2017 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD
The 2017 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD provides lively performance, roominess and many safety features.
The name of the 2017 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD model seemingly has enough letters in its name to start a new alphabet.
But never mind. The "Inscription" (as the car's pricing label calls it) version of the $46,350 four-door hatchback XC60 T6 is roomy. It's available with all-wheel-drive (AWD) and has enough standard and optional safety features to satisfy traditionally safety conscious Volvo buyers.
Volvo has ditched its five-cylinder engine and the new XC60 T6 AWD has a super- and turbocharged direct injection four-cylinder engine. It's quick with a 0-60 m.p.h. time of 6.9 seconds, and a glance at the tachometer shows the engine is loafing at 65 m.p.h.
America's first mass-produced 300-horsepower car was the 1955 Chrysler 300, which had a big V-8. In contrast the XC60 T6 AWD has only a 2-liter four-cylinder that generates 302 horsepower and lots of torque at only 2,100 r.pm.
The engine works with a smooth eight-speed automatic transmission with an alert manual-shift feature.
City fuel economy is nothing to text home about at an estimated 20 miles per gallon. The highway figure is 27. After all, this is a fairly heavy vehicle at more than 4,000 pounds. An engine shut-down feature works when the XC60 T6 AWD is waiting some time for, say a train to pass. The engine starts instantly when the brake pedal is released.
The XC60 T6 AWD has a rather high step-in, but big, high doors allow easy entry to the upscale cockpit. Just be careful when quickly swinging open a door because the sharp top edge of the tall driver's door hit me in the left eye area; I was wearing glasses, which protected the eye-but damaged the (cheap) glasses.
There's room for five tall adults in the quiet interior, although more rear leg room would be appreciated. The cabin has plenty of storage areas and all sorts of comfort and convenience features.
Among such features are leather upholstery, an audio system with eight speakers and two-zone electronic climate control. There's also a panoramic sunroof with a power sunshade.
I appreciated the optional heated steering wheel during a typically cold Chicago winter.
The Inscription version's equipment list included a blind spot information system, diamond-cut alloy wheel and an interior with linear walnut wood inlay.
The power-operated tailgate lifts high and is handy when your arms are full of stuff.The cargo area has a large, but rather high, floor that contains a good amount of space. Rear seatbacks flip forward and sit flat as a pancake to give the XC60 into an impressively spacious cargo area.
Front seats are supportive for long, comfortable drives, and the driver has a power seat and tilt/telescopic steering wheel. But even a tall motorist won't be able to see the XC60's sloping front end. There's a push-button start and a mixture of large and small controls, besides an easily used 7-inch color LCD monitor. However, the tachometer is hard to read at a glance.
Safety features? My test XC60 Inscription had Volvo's City Safety system, which offers a range of collision avoidance and mitigation functions, including optional pedestrian and cyclist detection. It also had a standard rear-park-assist camera and a cross-traffic alert feature.
A thick, heated wheel controls the rather heavy, quick, somewhat lifeless steering, and the ride is firm, but supple. Handling is good for a rather high, heavy crossover. It's helped by such features as electronic and roll stability controls and 20-inch alloy wheels.
I noticed a moderate amount of body sway when moving fast on a decreasing radius expressway on-ramp. But, after all, this is no GT machine, although it provides a good amount of driving fun.
The anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution and assistance provide an extra feeling of security, as did the linear-action brake pedal.
Everyone should know by now that SUVs and crossovers are hot, and Volvo's XC60 T6 AWD Inscription is a strong contender in the crossover market.