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New Car Review: 2015 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD on Everyman Driver, Dave Erickson

2015 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD DETAILED Review on Everyman Driver

Volvo’s dynamic XC60 offers a full spectrum of performance possibilities for 2015 with the widest array of powertrain choices since its introduction. With the debut of Drive-E technology, Volvo introduces an all-new engine family, a new transmission and ECO+ fuel-saving functionality. Drive-E delivers remarkably efficient operation without compromising the driving experience. It’s the latest evolution of Volvo’s small premium utility following last year’s extensive styling changes, increased luxury, enhanced convenience and safety innovations.

The excitement continues for midyear 2015.5, as Volvo endows the XC60 with more new features and technologies:

  • New standard Sensus Connect and Volvo On-Call with 6-month complimentary subscriptions.
  • New Sensus Navigation with Map Care is standard on Premier and Platinum trim levels and all T6 models including R-Design.
  • New Harmon Kardon Premium Sound System is standard on Platinum and optional on other trim levels.
  • New Convenience and Proximity packages are standard on Platinum and available on all other trims.
  • New XC60 T5 AWD with 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine replaces the previous 3.2 AWD naturally aspirated six-cylinder.


Powerful and Efficient Drive-E

The lineup begins with the XC60 T5 Drive-E equipped with a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine with direct-injection and front-wheel drive. Volvo’s R&D engineers in Sweden employed advanced fuel-saving techniques when developing Drive-E engines including friction reduction, advanced boosting and combustion, thermal management and variable valve timing. These efforts result in 240 horsepower and 258 lbs.-ft. of torque with mpg ratings of 24 city, 31 highway and 27 combined.

Moving up to the XC60 T6 Drive-E delivers even greater performance potential. This version of the 2.0-liter engine is fitted with both a turbocharger and a supercharger. The mechanically linked supercharger starts to function immediately at low revs while the turbo kicks in when airflow builds up. The combo provides linear output that offers the sensation of a larger, naturally aspirated engine yet with reduced weight and improved economy. The bottom line is 302 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque plus mpg fuel economy ratings of 22 city, 30 highway and 25 combined.

Drive-E engines are teamed with an all-new, highly efficient eight-speed “Geartronic” automatic transmission. Additional gears enable the powerplants to operate at peak efficiency for excellent performance and economy. This transmission is designed to deliver smooth shifts for excellent drivability as well as reduced noise. Also new is the start/stop feature, which automatically stops the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop. The engine restarts when the driver releases the brake pedal.

New ECO+ is exclusive Drive-E fuel-saving technology that optimizes shift points, engine control and throttle response. When activated by the driver, ECO+ can improve fuel economy by five percent depending on driving style, temperature and climate.

ECO+ functions include:
Start/Stop – The start/stop functionality is modified to allow the engine to shut down at 7kph/4mph as the car coasts to a stop.
ECO-coast – Helps conserve kinetic energy by enabling the vehicle to coast. The engine “brake” is disengaged and engine speed drops to idle speed when pressure on the accelerator is released.
ECO-climate – The air conditioning compressor is disconnected to reduce auxiliary loads. Pressing the AC button restarts cooling or the driver can deactivate ECO+.

Get a Grip with Instant Traction
The XC60 lineup continues to offer models fitted with Volvo’s signature All-Wheel Drive with Instant Traction™. For midyear 2015.5, the new T5 AWD with its turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine developing 240 horsepower and 266 lb.-ft. of torque replaces the previous 3.2 AWD naturally aspirated model. A standard six-speed “Geartronic” automatic transmission teams with All-Wheel Drive with Instant Traction.

Moving up to XC60 T6 AWD results in an impressive blend of outstanding performance and value. Output for its 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine is 300 horsepower and 325 lb.-ft. of torque. All-Wheel-Drive with Instant Traction and six-speed automatic are also standard.

All-Wheel Drive with Instant Traction delivers the best possible grip whether the road is wet, slippery or completely dry. The advanced Haldex® AWD system transfers power to the wheels with the best grip. When a tire loses traction, power is reduced to that wheel and instantly transferred to the more sure-footed wheels.

R-Design is the Ultimate XC60
At the top of the XC60 lineup is the T6 AWD R-Design. This model targets enthusiasts with a substantial performance upgrade. Its 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder delivers 325 horsepower and 354 lb.-ft. of torque. The R-Design’s chassis employs stronger damping and a more direct steering gear that allows the driver to benefit from more alert vehicle behavior and more precise communication with the road surface.

