January 11, 2011
The 2010 Volvo XC60 has reached the end of its term with us and we're all sad to see it go. It did so many things well - commute, trek, carry, haul, motor, and cruise. But I'll miss it especially because of its style.
There's more to the XC60's look than just its graceful combination of the usual European-style themes, though. It has style without silliness, which is more than you can say of utility vehicles executed recently by BMW (X6), Mercedes-Benz (GLK) and Porsche (Cayenne).
I'd argue that the ideal of utility helps Volvo resist the extravagance of the German brands. A vehicle is what it does as well as what it looks like, the Swedes remind us. And in a world where so much has the sickly sweet odor of marketing, such appreciation for utility is refreshingly honest.
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com
January 03, 2011
Volvo has long been at the forefront of automotive safety technology -- our XC60 is loaded with it, from City Safe to lane departure warning to Driver Alert Control. For 2011, the XC60 gets a new feature designed to protect pedestrians.
Called Pedestrian Detect with Full Auto Brake, this system uses radar and camera technology to keep an eye out for pedestrians in front of the car. If pedestrians are detected, the system issues a warning to the driver, and if the driver ignores that warning, the system applies the brakes.
Yeah, yeah, I know -- another electronic nanny. But when you consider that 11 percent of those killed in traffic accidents in this country are pedestrians, tech like this probably isn't a bad idea.
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor
December 30, 2010
I was browsing the online edition of the 2010 Volvo XC60's owner's manual just for fun when I came across an entry about Volvo's environmental philosophy. Now when I think about such things, I just assume they mean the car's fuel efficiency and emissions. But according to the manual, Volvo also takes into account the following:
1. Clean air in the passenger compartment which is made possible by the carbon filter which prevents sinister-sounding nitrous oxides and bydrocarbons from coming into the cabin.
2. Textile standard: Apparently the car's interior is also designed with consideration for folks with contact allergies or asthma and is made with "environmentally-compatible materials" that fulfill something called the Oeko-Tex 100 standard.
3. Reducing environmental impact by suggesting drivers do stuff like "remove unnecessary items from the car" to decrease the load and fuel consumption, "drive gently," and service their cars regularly.
4. The hard copy of the owner's manual is made of paper pulp from "FSC certified forests."
I wonder how big a part does this philosophy play in a consumer's consideration of the car.
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor
December 27, 2010
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief
October 14, 2010
Volvos are boxy but they're good. Everybody knows this and that's because legendary Volvo designer Jan Wilsgaard made them that way during his tenure at Volvo from 1950 to 1990. The son of a Norwegian merchant seaman, Wilsgaard was a workingman's designer, known for standing shoulder to shoulder with his studio craftsman and carving the clay from the models himself, wearing clogs while he worked as always.
Asked to comment on the success of the Volvo 240, the car that institutionalized the boxy look for Volvo, Wilsgaard said, "It might be due to the fact that the car is a little square and sluggish, just like the Swedes themselves."
It was British designer Peter Horbury who changed all that and made Volvos look cool, notably with his unique shoulder line that helps make the Volvo XC60 the best-looking of the compact SUV crossovers.
September 10, 2010
Photo Editor Kurt Niebuhr just returned from Sweden, where he picked up a Volvo C30 T5 that he'd purchased through Volvo's European delivery program. He had a nice time in Gothenburg, he says.
Most of the delivery program patrons were American, he says. Most of them were picking up some version of the XC60, which has become the Volvo model that you see most often in America. Just as the Volvo station wagon used to be the default Volvo in this country a decade ago, the XC60 is now the most frequently seen signature of Gothenburg.
Funny thing, though. Niebuhr says that the only kind of vehicle he saw on the Swedish road was the station wagon. Tens of thousands of them, all brands. He says that he once spent a half hour driving south from Gothenburg and saw nothing but wagons for 30 minutes.
What is it that Swedes know about utility vehicles that we don't?
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com @ 21,470 miles.
July 06, 2010
Made it! But only after a nauseating, easterly romp from Mendocino on otherwise gorgeous Highway 20. It was a long haul day (about 450 miles), but if you've never seen Crater Lake in Southern Oregon, it truly is a sight to behold.
