The progress in the automotive industry was seen in making the next car model better than the last one. Today, car manufacturers are trying something completely different, and Volvo is succeeding at it with their new Volvo XC60.
Volvos were traditionally cars of people who were independent-minded and iconoclastic enough to drive something different than the cars from Germany and Japan. Known as cars for smart people, they were vehicles for those who maybe had odd reasons for buying them.
The Volvo XC60 has been the company’s best-selling vehicle in Europe and the US. Now, when the era of partnership with Ford is gone, the new XC60 is built on the new Scalable Product Architecture Product. The new platform is somewhat longer and wider than the old one, but it makes much better use of the interior space, and doesn’t weigh more.
The XC60 is capable to compete with BMW, Lexus, Mercedes, Audi, and other car giants. Of course, it has its own flaws, but the overall result is a well-suited, well-crafted and capable vehicle.
The new XC60 has new suspension, with a double-wishbone rear and at the front. The car is built for primarily and that definitely shows. Volvo’s cars are promoted as full of confidence and dynamism (safe cars), with good (not exciting) roadholding and handling. You can adjust the power steering setup, but it won’t make any big difference. You can opt for an optional air suspension system which lets you lower and raise the car by about 2 inches.
Under the hood
The set of engines in the XC60 are the same as in the heavier and larger XC90. Mounted transversely, the engines are inline four-cylinders, driving all wheels with either an electric motor on the rear axle or an AWD system. All engines are turbo with a small supercharger, connected to 8-speed automatics. The acceleration is strong, and the car is quick enough (not race-quick, but enough for a city drive).
The exterior design of the new XC60 fits into Volvo’s philosophy – neither striking nor showy. This means that it can be pretty anonymous-looking from a distance and in profile. On the front, there are Thor’s Hammer headlights that are dramatic and arresting in the right way. The taillights are vertical and massive, as they used since the 700 series and remained committed to them. There is a horizontal element here as well which describes a pattern when the taillights are on.
Volvo has produced a car with a satisfying hood-to-body ratio, refining and developing their design since the earlier XC60.
The interior is, according to many, the best part of the XC60. The choice of a driftwood-like porous wood in light grey for the dash and trim is excellent, just like the rest of material used. The interior is two-tone, dark and light, and the use of space is great as well, with a panoramic sunroof that helps out with the feeling of air interior (every XC60 actually comes with these).
There are two little cubicles under the rear seat for holding phones, tables, and other electronics; the rear seats can be dropped from controls, extending the already well-sized cargo area. Along with LCD screens, diamond-pattern knobs, clever storage and massaging seats, this car really breathes comfort.
Volvo is still committed to their safe car designs, with XC60 being full of different safety features. A collision avoidance system, mixture of selected metals of varying strengths for the platform, and a semi-autonomous Pilot Assist system (intended for steering during long, boring, and straight highway driving) all do quite well, protecting the passengers getting injured.
There are 3 trim levels of the XC60:
· Momentum (basic model)
· R-Design (more sporty)
· Insignia (luxury model)
If you have the money to spend, you’re getting good design and equipment, with a high-quality material and build. It great to see that Volvo is still making good, innovative, different, and well-priced cars.
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