Tech-savvy station wagon: 2015.5 Volvo XC60 is a modern update to the old-school station wagon

In this era of smart phones and the not-so-distant-future self-driving cars, today’s vehicles have varying levels of technology. My tester this week offers plenty of technology including it’s own mobile app.

Many car brands and vehicles come with some degree of a mobile app, but the 2015.5 Volvo XC60 T6 has an app that is unlike others out there. And it’s way cool.

But first, let’s talk about the car itself.


The 2015.5 (note there was an early release of the 2015 version) Volvo XC60 is a modern station wagon. While “station wagon” is no longer an automotive category, that’s still the best way to describe this vehicle. The XC60 is one of the purest station wagons on the road today. For those who like the 80s family wagon, they’ll appreciate this modern take.

While not nearly as long and stretched out as the 80s station wagon, the XC60 still boasts an elongated look, lowered front end and gently elevated back end. It has a clean, simplistic grille and front end LED running lights. An indented, sculpted line runs from the end of the hood toward the pointed rear lights. This makes for a boastful, and attractive side profile.

Most vehicles either go too frilly with their side profile or too bland, but the Volvo XC60 does this fit and finish just right.

And, the back end is perhaps its best angle. A subtle rear spoiler is attractive without looking out of place and the rear taillights are beautifully sculpted and add a touch of elegance and sportiness to this extremely handsome wagon.


141635_Volvo_XC60My tester came with a 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbocharged engine that produced 325 horsepower. With this kind of drive performance, this is not Clark Griswold’s station wagon. Punch the gas and go (Clark would’ve certainly been able to get past those tailgating yahoos in their beat up pick up truck had he been in this station wagon when he went to get his family’s Christmas tree).

The XC60 comes with a six-speed automatic transmission (mated with paddle shifters) and has all-wheel drive. The overall drive performance is more like a fine sports car than a family vehicle.

But, don’t be fooled, the XC60 is a fantastic people mover with tons of comfort and interior quality.


Soft materials can be found throughout the interior, including leather seating. My tester was the top-of-the-line R-Design, which adds other niceties like sport-designed, leather seats, leather steering wheel and leather gearshift knob.

The true panoramic sunroof is vast and brings plenty of light into the vehicle. And, unlike most sport-designed seats, the seats are hugging, but comfortable and not restrictive.

Due to the soft materials, road noise is non-existent, as passengers will enjoy a quiet, comfortable ride, which affords plenty of legroom and headroom for even the rear passengers. The five-passenger XC60 has an immense 30 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seat up. That same space doubles when you fold down the seatback. The XC60 even has a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, making this more like today’s small crossovers than your dad’s old station wagon.


As mentioned, the XC60 comes with an excellent mobile app that’s available on both Android and Apple platforms. The Volvo On Call app gives the driver full control over the vehicle from their mobile phone. You can start the car, defrost it, check on any maintenance and even see where it is being driven (by other drivers), all from your mobile device.

As someone who loves technology, I found Volvo On Call to be where most vehicles need to be, and certainly ahead of the rest of the competition. This feature is included with the vehicle and the app is free to download. The interface is easy to use, and offers everything you’d find on the instrument cluster inside the vehicle.

Volvo On Call for the XC60 is only available on the 2015.5 model update, and not available on the older 2015 model.


There are four trim level offerings for the XC60, all which have all-wheel drive. My tester was the top-of-the-line T6 RDesign that includes 20-inch alloy wheels, aluminum sport pedals and polished metal accents both inside and outside. Standard price for this trim is $46,650. With additional features like a climate package and a blind spot information package my tester had a final MSRP of $50,025.

Fuel Economy

The XC60 has an EPA rating 17 mpg/city and 24 mpg/hwy. In a week’s worth of heavy-footed driving, I averaged nearly 22 mpg. I found that, despite the turbo engine, and the ample horsepower, that the Volvo XC60 performed relatively efficiently.


Whether you’re a fan of modern technology or want a safe, but turbo-induced family vehicle, the Volvo XC60 has it all. Considering that it comes with somewhat old-school looking station wagon looks, with modern flare, I’d say the XC60 definitely distinguishes itself in many ways.


2015.5 Volvo XC60 T6 R-design

Price/As test price…………………… $46,650/$50,025

Mileage………………………………. 17 mpg/city; 24 mpg/hwy

Engine……………………………….. 3.0-liter, 6-cylinder turbo

Horsepower/Torque……………….. 325 hp/354 lbs./ft.

Transmission……………………….. Six-speed automatic

Drive Wheels……………………….. All-wheel drive

Final Assembly Point……………… Ghent, Belgium

Jimmy Dinsmore
For several years Jimmy Dinsmore has reviewed new vehicles, offering up a unique look and an interesting voice in his weekly column. Jimmy looks at vehicles from the consumer’s point of view. Light on the technical jargon, and lacking the cynicism that pervades many other auto reviews, Driver’s Side treats each vehicle fairly, offering a light-hearted take. Email him at - and follow him on Twitter @driversside.