The R-Design also delivers a bolder appearance. Standard features include 20-inch “Ixion II” alloy wheels, color-matched lower body moldings and a metallic-themed interior with unique aluminum inserts in the steering wheel, door moldings and the iconic center stack. It also maintains typical R-design attributes like silk metal finish outside mirror housings, trim moldings, skid plates, twin chrome tailpipes and the R-Design displayed on the grille.

XC60 is Volvo’s first crossover to offer sporty steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Standard on T6 and R-Design models, these paddle shifters let the driver shift manually with both hands on the steering wheel.

Advanced Quick Shift is another standard performance feature for T6 and R-Design. When Sport Mode is selected or when using paddle shifters, software mapping improves gear change speed by 20-30 percent on third to sixth gears and up to 50 percent quicker for first to second gear.

Elegant and Sophisticated Style
Last year’s design refresh graced XC60 with completely new styling from the windshield forward. Changes included a new hood, front fenders and fascia that emphasize a wider and more confident appearance. Redesigned headlights flank a bolder grille sporting a larger Volvo Ironmark. Other enhancements included a lower front spoiler with bright trim, vertically mounted LED daytime running lights, front and rear skid plate décor and integrated exhaust pipe design.

Eighteen-inch “Pan” alloy wheels are standard on T5. Distinctive 18-inch “Zephyrus” alloys are fitted to T6 models while the top-line T6 R-Design receives 20-inch Ixion II alloys.

Luxurious Cabin Appointments
Among the XC60’s roster of interior features is a standard 3-spoke steering wheel, Off Black dash top, wood décor trim on front door panels, cloth-covered B-pillars, metal trim around air vents, silver décor frame for the headlight module, Quartz headliner, front door sill plates and a metal threshold for the cargo area.

For those seeking the ultimate in luxury, an Inscription Package is offered on the T5 and T6. This incudes exclusive Sovereign Hide soft leather seating surfaces, Anthracite Black headliner, leather covered dashboard, Linear Walnut Wood inlays, leather front console cover and Inscription door sill plates.

R-Design sport seat upholstery, offered as a no-charge option, features seats trimmed with dual-textured upholstery that combines sporty Nubuck fabric with genuine leather. The primary seating surface is dressed with Nubuck textile that has the appearance and texture of suede. Other seating surfaces are trimmed in leather. This combo provides a very exclusive and dynamic appearance as well as holding the occupants firmly in place during spirited cornering.

Every XC60 receives a high-tech instrument cluster. The base T5 has an easy to read analog style cluster. An adaptive digital display employing Thin Film Transistor (TFT) technology is standard on T5 Premier, and Platinum trim levels plus all T6 and R-Design models.

XC60 Safety Technologies
All XC60s have Corner Traction Control (CTC) by torque vectoring. This technology made its debut on the Volvo S60 as a further refinement of Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC). This system makes it easier to smoothly maintain the desired line on winding roads and on wet surfaces. When driving into a curve, the brakes are applied to the inner driven wheel while more power is transmitted to the outer driven wheel. This enables the driver to take the curve more tightly while reducing any tendency to understeer. The driver can accelerate out of the curve while retaining confidence inspiring grip of the road.

Additional safety advancements are included with the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) Package offered on all models. This package includes BLIS, front and rear park assist, and Cross Traffic Alert (CTA) and Lane Change Merge Aid (LCMA). The system is based on radar technology installed behind the rear wheels and will detect traffic from a longer distance than the previous BLIS system. A larger detection area provides the capability of informing the driver of rapidly approaching vehicles. LCMA utilizes two levels of LED lights mounted in the A-pillar. While CTA uses radar sensors in the rear bumper to monitor traffic when backing out of a parking space, warning the driver of approaching traffic via a visual alert and audio signal.

A Technology Package, standard with the Platinum trim and optional on other XC60s, includes Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake. The package also features Active High Beam that automatically switches the headlights to low beam when opposite traffic is detected, Road Sign Information (RSI) displays traffic speed signs for the driver on the instrument cluster based on the Forward Looking Camera (FLC), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Queue Assist, Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake (CWAB), Distance Alert (DA), Driver Alert Control (DAC) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) with T5 AWD, T6 AWD and T6 R-Design, or Lane Keeping Aid with Drive-E models.

