Behold the elegant simplicity of the Volvo XC60
by Jordan Golson
A few years ago, I drove a 2015 Volvo XC60 for a week. It was comfortable, stylish, and an all-around excellent SUV. About the only thing I didn't like about it was the infotainment system, which had changed little from when the XC60 was first introduced at the end of the Bush administration.
It certainly got the job done and, considering that the interior of the XC60 hadn't changed much for a few years, it was a testament to how good the car was when it was first designed.
A Volvo rep once told me that sales of the XC60 "kept the lights on" at Volvo, keeping the company in business long enough to develop and release the excellent XC90 SUV, S90 sedan, and V90 wagon over the past few years.
The XC60 is Volvo's volume seller. The XC60 hasn't seen a top-to-bottom redesign since its debut nearly 10 years ago. But in 2016, Volvo sold 161,000 XC60s, a rise of 0.9 percent from the year before and nearly double the company's XC90 sales over the same period. And now, finally, there's a new XC60 for 2018. And for Volvo fans, it looks like it was worth the wait.
The XC60 competes with luxury SUVs like the - X3 and the Audi Q5, and, though it doesn't have the volume numbers of some of those competitors, I think the new XC60 stands out. It has a Swedishness to it - clean, sharp lines, but with a warm interior that makes you feel at home. There's even a little Swedish flag stitched on the edge of the seat, just so you don't forget where this car came from.
It has the same Thor's Hammer headlights as Volvo's 90-series, the same terrific iPad-esque infotainment setup, and basically the same exterior design. In almost every way, the XC60 is a slightly smaller version of the XC90. That's a good thing.
I'll withhold final judgement on the XC60 until I can spend some time with it, but if Volvo's recent history is any indication, they're going to sell a ton of 'em to some very happy customers.
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Top Editors Put New Volvo on Their All-Star Team
The all-new Volvo S90 luxury sedan has been named a 2017 AUTOMOBILE All-Star, a title usually reserved for the likes of Porsche, Ferrari and Bentley.
According to AUTOMOBILE's editors, the S90's cohesive package of safety, style, sensibility, and supple ride make it not just a standout luxury sedan, but a car truly worthy of All-Star standing. "With the S90, it's not about how fast it gets you there; it's about how it makes you look and feel as it does," added AUTOMOBILE editor-in-chief Mike Floyd.
"That the S90 sits alongside childhood dream cars as an AUTOMOBILE All-Star speaks volumes about how Volvo can build truly compelling car," said Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President Americas and President and CEO, Volvo Car USA.
The S90 starts at less than $49,000 and is the first car to come standard with semi-autonomous drive functionality. It is available with a T6 316hp turbo- and supercharged Drive-E all-wheel-drive powertrain or a T5 250hp front-wheel-drive layout, features a nine-inch tablet like touch screen control panel, and all the safety for which Volvos have always been known. Consumers can learn more by visiting www.volvocars.com/us.
Being named an AUTOMOBILE All-Star isn't the first recognition the S90 has seen. The car was also a finalist for the 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year and the 2017 North American Car of the Year.
From the beginning, choosing the AUTOMOBILE All-Stars has been about cutting through the hype and noise in search of a select group of vehicles with style, class, importance, and desirability. While the format has changed some over the years, the overall formula remains simple. No complicated criteria to hue to, no price caps, no narrow categories. We drive them. We argue about them. We vote on them. Done.
AUTOMOBILE chooses its All-Star vehicle contender list from the entirety of all-new, heavily revised, or newly significant variants on sale or otherwise available in the U.S. in the 12 months preceding our test. Then the editorial staff spends multiple days driving the assembled array of All-Stars contenders on both road and track and casts their votes for the winners by private ballot. After choosing the All-Stars winners, the number of which will vary from year-to-year, the staff sets out to get even more extensive seat time with them through long-term tests and other epic, feature-based drives.
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Volvo Cars reveals new XC60
Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, today revealed the long-awaited new XC60 SUV at the Geneva Motor Show.
The new car replaces Volvo's highly-successful original XC60, which in the nine years since its launch became the bestselling premium mid-sized SUV in Europe with nearly a million units sold globally. The XC60 today represents around 30 percent of Volvo's total global sales.
"We have a strong heritage in designing stylish and dynamic SUVs that offer the latest in technology. The new XC60 will be no exception. It's the perfect car for an active lifestyle, and it represents the next step in our transformation plan," said Håkan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive, Volvo Car Group.
New comfort and safety technology
The new XC60, one of the safest cars ever made, is fully-loaded with new technology. Steer Assist has been added to the ground-breaking City Safety system. A new safety system called Oncoming Lane Mitigation uses steer assist to help mitigate head-on collisions, while Volvo's Blind Spot Indication System (BLIS) now uses Steer Assist functionality to reduce the risk of lane-changing collisions.