July 03, 2010
Made it to Mendocino. It's true what I've heard: "Too cute," and picturesque beyond words. I've avoided it for all these years because of that reputation, but I must admit there's something magical and genuine about it, as well. See for yourself, and after the jump, you'll see what Abalone looks like after a serious pounding and prior to frying (plus some too-cute and picturesque photos).
June 23, 2010
Cars like the C30 and the smoking-hot new S60 make it clear that Volvo is perfectly capable of sexing up the joint if it so chooses. Still, I'd never really seen the XC60 in the same, or even in a similar, light; it had always struck me as just a decent-looking mom-mobile with great ergonomics and lots of cool safety tech.
But there's at least one person out there who sees things differently. As I was taking these shots of the crossover outside one of my favorite health-food stores, a woman rushed up to me to compliment me on its looks, and to tell me that she was considering getting one. She didn't seem to fall within the typical Volvo demographic -- she was in her 20s, and bore no obvious signs of being a soccer mom. Anyway, after speaking with her, I took a second look at the XC60, and concluded that her enthusiasm had some merit -- it's not a bad-looking ride.
What do you think of this Volvo's sheet metal?
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor
May 24, 2010
Headlight sprayers are cool. Pointless, but cool. Also, very messy.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief
May 24, 2010
Recently there has been a fair bit of debate about the goods and bads of certain gas cap holding systems fueled by Brent Romans' recent post on our long-term VW GTI. Forget the fact that people are obviously just too stupid to put the cap atop the gas pump and remember to reinstall it on the car before they drive away. Instead, every car company has highly paid engineers wasting time on gas cap storage systems, which at best drives up the cost of our cars and at worst takes resources away from developing the vehicle's other systems and improving things like fuel mileage and safety.
Oh well, it's the modern world we live in.
Having said that, I think Volvo has the whole gas cap thing figured out. The gas cap tether system on our long-term VC60 is simple and affective. And unlike some other tether systems, it keeps the cap off the SUV's paint. Notice how it is hanging straight down from the gas door and is not in contact with the Volvo's chocolate brown finish.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 16,342 miles
May 10, 2010
Our long-term 2010 Volvo XC60 has a rear fog lamp. What's different about the Volvo's is that it is in the bumper, where other SUV's have passive reflectors, instead of in the tail lamp.
I don't know how visible it would be when it's that low.
Albert Austria, Senior Engineer @ 15,500 miles
March 18, 2010
Our 2010 Volvo XC60 might not be dirt-proof, but with its Terra Bronze Metallic paint, you hardly notice a speck of road grime.
The dark windows, however, are another matter. Every dried drip shows on the outside of the glass. An especially stark contrast against the ever-clean body.
Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 13,260 miles
January 29, 2010
I dig the pop culture.
In 1958 Harvey Ortner and his wife Minnie built The Broiler restaurant on Firestone Blvd. on the site of an old chicken farm in Downey, California. Their architect was Paul B. Clayton who penned a classic example of what would become know as "Googie" style architecture. In Googie, according to www.bobsbigboybroiler.com, elements of space age are melded with neon, river rock and large panels of glass to create buildings that were visual works of art-vertising that so overwhelmed the view, they couldn't help but explore further.
Harvey's was topped by a 60 foot bent arrow shaped sign with 6 foot tall neon letters that could be seen from a mile away.
January 28, 2010
I like the styling of our XC60 for the most part. Not boxy, not too big, not a lot of chrome.
But there's one thing that annoys me every time I look at it. I'm referring not only to the oddly massive Volvo badge, but also the large cruise control radar stuck in the grille.
Was that really the best job of concealment they could do? I've seen similar systems on other cars that were integrated in a way that made them far less obvious. It's especially odd given how detailed the rest of the car's exterior styling was done. Oh well, I guess it was an option so maybe it didn't get the same level of scrutiny as the lovely headlights.
Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor, Inside Line
January 26, 2010
Another Car of the Week, another Suspension Walkaround -- that's how it's supposed to go, anyway. But I've caught up to a point where many of the recent CoTW selectees have already undergone the procedure. Not so the 2010 Volvo XC60. Let's see what's going on under there.
