2010 Volvo XC60 Long-Term Road Test - Performance

2010 Volvo XC60 Long-Term Road Test

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  • Long-Term

2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD: Twin Scroll, No Waiting -- A Turbo Walkaround

January 04, 2011

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By now you know that our longterm 2010 Volvo XC60 has a lot of motor under the hood, even if you can't really see it when you pop the clamshell. The mill is torque-rich at low engine speeds and hustles the big wagon around with surprising authority. In short? It's got sauce.

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2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD: Bad Weather Brand

December 29, 2010

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There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. If you're wearing the right stuff, then you can get through any kind of weather.

Driving the Volvo XC60 is like having the right kind of clothes for any weather. If you're looking out the window and seeing rain or snow right now, you'd be a lot happier if you had the key to this Volvo in your pocket.

It's more than just the Haldex all-wheel-drive system. It's the Pirelli Scorpion tires, good headlights and effective wipers, not to mention good door seals, and a full-strength defrosting and heating system. Plus seat heaters.

Even better, when you're wearing a winter coat and have got boots and gloves and all the rest of it, you can actually drive this Volvo, which is not something that might be said of a snappy little sport coupe with high-bolstered seats, little tiny pedals and toylike buttons on the dash.

It's true that there's probably only a week or two the whole year when this sort of stuff is important. The rest of the time you can make through with shorts and flip-flops. But when you need what the XC60 offers, you really need it.

More than 25,000 miles on the Volvo XC60 and we seem to like it more every day. And that's not something that happens often. The next thing you know, someone is going to turn the XC60 into ski boots.

Michael Jordan, Executive editor, Edmunds.com

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2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD: Crash Test Videos

December 27, 2010

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2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD: Answering Your Questions

December 27, 2010


carlisimo says:

04:05 PM, 12/22/10

kevm14, I had the same experience with a 2002 Camry. The current generation is significantly better (I'd call it "not bad").

How tippy does the XC60 feel? Is it sedan-like at all?

Carlisimo, one of the reasons I like driving the XC60 so much is that is doesn't feel tippy. The Volvo feels very sedan-like, from its seating position (you feel like you sit in it, not on it) to its solid road manners, it's easy to forget you're not in a traditional car.

rod_stewart says:

05:21 PM, 12/22/10

Editor in Chief Oldham:

But is the steering heavy like an old Volvo's?

I think that's what the guy was asking.


Heavy? Well, that's hard to define exactly. Heavy or light is a very personal judgement. But I will say that I'm a huge fan of the Volvo's steering. I like the weight of the assist (not too heavy and not too light for my taste) and I find its ratio to be just quick enough. I also appreciate how natural it feels. Remember its good old fashioned hydraulic power steering (no electric) and its feels good as a result.

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2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD: Roadtrip in the Rain(bow)

December 20, 2010


On Saturday I had the fun of loading the family (wife, two kids and doggy) into our long-term 2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD and driving the 150 miles to grandma's house and back in the worst torrential rain Los Angeles has seen in 65 years (I'm not sure that's true, but it was, and still is, raining hard.)

All I can say is: I'm glad we were in the Volvo.

The XC60 felt secure and safe. Even on PZeros approaching 25,000 miles old, it tracked true and would only dance a bit in severe standing water. I also appreciated the Volvo's turbocharged power. I always had plenty in reserve to blast around those that were obviously fearful of the weather.

Hey, you in the Buick and/or Prius. If you're afraid to drive in the rain, don't. Going 35 mph on the freeway is going to cause an accident. Not to mention make traffic.

The rain also revealed that our XC60 may be in need of new wiper blades. And I guess I should mention the picture perfect rainbow we spotted out past Cabazon. Hey kids, look at that.

We only have a few weeks left with this brown crossover. The schedule is to return it to Volvo after the first of the year. Is there anything specific you want us to post about before we give it back?

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 26,902 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD: Feels Good at 100 MPH

December 19, 2010


According to our death defying professional driver on a closed course our long-term 2010 Volvo XC60 feels great at 100 mph. Smooth. Steady. Stable. Effortless.

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 26,669 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: No Noticeable Difference

November 30, 2010


Over the holiday weekend I asked our Facebook Likers what they wanted me to test on our Volvo. One person asked if we notice a lack of engine power when the XC60 is full of people and their luggage.

The answer is no. I don't notice a real difference. When you drive the Volvo XC60, its torquey turbocharged six-cylinder engine provides lots of power at the get-go, 295 lb-ft at a low 1,500 rpm. When the car is full, it still gets moving right away. And its 281 horsepower is no slouch on the highway. Good engine.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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Photo by Kurt Niebuhr

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2010 Volvo XC60: Meeting Another XC60 Owner

September 27, 2010


Over the weekend I happened to park next to another XC60 while running an errand. The timing was perfect as I pulled in just as the other guy did. (In fact, my three-year-old daughter, who was sitting back, noticed before I did. Out of the blue, she said" Daddy, it matches!" It took me a moment to realize what she was talking about.) I ended up talking to the owner for a few minutes. He was young (probably in his 30s) and he had just bought his new XC60 3.2 the previous day by trading in his older S40.

