Volvo builds the XC60 in Ghent, Belgium, and the car has been their best seller since its introduction in 2008. It is a compact crossover SUV that was unveiled at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. I tested one this past week both in Denver and in Greeley, and its nimble behavior and horsepower provided a nice way to haul relatives all over the Front Range. Whether it was parking on little side streets in Denver or roaring down to Centennial on I25, the Volvo was a super trouper for the task at hand. We even drove the Swedish product to IKEA to shop for, well, Swedish products. All of us had Swedish meatballs for lunch, as well.
Another Swedish outfit produced the hit song “Super Trouper” in 1980, that being the pop music group ABBA, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. The two married couples that made up ABBA sold over 370 million albums and records worldwide from 1972 to 1982, and in 1999 their collection of work was adapted into the successful musical Mamma Mia! that toured worldwide. I was lucky enough to see Mamma Mia!, which came to Greeley in 2012, and left the show with the catchy beat of “Super Trouper” inbedded in my brain. In typical ABBA fashion, the song is presented as happy and upbeat, yet tinged with a hint of sadness.
The Volvos I have driven never have made me sad, and this SC60 was particularly satisfying in daily service (for a week). It was the T6 model with all-wheel drive and six-cylinder in-line power. The engine sits crosswise in the front of the sedan, providing an extra measure of collision safety. A turbocharger on the 3 liter engine brings horsepower to 300 and torque to 325 lb. ft. Transmission is a six-speed automatic with manual shift mode. Acceleration is reportedly zero to sixty in 6.9 seconds and fuel economy ratings are 17-city and 23-highway. I observed just under 19 mpg; the tank holds 18.5 gallons.
M.S.R.P. of the XC60 was $48,145, including freight, and options included a Platinum package ($4,600), climate package ($900), metallic paint ($550), and 19″ Fenrir alloy black chrome wheels ($750). The Platinum upgrade included a navigation system, backup camera, premium stereo, power tailgate, parking assist and active Xenon headlamps. The climate package entailed heated front and rear seats as well as heated windshield wiper nozzels. The five-passenger interior was two-toned (brown and beige) leather and included power windows/locks/mirrors, tilt/telescope, satellite radio, USB port, Bluetooth connection and pushbutton starter. The buckets were supportive and back seat passengers registered no complains about the accommodations.
Styling of the XC60 is a plus feature of this Volvo with the attractive wheels and roof rails. The panoramic moon roof can be viewed from outside the car and dual chrome exhausts extend from under the rear bumper. Big tall taillights adorn each rear corner of the car and the Seashell gold metallic paint stands out. I’d have no problem driving an XC60 on a permanent basis.