"We have focused on building a car that can deliver pleasure to all of your senses - from a commanding view of the road ahead in a beautifully appointed and calm cabin, to a safe, inspired and confident ride," said Henrik Green, Senior Vice President Product & Quality at Volvo Car Group. "We've paid particular attention to making life easier for our customers by providing them with the creature comforts and services that take the hassle out of everyday life."
Pilot Assist, Volvo's advanced semi-autonomous driver assistance system, which takes care of steering, acceleration and braking on well-marked roads up to 80 MPH, is available in the new XC60 as an option.
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To our valued customers;
You might be hearing a lot about our products and, at times, we might also be filling your email box with special offers, but this message is not selling anything. We want only to tell you how much we appreciate the fact that you spend your hard earned money with our dealerships. It is a busy and tumultuous time in our country and sometimes we don't often enough simply say we appreciate you and thank you.
We also realize that there are times that you want to communicate with us and, although we do our best to respond promptly to messages, sometime our response might not be quite timely as either of us might wish. So, we have built a system through which we can communicate like we are doing right now. We can send messages to you that we think and hope, are pertinent and you can do the same with each and every one of us. We call it our Long autoWALL. You see, this is a community of all of us, you the customer and us the service provider and each of us have a profile through which we can communicate. So, check yours out, look it over and send a message to us. If you do not know your credentials, then contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, through the same system, if you like, you can pay for your vehicle services online, prior to picking up your car. Once work is completed and your vehicle is ready, a detailed invoice will be sent to your computer or mobile device. We hope that this will be more convenient for you and will save you time. We use PayPal as the transaction facilitator simply because that is the safest payment system available and no, you do not have to have a PayPal account to use it. Just go ahead and use your credit card. And, even if you pay online, we hope that you still will take the time to say "Hello", have a hot cup of coffee and fresh baked cookie with us. You know that cold weather is on its way.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Long of Chattanooga
2017 Volvo XC60
Our small premium SUV is now even more versatile with its two new styling offerings, both standard with high levels of equipment and at the same attractive starting MSRP, proving to be a great value. With the 2017 lineup, we now provide our consumers with the choice to select the XC60 Dynamic or the XC60 Inscription.
XC60 Dynamic – standard sportier-looking exterior with a front and rear styling kit, 18-inch Leda Diamond Cut / Glossy Black Alloy wheels, and sport leather seats
XC60 Inscription – standard walnut wood inlay, interior accent lighting, and 18-inch Leda Diamond Cut / Light Grey Alloy wheels
Two versions of a great car. A versatile, powerful yet refined car, the 2017 XC60 is the perfect mid-size SUV.
It offers athletic, energetic design for your active lifestyle, but can also be the stylish driver’s car for your more refined sensibilities.
The choice is yours.
Volvo breaks ground on $500 million South Carolina plant
Volvo broke ground on its first auto manufacturing plant in North America on Friday and announced that workers at the $500 million plant will build a car still being designed in Sweden.
Volvo North America CEO Lex Kerssemakers said the plant will build the company's new S-60 sedan as well as another model to be announced later.
"This is the one and only factory where we are going to produce the S-60. Global customers all over the world will drive a car made in this factory," he said,
The plant is being built off Interstate 26 about 30 miles northwest of Charleston will eventually be capable of making 100,000 cars a year.
Kerssemakers was joined at the site by Gov. Nikki Haley, U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt and other state and local officials. Haley joined Kerssemakers in wielding a silver shovel to turn dirt at one corner of a large tract that has already been cleared of trees.
Company officials said foundation work will begin early next year and the first vehicles are expected to roll off the plant's production line in 2018.
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Volvo promises 'death-proof' cars by 2020
Volvo engineers are pushing the boundaries of car safety with a view of creating a death-proof car.
Swedish vehicle manufacturer Volvo has issued bold promise to have 'death-proof' cars on the road by 2020.
Lex Kerssemakers, CEO of Volvo in North America told CNN that by 2020 no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car or SUV.
Kerssemakers said the company's Swedish engineers were "pretty genuine" in the claim.
"They don't say things when they don't believe in it."
Volvo spokesman Jim Trainor stood by the claim, saying: "the long term vision is that cars shouldn't crash."
There are currently nine vehicle models, which include the Volvo XC90, in which no one in the US has died in the past four years.
Volvo is reportedly working toward autonomous car technologies that will prevent crashes and help make vehicles death-proof.
Volvo safety engineer Erik Coelingh told CNN with the development of full autonomy "we are going to push the limits of automotive safety".
