Last week, we took a sparkly-new white 2014 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD out for several drives around the Lower Mainland. As we’ve previously leased an S60 (while living in Western Europe), we’re no strangers to the Swedish line of well-designed, practical vehicles.
Both the XC60 and S60 are considered Volvo’s two top-selling models in the lineup. The attention to both detail and comfort is unparalleled, with safety a top concern for the carmaker as well.
Once settled into the XC60, I looked around for seat adjusters, Bluetooth and other tech features, as well as the rear camera, navigation, and Sirius satellite options. All there.
The handy Blind Spot Information System is available as an optional package ($1,000), and includes Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Change Merge Aid, and Front/Rear Park Assist. Whenever the XC60 gets too close to an approaching car, the radar sets off a warning beep.
The pickup on this car is phenomenal, as is the turning radius. Despite the vehicle’s width, it was no problem to completely turn around on a quiet street without the need to back up. The XC60 loves the open road. We took it up to Squamish and Brackendale one afternoon and were pleasantly surprised as to how quiet the drive was.
The new T6 has an output of 306 hp and 400 Nm of torque. The XC60’s engine features a combination of compressor and turbo charger.
The XC60’s two-stage integrated booster cushions pop up from the seat base giving a comfortable and safe ride height for small children. As well, the rear seats can be folded down to offer a lot of loading space for luggage, sports gear, etc.
When in drive mode, the XC60’s current direction is displayed in the top right-hand corner of the rear-view mirror.
Although I didn’t use it, there’s a voice control option for infotainment and navigation. I did make use of the radio tuner channel-switching on the steering wheel. Phone calls can be picked up or disconnected via the steering wheel as well, once you’ve paired a smart phone with the Volvo’s Bluetooth system.
One of the few negatives we found with the 2014 XC60 is also one of its newest features: an auto-dim lighting system. When dimmed, the rear-view mirror offers much less glare, however at night it was hard to tell the distance between oncoming cars and I found myself looking over my shoulder quiet often rather than rely on the mirror, as it was often too dim for my taste.
The XC60 uses Chromatic Glass on its outside rear view mirrors, but relies on the interior mirror sensors to detect when they should all dim, and mirrors both inside and out react based on that.
I found it hard to let go of the XC60 once fully used to its comfort, interior heating, and excellent Dolby Pro-Logic II Surround sound system with 650-watt amplifier. A big thanks to Volvo Vancouver for letting us take it out for a test drive with my visiting in-laws in time for the holidays.
The model we tested came fully loaded with the technology package, blind spot package mentioned above, active Dual Xenon headlights with headlight washers, and Polestar Performance software tuning. In all, before taxes, this souped-up XC60 retails for $57,845 before taxes.