Published on December 29th, 2016 | by Subhash Nair0
Volvo XC60 T5 and T6 Review: When Less is More
The Volvo XC60 with its Drive-E powertrain was recently granted EEV status, bringing the already well-priced SUVs to a more affordable price point. At RM266,888 and RM288,888 the T5 and T6 variants of the XC60 offer. In Malaysia, it’s sold in both the T5 (in Electric Silver Metallic) and T6 (in Seashell Metallic) flavours. We decided to take both for a spin to find out why it’s one of the company’s best sellers.
Minor Cosmetic Differences
From the photos, it’s easy to see that there’s little to differentiate the two variants. That being said, there are a couple of ways to tell them apart without looking at what’s written at the rear, but you’ll have to squint.
The first is the the black radar sensor module located on the grille of the T6. It may be a little unsightly, but it grants the T6 a few driver aids which we’ll touch upon later on. The other way to distinguish the two is by looking at the wheels. The T5 sports funkier 17” ‘Valder’ alloys while the more expensive T6 gets smarter looking 18” ‘Pan’ rims. It should be noted that the T6 also comes with superior Pirelli PZero Corsa tyres.
A Gap in Power
Volvo Car Malaysia package the XC60 with front wheel drive set-ups only. The XC60 utilises an 8-speed Geartronic automatic transmission from Aisin. They share the same 2-litre engine block, but the T6 gets both a supercharger and a turbocharger, while the T5 makes do with just the turbo. The 8-speed and forced induction engines are the two components that form part of Volvo’s efficient ‘Drive-E’ powertrain.
Here are the key differences between the XC60 models we tested:
|Power||245hp @ 5500rpm||306hp @ 5700rpm|
|Torque||350Nm @ 1500rpm||400Nm @ 2100rpm|
|Acceleration (to 100km/h)||7.2 s||6.9 s|
|Efficiency||6.7 L/100km||7.3 L/100km|
Regardless of which powertrain you choose, both are extremely efficient and powerful – especially when you consider just how heavy these vehicles are. Both cars are quite comfortable, but the T5 is marginally nicer to live with thanks to the smaller rims.
In terms of performance figures, there’s about 50hp and 50Nm of torque separating the two models. In our testing, we found the power offered by the T5 was more than enough. To be fair, the additional power in the T6 does make a noticeable difference, but it felt as if the XC60 already had all the pulling power and gusto we (or its chassis) could ask for with the T5 powertrain.
There are plenty of reasons to choose the T6 over the T5, but none of those reasons have to do with the additional power.
Technology, the Real Separation
Yes, the best reason to fork out an additional RM22,000 is for the amount of high-tech kit that Volvo have added on the T6. First of all, the T6 variant comes with a powered boot which not only looks good, but can be quite handy for those not able to exert themselves.
The unassuming radar sensor module we mentioned earlier enables features like Pedestrian Detection, Adaptive Cruise Control and Queue Assist. Adaptive Cruise Control and Queue Assist bring some very limited self-driving features to the XC60.
Adaptive Cruise Control allows you to set a comfortable distance and a target speed, and leave the car to do the rest – slowing down when a car is ahead. Queue Assist works similarly, but at much slower speeds. Here, the T6 follows the vehicle in front of it without driver input. For the system to work though, the driver’s hands need to be on the steering wheel at all times.
These safety systems may seem a little gimmicky, but there’s a reason accidents are called accidents – no one plans for one. With these, you the features that Volvo are best known for.
That being said, the T5 is still a very safe vehicle, with ABS, EBD, BA, ESC and TRC all as standard as well as 6 airbags. It also has loads of equipment you don’t normally find in cars of this price. BLIS, Volvo’s Blind Spot Information System, flashes when there’s a car on the lane you’re moving into.
It even comes with integrated booster seats for those with children! That’s definitely not something you see every day.
Priced a lot lower than its German competition and with a 3-year warranty, the XC60 makes for a solid alternative. Its styling is distinctly Nordic, as is the thinking behind the vehicle itself. Personally, the T5 will give you more value for money. All the core features that impressed us are still present and the chassis already has all the power it should be allowed.
To us, the XC60 T5 is Volvo’s best put together cars. It’s a lot more affordable than the alternatives, yet packs a punch and offers loads of goodies. The T6 variant, on the other hand, feels a little overkill. It’s great for Volvo enthusiasts who really want as much as they can extract from the XC60. But without an AWD system, and with the price where it is, it’s a much more difficult sell than the T5.
Volvo XC60 T5 Drive-E Specifications:
Engine: Inline-4 turbo
Gearbox: 8-speed Automatic
Max power: 245 hp @ 5500 rpm
Max torque: 350 Nm @ 1500 rpm
Volvo XC60 T6 Drive-E Specifications:
Engine: Inline-4 turbo
Gearbox: 8-speed Automatic
Max power: 306 hp @ 5700 rpm
Max torque: 400 Nm @ 2100 rpm