However, the car company admits that they cannot account for the safety of drivers who want to hurt themselves or who are "just really, really stupid".
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The Volvo XC90 does it again!
What if a Swedish born and bred crossover utility vehicle (CUV) came to the Truck of Texas rodeo and rode away with not one, but several top awards? Well it happened this last week at the Knibbe Ranch in Spring Branch, Texas where the new generation 2016 Volvo XC90 All-Wheel Drive crossover took on the best of the rest going away at the end with the top prize - the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) 2015 CUV of Texas award.
That was after they had been named as the Luxury Crossover Utility Vehicle of Texas while their new Volvo Sensus touchscreen information system - that works like a tablet - was recognized with the Best Connectivity Award. And while they were at it, their (also all-new) Volvo T6 Drive-E 2.0L super and turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with its 8-speed automatic transmission finished second only to the all-new Cummins 5.0L Turbo Diesel diesel and Aisin transmission for the 2015 Best Powertrain Award.
'One Riot, One Ranger' is a legendary part of the history of the Texas Rangers and the folks at Volvo appear to understand that principle clearly coming to the annual Truck of Texas competition with just one vehicle and one person to challenge the 16 entries from 13 manufacturers for recognition as the best crossover utility vehicle in Texas for 2015.
Full Disclosure: This was not a first rodeo for Volvo. They have been here before. In fact, entering their 2003 Volvo XC90 in the 2002 Texas Truck Rodeo competition, Volvo actually rode away with the 2002 Truck of Texas Award (there were no CUV or SUV categories then). Then, as now, the Volvo success formula would seem to be "One Rodeo, One Volvo"
Volvo, pulling on their Texas boots this year, entered their brand new 2016 XC90 T6 Crossover in the TAWA Truck of Texas competition - this time in the Crossover category. Recently arriving in the U.S., the all-new XC90 is the latest generation version of their popular crossover and the first fully 'clean sheet' design fully developed by Volvo since they separated from Ford in 2010. And, based on our short drive, this is a beauty.
The 2016 Volvo XC90 AWD crossover is stunning in design on the outside and the ultimate in distinctively functional design and use of materials on the inside. The new XC90 comes in three trim levels - the volume level Momentum (MSRP $48,900), luxury level Inscription (MSRP $54,500) and the dynamic sporty looking R-Design (MSRP $52,900).
Volvo sent their Momentum Model (already very well equipped) seriously loaded up with several optional packages adding features like LED Automatic Headlights with Active Bending Lights, Headlight High Pressure Washers, Heated Front and Rear Seating, Four-Zone Climate Control, 360-Degree Surround View Camera, Dark Flame Birch Wood Inlays, Front Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Pilot Assist (automatically steers based on the car in front), Nappa Leather Contour Seating, Graphical Heads-up Display, 4-Corner Air Suspension and an awesome Bowers and Wilkins Premium Sound System with CD Player.
The delivered price on the 2016 Volvo XC90 AWD Momentum entered in the competition was $67,000.
Features we noted in particular were the new Sensus information system with Navigation and its 9-inch tablet-like touchscreen plus voice-command capability with controls also on the steering wheel; the Integrated Child Booster Seat in the center of the second row which can independently slide forward for parent access from the front row when necessary and the Drive Modes Control System (with the its finely crafted control knob) located close to the driver in the center console.
Drive Modes Control has five modes available from ECO to an Individual Mode that allows the driver to customize responses from powertrain, steering, braking and suspension. We particularly like Dynamic (others call it Sport) which adjusts throttle and transmission shift points for quicker response PLUS it lowers the car by 0.8-inches at speeds above 84 mph to improve aerodynamics.
But the Off Road Mode was the most fun on the ranch roads. It operates only at speeds under 25 mph. When engaged, it raises the XC90 1.6-inches for greater ground clearance, locks the differential, activates Hill Descent Control, sets steering to Comfort Mode, optimizes the powertrain for traction and sets Electronic Stability Control for traction/sport.
Lastly, the new 2016 Volvo XC90 AWD is chock full of well-known Volvo safety features including Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, Park Assist Pilot for automatic stall parking (in addition to parallel parking) and Rear Collision Warning that uses the Rear Facing Camera to detect cars approaching from behind at an unsafe speed and pre-tightens seatbelts and applies the brakes to prevent being pushed into a car in front.
And, the new XC90 has already been rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) as a Top Safety Pick+ - their highest rating.
One Rodeo, One Volvo seems to be a winning combination for Volvo in Texas. We highly recommend you drive it to see why for yourself.
Volvo picks South Carolina for new plant to supply U.S. market
Volvo Cars has chosen a site in South Carolina for a $500 million investment in its first U.S. plant, it said today, targeting a bigger share of the increasingly competitive North American premium market.