I told him about Edmunds and the XC60 being a test car (it's otherwise a challenge to explain the New Jersey plates from Volvo headquarters) and he wanted to know what I liked best about it. I had to think about it for a moment, but ultimately said I liked its classy styling, strong turbo inline-6 and reasonably roomy interior. He took a peek inside and then said, "So is the navigation system as bad as everybody says it is?" Yep, pretty much. He made the right choice by skipping it.

Overall it was pretty cool to talk to a new owner. I've only seen a handful of XC60s on the road, but for picking a small luxury crossover he made a great choice.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 23,021 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Respectable Handling

September 22, 2010


When you hear the phrase "Volvo crossover SUV," going out on a curvy road for an enthusiastic drive is not the first thing that comes to mind. But should you find yourself driving a XC60 on a curvy road, you certainly won't complain.

There's decent grip from the Pirelli 235/60R18 tires, the steering is precise and overall the XC60's handling is pretty balanced. This isn't to say it's the athlete the small luxury crossover SUV segment; that award falls to the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. But the XC60 definitely holds its own in this segment, and that allows its other qualities (functionality, safety, styling) to shine through.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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2010 Volvo XC60: Dude's Weekend

September 13, 2010

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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.

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2010 Volvo XC60: The Forgotten Straight Six

July 20, 2010

As straight-six engines go, Volvo's turbocharged 3.0-liter doesn't get much respect. This despite nearly matching the output numbers of the world's most famous force-fed six, the BMW 3.0-liter.

I suppose there are reasons why. The Volvo's wheezy exhaust note is one issue. I suppose the fact that it's mounted sideways doesn't help its street cred either.

These things aside, however, the Volvo's engine isn't bad at all. It moves the XC60 quickly off the line and it's no lightweight. The power delivery is smooth too. A little bit of a peak is detectable, but nothing that makes it feel ill-suited to an SUV. Maybe it needs better marketing.

Ed Hellwig, Editor, Inside Line @ 20,472 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: I Have 15, Do I Hear 20?

May 12, 2010


We've been driving our Volvo XC60 for over 8 months now. As you can see in the photo above, we missed its 15,000-mile birthday by a few hundred.

We only have it until June when it will turn into a pumpkin and go back to the Volvo-godmother. Can we make 20,000 miles by then? Probably not.

I'll miss the Volvo. It may have had its faults, like a frustrating navigation system. But it has a nice torquey engine, responsive automatic transmission, comfortable seats, a built-in rear booster seat, a pleasing audio system and the light colored interior still looks fresh as a daisy -- even after I took it to horse-poop ranch.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 15,588 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: You Have a Very Important Message...

March 22, 2010

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First off, our 2010 Volvo XC60 proved itself the perfect road trip vehicle for a short vacay in the mountains. Not only was it comfy inside for four passengers and all their gear but that turbo really helped us take mountain passes and slow drivers with ease, even with a packed car. Fun stuff.

In any case, on the way back to L.A. after a fuel stop we noticed the above message on the dash. It worried us. Not knowing off-hand how to retrieve the message we RTFM and saw that there was a handy "Read" button on the left steering wheel stalk.

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2010 Volvo XC60: Smooth

March 16, 2010


Part of the pleasure of driving the 2010 Volvo XC60 is its smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. When you're cruising around, it climbs through gears almost imperceptibly with no bother to the driver.

And when you want to kick it on the freeway or up a hill, it's always eager to comply with a smooth and quick downshift.

Have any of you driven a Volvo XC60?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD: Trip to Sequoia National Park

February 16, 2010

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I bought some nifty SCC Super Z6 chains for a Presidents' Day get-away to the Sequoia National Park because we heard it dumped over 8-feet of snow, but when we arrived, we found the roads had been plowed and we didn't need them once. Follow the jump to see more photos of really big trees and the Volvo XC60 in its natural habitat. Even the boring-brown metallic paint job looks right in this place.

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2010 Volvo XC60: Narrow Alleys are Not Your Friend

February 04, 2010


Searching for an ATM this morning in an unfamiliar neighborhood led me into a long, narrow alley. Worse yet, the alley ended in a "T" at a massive chainlink fence. Both the right and left turns were so tight, I immediately started to back up to better position myself for a multiple-point turn.

After several attempts and numerous warnings from the Volvo XC60's parking sensors, I gave up on the right-turn option. The left turn proved to be easier, with less protruding obstacles in the way.

At 38.4 feet, the XC60's turning radius is on par with the Acura RDX, Audi Q5 and Lexus RX 350. But really I wouldn't want to be blundering through that graffiti-covered alley in any of those midsize crossovers.

