In its first drive/review of the Volvo XC60, a soon-coming competitor for the BMW X3, Land Rover LR2, Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLK, and Infiniti EX35, Motor Trend surprised me with the following statements (read the whole piece here):
“Canyon-carving sessions are surprisingly rewarding given Volvo’s priority on safety…… Clearly its engineers took a different tack with the XC60 and gave on-road performance a high position on the agenda…… the XC60 doesn’t feel tall or unstable. Credit its firm and responsive MacPherson-strut front and multilink rear suspension that minimizes body roll through corners…… Volvo’s traction and stability-control systems (DTSC, RSC) don’t kill the fun too quickly….”
Why is this so surprising? Does The Good Car Guy, an admitted Volvo fan, not believe Volvo to be capable of turning a compact SUV into a bit of a dynamic dynamo? No, no, no. See, Motor Trend also brought to my attention another aspect of the XC60 – it’s height. The XC60 T6 AWD possesses 9.1 inches of ground clearance. Height off the ground inherently produces tipsy-topsy vehicles, and the 4000+ pound Volvo with that much ground clearance led me to believe that this, of all Volvos, would be the softy in the corners. For context, have a look at competitor clearance below.