Work will begin this year on the factory in Berkeley County, with production due to start in 2018 and quickly reach 100,000 vehicles a year, Volvo said in a statement.
The investment is part of a drive by China's Geely , which bought Volvo Cars from Ford Motor in 2010, to rebuild a brand that ran into trouble in the financial crisis.
"This is a clear sign of commitment to the revival of our U.S. business," Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson said.
But the move coincides with toughening competition in the North American luxury car market.
Rivals have been ramping up capacity, with many choosing Mexico for its lower wages, non-unionized workforce and access to the United States and other export markets under a raft of free-trade deals.
In total, North American production capacity is set to rise more than 10 percent over five years to 19.6 million light vehicles in 2020, according to WardsAuto forecasts -- with most of the gain coming from new plant investments.
Germany's Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are among luxury carmakers that have recently announced new production capacity in the region.
Under Geely's ownership, Volvo has stepped up model investments and added a pair of Chinese factories to its two older European plants.
In the United States, where its sales fell 8 percent to 56,000 vehicles last year, the production investment is key to a medium-term pledge to return to 100,000 annual deliveries.
Volvo also faces tougher competition in the U.S. from the resurgent Lincoln and Cadillac brands, as parents Ford and General Motors invest a combined $14.5 billion to revamp their line-ups.
Samuelsson acknowledged the tougher U.S. market conditions, while maintaining that they would not thwart Volvo's plans. "We have a premium brand that is very different," he said.
Mexico was also on Volvo's initial "long list"but the choice for the new factory eventually whittled down to South Carolina and Georgia, he said.
Transport links including harbor access were among the decisive considerations that ultimately weighed in South Carolina's favor, according to the carmaker.
"Logistics was one of the most important factors" for a plant that will import large numbers of parts and export some vehicles, Samuelsson said, adding union representation was "not a relevant factor."
According to an environmental permit application filed for the Berkeley County site, the new factory will initially create 2,000 jobs.
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2016 Volvo XC90 Reviews
"And yet, $100,000 Range Rovers would roll over in the mud to own anything so advanced. The XC90 is a terribly premium product, the kind that could draw thousands of customers out of Germans' and even Britons' showrooms. For once a Volvo is not the contrarian choice, but the sensible one. - Jonathan Schultz, BBC autos
"At the moment there isn't another direct competitor that matches its quality and capability." - Mark Takahashi, Edmunds
"With most of its equipment standard, it's the best value in the class." Scott Evans, Motor Trends
"Volvo has used the time to capture lightning in a bottle again." - Motor Trend
Media also lauded Sensus, calling it out as an example for the rest of the industry to follow. Both Motor Trend's Scott Evans and Forbes' SUV expert Jason Fogelson agreed that the Sensus is best-in-class: Scott Evans wrote "it's the best touchscreen entertainment and information system on the market, if not the best of any, full stop," while Jason Fogelson remained enthusiastic that Sensus is "my new favorite factory telematics system." Car and Driver's Eric Tingwall, while appreciative of its easy-to-use interface, found the hardware the most impressive - "By providing enough processing power to keep up with your swipes and taps, Volvo excels where several have failed. Pay attention, Cadillac." Sensus was designated a "Favorite Feature" in Bob Nagy's Expert Review for Kelley Blue Book noting the system "sets a benchmark" for infotainment.
Volvo's top 10 safe driving trips for Easter long weekend
FOR many Australians Easter means packing the family into the car and heading off on a road trip to visit relatives or a favourite holiday destination.
But with more cars, caravans, trailers and boats travelling on the nation's highways, Easter is also of the busiest periods to be on the road. During the 2014 Easter long weekend 14 people died in car accidents across Australia.
"Accident statistics show that drivers are twice as likely to be involved in a crash during Easter because they are fatigued or in a hurry to get to their destination," Volvo Car Australia Technical Manager, David Pickett said.
Volvo Car Australia has released its top 10 safe driving tips to ensure that you and your family have a safe and enjoyable Easter on the road.
1. Check your tyre pressure when your tyres are cold, as under inflation of tyres can cause excessive tyre wear and tear. Correctly inflated tyres will also improve your fuel economy. Often overlooked is the spare tyre. It is also important to check that your spare tyre is installed and inflated to the correct pressure.
2. A loose object weighing 20kg in a 50 km/h frontal collision can carry the impact of an item weighing 1000kg, so your load must be secured correctly. It's a good idea to put any loose objects in the boot of the car or behind a cargo net. Position heavy items against the rear seat backrest. Volvo provides integrated mounting points to tie down heavy loads in all vehicles. In Volvo wagons and SUV's, use the supplied load net to separate the load from the passenger compartment.
