In 2011, Volvo Car Malaysia has updated the locally assembled XC60 T5 compact SUV range in Malaysia with a more powerful engine and enhanced standard features list. After we driven the car for a local road trip, I started to appreciate and understood the reason why this model is one of the best selling Volvo model in the world now.
The XC60 T5 is powered by a 2.0-litre all-aluminium four-cylinder GTDI (Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection) engine that now produces 240hp at 5500rpm and 320Nm at 1800–5000rpm, up from 203hp and 300Nm. Though, there is still a small amount of turbo lag from the engine. The generated power is delivered to the front wheels via the 6-speed Powershift dual-clutch auto transmission with Geartronic. Basically, the Powershift transmission is Volvo’s version of Volkswagen DSG transmission. The weight of the steering wheel is fully adjustable from light to heavy on the console.
The acceleration of the Volvo XC60 T5 from 0-100km/h takes 8.1 seconds and a maximum speed of 210km/h. Based on the paper, the fuel consumption is aided by the dual-clutch Powershift transmission with now using 8.5 litres/100km on the combined cycle and emitting 198g/km of CO2 emission. However, the front-wheel drive introduces a little more torque steer. For better efficiency, the brake energy regeneration is also featured in this latest Volvo compact SUV.
We tested the XC60 T5 from city streets to highways in Malaysia, where the XC60 is promising and contented. Also, the XC60 T5 comes standard with 18-inch ‘Zephyrus’ alloy wheels with 235/60 R18 tyres. Other than we found the big turning radius of 11.7-metre is one of the drawback. Besides, it has excellent and strong braking capabilities.
The suspension setup on the XC60 T5 is firm and controlled. At the same time as we test the handling, I found there are a little body roll exists on the XC60 when putting through corners. Anyway, the ride is smooth and quiet most of the time.
Although the XC60 T5 is an entry range in other region, but it doesn’t mean the T5 in Malaysia is a poverty pack. The new Volvo XC60 T5 includes leather upholstery, climate control, powered tailgate, electric park brake, 8-speakers audio with 7-inch LCD colour screen, auxiliary/USB/iPod inputs, DVD, MP3 playback, rain sensor wipers, auto headlights and Bluetooth with audio streaming capabilities, steering-mounted buttons and navigation system with voice control. Miserably, the parking assistance camera (PAC) is optional.
Because the XC60 is a Volvo, as a result safety features will be first class for sure. The XC60 T5 include the world’s first Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake (up to 35 km/h), Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake (up to 180 km/h), Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist (up to 200 km/h), adding on to a list of safeguards comprising the Roll Stability Control, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) and City Safety. I felt the entire safety features are very useful and ensuring the road safety at all time. Of course, you can disable it all if you think it is annoying but we don’t recommend doing so.
Personally, I like the Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist on the Volvo as it is different than the conventional system. It can automatically adjust speed based on preset speed limit (up to 200km/h) in order to maintain a proper distance between vehicles in the same lane. This is achieved through a radar headway sensor, digital signal processor and longitudinal controller. If the lead vehicle slows down or another object is detected, the system sends a signal to the engine or braking system to decelerate. Then, when the road is clear, the system will re-accelerate the vehicle back to the set speed.
In slow-moving traffic up to 30km/h, Queue Assist automatically adapts the vehicle’s speed to keep a safe distance from the car in front.
The lists of the safety system on the brochure are longer. But in summary, it comes standard with stability control, six airbags and this car is awarded with 5-star NCAP crash rating.
Typically, the styling on the older Volvo is usually monotonous and the driving experience is rather flat. But things seem to be much improving after the introduction of naughty Volvo S60 back in 2010. Likewise, some of the design and feature within the cabin have brought the XC60 closer to the S60 sedan.