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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    2013 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD

    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    June 20, 2013

    If you have been paying any attention for the past few weeks here at Cheers & Gears, you know I had the chance to drive two top selling compact luxury crossovers; the Lexus RX 350 and Cadillac SRX. Both of them left me wondering why they are so popular. The Cadillac had a great design and tech, but the engine was somewhat pokey and the fuel economy left a lot to be desired. The Lexus had an exciting exterior and very impressive fuel economy, but driving dynamics were a mixed bag and the feature set for the price left me scratching my head. There had to be a compact luxury crossover that didn't leave me with that feeling.


    A few weeks ago, another compact luxury crossover arrived in my driveway for a week's evaluation. It was not one of the usual suspects from Germany, instead it hailed from Sweden. The Volvo XC60 is latest model to join Volvo's XC lineup and is the second best-selling model right behind the S60. Was this the crossover to make me feel different?

    The XC60 follows Volvo's current design motif of minimalistic styling. Key items to take note are the strong shoulder line running along the side, scalloping on the doors, and tall taillights on the rear end. The overall look of the XC60 reminded me of the upcoming V60 wagon just with a taller ride height.


    Inside, the XC60 has one of the best interiors in the class. Leather, soft touch materials, and metal trim pieces line the door panels and dashboard; making it feel more expensive than it really is. This is helped by the excellent build quality on my test vehicle.

    What isn't so impressive is the XC60's infotainment system. Much like the S60 R-Design I had back in December, the XC60 uses a center stack full of buttons and knobs to move around and control the system. While the control layout is easy to use once you figure out which button does what, there were times where I was wishing Volvo had put in a touchscreen to perform certain tasks.


    Comfort is a big plus in the XC60. Driver and passenger get heated and power adjustable seats. Backseat passengers will find a very good amount of head and legroom. Taking the XC60 for a nice long drive, I found the seats provide excellent support and comfort.

    Powering this XC60 is Volvo's tried and true 3.0L turbocharged inline-six with 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is your sole choice with this powertrain, as is all-wheel drive. Those looking for more power should look at the XC60 T6 R-Design increases horsepower to 325 and torque to 350.


    The T6 engine is a perfect choice for the XC60, considering the vehicle as a whole tips the scales at 4,225 pounds. No matter when you're leaving a stop, cruising along the interstate, or whatever, the T6 produces the right amount of motivation. The six-speed automatic doesn't exhibit any hunting of gears; it knew what gear it needed to be in at the time. EPA rates the 2013 XC60 T6 AWD at 17 City/23 Highway/20 Combined. During my week, I averaged around 21 MPG.

    The XC60's ride is one the best if your priority is comfort. The suspension provides one of the smoothest rides in the class, no matter the road surface I was driving on. Steering was a bit of surprise as I was expecting light and indirect. This isn't so as the steering provides very good feel and feedback. Road and wind noise were kept to a minimum, making this a great road trip vehicle.

    At the end of the week, I found myself liking the XC60 over the SRX and RX 350 by a wide margin. The minimalist styling, handsome interior, punchy powertain, and comfort ride make this almost a best-in-class. The only thing that hold it back is the controls for the infotainment system.


    Throw in the fact that as equipped, this XC60 lists for $48,145, undercuts many of its competitors - making this a very compelling choice in the class.

    Disclaimer: Volvo provided the XC60, Insurance, and one tank of gas.

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at [email protected] or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Year - 2013

    Make – Volvo

    Model – XC60

    Trim – T6 AWD

    Engine – Turbocharged 3.0L Inline-Six

    Driveline – All-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic

    Horsepower @ RPM – 300 @ 5,600 RPM

    Torque @ RPM – 325 @ 2,100-4,200 RPM

    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 17/23/20

    Curb Weight – 4,225 lbs

    Location of Manufacture – Ghent, Belgum

    Base Price - $40,450.00

    As Tested Price - $48,145.00* (Includes $895.00 destination charge)


    Platnum Trim Package - $4,600.00

    Climate Package - $900.00

    19' FENRIR Alloy Wheels - $750.00

    Terra Bronze Metallic - $550.00

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Great review, interesting as I did not find the motor in the SRX to be under powered but I was disappointed in the lack of interior room for big people. The RX just was disappointing over all for me.

    The volvo seems to be an exciting ride, but I do find the interior to be the weak point as the minimalist as you call it just looks and feels cheap to me.

    The center stack of tiny buttons to manage everything including what to me came across as an after thought in a nav system was a disappointment. In todays global market to have such a manual Nav system and then to think everyone has tiny fingers is a waste and as people can see, the center stack has plenty of room left that they could have build bigger buttons/knobs to control the world and a touch screen Nav. Two week points, but it is made up with a very nice power train.

    Over all enjoyable read.

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    Agree with the updated design language need. They could go for a far more radical futuristic look but I doubt the Swedish mental could handle it.

    I like the interior... but the exterior could use a bit of a freshening to Volvo's newer design language.

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