3. Windscreens are an often overlooked component of safe driving. Check your wiper blades condition, noise, streaks or lines indicate a need for replacing Keep the screen clean - dirt, tree sap can deteriorate wiper blades. When you hand wash the car wash the wiper blades also. Fill your washer fluid & use a windscreen washer additive to help clean the screen and use when washing. Make sure the inside of your windows are clean especially for night or driving into the sun.
4. Ensure your lights are working for any night time driving you may do over the long weekend. It's also a good time to clean the lenses for maximum visibility.
5. If towing a trailer, boat or caravan, check the tow hitch and electrics, and brakes.
6. Stop every two hours for a 15 minute break. You can find rest stops on your route at www.driverreviver.com.au. Volvo's Driver Alert System can detect a fatiguing driver and will prompt the driver to rest. It is also good to share the driving whenever possible.
7. Never drink alcohol - even small quantities - before or during long trips
8. Minimise in-car distractions such as mobile phones - if you need to make or answer a call, pull over somewhere safe to do so. Volvo's Intelligent Driver Information System helps the driver prioritise the information in the car depending on the current driving situation. If necessary, IDIS steps in and delays incoming phone calls and other information until the driving situation is calmer.
9. Be aware of speed limits on unknown roads. Remember, double demerit points apply all Easter weekend.
10. Remember that everyone is in the same position as you. Don't get frustrated if you are stuck behind a caravan. Be patient and wait until you reach dual lanes or only overtake when it is 100% safe to do so.
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Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid Review (2014/15): D6 AWD Geartronic R-Design Lux Nav
January 28, 2015 By Cars UK
Volvo is busy reinventing itself as a maker of proper premium cars that aren't German, and making a decent fist of it with newer cars like the V40 and the potentially game-changing new XC90, but also with cars that have been around a bit longer. Like the V60.
The V60 may no longer be a 'new' Volvo, but its is a car Volvo has worked hard to make very appealing, and done so in a way that isn't Teutonic copy-cat, rather more subtle and matter of fact. Which is a good USP.
But what Volvo has also done is turn the V60 in to the world's first diesel plug-in hybrid with the car we've got this week – the Volvo V60 PHEV D6 AWD Geartronic R Design Lux Nav. Which, thankfully, isn't written in big chrome letters on the V60's tailgate.
On the face of it, the V60 PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) is the best of both worlds, with the promise of low-cost electric emissions-free driving when you need it and performance you don't expect from a hybrid when you want to play.
But the elephant in the room is the price – a not insubstantial £51,675, and a properly hefty £58,150 with the goodies Volvo has fitted to our review car.
Yes, you get a £5k rebate from the taxpayer when you buy, but that still means the Volvo Estate we're testing costs £53,150, even after rebate – a chunk more than the V60 Polestar we tested a couple of years ago.
Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid - Inside & Out
Thankfully, car makers have learnt in the last few years that 'Green' cars don't need to have hair-shirt looks, and buyers are more likely to buy if the car looks good as well as doing good.
So the this V60 PHEV does what it says on its very long name and comes with the R-Design body kit to look purposeful without looking gaudy, a nice set of alloys to set that off and a white paint job that makes people pull over and stick to 69mph on motorways when you motor up behind them. The only thing that really marks the PHEV out from the non-hybrid V60s is 'Plug-In Hybrid' in subtle letters on the trailing edge of the tailgate, small badges at the top back of the front wings and an extra fuel flap on the front wing to plug in to the mains. Inside is regular Volvo V60 good as well, with a simple – but appealing – Swedish take on luxury, easy to use and intuitive (once you're used to them) controls and great seats – leather faced R-Design ones with electric adjustment and heated thanks to the big spec mentioned above.
That spec includes the Driver Support Pack – stuff like Adaptive Cruise, Collision warning, Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning and Blind Spot Monitoring – which costs £1900 and the Winter Illumination Pack – which includes heated front seats, heated windscreen, Active Bending Xenons, spiffy ambient light and auto-dimming mirrors – for another £675.
Individual options included here include Power Glass Roof (£850), Keyless (£550), Sensus with Harmon Kardon Premium Sound (£500), Rear Camera (£375), Park Assist front and back (£325) and extra long plug-in cables (£50). It all makes the V60 a very nice toy.
Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid – Performance on the road
The regular Volvo V60 isn't perfect, but it's an awful lot better than those whose mind set defaults to BMW or Mercedes think, with decent steering, decent dynamics, decent comfort and decent performance. The V60 PHEV offers all that, as you'd expect, but an awful lot more as well.
With an electric motor good for 70 horses and Volvo's old D5 diesel engine for another 215 driving the front wheels, there's decent power to play with, and play with in a way that suits your journey and mood.
