Road Tested: 2017 Volvo XC60 T6


SAN FRANCISCO March 22, 2017 — The Volvo XC60 has been in this format for a number of years now, however, the 2017 does away with the former engine choices and simply has two selections now – a 2.0 liter, 4-cylinder engine comes in two variants. One with a turbocharger that develops 240hp/258lb-ft of torque (no the T5 model) and another that has both a turbocharger and supercharger – on the T6 only – this one puts out 302 horsepower with 295 lb-ft of torque. This T6 model is – by default – all wheel drive.

There is only one transmission available, an 8-speed automatic that does a good job of gliding easily through each gear and helping put the power down when needed. There wasn’t much to complain about in the way it shifted – it even does an admirable job of holding the gears when you really need the performance out of it.

The EPA rates this car at 19mpg around and 27 on the freeway for a combined average of 23mpg. Clearly not the best around, considering the small displacement of the engine.

The somewhat dated design still manages to look mostly modern but will be getting a facelift in the next model year. To its credit, this current body style has lasted several generations and still looks great – we’re excited to see where they take it, however, in the future.

One of the best features of Volvo cars, in general, is the quality of the fit and finish inside the cabin area. Stitched leather, quality surface materials and things just laid-out in a functional fashion. It’s not glitzy or glamorous but extremely well-stated at the same time.

There are three trim levels to pick from when choosing a T6 – Dynamic, Inscription and R-design – our test model was outfitted with the Inscription which adds blind-spot monitoring, a walnut wood inlay, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, accent lighting and diamond-cut aluminum alloy wheels.

Its infotainment system has eight speakers that are powered by a 160-watt amplifier and harnesses a seven-inch display to control things with. Overall sound quality is good but we’d like to see Volvo start offering a more premium audio experience for the XC60 customer. Audio functions include support for AM/FM with HD radio, SIRUS satellite radio, aux input, USB input and an in-dash CD player that will also play mp3/WMA as well. It’s Sensus system also offers a WiFi hotspot and does come with 6-months of complimentary service as well.

The downside to the audio system is the overtly busy button cluster and control knob combination that’ll make your fingers feel as if they’re doing the hokey-pokey. It’s not very intuitive and could use some improvements in being more user-friendly.

One of the best things about the XC60 isn’t the responsive engine and well-appointed interior build but the interior “feels’ really spacious. Front and rear legroom provide more than ample comfort for four adults and its rear cargo area makes shopping excursions or road-trips a lot easier.

On the road, the XC60 doesn’t exactly get one excited – to the point, it provides a pedestrian drive experience and that’s really the point of this car. It’s a wagon-type car that provides a great deal of cargo area, ride comfort and good handling to make it a great daily driver. For those who want a family car with the proven pedigree of the Volvo safety record, the XC60 fits the bill rather well.

In closing, Volvo’s XC60 T6 does an admirable job of showing itself to still be a solid choice as a family wagon. Its combination of all-wheel-drive, quality interior build and roominess of legroom as well as cargo room make its utilitarian appeal to not be dwindling any time soon.

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