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by Tim Beissmann

The 2011 Volvo XC60 compact SUV range has been updated in Australia with a new entry-level petrol engine, more power from the top-spec engine and an enhanced standard features list.

The Volvo XC60 T5 has become the new base model in the range, leading to a starting point $3000 below the previous entry-level model.

The T5 is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder direct-injection petrol engine with 177kW of power and 320Nm of torque. Maximum torque is available across a broad range – from 1800rpm to 5000rpm.

The all-aluminium engine is Euro V-compliant, using 8.7 litres/100km on the combined cycle and emitting 207g/km. Acceleration from 0-100km/h takes 8.1 seconds.

Volvo says the low fuel consumption is aided by the new six-speed dual-clutch Powershift transmission.

The performance focused 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder T6 engine in the top-spec model now gets the same tune as the S60 T6.

Power and torque are up 14kW and 40Nm respectively for a total of 224kW and 440Nm. Combined cycle fuel consumption is 10.5 litres/100km and CO2 emissions average 251g/km. The sprint from 0-100km/h takes just 7.3 seconds.

The naturally aspirated 3.2-litre six-cylinder engine has been given a minor update, with output figures of 179kW/320Nm (up 4kW). Combined cycle fuel consumption of the 3.2-litre matches the T6, but is 2.6 seconds slower accelerating from 0-100km/h.

The 2.4-litre five-cylinder twin-turbo D5 engine is unchanged, continuing to produce 151kW of power, 420Nm of torque and using 7.6 litres/100km on the combined cycle.

All models other than the T5 are equipped with a six-speed adaptive Geartronic automatic transmission.

A number of changes within the cabin have brought the XC60 closer to the S60 sedan range in terms of specification and design.

The centre stack features new infotainment modules, and (depending on the level of audio system) includes a full-colour 5- or 7-inch screen. Audio, navigation, mobile phone and other functions are all displayed on the screen, which can be fully controlled from the sleek new steering wheel.

The standard sound system gets a CD player, AUX/USB connectivity and eight Harmon Kardon speakers. The mid-spec system gets the larger screen and a DVD player, and the premium sound system adds four more speakers (for 12 in total) and Dolby Pro Logic II surround sound audio processing.

All models get standard Bluetooth with hands-free and audio streaming functions.

The XC60’s already comprehensive safety package is enhanced with the addition of an emergency brake light system, reinforcements between the A and B pillars and redesigned rear head restraint cushions that are firmer and have been moved forward marginally to reduce the risk of whiplash.

Volvo’s third-generation Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Queue Assist, Pedestrian Detection and Full Auto Brake is also available in the new XC60 range as an option.

In slow-moving traffic up to 30km/h, Queue Assist automatically adapts the vehicle’s speed to keep a safe distance from the car in front.

Pedestrian detection gives head-up display and audible warnings if a pedestrian steps into the vehicle’s path, and Full Auto Brake steps in to apply full braking force if any front-on crash is imminent.

The T5, D5 and 3.2-litre models all share the same specification level and include electronic climate control, cruise control, heated retractable exterior mirrors, driver’s seat with memory, leather trim, rain sensing wipers, rear park assist, standard audio system and 17-inch alloy wheels. The D5 and 3.2 also get Hill Descent Control.

The T6 features Volvo’s Interior Air Quality System, laminated side windows, power-operated tailgate, 18-inch alloy wheels and heated power seats for both front positions.

The R-Design variants of the D5 and T6 models get unique 18-inch alloy wheels and a range of interior highlights.

The XC60 was Volvo’s best selling model in Australia in 2010. In total, 1699 were delivered, an increase of 34.7 percent compared with 2009. XC60 variants accounted for more than one in three sales for Volvo Car Australia last year.

In 2010, it held a 6.9 percent share of the luxury SUV market, which put it in seventh position overall in what is a diverse and highly competitive category.

So far in 2011, Volvo has delivered 259 XC60s, representing a year-to-date increase compared with 2010 but a 0.4 percent market share reduction.

Australian pricing for the 2011 Volvo XC60 range:

  • T5 – $54,150
  • 3.2 – $57,650
  • D5 – $60,450
  • D5 R-Design – $64,650
  • T6 – $66,450
  • T6 R-Design – $70,650

Read CarAdvice’s full drive review of the Volvo XC60.