The 2013 Volvo XC60 is offered with three different drivetrain options: The base model ($34,350) comes with a 3.2-liter inline six cylinder that produces 240 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels and mated to a six-speed automatic; all-wheel-drive can be optioned, however, for $2,000, which will certainly serve cold-climate and mountain-going buyers better. Next in line – and the review model we received – is the T6 ($40,650). Adding some much needed gusto to Volvo’s enigmatic crossover, the T6 cranks out 300 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque courtesy of a turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline six. All-wheel drive is standard, and features the same six-speed transmission found in the base model.
Of course if it’s Swedish speed you desire, Volvo offers a go-fast version with its T6 R-Design ($44,850). Here horsepower is ratcheted-up to 325 while lb-ft of torque jumps to 354. While we haven’t driven the T6 R-Design yet, the standard T6 provided more than enough pickup for everyday driving. So whatever motoring thrills await the plucky pilot in an R-Design will undoubtedly be even more memorable and satisfying .
- Zippy turbocharged engine with excellent acceleration
- Interior layout is functional and comfortable
- Stylish exterior without being too eccentric
- Fuel economy is a little disappointing
- Safety tech features are hidden away in options and packages
- Interior is unexciting
Much like the exterior, the inside of this XC60 R-Design is the same as it was before anyone began talking about Polestar. That’s far from a bad thing, though, as we’ve long been fans of the XC60’s unique, elegant and (for the most part) functional interior design. Those who’ve never experienced a Volvo interior will find the design refreshingly simple and the brand’s trademark floating center stack a unique touch. R-Design models are set apart with the addition of blue-ringed gauges; aluminum inserts in the doors, steering wheel and dash, and an attractive two-tone leather seating package with “R-Design” embossed in the seat backs. While we wouldn’t call the cabin warm and cozy, the modern design is attractive and communicates a sense of premium quality.
Not all is perfect inside the XC60, though. While the controls are as logically laid out as Einstein’s sock drawer, the navigation system is a difficult thing to operate. Lacking a touchscreen, inputs must be made via a single knob on the center console. As if that bottlenecked user interface weren’t enough, the knob that controls the nav system is placed on the far side of the center console (and at a glance looks nearly identical to the center console’s other three knobs), so any operation requires a reach from the driver. The system is still better than the old one that accepted inputs only from a remote control or hidden steering wheel nub, but as infotainment systems begin to weigh more in the decision to buy one vehicle over another, Volvo will find itself out of the running more often if it doesn’t begin offering the latest tech paired with a user-friendly interface.
Volvo is carrying forward the XC60’s current 240-hp, 3.2-liter six-cylinder engine (the sportier T6 models have a 325-horse 3.0-liter turbo six), and the crossover will get Volvo’s Corner Traction Control standard for the 2014 model year. The torque-vectoring system combats understeer by applying braking to the inner wheels while applying power to the outside wheels when accelerating out of a corner. Given our respect for the XC60—it acquitted itself well in a comparo conducted just after its launch, and we enjoyed a stint in the 2012 R-Design model—we won’t complain too loudly that the chassis was largely untouched. We would have loved to see Volvo tweak the steering for more feel, however.
caranddriver.com, autoblog.com, digitaltrends.com.
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