Published On: Tue, May 14th, 2013

Test Drive – Volvo XC 60

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Safe Trip

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When we spoke to Dr. Jyotidev Kesavdev three months ago about his Volvo XC60, I remember him telling me- “You really have to get the word out there- if you want lives saved on our roads, there is a felt need for more Volvos here. There is just no other way we can find a way to protect ourselves from our mad driving habits”.
He admits to having listened to many people asking the same old question- “Why spend money on a non- German car if it is a luxury car that you want?”. Dr. Kesavdev has been around the world and experienced many a cars- so let’s hear it from the horse’s mouth as he says- “Volvo is much safer than I had imagined”. Enough said?
I decided to have a go at it. Owing to a series of some interesting circumstances, I was able to experience the truth in Doctor’s words.
So I had an early day and took my test XC60 out for a spin. As it was an early breakfast, I decided to get in and give it a couple of minutes before fastening seatbelts. I guess I was messing with the wrong car with such safety violations. Mind you, Volvo brought the first ever 3-point safety belts into production cars. The system started giving me a mild warning sound as soon as the car started moving. I thought it’d shut off once it’d get sick of crying. It didn’t. I had to give in to the ways of the Volvo because the warning alarms just got louder until it got its way. Apparently the car valued my life more than I did myself.
After a couple of hours drive, it was rush hour as I reached the overcrowded city center near Edappally Toll intersection. So there I was crawling the car to squeeze between pedestrians and traffic. Out of nowhere, there appeared an old man and a bunch of school kids who crossed the road. Although I was late to take notice, the XC60 was quick in its decision to brake itself. The feature called “City Safety” kicked in and saved the day.
Driving the XC60 is a matter of great fun. I drove around in it pretty much the whole day. Inevitably, I was getting fatigued toward the end of it. Before I realized it myself, the magical words “Time for a break” appeared in front of me with the picture of a hot cup of coffee next to it. Not bad!
Although I have a regular habit of following lane discipline (no lie!), whenever I’d inevitably violate that rule, the “Lane departure warning” system would flash before me.
So these were the features I was able to marvel first hand. However, other bits of awesomeness on this car include Active Bending Headlamps, Adapter Brake Lights, Trailer Stability Alert, Intelligent Driver Information, Adaptive Cruise Control, Auto-brake, Collision Warning, Dynamic Stability and Traction Control, ABS, Hydraulic Brake Assist, Ready Alert Brakes, Tyre Pressure Monitor and a long list of other useful jargons that’d require a whole new branch of study on its own. In short, Volvo doesn’t let you die.

The Car

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Volvo comes out with XC60 and XC90 in its SUV division in India. It is almost completely apparent that Volvo isn’t really focusing on coming up with a monstrous SUV. Instead, they have designed a clever SUV that offers the agility of a Sedan. The XC60 looks a class apart and unique to say the least. It has contemporary design features such as a bloated shoulder line and tail lamps embedded into the rear creases. The grille is quite small and features a chromed line.Every inch of this beautiful car speaks European design, but not in ways you’d normally imagine.

Inside

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The car from the inside is better if not equal to any of its German rivals. Offering many different shades of color such as Black- Beige to Piano- Red, the double stitched plush leather interiors make no room for compromise. The center console looks simple and classy with just Information Display and Music player’s head unit strategically placed there. The driver seat features electrical adjustment as standard. There is plenty of head and legroom in front and rear for everybody. This is a complete car.

Engine

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The car features a 2.4 liter 5 cylinder twin-turbo diesel . It puts out 205bhp at 4000rpm. It torques at 420Nm. The 2.4 diesel engine feels extremely docile even on low revvs. Naught to hundred takes a little shy of 10 seconds, so that’s an impressive figure for you right there. Best suited for families, this car feels extremely pleasant at long, freeway drives. It features 17’ tyres that offers 230mm ground clearance. Nothing short of a thoroughbred SUV. Climb all the hills you need, for the Hill Descent control system will come to your rescue on your way down.

 

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