Next time I'm silly enough to dive down a blind alley, I'd prefer to do it in our agile Honda Fit.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 11,233 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Wet Weather and '70's Television

January 15, 2010


Hey, it's Friday afternoon. Lets have some fun.

But first lets get a little business out of the way. As you can see in this photo, I recently drove our long-term 2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD in the rain. As expected, it performed wonderfully in the slick conditions.

Okay, now the fun part. What car related '70's TV show did this small Venice, California building appear in regularly as the place of residence of one of the show's main characters?

I'll post the answer in a few hours.

Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief

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2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD: Track Tested

December 29, 2009

Like every car in our Long Term fleet, our 2010 Volvo XC60 paid its dues upon entry with a trip to the track and a hearty flogging at the hands of our trained professional test drivers.

They chucked this 4,000+lb SUV through the slalom, around the skidpad and down the skidpad.

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2010 Volvo XC60: Soft Pedal But Good Brakes

December 24, 2009


When we tested our long-term 2010 Volvo XC60 at our test track (full test numbers will hit this blog next week) it stopped from 60 mph in just 119 ft. Which is excellent. And its four-wheel disc brakes resist heat well and don't fade after repeated hard use.

While the 119 ft. stop was on the first try and the second run was longer at 123 ft., the third and fourth runs were both 124 ft. long, with is still quite respectable.

The problem is the spongy, soft feel of the Volvo's brake pedal. Feels like you're pushing the pedal into a vat of marshmellows and the first inch or so of pedal travel doesn't really do much.

I hate that. And it's a very big scare on an otherwise dynamically competent and likable vehicle.

Maybe the Chinese can fix it.

Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief @ 9,072 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD: On the Flight Deck

November 16, 2009


Once you shut off the engine on a warm day, the fan kicks in to cool the radiator with an enthusiasm I haven't heard since the last century. It sounds like you're standing next to a Grumman F6F Hellcat winding up for a takeoff from an aircraft carrier, like some kind of ultimate hi-def promo for the Military Channel.

Michael Jordan, Executive Editor @ 7,054 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD: I'm a Fan

October 12, 2009

Volvo-hike.jpgI'm at the tail end of a long-weekend with our new long-term 2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD and my complaints are trivial at best.

1) While the driver's seat is comfortable, I'd like the seat bottom cushion to be a little longer for a bit more thigh support.

2) For the Volvo's sticker price I think it should have a power liftgate. It does not.

Otherwise, I'm a fan of our new chocolate brown, people hauler from the land of tiny meatballs. I've even made peace with its odd navigation controls with are mounted on the back of the steering wheel. Give them a chance and they are quite intuitive.

I'm also a big fan of its styling and its turbocharged powertrain. This is without question one of the most attractive, best performing new luxury crossovers out there and I'll never hesitate to grab its key.

Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief @ 5,722 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD: Torquey, But What's That Sound?

October 06, 2009


Lag? What lag? Our long-term 2010 Volvo XC60 packs a turbocharged I6, but you'd never know it from the way it delivers torque from a standstill. It's a robust and hearty (yes, I just ate some chili) mill that simply drives like a large-displacement engine. Just a nice, linear pull, even at part-throttle. A tip of the hat to modern twin-scroll turbos like the one tucked away behind that black slab pictured above.

During steady part-throttle acceleration, its turbocharged nature is revealed--this engine makes a hollow sucking sound that, once noticed, is difficult to miss. Dip the throttle more aggressively or chop it completely and the sound goes away. Based on the driving circumstances that produce the sound, I'm almost certain that the turbo's compressor bypass valve is responsible.

Aside from that, it's a smooth operator that falls nearly silent at a constant cruise. This is a solid engine.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 5,537 miles.

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2010 Volvo XC60 T6: Victory Affirmed

October 05, 2009

2010 Volvo XC60 Interior

Back in August, our long-term Volvo XC60 came out on top in the Edmunds comparison test of compact luxury crossovers, edging out the Mercedes-Benz GLK, Audi Q5 and Cadillac SRX. We praised the Volvo for its family-friendly features and space, well-balanced nature, and appealing styling inside and out. I mean, just look at that interior. Ain't it cool? After a weekend spent in the XC60, those thoughts and its victory were easily affirmed in my mind. In fact, I'm thinking even more highly of Volvo's new crossover.

Though we dinged the Volvo's steering, that was when driven aggressively on a winding road while being compared back-to-back with the others. In the real world, it feels responsive and linear enough and I'd happily live with it on a daily basis.

I'd be more than happy to live with the T6 engine, which is tremendously eager, torquey and smooth. Turbo lag isn't really a concern. I just love this engine and I really like this car.

The next however many months should be interesting with the XC60. There's an awful lot to discuss, especially considering the fact that the last Volvo long-termer we had, an '05 S40, departed our fleet in 2006 before the blog (or myself) even existed. I'm particularly interested to see how that light interior (especially the wheel) holds up given our track record.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 5,469 miles

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Past Long-Term Road Tests