January 22, 2010
Our 2010 Volvo XC60 has a big rear wiper that does a full sweep of the back window. A+
December 22, 2009
While, like Erin, I do like the styling of the XC60, I have to say that I miss the old boxy Volvos of my youth. There was a 1970 Volvo coupe in my family (purchased by my then-single mom when she lived in Germany and brought to the States after she married my dad. It stayed in the family until 1990.) that pretty much sealed my boxy-Volvo-loving fate.
But I do have to say I love the warm, rich color of our Terra Bronze Metallic paint. It's subtle and attractive. Not too flashy, but worlds better than silver or charcoal or black would be. If I were going to buy an XC60, this would be the color I'd choose. What do you think of our brown crossover's color?
Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 8,935 miles
December 16, 2009
Last night I took my first drive in our 2010 Volvo XC60 T6. After 60 miles, I can say that it drives fine. Acceleration is just fine, with more than enough torque for passing (peak is 295 lb-ft at 1,500 rpm). The ride is just fine, with about the right blend of compliance and control. Handling is fine, with a nice flat cornering attitude around cloverleaf ramps.
But this is the attribute of the XC60 I'm fixated on: this taillight. I saw it reflected in my neighbor's window and it reminded me how much I like the design of current Volvos. In almost every case, I find their styling more interesting and memorable than how they actually drive.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 8,722 miles
December 14, 2009
Last Saturday, it was raining cats and Chihuahuas here in Los Angeles. And I was glad to have the XC 60 while driving through it all, surprisingly thanks to the more lower-tech of its long list of safety features. In addition to the quick-acting rear defogger and side-view mirror heaters, the XC 60 also has something European cars are more likely to have than American cars are -- a rear fog light. In addition to the expected fronts, the latter (seen here in the lower left corner of the XC60's rear bumper) provides a little more peace of mind when you're driving in low-visibility conditions.
Here in L.A., some drivers don't bother using their headlights (even though it's a law here) while driving in the rain. Then again, hardly anyone in L.A. ever uses their turn signals, either. These fools seem to think that headlights are only for nighttime use, not realizing that they allow other drivers to better see them coming during low visibility weather, such as when sheets of rain reduce said visibility to less than thirty yards or so. And that's the purpose of the rear fog light too, as it is much brighter than the standard running lights to give those following you more advance notice that there is indeed another car in front of them.
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 8,658 miles
December 02, 2009
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
November 19, 2009
I imagine most of us either had a Volvo wagon in our family growing up or knew of somebody who did. But then people's tastes changed in the 1990s and Volvo slowly lost its wagon-making mojo. There's still a wagon -- the V70 -- but there's not a whole lot about it to recommend.
In my mind, the XC60 has taken the place of the Volvo family wagon. It's less expensive than the XC90 yet is nearly as roomy. There's respectable power from our T6's turbocharged inline-6. And so far we've been able to use our long-termer just like somebody might have used a 240 or 740 wagon back in the day, such as when Kelly used it to shuttle 13 flats of Girl Scout snack nuts earlier this month.
Curiously, though, American's haven't warmed up to the XC60 yet as much as I would have thought. Of the three new European small luxury crossovers -- the other two being the Audi Q5 and the MB GLK-Class -- the XC60 is posting the smallest year-to-date sales so far. But hey, the Twilight Saga: New Moon movie opens tomorrow, and here the XC60 gets some vampire product placement. Will that correlate to more awareness of this modern Volvo family vehicle? It certainly won't hurt.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor
October 19, 2009
I did not drive our new long-term 2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD to San Francisco this past weekend as this photo might suggest. But I would without hesitation given the opportunity and the gasoline.
When I stumbled upon this fantastic image of the XC60 sitting under the Golden Gate Bridge I found myself asking a question nobody has asked me about Volvo's new crossover, "Would you want to drive it to San Francisco and back?"
For those of you that don't live in the west, San Francisco is a six-to-seven-hour drive north of our office in Santa Monica if you take the freeways and interstates. Take the coast and the trip will require a toothbrush and fresh pair of undies.
It's the kind of all day run that requires a comfortable vehicle with above average fuel range (to get you through those "middle of nowhere" stretches) and plenty of passing power (to get around all those 18-wheelers).
Anyway, the answer is yes. Absolutely yes I would gladly take our Volvo XC60 to San Francisco and back. Such road trips are partly what family trucksters like this are all about and the Volvo hits the mark.
What about your ride? Is it road trip friendly?
Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief
October 09, 2009
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor