2010 Volvo XC60 Review and Prices

Last Updated: Aug 5, 2011

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2010 Volvo XC60 Buying Advice

The 2010 Volvo XC60 is the best compact SUV for you if you believe Volvos express a gentler sort of social climbing and finally look great doing it.

The 2010 Volvo XC60 plunges this Swedish carmaker into the rapidly expanding field of rationally sized premium SUVs. What sets it apart from its Audi, Acura, BMW, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, and Land Rover rivals is a striking sense of Scandinavian style and Volvo’s deserved reputation for safety and solidity.

Should you wait for the 2010 Volvo XC60? Yes, if you’re downsizing from a large SUV or want something more versatile than a car but still city-traffic friendly. The 2010 Volvo XC60 delivers plenty of premium-brand cred in a surprisingly roomy package loaded with cutting-edge safety features.

2010 Volvo XC60 Changes back to top

Styling: In size and shape, the 2010 XC60 takes Volvo into new territory. This all-new five-passenger SUV shares elements with existing members of Volvo’s extended family, including some underskin architecture from the impressive LR2 premium compact SUV from Land Rover, a relationship that dates from when both companies were owned by Ford. The 2010 Volvo XC60, however, is slightly larger than the LR2 and comparable in size to the BMW X3. It’s taller, but not as long, as Volvo’s SUV-wannabe station wagon, the XC70, and markedly smaller than Volvo’s current best-selling model, the seven-passenger XC90 midsize SUV. The look of the tailgate resembles that of Volvo’s sporty C30 hatchback, but the 2010 Volvo XC60 otherwise points the automaker in a fresh styling direction. The company says the swept-back nose is the template for the future face of all Volvos. And the organic contours of the body sides signal a final break with the brand’s boxy heritage. Specifically, Volvo says the 2010 XC60 puts a sports-coupe roofline on a muscular SUV body and aims for “customers with an active urban lifestyle.”

Mechanical: Formally, this new SUV is the 2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD, and that describes the only configuration available upon launch. T6 denotes its turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine, a 281-horsepower 3.0-liter also available in Volvo’s flagship S80 sedan and the XC70 T6. The sole transmission is a six-speed automatic with a manual-shift mode. All-wheel drive is standard and normally directs most of the power to the front wheels, automatically reapportioning it rearward to maintain traction. The 2010 Volvo XC60 is not intended for serious off-roading, but does come standard with Hill Descent Control to cap vehicle speed at a crawl on back-trail slopes. Its four-wheel independent suspension is tuned for on-road handling, but the 2010 Volvo XC60’s 9.1 inches of ground clearance is among the best in class. Some sources suggest the Volvo XC60 model line will expand for 2011 to include a lower-priced, 235-horsepower front-wheel-drive model.

Features: Volvo calls the 2010 XC60 its safest vehicle ever and to that end stuffs it with gizmos designed to protect occupants in a crash and even one that takes control to avert a collision. Head-protecting side airbags are standard, as is antilock-braking, traction control, and antiskid technology. To that menu Volvo adds a crash-avoidance system it calls City Safety. The first of its kind included as standard equipment on any car, City Safety uses laser sensors to detect if the XC60 is about to rear-end another vehicle in low-speed traffic. It operates below 19 mph and, if the Volvo’s driver fails to apply sufficient braking, will bring the XC60 to a stop before it strikes the vehicle ahead. Optional XC60 safety features include Volvo’s Driver Alert Control, which signals an alarm when directional sensors detect the driver is losing concentration from fatigue or distraction. (Volvo ought to call it the Cell Phone Slap in the Face Control). Among standard amenities on the 2010 Volvo XC60 are leather upholstery, power front seats, USB iPod connectivity, and 18-inch alloy wheels. Options include heated front and rear seats, a navigation system, Bluetooth phone link, and a dual-pane sunroof.  Folding the 60/40 split rear seats creates 67 cubic feet of cargo space.

2010 Volvo XC60 Prices back to top

Prices for the 2010 Volvo XC60 had not been released in time for this report, but expect this new premium compact SUV to start around $36,000. Load it with options, including the Technology Package that includes an audio upgrade and the navigation system with rearview camera, and the sticker price should easily hit $40,000. That dollar spread is in line with a similarly equipped BMW X3 and the upcoming Audi Q5 premium compact SUVs, but potentially above that of the slightly larger 2010 Cadillac SRX.

2010 Volvo XC60 Fuel Economy back to top

EPA mileage estimates for 2010 models were not released in time for this report, but a 2010 Volvo XC60 is preliminarily rated at 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. That’s a smidge below key rivals, but the 2010 XC60 does have more torque than any competitor, giving it robust throttle response. And it’s among the few in this class – and among the very few turbocharged vehicles of any stripe – that is tuned to run on less-expensive regular-grade gas.

2010 Volvo XC60 Release Date back to top

The 2010 Volvo XC60 is scheduled to go on sale in March 2009. The XC60 is being assembled at a Volvo plant in Belgium and will be sold in the U.S., Europe, Great Britain, China, and Russia.

2010 Volvo XC60 Competition back to top

Audi Q5: An impressive newcomer to the premium compact-SUV class, the Q5 turns the Tiguan SUV from Audi-parent Volkswagen into an outstanding performer with tailored good looks and exquisite cabin décor. Leather upholstery is standard, as is all-wheel drive and a 270-horsepower V-6. Maximum cargo volume is 56 cubic feet and preliminary fuel economy estimates are 17/22. Starting price is an estimated $38,000.

BMX X3: Still the class standard for sporty road manners, though the margin is shrinking. The X3 blends that handling prowess with a well-controlled ride, a peerless 260-horsepower inline six, and the only available manual transmission in the class. AWD is standard and actually enhances on-road handling. The downside is a less-than-spacious interior and styling that’s a bit awkward. Also painful is a price that starts around $41,000 and can escalate quickly because good stuff like leather upholstery is optional. Maximum cargo volume is 71 cubic feet. Fuel economy ratings are 18/26 with manual transmission, 19/26 with automatic.

Infiniti EX35: Perhaps the value leader in the category and nipping at the X3’s heels for driving-enthusiast appeal. Smooth styling and a gorgeously outfitted cabin, especially in the top-line Journey version with its standard leather upholstery. The EX35 is available with a power folding split rear seat, but, like the X3, is a bit snug inside, especially for rear passengers. And cargo volume maxes out at an unimpressive 47 cubic feet. The EX35 comes with a 297-horsepower V-6 and offers rear- or all-wheel drive. The base price range is roughly $32,000-$36,000 ($34,000-$37,000 with AWD), and fuel economy is rated at 16/24.

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