2010 Volvo XC60 Long-Term Road Test - Audio & Technology

2010 Volvo XC60 Long-Term Road Test

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2010 Volvo XC60: Pedestrian Detect with Full Auto Brake

January 03, 2011

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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

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2010 Volvo XC60: What Does That Mean?

December 31, 2010


Noticed this on our 2010 Volvo XC60's display. Any guesses what the "(74)" stands for? If you don't know, hit the jump. If you do, gold star for you.

According to the owner's manual (page 156), it refers to the resumed set speed of cruise control. And just FYI, I didn't set that.

Anyway, I thought that was pretty nifty as that's not something I see too often. BTW, Happy New Year!

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor

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2010 Volvo XC60: Know What These Buttons Do?

December 03, 2010


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: Driver Alert Control

November 30, 2010

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Photo courtesy of Volvo.

Came across an interesting statistic recently: A study released by the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals that 41 percent of the respondents admit to having fallen asleep behind the wheel at some point. Driving while drowsy appears to be pretty widespread. As such, it's little wonder that car manufacturers have come up with technology to address it.

Volvo's version is called Driver Alert Control, and it uses a camera on the windshield to detect when the car is moving in a way that suggests driver drowsiness. If the system concludes that you're sleepy or distracted, a warning beep is issued and the message shown above appears on the dash.

This feature is offered as part of the $1,700 Technology package on the 2010 XC60; this package also includes features like adaptive cruise control, a lane departure warning system and Volvo's collision warning system.

Is Driver Alert Control a safety feature you'd invest in?

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 25,562 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD: Audio Review

November 26, 2010


The Volvo XC60 is a lot of what a compact luxury crossover should be, and little of what it shouldn't. (For proof beyond the mostly positive posts here, check out the Edmunds.com comparo that the XC60 handily won, spanking contenders from Audi, Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz.) The turbocharged in-line 6-cylinder engine in our 2010 Volvo XC60 T6 gets this family and gear hauler going in a hurry. The XC60 also offers ample interior room for the comfort of your bros and all their cargo, and it's stocked with some of the most advanced safety technology available to protect not only occupants, but now pedestrians in the vehicle's path.

Our XC60 has the $2,700 Multimedia Package option, which includes a premium sound system from Volvo's fellow Scandinavians Dynaudio, a Danish company known for their excellent loudspeakers and no-nonsense designs. But most compact luxury crossovers offer some form of premium sound. So is the Dynaudio system another thing that separates the XC60 from its competitors? We ran our beloved XC60 through a battery of audio tests to find out.

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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

Volvo XC60 keypad.JPG

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: Found the Clock

September 14, 2010

XC60 Gauges no clock.jpg

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: Tire Pressure Monitoring System

September 07, 2010


This is not what you want to see while driving to a barbeque on a holiday weekend.

The Volvo XC60 has three levels of warning: Tire Pressure Low, Check Tires, and Tire Pressure Very Low. But it doesn't tell you which tire is the culprit. So, I had to stop and check all four. Luckily I hadn't been driving for very long, so the tires were still fairly cold.

The problem tire was the rear passenger side. I inflated it to the proper pressure and the warning light went out. I continued on my merry way, keeping an eye on the gauges in case I had an actual problem with the tire. The XC60 will check inflation pressure levels when the vehicle reaches a speed of 20 mph.

Fortunately, it was fine the rest of the weekend.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 21,032 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60 Road Trip (Wrap-up)

July 12, 2010

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After 2,490 miles, 120.9 gallons of fuel, and an average of 21 mpg, the Road Trip is done. That fuel economy is pretty remarkable considering the EPA's Hwy mpg figure is exactly the same at 21 mpg, but we managed it with a few hundred pounds of family and stuff.

Follow the jump to see my final impressions and a few more snap shots from the road.

The best fuel economy we earned was on the 428-mile run (a record number of miles from one tank in the XC60, by the way) from Sunriver, OR to Sacramento, CA where, for reasons I cannot comprehend, we earned 25 mpg. I had hoped the next tank would take me the rest of the way home from Sacramento to Fullerton (the navi said it was just 417 miles--see below), but again, for reasons I cannot surmise, that tank took me just 371 miles to Castaic.

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2010 Volvo XC60 Navigation System vs. Blackberry

May 12, 2010


Today I was riding shotgun in our 2010 Volvo XC60 while Executive Editor Michael Jordan drove. We'd neglected to program our destination into the XC60's navigation system before setting out, so I figured I'd use the car's TV-style auxiliary remote to do it en route.

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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 T6 AWD: Just Say "No" To Adaptive Cruise

February 22, 2010

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Our longterm 2010 Volvo XC60's optional adaptive cruise control is far too conservative. And this makes it frustrating.

Even at the minimum of the five folllowing distance/times from which it allows you to select, the system leaves too much of a space cushion. This means the system is constantly chicken-little-ing, hauling the speed down WAY before it's really necessary, which forces unusually early lane changes and/or allows other drivers to change lanes in front of you... which triggers further chicken little action, and so on.

As a result of this behavior I found myself cancelling the system when I spotted another car in my lane way up ahead. A few instances of this and I just gave up on cruise control entirely.

But here's what I view as the biggest shortcoming of the Volvo's optional adaptive cruise -- there is no way to simply revert to conventional "dumb" cruise control. Now that's dumb.

