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Volvo XC60 2009 weekend review

EXPERT RATING
6.5

There is no escaping the ‘Volvo driver’ syndrome, even in the new and funky XC60 crossover SUV. It's a great little luxury package that fits a family, drives like a sporty sedan and is ultra-safe, as we would expect from the Swedish safety king.

Perhaps it is the inherent safety of their cars that makes the drivers think they are invincible, therefore they don't have to drive with much care and attention. Whenever I test a Volvo I become aware that people are staring at me and judging my driving, wondering whether I'm just another ‘bloody Volvo driver’. I therefore over-think my driving and sometimes that can lead to errors for which I am frequently winding down my window to wave an apology.

But now the XC60 arrives with so many safety bells and whistles that there should be no such thing again as an inattentive, invincible ‘bloody Volvo driver’.

Safety

Electronic gadgets such as the standard City Safety function automatically stop the car for you in emergency situations, preventing crashes in low-speed CBD environs.

The optional lane departure system ($2075) chimes a chorus of the William Tell Overture every time you stray over a painted white line without indicating, and that is most of the time around my neck of the woods where the roads are covered with white lines for cyclists.

And then there is the bright red light that flashes up on my windscreen when I tailgate and there are those orange lights near the wing mirrors that flash when there is a vehicle in my blind spot (a $1275 option). I am assailed by lights, chimes, flashes and warnings. There is no hope of being inattentive.

After a while, the first thing I would do when I got into the car was switch off all the safety devices so I could drive in peace and inattentiveness, waving my apologies at the honking, irate motorists around me.

Interior

And what a lovely environment in which to drive blissfully unaware of your outside environs. It is a scaled-down version of the XC90, but unless you jumped from one vehicle to the next you wouldn't notice it. The cabin feels enormous for the size of the vehicle.

The rear passenger area is equally immense, easily fitting three adults, and the cargo area is massive with a flat floor and quality carpeting to keep your luggage and valuables from being scratched. Unfortunately there is only a space-saver spare under the floor.

Driving

I drove the T6 turbo petrol model and the D5 turbo diesel. While the diesel is about 8L/100km frugal it is rather noisy on hard acceleration and has a bit of lag off the get-go, while the turbo is dynamic and quiet with no lag.

Handling is excellent with no caveats for being an SUV. There is no lurching around that you would expect from an SUV and the turning circle and vision is good for shopping centre parking. No real need for the optional rear parking camera, saving you $795. Park assist front and rear costs a lot less at $325, but it's standard on the D5 LE.

Outside, it is a handsome vehicle with a nice curve to the hips from behind where tailgaters will be assaulted by the array of taillights, blinkers and brake lights that go all the way to the roof.

A great family package for weekday duties as well as weekend fun. In fact, a British magazine has voted the diesel XC60 the best tow car in their market.


Volvo XC60
Prices: $57,950 (D5), $64,450 (D5 LE), $64,950 (T6)
Engine: 2.4-litre, 5-cyl, turbo-diesel; 3-litre 6-cyl, turbo-petrol
Power: 136kW @ 4000rpm (D5); 210kW @ 5600rpm (T6)
Torque: 400Nm @ 2000-2750rpm (D5); 400Nm @ 1500-4800rpm (T6) FUEL
Economy: 8.3L/100km (D5); 11.9 (T6)
Emissions: 219g/km (D5); 284 (T6)
Ttransmision: 6-speed automatic, sequential; constant 4WD
Towing: 2000kg braked

Pricing Guides

$12,439
Based on 14 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$10,950
Highest Price
$16,999

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
3.2 3.2L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $8,030 – 11,330 2009 Volvo XC60 2009 3.2 Pricing and Specs
3.2 LE 3.2L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $10,670 – 14,630 2009 Volvo XC60 2009 3.2 LE Pricing and Specs
D5 2.4 2.4L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $10,990 – 16,999 2009 Volvo XC60 2009 D5 2.4 Pricing and Specs
D5 2.4 LE 2.4L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $10,890 – 14,850 2009 Volvo XC60 2009 D5 2.4 LE Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
6.5
Pricing Guide

$10,950

Lowest price, based on 4 car listings in the last 6 months

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