2015 Volvo XC60 T6 Drive-E: A sporty mobile coccoon? Yep!

21 Jul 2014 | 1,561 views | No Comment
If ever there was a company all about the "wombing" of the automobile experience, it's Volvo. It's hard to imagine a line of cars, more comfortable, reassuring, safe and indestructible than Volvo products, and that's why they sell well, we think. It's the company's uncanny ability to play to that most basic of human desires: security.   This time around, the example of this phenomenon was the 2015 XC60 T6 Drive-E.  Base price was $40,050, and withoptinos the price came to $58,725.   Standard features on the XC60 3.2 include 18-inch wheels, roof rails, automatic headlights with washers, automatic wipers, heated mirrors, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat, driver memory functions, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, "T-tec" fabric upholstery, a leather-wrapped wheel, a split-folding 40/20/40 backseat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface. The 3.2 is available with a Premier package that adds silver-painted roof rails, rear privacy glass, keyless ignition/entry, a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, a multi-configurable instrument display, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an eight-way power passenger seat. The T6 comes standard with the Premium package's features and also has a more powerful engine. The T6 R-Design model pumps up the T6 with extra power, a sport-tuned suspension, 20-inch wheels, special exterior and interior trim, a sport steering wheel and sport seats. To any of the trim levels you can add the Premier Plus package, which features a power liftgate, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a quick-fold front passenger seat, a cargo cover and power-folding rear head restraints. Springing for the top Platinum package bundles all the Premier Plus equipment, while adding auto-dimming/power-retractable sideview mirrors, cabin accent lighting, a navigation system and a 12-speaker surround-sound audio system. Other option packages include the Climate package, which adds a heated windshield, heated windshield washer nozzles, a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats and an interior air quality sensor. The Technology package adds adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam control, a distance alert system, a driver attention warning system, a collision warning system (with auto braking, pedestrian detection and cyclist detection), a lane-departure warning system and a Road Sign Information display. Also available is the Blind Spot Information System package that features blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts and front and rear parking sensors. The base price includesThe XC60 is of course, Volvo's compact, sporty--and yes,--glamorous crossover.  It's been around a while, yes, but you'd never know it to look at it. If you want to see how successful an original car design was when it was first conceived, check out how it looks five years later and the XC60 -passes that test with elan, class, and a look that has proven to be quite timeless.  It's rugged looking, but it's also suave looking to0, with some trim tucks here and there to enhance the original styling effort.  The grill looks far more aggressive and with it. More rounded wheel wells at the back make the car look more sporting, too.     But it's the interior that's a knock out, in our book. Volvo has always been in the upper echelon of automotive companies when it came to interiors. And the one in our car was a real stunner.  Done up in a nice dove gray and charcoal gray theme, and with beautiful, expesnsive looking chrome and aluminum trim, some of the best we've seen anywhere, the interior on this car was a sight to behold.     And just about all car companies can use Volvo as a model of how to design a dashboard.  While so many car dashes these days look needlessly complex, dull and uninviting with a gazillion small buttons that just about require you to pull over and make necessary adjustments and to allow you to actually "see" the buttons, Volvo has gone its own way and provided a very simple, basic gauge and control design.  The speedometer is surrounded by only a handful of gauges, for fuel, for tachometer, and water and temperature, with the shift pattern displayed on a vertical register, as is the tachometer.       As is a tradition now, Volvo uses a chrome profile of the human body on its display to help you easily select the zone and mode functions for the climate control functions. And Volvo also thoughtfully arranges important switches to work in an intuitive way-=-that is the way many human beings would likely want to operate them on the first try.   For instance, many cars these days with electric parking brakes require you to push the control in to release the brake. But most people, simply by force of habit, we think, will want to pull the parking brake switch just as they did for parking brake releases back in the old days.    The only real problem we had with the interior was that space was quite limited and snug for our tastes.  A redesign of the interior is probably due as a result. Even my eight and nine year old boys thought the back seat didn't have enough room for them. How about handling and performance?  First, you probably noticed the "Drive-E" moniker for this model, and that name applies to the start stop operation of the engine to save gasoline.  Volvo manages this function quite nicely, and without all of the jerking and hesitation that we've noticed on many other cars, including luxury models. Yes, you do hear the engine softly shut off at a stop sign. But you don't get the jerking and the nodding "hello" to passersby that results from all of the commotion with other cars.        The XC60 always had handled beautifully, with flat cornering and safe reassuring brakes and steering,, and that's what we experienced with this car. Acceleration was far more than adequate, we thought with the 302 horsepower2.0 liter engine.         Fuerl economy ratings were 25 combined, 22 city and 30 highway.  You w9ill spend $500 more in fuel costs over five years, according to the federal government.  The annual fuel cost is $2,300, based on  15,000 mileseper year on $3.60 a gallon gasoline.      The one thing that might concern some people who are new to Volvo is that the car feels as though its a bit heavy, and therefore tough to maneuver.  We didn't  feel any problem with that at all, and in fact, the car handles better than many crossovers in its class, as far as we're concerned.      The XC60 T6, in any case, is a definite buy for those shopping in this class.     

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