Model reviewed
Volvo XC60 LE 2.4 litre Turbo Diesel 6 speed geartronic $64,450*

Added features: Adaptive Cruise Control & Collision Warning with Auto Brake, Driver Alert Control and Lane Departure Warning, Heated Front Seats, Park Assist Camera, Panoramic Sunroof, Volvo Navigation System, Blind Spot Information System, Bluetooth Hands- Free System, Personal Car Communicator, Metallic Paint $77,880*

Other models priced from 3.2 litre V6 petrol 6 speed geartronic $56,950*

HerCar 3 word summary: Brilliant Family Car

The family car market is important to many car manufactures, particularly Volvo. Which is probably why they place so much emphasis on safety and comfort for all passengers. The XC60 is the latest offering from the Swedes. It's like a smaller version of the XC90, but with only 5 seats. Smaller in seat capacity but definitely not smaller when it comes to the feature list. If you find me gushing throughout the review, it's because I think this car is pretty dam cool and bang on the money, and so does my family!

There are 3 engine variants in the range, the 3.2 litre petrol, 3.0 litre turbo charged petrol and the 2.4 litre turbo charged diesel. All of the models offer 2 levels of features, the LE models offering more with the T6 R design being the sportiest model. There's a range of features and packages you can add to your car some for maximum safety, while others just make life easier on the road.

We test drove the diesel hamburger with the lot. Whilst I have been dubious of pineapple and beetroot in the past, I'm now convinced that Volvo knows how to fulfil my appetite in cars!

Driver's View

The XC60 has an elevated driving position similar to the XC90. This gives great visibility out of the front and sides. Visibility out of the back is also good with reverse parking made even easier with parking sensors and a reverse parking camera. As an added bonus, there are also front parking sensors.

The diesel took me a little while to get used to performance wise as it needs a little encouragement to get it going. Once I was comfortable with a firmer push on the accelerator I didn't think twice about it. My husband is the ultimate litmus test when it comes to performance, particularly with diesels, as he is definitely a V8 petrol man. I warned him before the drive and to my amazement he said that it was great!

Everything is in really easy reach, from the CD player to the climate control knobs. All of the digital read outs and dials are also really easy to read.

Cruise control, audio controls and phone controls are all located on the steering wheel. The sat nav controls are located just behind the steering wheel. Don't worry if you want you passenger to take control of the directions, there's a remote control for them.

The leather on the seats is thick and robust and can probably take most things a family car throw at it. The black leather is a sensible choice for when the kids dine a la car. Both front seats have seat warmers which are great on cold mornings or good for a joke to turn on your partner's seat on a hot day!


Whilst other car companies claim to take the cake when it comes to selling the safest cars, Volvo's commitment to developing technology that reduces the risk of death or serious injury has never waned.

All XC60 models score the maximum 5 star ANCAP safety rating and, let's face it, when it comes to moving your family around this is a priority. It's got the whole gamut of features including 6 airbags, ABS brakes, Electronic Brake Distribution, Electronic Brake Assist and Electronic Stability Control.

There is an expectation that these features are available on cars with this price tag, which is why I am excited about the other features. They've all got long fancy names and acronyms so I'll avoid jargon where possible when explaining the benefits.

1. BLIS. This is a no more blind spot feature where a camera detects whether there is a car to your side. When there is, a light illuminates just near the side mirrors. When the light is on, this is not a safe time to change lanes.

2. Active Cruise Control. My husband was particularly keen on this feature, which, when activated keeps your vehicle a certain distance away from the one in front. You can decide the distance that you are comfortable with. If the car ahead slows down, your car automatically slows down. If the car ahead speeds up, so do you to the speed that you have set on your cruise control.

3. Collision Warning and Auto Brake. This system can detect an impending collision and alert the driver. Where the driver does not react the brake will active automatically.

4. Lane Departure Warning. This is where the car detects if you are moving between the lanes without your indicator, suggesting that you are getting drowsy. A couple of beeps can be heard that stop when you correct yourself. A great feature for those on long trips and for those who "forget" to indicate when changing lanes!

5. City Safety. This feature is designed specifically for urban driving to help you avoid a forward collision at speeds of up to 30kms per hour. Imagine you are driving slowly in city traffic and your kids are having a backseat barney. You turn around to sort it out and don't see that the car in front has stopped suddenly. Your car will detect this and apply the brakes, helping you to avoid the collision. This feature is definitely something that you need to try to fully appreciate its value!