The XC60 was the first vehicle equipped with City Safety. This standard advanced technology is a driver support system aimed at preventing or mitigating collisions occurring at speeds of 31 mph or less. It utilizes a closing velocity sensor to help determine whether a collision is likely. Depending on the closing speed, City Safety will either pre-charge the brakes or automatically brake the XC60 to help avoid a rear-end collision or lessen its impact.

Sensus Enhances In-Car Connectivity
XC60’s standard Volvo Sensus system lets drivers manage information from the audio unit, navigation system (if equipped) and other functions, displaying them onto a seven-inch high-definition color monitor in the upper part of the center console. It allows the driver to explore the high-tech features of the vehicle and personalize them to suit his or her needs.

All S60s gain Sensus Connect for midyear 2015.5 featuring a wide array of new and improved in-car connectivity services including:

  • A Volvo-unique cloud developed with Ericsson, a leader in mobile and fixed networking
  • Cloud-based apps including Stitcher, Pandora, Yelp, Glympse and more
  • Connected service booking
  • On-screen vehicle owner’s manual
  • Internet browser
  • Connection achieved via internal modem, which includes 6-month trial service period
  • Improved voice control with state-of-the-art speech engine powered by Nuance

Volvo On Call is a new standard sophisticated telematics system that includes a driver-activated SOS button, automatic collision alert and GPS location tracking by emergency service operators. If an airbag or seatbelt pre-tensioner is deployed, emergency assistance is notified even if the driver is unable to press the button.

Wi-Fi Hotspot uses the standard 3G-based Volvo On Call plus the car’s regular rooftop antenna giving the driver access to cloud-based Volvo services without an on-board smartphone. The driver can create a Wi-Fi hotspot inside the car so passengers can connect their smartphone, laptop or tablet to the Internet.

New Sensus Navigation, standard on Premier and Platinum trims and all T6 models, integrates all navigation functions into the car. The system is easy to use, without taking one’s attention from traffic. Unlike using a smart phone as a navigation device, the navigation screen is displayed on the standard in-dash 7-inch monitor. Sensus Navigation has improved graphics including 3D imaging, improved voice recognition, new routing options and built-in apps.

The Platinum trim level includes the new Harmon Kardon Premium Sound System, also available on other trims as a stand-alone option. It features innovative Dirac Live® sound tuning technology, 12 premium speakers and 650 watts.

A standard high-performance audio system on base and Premier trims includes a CD player, HD Radio, AUX and USB inputs, MP3 capability, 160-watt amplifier and eight speakers. Also included is Bluetooth hands-free phone interface with audio streaming and Sirius Satellite Radio with a complimentary six-month subscription.

More Luxury with Packages and Options
XC60 customers seeking additional luxury and convenience features can select packages and individual options. The new Convenience Package, standard on Platinum and available on all other trims, includes HomeLink, digital compass, cargo cover, grocery bag holder, 12V power outlet in the cargo area, power retractable outside mirrors and power folding rear head restraints.

The new Proximity Package features Keyless Drive (standard T6), rear park assist camera and power tailgate. The available Climate Package features heated front and rear seats, heated windshield washer nozzles, heated windshield, heated steering wheel and Interior Air Quality System (IAQS).

Individual options for T5 and T6 models includes sport seats, Linear Walnut or Piano Black Wood inlays, 20-inch “Avior” alloy wheels (requires Inscription Package), 20-inch “Titania” alloys, quick-fold front passenger seat and dual screen rear entertainment system.

What’s new: 2015.5 Volvo XC60

XC60 T5 Drive-E

  • New 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with 240 hp and 258 lb.-ft. torque
  • New 8-speed “Geartronic” automatic transmission
  • Start/Stop technology
  • New ECO+ with modified Start/Stop technology, ECO-coast and ECO-climate
  • Standard power passenger seat

         Additional Changes for 2015.5:

  • New standard features: Sensus Connect with 6-month complimentary subscription, Volvo On-Call with 6-month complimentary subscription, power lumbar support
  • Premier trim level adds Sensus Navigation with Mapcare
  • Premier Plus trim level discontinued
  • Platinum trim level adds Harmon Kardon Premium Sound System, active dual xenon headlights, Convenience Package, Technology Package
  • New Convenience Package (included in Platinum trim) features HomeLink, digital compass, cargo cover, grocery bag holder, 12V outlet in cargo area, power retractable outside mirrors, power folding rear head restraints
  • New Proximity Package (included in Platinum trim) features Keyless Drive, rear park assist camera, power tailgate
  • Sport Package discontinued
  • New stand-alone options: Harmon Kardon Premium Sound System (included in Platinum trim), Piano Black inlays, quick-fold front passenger seat, Keyless Drive

