You asked about rear passenger space in the 2010 Volvo XC60 as compared to other popular models. Here is a chart with rear leg room and rear head room. Data is from the Edmunds.com Web site.

Rear Leg Room (inches)

Read Head Room (inches)

2010 Volvo XC60

36.4

39.5

2010 Audi Q5

37.4

39.0

2010 Cadillac SRX

36.3

38.4

2010 Lexus RX 350

36.8

37.7

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2010 Volvo XC60: Dash Design Without Nav

January 26, 2010

car-of-the-week-banner-717.jpgNo Nav Screen Volvo XC60.jpg

I snapped this picture at the Phoenix Auto Show of a Volvo XC60 without the navigation system found in our long-termer. As you can see, the screen gives way to a shallow bin while the stereo and HVAC read-out survives above. This seems like a terrible waste of space.

Why not keep the bigger screen, but remove its (terrible) navigation functionality like Volkswagen does with its touchscreens? And while they're at it, why not add an expanded audio information function to the navigation system for those times when you know where you're going? See, Volvo is seemingly the only car company that has a navigation screen solely used for navigation. Actually, there is another, but guess where Aston Martin sources its navigation system from? I'll give you a hint, it's from Sweden.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor

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2010 Volvo XC60: I Like This

January 26, 2010

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I like this little storage compartment behind the waterfall center stack. It offers additional space for small items like my trusty Flip video camera or sunglass case.

This design also helps the cabin feel light and airy.

Just don't forget you left your items there.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2010 Volvo XC60: Family Duty

January 25, 2010

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I'm no vampire, but I do like the XC60 a lot and would consider it if I were in the market for a luxury compact family vehicle.

I love the styling. I really love our car's Terra Bronze Metallic paint. The visibility is very good, and safety equipment is off the charts.

I installed my gigantic Recaro Como car seat in the rear passenger side position so I could shuttle my almost-4-year-old around this weekend. Cinching it down was a bit of a squeeze in the compact rear quarters, but that's not unusual for crossovers of this size.

I love the fact that the Volvo has integrated booster seats, but my daughter isn't heavy enough yet to take advantage of them. Editor in Chief Oldham says they're quite easy to use, too. That would definitely be a selling point for me.

The cargo area is plenty spacious, but I could have really used a cargo net or other divider of some sort to prevent unruly groceries from rolling about back there this weekend. That's one of just a couple of minor complaints I have about this very capable family crossover.

Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 10,736 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD: Auto HVAC Adjustment Pitch

January 19, 2010

Our long-term 2010 Volvo XC60 has a fine-working dual-zone auto HVAC that keeps the cabin comfortable. Our tester also has the optional Interior Air Quality System with a carbon monoxide air quality sensor that helps filter out dust, pollen, and exhaust particles.

However, our XC60's auto HVAC has a 2 degree F temp adjustment pitch (interval). Most of the vehicles I have seen have a 1 deg temp pitch.

To me it makes no difference at all since I adjust the temperature to what's comfortable, as the temp setting can vary from vehicle to vehicle. And one degree doesn't mean anything to me.

But some people are quite particular about their HVAC setting, even bypassing the Auto function altogether. Others want 75F -- exactly.

How about you? Does your car have 2 deg temp pitch? Would this matter to you?


Albert Austria, Senior Engineer @ 10,550 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Built-In Booster Seat Review

January 04, 2010

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Our long-term 2010 Volvo XC60 is equiped with a $2,700 Climate & Child Seat & Technology Package and part of that package are two built-in child booster seats which I used with great success this weekend. What a great and unique feature that could not be easier to use. They just flip up and easily press down back into place for the adults in your life (see photo below).

Rear adaptive seatbelts (that self adjust when the booster seat is in use) with load limiters and power child locks on the rear doors are also part of the package.

Plus, you can adjust the height (there are two levels) to get the right seat belt position on kids ranging from 37-47 inches in height and weighing between 33-55 pounds and children 45-55 inches in height weighing between 48-80 pounds.

And when they are not in use, you'd never know they're there. In fact, I kept forgetting about them and finally remembered to give them a try this weekend. My kids thought they were to coolest thing they had ever seen and gave them an A+ for comfort.

Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief @ 9,788 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Seat Heater Review

December 23, 2009

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I'm not sure why, but when I think of Volvos I think of winter, snow, cold. I guess it's because they're from Sweden (well, now China) and when I think of Sweden I don't really think about beaches and convertibles regardless of that whole bikini team thing.

And that is why I expect Volvos to have the greatest seat heaters. But they don't.

