When I think of Volvo cars, only one thing comes to mind: safety.
It's easy to imagine a bunch of Volvo engineers huddled around a cup of coffee discussing whether they could install an airbag into a cupholder and how to make the radio buttons cause fewer injuries.
Volvo is obsessive about things like that.
Driving the XC60 this past week, though, I was reminded that this is a company known for building luxury cars, too.
Part of that comes from its feeling of solidity. Even putting all its safety features aside — things like automatic braking, sensors that see pedestrians, and its ability to read road signs — it's still one really, really nice ride.
Most cars these days put their focus on fuel economy, so they start to feel flimsy and hollowed out in an effort to save weight. The XC60 isn't like that. Its heavy, massive doors close with the kind of bank-vault thud more commonly found in $100,000 Mercedes sedans. It feels like you're driving in a tank, wrapped in a cocoon of high-strength steel.
Gas mileage suffers a bit as a result. It's rated for 25 mpg on the highway and 19 in city driving, and slightly worse with all-wheel drive.
The driving feel, though, is phenomenal — assuming you opt for the turbocharged engine.
Some Volvos I've driven in the past have felt underpowered, but the 3.0-liter, six-cylinder turbo engine in my test vehicle made it feel like a sports car, with 300 horsepower on tap. Even the base engine makes 240 horses.
With a taut suspension and sensitive steering, it leaves a surprisingly sporty impression for something so obviously designed for family-hauling duties. The powerful engine's roar and zippy feeling in corners almost make you forget that the XC60 has built-in booster seats for children.
And that brings us to the heart of the stereotypical Volvo, which is its ridiculously well-thoughy-out list of safety technology.
Some of its standard features include Ready Alert Brakes, a system that primes the car for heavy braking if it senses a collision is imminent, and City Safety, which will automatically stomp on the brakes to avoid a low-speed wreck.
One optional feature on the XC60 is Road Sign Information, something I'd never seen before on any car. It uses a video camera to scan the road signs ahead of you — particularly the speed limits and "no passing" signs — and displays them in a digital readout in the instrument panel.
If you've ever forgotten what the speed limit was on a given stretch of road, you can just look down at the dash and see it. If you choose, you can also set it to give you an audible warning when you break the speed limit.
Pricing starts at $34,350 for the base model, or $40,650 for the turbocharged XC60 with all-wheel drive. It's also available in 325-horsepower R-Design trim for $44,850.
Volvo XC60 is solid and has a sense of safety
When I think of Volvo cars, only one thing comes to mind: safety.
Building Permits 04/18/2014
Building permits for 4/18/14Continued ...
Assumed Names 04/18/2014
Assumed names for 04/18/14Continued ...
Detroit launches grants for small biz
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Renee's House of Quilting helps quilters reap what they sew
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Zakey owner celebrates six years in business
Nabiel Musleh’s master’s degree in international relations seems fitting, given his unofficial role as northern Michigan’s ambassador to the Middle East.Continued ...
Glenn Puit: Making work, and money, at 68
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Business in Brief: 04/16/2014
Britten acquires G.R. company; Bella Fortuna North job fair; Tourism industry training offered. (Plus more)Continued ...
Business Memoranda: 04/16/2014
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Nestle Toll House Café opens at mall
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Fred Goldenberg: Cutting budgets and inflicting pain
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Putting the spark back into the manufacturing sector
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Sew Unique moving up to Robert Frost
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- Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Old Hampel's Safe & Lock Shop demolished
The old Hampel’s Safe & Lock Shop has been demolished to make way for a family friendly café.Continued ...
GM replacing two executive positions
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Gas prices rise 6 cents over past week
AAA Michigan says gasoline prices have risen about 6 cents during the past week to a statewide average of about $3.71 per gallon.Continued ...
- Sunday, April 13, 2014
The Franklin restaurant a big deal
A new two-story restaurant at Cass and Front streets is expected to create up to 100 jobs in a project that features a developer’s $5-plus million investment in the downtown corridor.Continued ...
Winter wallops Cherry Capital Airport activity
This year’s brutal winter caused a noticeable drop in airline flights and passenger counts at Cherry Capital Airport.Continued ...
Fred Goldenberg: Coffee, cake and curtains
I sat eating coconut cake and drinking coffee at an area cafe recently discussing with others a topic most people shy away from.Continued ...
Small businesses in limbo again on federal tax breaks
Small businesses are in limbo as they wait for Congress to make decisions that could save them a lot of money.Continued ...
- Saturday, April 12, 2014
Governor Snyder sees upside in agriculture
Gov. Rick Snyder said Michigan can realize huge growth in agriculture by encouraging more people to go into farming and related careers.Continued ...
Ag Forum: New network advances locally grown food
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Futures File: Chilly start for corn planting
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- Friday, April 11, 2014
Career Kickstart kicks off today
Job seekers can get free professional clothing and lots of advice on resumes and interview skills at an event today at Northwestern Michigan College.Continued ...
- Building Permits 04/18/2014