We all want the safest vehicle we can buy, right? Well, at least that is what we say, but when it comes down to it, other things become a priority, like price and looks. Otherwise, Volvo would be the #1 seller of vehicles in the United States.
With that said, it has been great watching Volvo evolve from their reputation for safety, to building some of the nicest vehicles on the road. There is no better example than the 2013 Volvo XC60, a 5-passenger crossover luxury SUV that I am reviewing this week.
Besides the classic exterior lines and luxurious interior, the XC60 has a performance side to it these days. My evaluation vehicle is the T6 All-wheel drive version. Under the hood, there is a 300-horse turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that is coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission. This combo gives the XC60 strong acceleration off the line, as well as when you are traveling at highway speeds and need to pass a car or truck. When the turbo kicks in, you can feel the burst of power from just about any of the gears.
The Belgium-made Volvo has an extremely comfortable cabin, yet I found it to be classy too, not unlike the interior you find in the Audi Q5. The center stack catches your attention with its thin-panel, which comes with metallic trim as standard or real wood trim as an option. The combination of the optional two-tone upholstery makes the XC60's cabin look both inviting and luxurious.
My tester has the top-of-the-line Platinum package. For $4600, you get the navigation system, rear park assist camera, premium sound system, power tailgate, front and rear parking sensors, dual Xenon active headlights which turn with the steering wheel, and electric folding headrests.
Options on this one include heated front and rear seats, 19” alloy wheels, and there is an up charge for metallic paint. Everything else comes standard including Bluetooth, pushbutton start, a 7-inch color monitor, leather seats, a panoramic roof with power shade, and dual power front seats.
The XC60 has a very smooth ride, and handling with the all-wheel drive system is precise and nimble. The interior quietness is remarkable. There is great headroom, plenty of room in the back seat, and more than ample cargo room. The back seat will truly fold flat to open up a cavernous amount of cargo room when needed. The XC60 is the perfect combination of performance, luxury, and capability.
I would be remiss not to brag on the safety aspects of the XC60, it is after all, a Volvo. This SUV has an across-the-board 5 Star safety rating from the NHTSA and is a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It is even rated as GOOD for the new IIHS overlap frontal crash test, a new test that is causing a lot of grief for many auto manufacturers.
Every 2013 XC60 comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and whiplash-preventing front seats. One really cool standard feature is City Safety, which can mitigate or avoid a low-speed frontal impact by applying the vehicle's brakes without driver intervention. Optional features include integrated child booster seats, blind-spot warning, collision warning and active braking, distance alert, driver attention warning, lane departure and a heartbeat monitor that can detect intruders inside the vehicle.
None of us likes to think about being in a serious accident, but if it is going to happen, I can’t think of a vehicle I would rather be in than the XC60. Yes, it is extremely safe, but now it is incredibly nice inside, it drives like a dream, and it will make a great family hauler for anyone.
What I liked most: The interior and most of all, performance.
What I would change: It’s a Volvo, blind-spot monitoring should be standard.
Fuel Economy: Rated at 17 City and 23 Highway.
Warranty: 4 years/50,000 mile bumper to bumper coverage, and free factory-scheduled maintenance at 10,000, 20,000, and 30,000 miles.
2013 Volvo XC60 in a few words: Not Grandma’s Volvo wagon anymore.