Three main modes offer easy access to the V60 power options, with Pure offering just EV running, Power throwing everything the V60 has at getting you along the road and Hybrid (the default option) utilising both power sources automatically.
There are also a couple of extra modes to play with too, with AWD making sure you have drive to all four wheels (designed for slow speeds in slippery conditions) and Save which makes sure you use only the diesel engine so you can save up the battery power for when you're back in town. And it all works very well.
Charging is easy at home (an overnight charge will give you an EV range of 2o odd miles in the real world) or at a public charging station, although its relatively slow rate of charge and apparent inability to use public fast chargers really means you need to plug in at home.
Once charged, you can do most of your daily errands and commute in serene silence without letting the diesel motor chime in its horses, which means the V60 tells you you're doing well over 100mpg. And out on motorways it's an easy cruise (especially with the good adaptive cruise fitted to our car) with the Volvo telling you you're doing 60-odd to the gallon.
But forsake the local poodling and motorway cruise and have a thrash round some B-roads and the economy takes a real dive, but with the ability to make brisk progress (0-62mph in under 7 seconds) even though it feels a bit hefty, that's no surprise.
In fact, the V60 PHEV does everything you could reasonably expect it to do, and does it well.
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2015 Volvo V60 T5 - Piling on the Miles
By: Joseph Capparella
Photos by: Joseph Capparella
More than halfway through its Four Seasons test, our 2015 Volvo V60 wagon had racked up around 14,000 miles thanks to road trips to Tennessee, Chicago, and Northern Michigan throughout the summer and fall. In December, I put another 2,400 miles on the car, spending two weeks visiting friends and family in Ohio, Tennessee, and New York before coming back to snowy Michigan.
Holidays in Ohio
Hopping into the V60 wagon for the three-hour trip to my aunt and uncle's house in Ohio was a non-event. The Volvo really eats up the miles thanks to its planted ride and solid on-center steering feel, and I didn't experience any signs of fatigue from the supportive seats.
As soon as I arrived, four relatives hopped in the car with me and we headed to dinner. My aunt immediately pointed out the cramped cabin. Though the quintessential Volvo wagon in most people's minds is associated with the old midsize 740 and V70 models, this 2015 Volvo V60 is actually a compact wagon sized like a BMW 3 Series. The rear seat was tight width-wise for three adults, and I also had to move the front seat forward a bit to allow enough knee room for my cousins in back.
The next day, we piled in once again to go get a Christmas tree. Once we picked one out and hoisted it on top of the V60, I was disappointed to find that the Volvo's roof rails are just for show; there aren't any tie-downs or hooks other than four clips made specifically for optional roof-rack accessories. We made do with the old-school method, tying the string through the cabin, and made it home with the tree intact.
Home in Nashville
Once I arrived in Nashville to see my parents, I mostly used the Volvo for running errands around town. I started to get annoyed with the engine start/stop system that's standard equipment on all Drive-E-equipped Volvos. It's one of the more aggressive of these systems I've encountered, and it always seems to shut off the engine when you don't want it to. This becomes problematic when you're creeping forward in traffic, and the four-cylinder shudders more than I'd like when it starts up again. I know it's simple to turn off the system, but I don't like to give up fuel efficiency just for the sake of smoothness.
A few days before I was set to leave town again, the Volvo's Check Engine light came on. I visited Volvo of Nashville to have it checked out, and the technicians found that a vacuum hose had cracked and needed replacing. The repair only took about an hour and was covered under warranty.
The long haul to New York
A few days later, a friend and I embarked on our ambitious plan to drive 950 miles from Nashville to just north of New York City -- in one day. At first, she was skeptical that we would make it in a day, but I reassured her that there are few cars better suited to a long day of driving than this 2015 Volvo V60, even though I had a few concerns myself about weather and fatigue along the way.
We set out at 6 a.m. and immediately sank into the plush, enveloping seats. I set the cruise control to 80 mph, and the Volvo settled into a confident, planted cruise, with the engine turning under 2,000 rpm thanks to the tall gearing of the eight-speed automatic. My friend had no trouble keying up music on Bluetooth streaming thanks to the simple, intuitive infotainment screen and control knobs. After the first few hours passed by quickly and smoothly, both of us started to feel more optimistic about the long day of driving ahead.
Over the next 12 hours or so, all of the stars aligned, and we somehow managed to avoid obstacles like bad winter weather and traffic that always seem inevitable when traveling during the holidays. Weirdly enough, I actually would have liked it to be a bit colder on the way up north, since our 2015 Volvo V60 is fitted with winter-minded Blizzak tires. As contributor Marc Noordeloos mentioned in his update last month, these tires are not so happy in warmer temperatures. I noticed plenty of wandering on the dry, warm highways of the south, and tire noise was a bit more noticeable than normal.
