Car of the Day: 2013 Volvo XC60
The Car: 2013 Volvo XC60
Where I drove it: New York
First Impressions: One of my greatest friends is a Swedish immigrant, and when the cold hits, no one is better prepared than she, dressed in the proper layers of chunky wool from head to toe. Not that all Swedes think alike (though I differ to this animated film about the iconic meatball that extends this metaphor in cinematic genius), but I couldn’t help think of her wardrobe selection when I was outfitted in the XC60 in mid-January. The Swedes have learned to adapt to the elements to make them ultimately the climate more livable. Perhaps that’s what gives Volvo its groove in the small SUV category with its bestselling XC60, a vehcicle that is both mellow and ethereal, more plush than pluck, infused with soft touches to take the edge off.
Second date: The welcome surprise in the XC60 is an engine that it does have a little meatball on its bones. (See specs below.) Power translates into a polished performance in the hard-wired architecture. Steering has a sloping sensation as the gears move in understated melody. There’s even a sport mode on my T6 edition.
On the inside: Volvo has cleaned up its interior opting for minimalist but handsome leather. All this looks much more spacious with the layout of the panoramic sunroof. The techy systems are not as forward minded as former owner Ford’s more newfangled Sync gadgetry, but the HMI consul does the control center job with competence. A discussion about Volvo must always touch safety. City Safety and Volvo Whiplash Protection with the cool acronym WHIPS are two examples of Volvo’s attention to mindfulness.
Under the Hood: This is the top dog 3.0 liter turbo-charged 6 cylinder producing 300 hp.
Extras: The platinum package includes rear park assist and the ultimate suburban accent, a grocery holder. My car had silver-painted roof rails, tinted rear windows, keyless ignition/entry, leather upholstery and an eight-way power passenger seat.
Five Days Later: I know what you’re thinking: Volvo is not all that Swedish. The Chinese company Zhejiang Geely Holding Group purchased Volvo from Ford a couple years back, yet the bulk of the work is done in Sweden and the company headquarters are based in Gothenburg. In fact, Geely has moved it’s r & d center to Gothenburg, according to this article.
What people are saying:
Edmund finds the XC60 perfect for families: “Chief reasons include a comfortable cabin, unique family-friendly features and top-notch crash scores. If these descriptors sound pulled from a Reagan-era review of a Volvo wagon, it’s no mere coincidence. Although the crossover (car platform-based) SUV has essentially replaced the station wagon as the go-to family vehicle, the basic requirements haven’t changed. With its handsome, sleek styling, the Volvo XC60 certainly won’t be confused with your aunt’s trusty old 740 wagon, but it really plays the same role in family life.” – Edmunds
Warren Brown thinks the Chinese have upped the ante: “It has been two years since the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group of Hangzhou, China, bought Volvo Cars from Ford Motor Co. for the bargain price of $1.8 billion. But the evidence, based on a week-long drive of a Geely-sponsored 2013 Volvo wagon, is that Geely is doing a much better job of handling Volvo than Ford did during its ownership of the Swedish car company.”— Warren Brown.
TOTAL: Base price is $40,450. My test vehicle was priced at $48,145.