The first generation of the Volvo XC60: a safe bet

I’m sure you all know the Volvo XC60 and that many of you will seem like a great car. Thus taking advantage of the recent presentation of the second generation of this vehicle, I’m going to do a retrospective, and describe the basis of the commercial success of this all the way.

Volvo XC60 was launched to the market at the end of the year 2008 but was not in themselves any great novelty in the catalog of the Swedish manufacturer, but had to settle with being a new member of the catalogue of Volvo, which until now had no member in the category of all-road mid-size, “SUV”.

The fact of having asserted that the Volvo XC60 isn’t meant no revolution for the Swedish manufacturer beyond the business aspect is not something negative or much less. We should not forget that Volvo has lived a few difficult years in which far from disappearing, as it has happened to other brands, has managed to reinvent itself and has experienced a profound renovation in all aspects (technical, aesthetic and commercial).


the great revolution of The Swedish manufacturer began in the year 1992 with the launch of the first generation of the Volvo 850, and it may terminate with the recent launch of the second generation of the Volvo XC90 on a modular platform that provides the basis for the latest releases from the manufacturer. Have been for more than 20 years in which the Swedish manufacturer seemed to be groping in search of a foothold in the european market, 20 years in which the different ranges appeared and disappeared with overlap at times between them, and 20 years in which almost the entire range of the manufacturer offered a deal mechanics very little unstable, with constant changes in engine blocks, in their powers and in their yields.

we should Not forget that in this instability had something to do with the fact that on this period between 1992 and 2015 Volvo had three different owners. In 1999, the parent company, Volvo Group decided to focus on the manufacture of industrial vehicles (lorries, buses and coaches) and to sell its automotive division to the american Ford.

The management of Volvo by Ford was not the best that could be expected and, as happened to the american giant with Land Rover and Aston Martin, the red numbers kept growing. They fired hundreds of workers of the Swedish company and in 2008, Ford came to announce the definitive closure of Volvo.

At this time, the Swedish government invited AB Volvo (industrial vehicles) to acquire its former division automotive, but negotiations did not come very far. Then, the same government raised the financial rescue of the company but that coincided in time with the also announced decline of the Swedish Saab and the government could not rescue both companies and much less to choose between one of them.

Finally, after many denials, official and unofficial, the 28 of march 2010, the automobile company Volvo was sold to china’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (better known by 吉利控股集团), owner of the brand Geely Automobile (also known by 吉利汽车). This was a result of the change of owner when you can talk about both of the rebirth of Volvo thanks to the advent of the economic investment that the Ford group had refused to make.

Volvo XC60

The Volvo XC60 was unveiled at the international motor show of Geneva in the year 2008 and put it up for sale later, enjoying from the first moment of a great reception by critics and the general public.

Its aesthetic look makes a car really attractive for its time and despite its dimensions had an image aesthetically more light than of its competitors. The cabin was relatively broad in relation to its exterior length, and the trunk had a capacity of almost 500 litres.

The new Volvo XC60 captivated also to the media specialty for your quality of rolling, and your behavior on the road, that it resembled more of a tourism than that of a whole path. In addition, in case you have to get out of the road, the 23 centimeters of height-free guarantee able to move through tracks in the forest without fear of rubbing low. Yes, all of the Volvo XC60 sold in our country geared up road tire.

In terms of safety, this new Volvo XC60 it was gala all the know-how of the Swedish manufacturer, but also stunned the world by equipping the City Safety device that detected an obstacle and is able to stop the vehicle (although, in the beginning was not very well tuned) or an indicator of the degree of fatigue of the driver (also a little bit useful for drivers that flicker in excess).

at The start of its commercial life, the Volvo XC60 is offered with a block diesel five-cylinder with 163 or 185 horsepower and a block of six-cylinder petrol and 286 horses. In any case, the traction was always an integral and the change, manual or automatic, always with six speeds. The price of output in our country was 35,000€, a price that gave it a certain advantage over its competitors, but that left in its finish, more basic, too many optional elements.

Both the development and the launch of the Volvo XC60 took place while the Swedish brand was under the umbrella of Ford and this is felt in some respects that perhaps the public does not give a lot of importance and is that despite the fact that the car was manufactured on the platform 20, it was in fact the same platform EUCD that had given life to vehicles as disparate as the Ford Mondeo or Range Rover Evoque.

In the case of the Volvo XC60, had to rummage a lot to find a negative point in the realization of the product. Leaving aside the high consumption of the petrol model, which in Spain was available only with automatic and all-wheel drive, there were two details that collided head-on with the historical concern of Volvo for the safety. On the one hand, although the seats, as was the rule in the house, offering a high degree of comfort and restraint, but neither the head restraints nor the seat belts were adjustable. On the other hand, the screen pop browser was slightly tilted down, and his reading could be uncomfortable. To be honest, these defects in the realization of the vehicle were only perceptible by the passengers rozasen the two meters of height, although being even more honest, it is fair to recognize that passengers with this height you are uncomfortable in the vast majority of vehicles marketed in Europe.