We took the car away for a couple of days to the Central Coast. We got 2 medium sized suitcases, 2 pillows, 2 doonas and food in the boot with room to spare. Not quite sure why I packed so many clothes as my girls spent the whole time in their swimsuits! Under the boot floor is a small lockable cavity where you can hide your goodies from prying eyes.

Whilst we're talking about the boot, I have to mention the brilliant auto boot feature. Simply push the button located on your key or on the dash and the boot automatically opens and closes. It's a really practical feature that was the envy of my friends at school pick up.

There are lots of practical storage options inside including front and rear cup holders, door pockets with bottle holders, large glove box and centre console box and storage pockets on the back of the front seats.

The rear seat folds in several different ways to maximise storage space functionality. For example, the centre seat area folds forwards so that you can have 2 rear passengers with some long items coming through from the boot.

Child's Comfort & Safety

There is good room across the rear seat for both kids and adults. There are also rear air vents located at the optimal height to keep them cool/warm.

There is a centre armrest that contains a small storage area and 2 cup holders. There are storage nets located on the back of the driver and passenger seats, and door pockets for small trucks and dolls.

Apart from all of the features that protect you in the event of an accident and those that reduce the likelihood in the first place, you're little ones are certainly taken care of. There are 2 integrated booster seats on the right and left hand side of the rear seat. This negates the need to buy them and your kids don't feel like they are still sitting in a "baby seat". If you are fitting child seats, there are 3 anchorage points located behind the seats in the boot.

All rear seats have 3 point seat belts that are really easy for them to use. When a seat belt is correctly plugged there is a message in your instrumentation cluster telling you what seat belt it is, giving you the added assurance that they are safely restrained.

In the driver door there is also a button to operate the locks on the rear doors, so they can't open them.

Green Factor

The diesel model is the most fuel efficient in the range consuming 7.6 litres combined cycle. Its carbon emissions are pretty low, emitting 201 gms per km. To put this into perspective, the Toyota Camry 5 speed auto emits 208 gms per km. Where the car does fall short is its air pollution rating of 3/10.

Kid's View

Summer (7 year old girl): "I liked it when I undid my seat belt it made a beeping noise."

Piper (7 year old girl): "I love the BIBS."

When I asked what she was talking about she said "The Built In Booster Seats"! With acronyms like that Piper is destined to work in the automotive industry!

Overall View

I'm impressed. Safety features, tick. Styling, tick. Ease of driving, tick. Value for money, tick. Happy family, tick!

Test Drive Tips

1. It is a push start/stop. Simply place the square key into the slot in the dash on the left hand side of the steering wheel and push the round button.

2. The park brake is a little tab located on the lower right hand side of the steering wheel.

If you're considering buying this car you might also consider the Audi Q5, Mazda CX-7, Subaru Liberty and Subaru Outback.

Features of Model Reviewed

Seats: 5
Airbags: 6 airbags, driver and front passenger front and side, curtain airbags
ABS: Yes
EBD: Yes
Dynamic Stability & Traction Control: Yes
Driver visibility: 4.5 out of 5
Storage compartments: 4 out of 5
Drink holders: 8
CD player: 6 stack CD player with MP3/WMA compatibility & AUX and USB input
Air conditionin g: Climate control with rear vents
Power windows: Yes
Power door mirrors: Yes
Child restraint anchorage points: 3
Transmission: 6 speed geartronic (auto)
Engine: 2.4 litre
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel consumption (combined cycle): 7.6 litres/100 kms
CO2 Emission: 201gms/km
Greenhouse rating#: 6/10 (10=best)
Green Vehicle Guide rating: 2.5 out of 5
ANCAP safety rating: 5 out of 5
Towing capacity: 2,100kgs trailer with brakes
Warranty: 3 year/100,000 kms with 24 hour Roadside Assistance
Price of model reviewed: $77,880*

* Manufacturer's List Price. Excludes dealer delivery, insurance and statutory government charges.
# All new vehicles sold in Australia (up to 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass) are tested to determine the level of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions (Greenhouse rating), which are displayed on the fuel consumption label attached to the windscreen of the car. The Green Vehicle Guide rating combines the Greenhouse Rating and Air Pollution Rating and awards a star. 5 stars is the best rating.

Information is correct at the time of the review. Please check with your local Volvo dealer for the most recent information.

Review Date: October 2009
Reviewed By: Melissa Pye,

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