Volvo XC60 Review (2009)

Volvo XC60

Volvo XC60 Review

Volvo XC60 Review | Part TwoVolvo XC60 Road Test

Think Volvo and you automatically think of safety-conscious motoring and the company asserts that the Volvo XC60 is their safest model yet.

Think Volvo and you automatically think of safety-conscious motoring and the company asserts that the Volvo XC60 is their safest model yet. And, with so many features to keep its occupants safe, I could spend the rest of this report on that subject alone, so here are a few of the highlights.

Let's start with the Volvo XC60's City Safety technology, which is a 'World first'. According to Volvo's surveys, 75 per cent of collisions take place at speeds of up to 19mph and in half of those cases, the driver was distracted and failed to brake. Even at slower speeds, minor prangs can cause whiplash injuries, so Volvo has developed City Safety to prevent or mitigate the impact.

A laser sensor behind the rear-view mirror can detect objects up to 6 metres away from the front bumper and, should the distance decrease to a certain point without any input from the driver, the system automatically brakes, reduces the throttle opening and the brake lights come on. This happens at the last moment, before the collision and it is reckoned that if the approach speed is less than 9mph the bump should be avoided entirely.

There are three other new safety systems that are seen for the first time in the Volvo XC90: PRS, Pre-Prepared Restraints, which again uses laser sensors to detect imminent accidents and adjust the seatbelts and airbags according to the expected severity of the collision. Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) is self-explanatory but has undergone further development to detect roll rate and increase stability. And last but not least is Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) for better control when towing. Incidentally, the test car came with the optional £469, detachable towbar and Load Compensating Suspension, which adds a further £500.

Standard safety features are a bewildering array of initials, some of which will be familiar to Volvo owners, such as SIPS and WHIPS. Of course, there are the usual suspects: ABS with EBD but in the case of the Volvo XC60 these are joined by Fading Brake Support (FBS), Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA), Ready Alert Brakes (RAB), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) and … you get the idea. Evidently, braking is big on the agenda and the combined systems work very well, indeed.

In fact the Volvo XC60 has recently been awarded top marks in the new EuroNCAP tests for evaluating the degree of whiplash protection offered by passenger cars in rear-end collisions and a full, five stars for Adult Occupant Protection.

On the subject of awards, the Volvo XC60 crossover has been awarded the What Car? SUV of the Year 2009, so it is more than an SUV with high safety standards. Indeed, the Volvo XC60 is not only good-looking inside and out, it's sporty, too.

Volvo XC60 Review | Part TwoVolvo XC60 Road Test
Volvo XC60 Road Test Data
Model ReviewedVolvo XC60
Body Type4x4
ColourSavile Grey Pearl
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph9.9 seconds
Top Speed 124 mph
Transmission6-Speed Geartronic Automatic
Fuel TypeDiesel
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Urban25.9 mpg
Extra Urban41.5 mpg
Combined34.0 mpg
Insurance Group14E
Euro NCAP Rating5
Warranty3 years / 60000 miles
Price (when tested on the 01/04/09)£25,750

The information contained within this Volvo XC60 review may have changed since publication on the 1 April 2009. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Volvo dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2019