In any case, the bet was clear by the manufacturer and is marked a target of sales in our country of 5,000 units per year, of which more than ninety percent would be moved by mechanical diesel. Serve as a detail that, in spite of the growing competition and the seniority of the Volvo XC60 in the market, in the year 2016 were enrolled 5.560 units.

Changes in the range

The years after the launch, as I have already mentioned, were years of many changes in the offer driving the Volvo XC60. Launched versions of front-wheel drive and mechanical gasoline more economic to go completing the range, but what more called the attention were the constant changes in the mechanical diesel, although it is not convenient to forget that we are talking of the years in which this type of mechanics were all the rage.

In the spring of 2009, just a year after its presentation, the mechanical diesel went on to offer 175 and 205 horses according to equipasen front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. In addition to the basic and easiest version (175 horses and front wheel drive) intridujo a series of improvements aimed at reducing its consumption, and it received the name of DRIVe, with which Volvo called the models of lower consumption within each range. Yes, it is fair to recognize that despite the improvement in the performance, the new mechanics to improve the consumption of the previous blocks 163 and 185 horsepower.

Was also in the year 2009, when Volvo introduced the XC60 a new finish sporty R-Design, which brought aesthetic details both in the exterior and in the interior, but did not alter at all the dynamic aspect of the vehicle. Luckily, this new trim level is offered in combination with all the blocks mechanical available.

In the mid of the year 2010, again amended the offer mechanics of the Volvo XC60. The model 2.4 D 175 horses was replaced by the D3 of 163 horses, available with both manual change or automatic-and with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (the 2.4 D above was available only with front-wheel drive). For his part, model T6 started offering 306 horses and reduced their average consumption in a litre, but it was still a vehicle with a high consumption.

The diesel engine more powerful, the version D5, remained until the following year when it was introduced a number of enhancements that improved their performance up to 215 horses and reduced their average consumption. Also commented on the marketing of the version T5, equipped with a gasoline engine of 241 horses and that in our country it is sold only in combination with front-wheel drive.

Also during the year 2011 is introduced in the range of the Volvo XC60 version Volvo Ocean Race already present in other models of the brand. This new finish available as limited series is noted for its exclusive finish and be offered in two colors (navy blue and gray).

As was the case every twelve months, to mid-2012 the supply motor of the Volvo XC60 powered by diesel returned to be modified. On this occasion, the model D3 started to be called D4, without being observed any changes at the technical level, appeared and a new mechanical diesel of 136 horses which received the name of D3. This new Volvo XC60 D3 136 horses was available only with front-wheel drive although you could choose manual change or automatic change.

unexpectedly, in view of the periodicity in the changes, just a few months after Volvo changed the blocks of the models D3 and D4 that were passed to approve a lower consumption. In addition, the most basic model D3 increased its torque from 350Nm to 400Nm.

A new look

In the mid of the year 2013 Volvo introduced an updated aesthetic in its model XC60. Further variations desatacas were the redesign of the front with the adoption of a few optical groups more stylized, and the incorporation of a new dashboard that, according to finish, could be digital. However, the update of this model brought numerous improvements in aspects of safety and security.

The system of emergency braking City Safety happened to be operating up to 50 kilometres per hour, was introduced a sensor with cross-traffic’s very useful for maneuvering in reverse, it is improved the behaviour of the car in curves with the Corner Traction Control and the control of vehicles in the dead angle went on to work in a much more reliable due to the replacement of cameras by sensors detection by radar.

Other new features of the Volvo XC60, but that were already known to be present in other vehicles, could be the active change between lights long and short or the improvement in multimedia systems, which debuted a new fixed screen with higher quality resolution.

Although not immediately, the mechanics were modifying with special attention, how not, the blocks fed by diesel fuel. In this way, when in the year 2015 is the last modified time of the offer mechanics, the model T5 went on to deliver 245 horsepower and the model T6 ceased to be offered in Spain.

The supply of mechanical diesel, as expected, benefited from more changes. The block of five-cylinder engine that gave life to the model D5 increased its power output to 220 horses, but the models D3 and D4 replaced the five-cylinder engine for a four cylinder and 1.969 cubic centimeters with 150 horses for the model D3, and 190 horses to the D4. This new engine improved the fuel consumption figures of previous block of five-cylinder was introduced to coincide with the press release by Volvo announcing that never again built more engines of four cylinders or more than two liters of capacity.

With these modifications is like the first generation of the Volvo XC60 remained in effect in the market until the spring of 2017, when they introduced the second-generation model, built on a modular platform designed exclusively by and for Volvo, and that is now mounted the Volvo S90, V90 and XC90.

it’s been 20 years of hard and full of uncertainty, but right now, no one can deny that Volvo is a brand “premium” in every rule with a range of products that has nothing to envy to the rest of manufacturers of prestige. Yes, thanks to the different generations of the Volvo XC70 and the SUV on the occasion of this article.

Long-life Volvo.

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Volvo XC60
From 35.500 euros