2016 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Drive – E (1148)

Overview:

This is the 2016 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Drive-E.

A little history: Ford bought Volvo in 1999 and sold it in 2010 to Geely Automobile of China for $1.5 billion. Problem is they bought it for $6.5 billion. Volvo reportedly hadn’t made a profit since 2005. We’ll see how well China will do in bringing it back to profitability.

Why this is important is that when we buy a car we’d like to know they will be around at least as long as we are. There are no guarantees but we can hope. In the meantime, Volvo continues to be a safety conscious product. But most of us (mostly men) are ‘visually’ aware and Volvo has become more good looking as years pass.

That reminds me of my Harley days friend who would say often that when he looked in the mirror “I can’t wait for tomorrow because I get better looking every day”. Surely that has been the case with Volvo. It is simply a beautiful car in today’s world.

Drive – E you say. What does that stand for? It is how Volvo says it wants to wean America off of its big engine addiction. The Swedish/Chinese car company has taken an unexpected approach with its model year beginning in 2015. Their headline engine option is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder where you might have expected to see a V6 or even larger engine. It’s what Volvo calls Drive-E, and it’s all about changing beliefs about what makes a great powertrain.

General Information: It is assembled in Ghent, Belgium; Parts – US/Canadian 1%, Belgium 25%, Sweden 25%; Engine – Great Britain; Transmission – Japan; Classification is Small SUV. Cars from Volvo: S60, S80, S90, V60, XC60, XC70 & XC 90.

Handling & Performance:

Volvo says “The number of cylinders is no longer important.” That might sound like heresy to anyone brought up coveting V6 and V8 power, but according to Volvo’s Derek Crabb, VP of Powertrain Engineering, it’s a sign of how the car industry – and technology like turbochargers and superchargers – has advanced in recent years.

Rather than the eight different engine types Volvo used before, Drive-E takes a relatively small 2.0-liter gasoline or diesel engine as its core. Onto that is bolted a turbocharger for the entry-level T5, or both a turbocharger and a supercharger for the T6, and a new 8-speed automatic gearbox added.

Styling:

It just gets better looking all the time.

Fit and Finish:

Very well assembled. Historically Volvo has been known for its quality.

Cost:

Competitive in class considering a vast array of convenience and safety features.

Conveniences and comfort:

Among the best. For example, I believe it is hands down the best adaptive cruise control with stop and start from zero mph in traffic. Great crash avoidance system. IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) 2016 Top Safety Picks with Superior Crash Avoidance and Mitigation.

Other Features: If I have to read the manual I give low marks for intuitive use of controls. Volvo has a reputation for poor or difficult (albeit very capable) user interface. I understand they are addressing this complaint. I’ll let you know. That being said there is a lot there and like most computer stuff we seldom use devices to their full capability. Younger drivers will have no problem where older drivers will not be happy.

Consumer Recommendations:

Volvo continues to be one of my favorite cars. At the end of the day we all want to drive a safe vehicle and Volvo has built its product based on the claim it is one of the safest cars on the market. It is also a good move, from my experience, to embrace turbo/super- charged smaller engines. That conversion is not unusual in today’s world of automobiles. Most car companies are moving more and more to such technology. You lose nothing while gaining far better fuel economy. That saves money and thus it will not just be a short term trend. Consumers like you and me are demanding the change. Car companies are simply responding to what we want. That’s good business.

Consider a list of the 10 most expensive cars to own and drive. I don’t see Volvo in this list.

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/auto/10-most-expensive-cars-to-own-and-drive-1.aspx#ixzz3xX9RQ6Kz

Recognized Competition:

Volvo XC60 T6 $38,000, Audi Q3 $40,000, Acura RDX $38,000, Lexus NX $37,000, Lincoln MKC$41,000, Infiniti QX50 $35,000, Land Rover Discovery Sport $38,000, Volkswagen Tiguan $37,000.

Good News:

Among the best Crash Avoidance systems, very good fuel economy for power performance cars, cost to own and operate is NOT among the most expensive cars list.

Bad News:

Among the more difficult user interfaces with electronic devices.

Standard Equipment:

2.0 liter  Supercharged and Turbocharged 302 hp engine, ULEV (ultra low emission vehicle), 8-speed auto trans, AWD with instant traction, traction and stability controls, roll stability control, ready alert ABS brake system with brake distribution and power assist, power assisted steering, 18” alloy wheels, low speed collision avoidance system, Unibody high strength safety cage, front side and side curtain head protection airbags, whiplash protection system front seats, security system with backup battery, LATCH system, tire pressure monitor, sensors with 7” color monitor, audio with 8-speakers, in dash CD with MMA and MP3 capability, USB and AUX input, bluetooth with audio streaming, Sirius radio 6-month subscription, Sensus connect unlimited data in car WiFi hotspot, smart phone apps with engine remote start, panoramic sunroof with power sunshade, leather seating, 8-way power front seats with driver memory, keyless entry and push button start/stop, tilt and telescopic leather wrapped steering wheel, electronic parking brake, dual zone climate control, heated power mirrors, roof rails, 40/20/40 flat folding seats, folding head restraints, rain sensing wipers.

Gas Stats:

$2.85/ Gal avg. July 10, 2016

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

19 City and 27 Highway MPG12

Pricing:

MSRP $43,380.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
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