The greatest element of the V60 for the long haul is its amazing fuel range. I got more than 500 miles out of a tank, which meant we had to stop only once for fuel. I could have gone even farther if it wasn't for the premature low-fuel warning and the pessimistic range readings. Only one of my fillups was above 16 gallons, despite the tank's 17.8-gallon capacity, and fuel economy hovered between 30 and 33 mpg. That's short of the 37-mpg EPA highway rating but still respectable given our higher speeds (between 75 and 80 mph), the mountainous terrain of Virginia and Pennsylvania, and the aforementioned winter tires.
Back home to Michigan
I finally got good use out of the Blizzak tires when I hit wintry weather in Pennsylvania on my way back home to Michigan. I still felt completely comfortable in the 2015 Volvo V60 as the winter tires tracked confidently through the deepening snow on I-80, allowing me to effortlessly pass floundering trucks and SUVs. The Volvo's clear views through the front and rear windshields were also a boon for getting through the snow without a hitch. Predictably, my fuel economy numbers went down as the temperatures dropped, and I averaged around 29 mpg on my 620-mile trip westward.
Even as I pulled into my driveway even after a slow drive through snow, sleet, and rain, I wasn't yet tired of the Volvo. Spending two weeks and 2,400 miles in this well-rounded wagon confirmed our earlier positive impressions of the V60. Its combination of comfort, efficiency, and style make it a worthy road-trip companion and a car I'd be happy to own in any context.
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First Month's Payment on us* + 3 Years Full Coverage, Including Wear & Tear
For customers leasing or purchasing a new Model Year 2015 or 2015.5 vehicle from November 1, 2014 through January 2, 2015, Volvo delivers tremendous value and peace of mind during your ownership experience by:
making your first month's payment
providing 3 years full coverage via our Safe & Secure Coverage Plan including:
3 Years/36,000 miles of Wear & Tear Coverage whichever comes first (includes Brakes, Rotors & Wiper Blades (excludes tires)
3 Years/36,000 miles of Complimentary Factory Scheduled Maintenance
4 Years/50,000 miles of Warranty whichever comes first
4 Years/Unlimited Miles of Roadside Assistance
This coverage plan is a U.S. specific program and is valid only when repairs are performed at an authorized U.S. Volvo Retailer.
*Complimentary first month's payment up to $500, valid on new 2015 or 2015.5 lease or finance contracts through Volvo Car Financial Services. The lesser of $500 or your first month's payment will be distributed to the customer as a non-cash credit at time of lease or purchase.
SWEDEN: Geely built Volvo XC Classic parts to come from China and Sweden
Volvo's upcoming XC Classic - the previous model XC90 - will be assembled in a new Geely plant in Daqing, China, from a mix of parts shipped from Sweden while larger parts such as body panels will be stamped locally using dies relocated from a Swedish plant, just-auto has learned.
It will not be a CKD kit assembly operation, the automaker stressed.
"The production of the XC Classic in Daqing is based on call-offs direct to the suppliers and we are not shipping kits," a Volvo spokeswoman confirmed.
"We will relocate the stamping dies for the bigger and important parts from Sweden (Olofstrom) to Daqing. The vast majority of parts will be shipped from our existing suppliers in Europe."
Swedish production - in Torslanda - of the old model, which ran for 12 years, ended in July. In total, 636,143 of the SUVs were built with production peaking at around 85,000 a year in 2004-2007. The vehicle was once named Sweden's most valuable export product, with an annual export value of more than SEK40bn (US$5.9bn) in its peak years.
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Volvo a step closing to avoiding a crash with a kangaroo
The latest Volvo cars can already brake automatically to avoid rear-ending the vehicle in front, and can spot pedestrians and cyclists day or night, but it has now turned its attention to animals.
Volvo safety engineers say they are starting with big, slow moving animals first, such as cows and sheep, but they say trying to detect and then avoid a jumping kangaroo is "not impossible".
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Volvo 240 turns 40
The Volvo 240 celebrated its 40th birthday last week, after an impressive 19 years in production that saw other Volvo models come and go. The 240 and its variants are still very much a part of the American automotive landscape -- impressive for a manufacturer whose share of the market is currently below 1 percent -- and the model continues to find new fans. And on the model's 40th birthday, we're going to take a look back at what makes the 240 a classic.