XC60 3.2 AWD

  •  Model discontinued for 2015.5

XC60 T5 AWD

  • New model for 2015.5 (replaces 3.2 AWD) includes:
  • 2.5-liter 5-cylinder turbocharged engine with 240 hp and 266 lb.-ft. torque
  • 6-speed “Geartronic” automatic transmission
  • Electronically controlled all-wheel drive with Instant Traction
  • Base, Premier and Platinum trim levels
  • New standard features: Sensus Connect with 6-month complimentary subscription, Volvo On-Call with 6-month complimentary subscription, power lumbar support
  • Premier trim level adds Sensus Navigation with Mapcare
  • Platinum trim level adds Harmon Kardon Premium Sound System, active dual xenon headlights, Convenience Package, Technology Package
  • New Convenience Package (included in Platinum trim) features HomeLink, digital compass, cargo cover, grocery bag holder, 12V outlet in cargo area, power retractable outside mirrors, power folding rear head restraints
  • New Proximity Package (included in Platinum trim) includes Keyless Drive, rear park assist camera, power tailgate
  • New stand-alone options include: Harmon Kardon Premium Sound System (included in Platinum trim), Piano Black inlays, quick-fold front passenger seat, Keyless Drive

XC60 T6 Drive-E

  • New 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged and supercharged engine with 302 hp and 295 lb.-ft. torque
  • New 8-speed “Geartronic” automatic transmission
  • New ECO+ with Start/Stop technology, ECO-coast and ECO-climate

        Additional Changes for 2015.5:

  • New standard features: Sensus Connect with 6-month complimentary subscription, Volvo On-Call with 6-month complimentary subscription, Sensus Navigation with Mapcare, power lumbar support
  • Premier Plus trim level discontinued
  • Platinum trim level adds Harmon Kardon Premium Sound System, active dual xenon headlights, Convenience Package, Technology Package
  • New Convenience Package (included in Platinum trim) features HomeLink, digital compass, cargo cover, grocery bag holder, 12V outlet in cargo area, power retractable outside mirrors, power folding rear head restraints
  • New Proximity Package (included in Platinum trim) features rear park assist camera, power tailgate
  • Sport Package discontinued
  • New stand-alone options: Harmon Kardon Premium Sound System (included in Platinum trim), Piano Black inlays, quick-fold front passenger seat


XC60 T6 AWD

       Changes for 2015.5:

  • New standard features: Sensus Connect with 6-month complimentary subscription, Volvo On-Call with 6-month complimentary subscription, Sensus Navigation with Mapcare, power lumbar support
  • Premier Plus trim level discontinued
  • Platinum trim level adds Harmon Kardon Premium Sound System, active dual xenon headlights, Convenience Package, Technology Package
  • New Convenience Package (included in Platinum trim) features HomeLink, digital compass, cargo cover, grocery bag holder, 12V outlet in cargo area, power retractable outside mirrors, power folding rear head restraints
  • New Proximity Package (included in Platinum trim) features rear park assist camera, power tailgate
  • Sport Package discontinued
  • New stand-alone options: Harmon Kardon Premium Sound System (included in Platinum trim), Piano Black inlays, quick-fold front passenger seat

XC60 T6 AWD R-Design

  • New optional Nubuck textile/leather upholstery

        Additional Changes for 2015.5:

  • New standard features: Sensus Connect with 6-month complimentary subscription, Volvo On-Call with 6-month complimentary subscription, Sensus Navigation with Mapcare, power lumbar support
  • Premier Plus trim level discontinued
  • Platinum trim level adds Harmon Kardon Premium Sound System, Convenience Package, Technology Package
  • New Convenience Package (included in Platinum trim) features HomeLink, digital compass, cargo cover, grocery bag holder, 12V outlet in cargo area, power retractable outside mirrors, power folding rear head restraints
  • New Proximity Package (included in Platinum trim) features rear park assist camera, power tailgate
  • New stand-alone options: Harmon Kardon Premium Sound System (included in Platinum trim)

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