We are a country of worriers. We worry if we have enough money to cover the mortgage each month. We worry if the cat gets sick. We worry when we have to fly internationally. And we especially worry when a loved one is driving on the freeway. At night. In bad weather. We know most of these fears are unfounded, but wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to worry about any of these? At least there’s one worry we can eliminate, and that’s driving on the highways, especially if that family member or friend is driving the new 2015.5 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD.
First, let’s get the model year out of the way. The 2015.5 is Volvo’s way of say it’s a mid-year refresh. Not enough to call it a 2016, mostly because Volvo vehicles are getting a major redo soon, including a change to all four-cylinder engines wrapped in a new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform. The first out of the box is the XC90 full-size SUV. The all-new XC60 isn’t far behind.
While the XC60 right now doesn’t get all the cool stuff the new model will have, like the Thor’s Hammer design in the headlamps or the highly efficient engines, what it does get is a strong, twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine that produces 300 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. In this configuration, the XC60 gets 17-mpg city/24 highway. Not bad for a powerplant that produces this much juice. The XC60 also can be ordered as a T5 with Volvo’s Drive-E 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder, as a T5 AWD with a 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbocharged engine, or even a T6 with the Drive-E powerplant. If you want an even sportier look, go for the R-Design model. The only trim you can’t get this mid-year refresh is the XC60 AWD with the 3.2-liter, which has been discontinued. We agree the lineup is a bit convoluted, but at least Volvo is covering all the bases for buyers looking for options.
Other changes for the mid year on the T6 AWD trim include the addition of more standard features such as the Sensus Connect (Volvo’s connectivity system) with six months free service, Volvo On-Call with another free six-month subscription, and Sensus Navigation with Mapcare.
Most of the time when we get test vehicles, the connectivity apps aren’t connected and can’t be reviewed, as the majority of them need a VIN and a valid owner’s ID. We continually wonder why they can’t — or won’t — set these up for the journalists to try. Lucky for us Volvo gets it, and provided us with the correct information so we can use the On Call app. And it’s paid off. Twice already we’ve received a reminder that the car was unlocked. From the comfort of the dining room, we locked the car using an iPhone. We also just now checked to see if we need to get gas, how the fuel economy is doing (16.6 mpg with city driving), and where the car is located. Earlier we mentioned that we worry too much. How is this for peace of mind, knowing that the car you loaned your teen driver is parked where it should be at the friend’s house and not somewhere it shouldn’t!
Volvo also is helping worriers become more relaxed thanks to myriad safety systems that will keep those we love safe even if there is a crash. Volvo is going as far as to say that by 2020, no one should be killed or seriously injured while driving a new Volvo vehicle. That’s a big statement, but if any company can back it up, it’s Volvo.
Why? Because Volvo offers a long list of driver-assist technologies that serve and protect the occupants. Side Impact Protection System (SIPS), Whiplash protection system (WHIPS), City Safety, Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), rear camera, well, you get the idea. And there are more to come in the future.