For a model now seen as revolutionary in terms of passive safety features, the 240 series was actually a modest refresh of the 140 series which had been in production since 1966. The 200 series debuted in August of 1974 and featured a number of technologies that had been previewed in the Volvo VSC ESV concept in 1972 like crumple zones, a steering wheel designed to withdraw into the dash in the case of an accident, antilock brakes, and architecture designed to offer rollover protection. The 200 series cars also featured rack-and-pinion steering and a MacPherson-type front suspension, both fairly progressive bits of engineeing for the time in a family car. In terms of safety tech the 240 also offered three-point seat belts which were first introduced in Volvo cars all the way back in 1959, but had yet to be widely adopted by other manufacturers. A total of three bodystyles were available at launch in 1974: the 242 coupe, 244 sedan, and the 245 station wagon, with the last number, of course, denoting the number of doors.
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Sweden gets sophisticated with the all-new 2015 Volvo XC90
After months of carefully released powertrain and safety specs and visual teasers, Volvo’s all-new 2015 XC90 is here for the world to see. The premium SUV enters an extremely competitive market, with players like the Acura MDX, BMW X5, Land Rover Range Rover, and Lexus RX dominating sales, but Volvo is confident this will be a new direction for their brand.
Volvo has released official images of the brand-new 2015 XC90, and at first glance, it looks amply prepared to take on the stiff competition in its segment.
This is Volvo’s first all-new model since the Gothenburg-based automaker was purchased by Geely in 2010, and it signals a new direction for the brand. The XC90 features design cues seen on Volvo’s impressive concepts from various auto shows, and will employ technology and a modular platform that will be used throughout their future lineup.
The 2015 XC90 has room for seven occupants in its simple, elegant new interior, and will feature safety technologies new to the automotive world, including the world’s first road departure safety system. The XC90 will also be available in a variety of gasoline and diesel trim levels, and most impressively, a supercharged and turbocharged 4-cylinder engine mated to an 80-hp plug-in electric motor for a total output of 400-hp and 472 lb.-ft. of torque!
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Posh, roomy and high-tech: Volvo previews XC90 interior
The redesigned Volvo XC90 crossover won't go on sale in the United States until March, but the company has begun taking the cover off the vehicle. Images and a video show a more upscale interior than the outgoing version.
The crossover, previewed as the Concept XC Coupe in January at the Detroit auto show, will be unveiled in August. It goes on sale this year in Europe.
The XC90 is the first vehicle based on Volvo's new modular, scalable architecture that will underpin all of the company's larger vehicles. Volvo says the architecture allows for a roomier interior, improved drivability and "the inclusion of the latest safety features and connected in-car technologies."
The current version of the XC90 went on sale in 2002 and hasn't kept pace with the competition.
Volvo says the redesigned XC90 has a clean interior inspired by Swedish design, long known for uncluttered functionality and geometric lines.
It has three-row, seven-passenger seating and increased interior space. Dimensions haven't been released.
The key feature is "a tabletlike touch screen control console, which forms the heart of an all-new in-car control system," Volvo design boss Thomas Ingenlath said.
There are almost no buttons. Drivers access Internet-based products and services the way they use their iPads and iPhones: with a swipe.
The XC90 interior combines wood and leather with a crystal glass gearshift lever made by Swedish glassmaker Orrefors, and diamond-cut controls for volume and the start/stop button.
Volvo says the second row has three individual seats that recline. And all seven seats are covered by improved side curtain airbags.
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Volvo XC60 designed to be nimble and safe
By Kim Tae-jong
Swedish automaker Volvo has long been regarded as an icon of safe motoring, with a distinguished brand image. But it seems that the emphasis on strength and safety has also led to the other benefits being overlooked ― Volvos are often underrated in terms of performance and driving comfort.
This reporter recently test-drove the redesigned Volvo XC60 D4, a flagship SUV model in the automaker’s lineup.
At first glance, it has a rather staid and conservative design but its classic lines will not quickly go out of fashion. Also, it became more and more appealing the more I drove it.
Inside, drivers will be impressed by a new digital instrument cluster. It has three different mode options _ eco, performance and elegance _ that drivers can choose from, depending on driving conditions.
This is not just about a different layout, it also shows the confidence the vehicle can offer various driving experiences as a driver wishes to enjoy.
In fact, the XC60 boasts driving versatility.
It comes with a 2-liter five cylinder turbo-charged diesel engine, which can generate 163 horsepower and the maximum torque of 40.8 kilograms-meter. It is also equipped with a four-wheel driving system.
That is good and strong enough in a city, on a highway or even in off-road driving to make it feel nimble and agile.
The Corner Traction Control, which now comes as standard in the 2014 Volvo XC60, also helps the driver avoid under-steer by applying just the right amount of brake force to the inner wheels while powering the outer wheels when accelerating out of a corner.
Of course, the XC60 D4 also boasts various safety features such as the active high beam control II and a radar blind spot information system.
The D4 model is priced at 56.3 million won. The top of the range XC60 D5 is also available for 66.9 million won.
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