I should note that my esteemed colleague Brent Romans rather liked the system. Also, I'm not saying that all adaptive cruise control systems are worthless. Mercedes-Benz' system, for instance, is quite effective at not being flummoxed by moderate (or even heavy) freeway traffic.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor

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2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD: Aw, C'mon!

February 11, 2010


Seriously? Never mind the obtuse steering-wheel interface (or hand-held remote that isn't much better) for the navigation system, but this photo clearly shows a FAIL in terms of scaling the real-time traffic info to the map size. To my eye, the red arrows would seem to point to areas where the real-time traffic display is worthless: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, oh, and over there.

Chief Road Test Editor, Chris Walton @ 11,580 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Navigation System Spelling Bee

January 11, 2010

XC60 Milestone Navi.jpg

Happy 10k XC60. I enjoyed your comfortable ride, heated seats, satellite radio and adaptive cruise control (ACC) this weekend. But it appears that one of your talents is not spelling. Or more accurately, not one of the talents of whomever or whatever is responsible for entering POI data into the navigation system. Seriously, "Geetty" for L.A.'s beloved Getty Museum?

John DiPietro, Automotive Editor at 10,002 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Collision Warning Freak Out

December 07, 2009

Our XC60 is fitted with Volvo's Collision Warning system which flashes a visual alert on the windshield, triggers an audio alarm and will apply the brakes at up to 50 percent of maximum braking power. I had a few false alarms from this system when driving the XC60 over the weekend. One is excusable, the other might not be.

The above photo shows the visual alert which is a line of LEDs built into the dashboard that reflect off the windshield when illuminated. They're much brighter and more obvious than this photo illustrates.

Here are the two scenarios:

The first false happened leaving our office's underground parking garage last week. When approaching the ramp, the system activated in all it's beeping, flashing glory. The ramp to street level is steeply raked enough that it's likely the rear-view-mirror-mounted laser sensor saw the it as an obstacle directly in the line of travel. Because there was no risk, I kept my foot in the throttle and the brakes were never applied -- but the warnings were distracting.

The second situation is less easily forgiven. The system was triggered when driving down a narrow, curving two-lane street at 25 or 30 mph in moderate rain. My guess is that the sensor probably picked up one of the cars parked on the side of this very narrow street and assumed (because the street curves heavily) that it was a car in my lane. In some places on this street parked vehicles actually align directly with the front of cars driving in the lanes. Again, the audible and visual warnings only last a few seconds and the brakes were never applied.

Systems like Collision Warning and City Safety (which can completely halt the XC60 at maximum brake force) are substantial pieces of technology which utilize expensive hardware and demand extensive tuning. Having the sensor range necessary to make them effective probably requires compromises like these in certain situations. Whether those compromises are worth it or not is up to you.

Josh Jacquot, Senior road test editor

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2010 Volvo XC60: Adaptive Cruise Control

December 03, 2009


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: Annoying Backup Camera Warning

November 30, 2009


Most vehicles fitted with navigation systems have some sort of disclaimer about how one shouldn't use the navigation system while driving. A smaller percentage of cars also have warnings about their backup cameras. OK, sure, I understand that we live in a litigious society and there is a subsequent need for such things. But the warning that pops up for our 2010 Volvo XC60's review camera display is particularly annoying.

Put the XC60 into reverse and the camera's view pops up on the navigation screen. But the top one-fourth of the display is taken up by a legal disclaimer. This text blocks the camera's view of what's about to come into to the Volvo's path. You can still see what's directly behind you, so it's not all bad. But for parking-lot situations where you are wondering if a car is coming down a lane, it's just about worthless.

The warning goes away after about 5 seconds, and it only comes up the first time you put the Volvo in reverse. But the first 5 seconds is exactly when most people are actually planning on backing up, and typically you're only putting a car in reverse one time for any given trip. The solution to all this is to just wait for the warning to go away or just not bother using the camera at all. But overall I've found this issue to be the most annoying on a day-to-day basis for our long-term XC60.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 7,545 miles

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2010 Volvo XC60: Disappointing iPod Interface

November 16, 2009


As iPod interfaces go, the one in our 2010 Volvo XC60 is a little disappointing considering the car's luxury badge. We covered the interface as part of a whole XC60 technology review on Edmunds Daily, but I felt it was worth calling out specifically here.

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2010 Volvo XC60: Horse Power

November 10, 2009


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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2010 Volvo XC60: City Safety Demo

October 22, 2009

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for car-of-the-week-banner-717.jpgVolvo City Safe 003.jpg

Disclaimer in advance: The "test" you are about to see was not done on our Long Term 2010 Volvo XC60, but rather on a short-term car which we covered in a Full Test

Further disclaimer: It's not a very valid test of Volvo's City Safety collision warning system that applies the brakes-- outranking your throttle inputs, you can stay on the gas and it still works -- when it senses a frontal collision. We didn't have a spare car to potentially crash a Volvo into, the Camaro wasn't here yet, so we just set up a few boxes, sometimes a trash can, lined them with reflective tape and tried to knock them over!

Oh, and we videoed it.

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2010 Volvo XC60: Rear-View Mirror

October 22, 2009


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

car-of-the-week-banner-717.jpgVolvo XC60 center stack.jpg

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: 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 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: Where's Mah Button?

October 08, 2009

Watch the video:

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