- New Drive-E engines offer greater fuel efficiency
- Compact luxury crossover, seats five
- Lots of standard safety features and technology
2015 promises to be an exciting year for Volvo as they debut a new line of engine technology up and down their vehicle lineup, and the 2015 Volvo XC60 gets a pair of these new powertrains, dubbed “Drive-E” with the E for efficiency… we think. We might have made that up.
Last year the XC60 got subtle updates and changes to both its interior and exterior, all of which carryover for the new model year. The XC60 has a sleek, subtle look to it that is light on drama but high on attractiveness. The beltline rises up as it moves back which combines with an aggressively canted hood to give the XC60 a dash of menace. 18-inch alloy wheels come standard, with larger 20-inch wheels available on higher trim levels. Powered/heated side mirrors and rain sensing windshield wipers also come standard on all models.
As we mentioned before, the big changes for 2015 are found under the hood with the addition of a pair of the new Drive-E engines to the XC60. Technically, the two engines both use a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine as a base, but in T5 Drive-E models it is turbocharged and makes 240-hp, while in the T6 Drive-E it is both turbocharged and supercharged and cranks out 302-hp. Both Drive-E models also get a new eight-speed automatic transmission and a new ECO+ driving mode to maximize efficiency. The other two engines carry over; the base 3.2 trim features a 240-hp, 3.2-liter inline-six while the T6 trim features a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six that outputs 300-hp in T6 models or 325-hp in T6 R-Design models. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, with all-wheel drive optional (R-Design models get standard all-wheel drive).
Both of the new engines improve the XC60’s fuel economy. The old model topped out at 18/26 mpg city/highway, a figure that both Drive-E models beat easily; the T5 Drive-E returns 24/31 mpg, while the T6 Drive-E is no slouch in its own right with 22/29 mpg.
Inside, the XC60 has a premium grade cabin with wood inlays that add to the luxury aesthetic. Volvo’s Sensus Connected Touch multimedia system comes with a seven-inch screen and connects to your smartphone to power different apps including internet radio, weather updates, and even a web browser. Sport seats are newly available to keep bottoms more firmly planted in spirited driving. Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, USB/iPod port, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. A rear-seat entertainment system with two screens is optional, as are a navigation system and an adaptive digital display in the instrument panel.
The latest XC60 extends Volvo’s commitment to safety, with plenty of standard safety features, including Volvo’s City Safety technology. City Safety uses forward facing sensors to detect obstacles and can even stop the car automatically to avoid a collision at speeds of up to 31 mph. Antilock brakes, electronic stability control, and six airbags also come standard. Available safety technology include pedestrian and cyclist detection, blind spot warnings, adaptive cruise control, and rear cross-traffic alerts.