When Ford bought Volvo in 1999 they seemed hell bent on turning the brand into a manufacturer of oversized luxury sport-utility vehicles. It has now been just two year since the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group of Hangzhou, China, bought Volvo Cars from Ford Motor Company for a bargain bin $1.8 billion. But, after a week with a Geely-produced 2013 Volvo, it is clear that they are doing a much better job of handling the Volvo brand than Ford did.
The 2013 Volvo XC60 T6 with all-wheel drive mirrors its Swedish roots, it possesses simplicity in engineering that few manufacturers can seem to pin down these days. All told it is perhaps the least conflicted vehicle I have driven in some time. Volvo is back to doing what they do best, producing a tough, safe, well-engineered and beautifully designed wagon. There is nothing especially jaw-dropping or sexy about the XC60, but it is consistently great all around.
I don’t want to beat on Ford too much here, when they purchased Volvo for $6.45 billion in 1999 they infused the company with a ton of cash which helped the brand modernize their production operations and the result of those improvements can be seen in the XC60.
The XC60 T6 comes with a turbocharged 3-liter six-cylinder engine creating maximum 300 horsepower and 325 foot-pounds of torque, more than enough for moving the SUV along quite nicely but not quite enough to please any enthusiasts. The turbocharger does its work quietly, pulling air into the mix without making so much as a peep and the XC60 T6’s exhaust note is very neighborhood-friendly.
The XC60 has a beautifully rounded exterior, though those obtrusive rear brake lights make snow and ice removal a real pain. The two-tone leather seats look great, the rear loading area is exceptionally versatile with the rear seats folded flat and the sub-floor compartment provides ample space for keeping things out of sight. There is no mistaking the XC60’s intentions, this is a family vehicle.
Volvo may offer some of the most comfortable seats in the segment. The five available seats in the XC60 are all comfortable ans spacious. Should you want to bring a pet or pets along, Volvo offers accessories to create two separate XC60 compartments for dogs in the cargo area.
The Volvo XC60 is a family wagon and it fills that purpose very well. The XC60 won’t inspire enthusiasts with it’s soundproofed turbo, suburb friendly exhaust note and subdued ride. But, if you’re looking to transport a kid or two and perhaps a dog and you are looking to get them there safely, no matter what the weather decides to throw at you, this wagon should certainly be on your short list.
More info at Volvo.