Case in point: The seats heaters in our long-term 2010 Volvo XC60 suck. Even on the highest of their three levels you won't break a sweat on a 75 degree day. And they heat up unevenly, with too much of the sparsely supplied warmth on your butt and thighs and too little on your back.

Disappointing. Maybe the Chinese can fix them.

Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief @ 9,022 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Tight

December 10, 2009

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If I had to choose one word to describe our 2010 Volvo XC60 is would be "tight."

I don't mean that it's not spacious. I mean the way it is put together. Everything feels tight and solid. There are no loosey goosey bits.

The seats are firm, the steering wheel feels appropriately weighted, the buttons and dials all feel sturdy.

I remember getting this same impression in our long-term 2005 Volvo S40.

You can feel that everything fits snugly and securely. And it's not bad looking either. Nice.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

P.S. The Volvo still smells a little from my trip to the horse ranch. Sorry, fellow editors.

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2010 Volvo XC60: Adaptive Cruise Control

December 03, 2009

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I was in our Volvo XC60 a couple days ago for an early morning drive and found it to be an effective highway cruiser. The cabin is pretty quiet at speed, the driver seat is comfortable (though not as those in other Volvos) and the turbocharged inline-6 provides plenty of grunt for passes or when going up steep grades.

I also took the opportunity to fiddle around with the adaptive cruise control. Adaptive cruise control works by monitoring the distance of vehicles ahead of you. You just set your speed and the minimum distance gap. When the XC60's radar sensor detects a slower vehicle within that preset range, the XC60 automatically applies its brakes to adapt to that vehicle's speed.

Our Volvo is the only long-term car in recent memory to have this feature; it's part of the $1,700 Technology Package. Overall, the XC60's adaptive cruise control worked well for the two hours of driving on straight highway that I used it on. It's not a must-have feature by any means, but it is nice in that it eliminates the traditional need to cancel and reset your cruise speed every time a slower vehicle gets in your way. You can also just use regular cruise control if you want.

The only thing I noticed was that the XC60's cruise-speed adjustment buttons seem to bump you up or down in 5-mph increments, which is excessive. Presumably, there's a way to switch this back to the more normal 1-mph increment, but I didn't have the opportunity to RTFM.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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2010 Volvo XC60: Recall

December 02, 2009

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Volvo is recalling 2010 XC60 vehicles because the driver's seatbelt could become detached from the seat frame in some side impact crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

We will schedule our appointment soon.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 7,580 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Scuffed Interior Trim

November 23, 2009

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I like our 2010 Volvo XC60's classy-looking interior. But I was disappointed today to see that we've picked up some scuff marks on the metallic trim near the shifter. As is the case with pretty much any car's metallic trim in the Volvo's price range, it's not actually metal but rather painted plastic. No big deal -- normally, it looks fine. But Volvo runs the trim along the center stack's edges all the way down to where the shifter and cupholders are. And in this high-traffic area, there's a good chance that the trim's paint is going to get scratched if something hard drags or rubs against it.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 7,505 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Comfortable Rear Seat

November 13, 2009

XC60_backseat.jpgWhile our 2010 Volvo XC60's rear seat doesn't slide or recline, it's still quite comfortable by small luxury crossover standards. An elevated seat cushion height, decent legroom, ample headroom and a softly padded door armrest all combine to make this a vehicle I wouldn't mind riding in back of for short- or medium-length trips.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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2010 Volvo XC60: Horse Power

November 10, 2009

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This weekend I drove the gals to visit our friend's horse at the local ranch where she keeps him. His name is Caro. Isn't he the cutest?

I asked our fleet manager, Mike, for any car with navigation because once I leave the city streets I am totally lost. There is no cell service at the ranch so if I took a wrong turn, I wouldn't be able to call for directions.

Plugging the address into the Volvo XC60's navigation system was tedious. You can only use it when you are stopped, so my passengers couldn't enter the info while I was driving. Using the remote to dial in every letter and number was time consuming but no worse, I suppose, than other nav systems where you have to dial around for each digit.

The system gave me directions that were very precise, considering I was out in the middle of nowhere. The ranch has a somewhat blind driveway that I easily could have missed. But the Volvo's system knew where it was going.

When I pulled into the parking area it was pretty empty, but when I passed by the car later, it was sitting in a lineup of Volvos. I guess Volvos are the car of choice for horse lovers.

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My friends were impressed by the luxury interior of the XC60. I haven't made up my mind whether I like the light wood trim, but everyone else thought it looked very fine. And they were comfortable with plenty of room in the back seat.

