The best was saved for last The best was saved for last, and the 2013 Volvo XC60 Platinum may just be the best in its class.
The winter months provide a nice change of pace. Instead of driving the latest muscle and sports cars, we’re exposed to the true Canadian elements and given a chance to see how every SUV stacks up. Fittingly, it seems every time we’re passed one, Mother Nature decides to mess around with everyone else. This past week, the 2013 Volvo XC60 T6 decided to mess with me.
This may just be the last SUV of the season, one last chance to see how a vehicle drives when it’s warm and when it’s snowing. In both ways the Volvo XC60 firmly exceeded all my expectations and blew them away.
I’ll be the first to admit that my experience and exposure towards Volvo as a brand has been pretty limited up until now. I think there was a certain stigma attached to the brand up until recently; one that had the older demographic embracing such cars with the younger preferring the Japanese imports.
Once you sit in the Volvo, it all begins to make a bit of sense. It’s clean, flows well, with the attention to detail clearly present. It is comfortable and classy; seemingly a quality that you come to respect with age. There’s ample space in the trunk, the seats sit just about right and the illuminated shifter is always a welcome addition. The layout of the centre console doesn’t make sense in the slightest. It’s odd and isn’t the most functional layout. But that works as well. Sometimes life just contradicts all logic. By tossing out conventionality, Volvo established certain uniqueness with just something so small and minor.
The T6 motor in the XC60 puts out 300 horsepower, and you can feel every single horse. It’s quick, it’s responsive, and by far my favourite motor in an SUV short of the Range Rover Supercharged. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the XC60 is “too” quick. Like the other Volvo engines, the XC60 T6 can take regular fuel rather than premium. The few horsies that would be lost aren’t essential to enjoy the true beauty of the car. It’s not all great though; the XC60 averaged 14L/100km during its time with me.
Last year when we did our annual favourites, I chose the Acura RDX as my favourite SUV under $50,000. Though the XC60 T6 Platinum I just drove tipped the scales at just under $55,000, it starts at just under $40K. I’d skip on a few packages and gladly put a lesser-optioned XC60 in my driveway. I will be honest here though; the Volvo stigma hasn’t completely gone away. I still feel that this car is aimed for a target market a bit older than I am.
I’m still a sports car guy at heart, so while I appreciate SUVs for their purpose, they are a class that will never truly interest me. They just don’t do it for me in the aesthetics department; they all look like two-box designs that don’t seem to differ amongst the manufacturers. The Volvo XC60 however, looks completely different from the others. The styling is classy, elegant, and most importantly, different. If I were to buy one to shuttle a couple (hypothetical) kids around, I’d stand out from the Tahoes and Escapes in the school parking lot.
I went into this road test not really expecting much. I was definitely surprised, and thoroughly impressed. The XC60 Platinum is a winner in every way imaginable. I personally would recommend the 3.2 motor for maximum efficiency and to save a few bucks. Performance is sacrificed, but that’s what your sports car is for. As a family companion, this one’s hard to beat.
2013 Volvo XC60 T6 Gallery