2010 Volvo XC60: Dude's Weekend
September 13, 2010
Dude's Weekend 2010: Two dudes, a mountain resort town and a brown Volvo family crossover.
It certainly gave last year's dude's weekend of Paso Robles wine country and a beige Subaru Outback a run for its hetero money. Sure, I could've taken the ever-so butch Camaro instead, but we're secure in our sexuality and also figured a trip to a brewery, mountain biking down a mountain and waking up early for NFL opening day would balance things out ... or make us look like a charming couple of football enthusiast beer connoisseurs with an active lifestyle.
Whatever, onto the Volvo.
This was the fourth trip I've taken up to Big Bear Lake, all of which were accomplished using SUVs of very differing sorts. Two were accomplishes with Ford Flexes (short term and trusty long-term), while the third was in the winter using a Mercedes-Benz G550. While the XC60 wasn't nearly as awesome as commanding a luxury-lined black battle tank up the mountain, the Volvo did prove to be far-and-away the most adept at taking the many curves up Rim of the World Highway. The XC60 may have been the least fun to drive in the Edmunds luxury compact crossover comparison test, but I still enjoyed its reasonably tactile steering and it's still far more maneuverable than most of the lumbering, family-hauling trucks that clog the road up to Big Bear.
The Volvo's best attribute, however, is the turbo-6, which is a champ when it comes to elevation. With thinner air to breath in, the Flex's naturally aspirated 262-horsepower V6 loses about 56 horses at Rim of the World's tallest point of 7,112 feet. The G550 goes from 382 hp to 301. The turbocharged Volvo, however, keeps its gusto and it certainly makes a difference. It reminded me that Subaru has made a mistake by no longer offering a turbocharged engine in the Outback, a vehicle frequently purchased by folks who live in such snowy, higher elevations.
In total, the Volvo XC60 is a great choice for a weekend trip to a mountain resort -- skiing families take note. Prospective dude's weekenders? I'll let you draw your own conclusion.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 21,591 miles