Here's a picture of my friends's Mercedes filled with hay and carrots. I thought that was funny.

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I took the XC60 for a much-needed bath today after a long day at the ranch. We had done some hiking in the hills and the car smelled a little of horse poop after I got it back home.

Hopefully, the car wash took care of it.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 7,091 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Rear-View Mirror

October 22, 2009

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City Safety and other imagery equipment live in the console surrounding the rear-view mirror.

I've gotten used to it, but the first couple of times I drove the Volvo XC60 I thought this module takes up too much space on the windshield.

I took this photo slightly underneath so you could see it better.

What do you think, does it take up too much forward viewing space?

Here is the mirror from a regular viewing position, taken on a different day.

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2010 Volvo XC60: Mode Man

October 21, 2009

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Wow. There are plenty of switches on our long-term 2010 Volvo XC60's center stack. There's enough material there for several blogs.

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2010 Volvo XC60: Yea or Nay?

October 20, 2009

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Two-tone leather seats with contrast stitching. Two-tone interior door panels.

Do you like it or not? I offer no opinion. I want to hear yours.

Yea or Nay?

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2010 Volvo XC60: Control Freak

October 20, 2009

car-of-the-week-717.jpg2010 Volvo XC60 Interior

I may be over-reacting to one issue, but my enthusiasm for the XC60 is tempered some by the electronic displays and the controls that manage them.

There's a setup screen high in the center dash controlled by center-stack buttons, a vehicle-info readout in the tach center with a wheel and button on the left stalk, and of course, the Nav screen whose joystick and buttons are cleverly hidden on the far side of the steering wheel (or in a remote control that got stashed where, exactly?). We've already commented on the hidden Nav controls. Really fried me at first. But even getting past that, this feels like too many separate committees and not enough integration in the planning of the electronics.

In other news, the little XC looks good, I think, it drives nicely and I'm comfortable inside. So I wouldn't hesitate to hop in and put 500 miles on it. But its approach to driver-information readouts and controls put me off initially and I haven't entirely gotten over that.

Kevin Smith, Editorial Director @ 6,044 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Still Digging the Dash

October 15, 2009

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Volvo first introduced the flat panel dash several years ago in the S40 as I recall. I thought it looked cool then and I still do. It reduces the bulk of the dash area and opens up a little extra storage space at the same time.

I was unsure whether or not it would catch on, but here we are years later and it's still there. Maybe Volvo is stuck with it, or customers actually like it, I'm not sure. But I say, good for them. Like the lighting Oldham was referring to, it's different in a good way and that's always a good place to be. Can't say the same about the ventilation controls, but that's another post entirely.

Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor, Inside Line @ 5,811 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD: Cool Gauges

October 13, 2009

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Yesterday I posted about my enjoyable weekend in our new long-term 2010 Volvo XC60. Well, now I'd like to point out one of my favorite details on the Volvo.

Notice how its gauges, which are simplistically beautiful in their own right, are front lit. This is unusual. Only the hash marks around the dials are back lit. The rest of the illumination is being thown from the front.

Benz used to do this in the late eighties and early nineties on all of its cars including the W124 E-Class (the 1992-1994 500E/E500 is an all-time favorite of mine). And as far as I know, Volvo is the only car company to be doing it now.

I like it. Good for you Volvo. Dare to be different.

Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief @ 5,761 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Where's Mah Button?

October 08, 2009

Watch the video:

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2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD: The Car Seat Diaries

October 07, 2009

Bit more time in the long-term fleet than initially reported. Time to see how this new Volvo performs when hauling a kid in a car seat.

I climbed into the back seat to install our forward-facing Recaro Como child safety seat. There wasn't a lot of space to maneuver back there, but I'd expect that from a small crossover. And with the front passenger seat adjusted for the relative comfort of a 5'8" passenger, the legroom for the kid once she was in the seat was limited. In the photo above, the distance between the edge of the kid seat and the back of the front passenger seat is about 10 inches, roughly the length of a preschooler's lower leg--thankfully, our kid's not a kicker.

Other than limited maneuvering room, installing the seat was average on the kid seat-installation scale, though it took me a couple tries to get it really tight. The top tether anchor is in the middle of the second-row seatback, which is easy to access, though requires doing so through the rear hatch.

Someone else on staff with the right size kid will have to comment on the integrated booster seats that come with our car's Climate & Child Seat & Technology Package.

Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 5,549 miles

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2010 Volvo XC60 in VA is:

$109 per month*
* Explanation
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