March is Women’s Month. And this writer certainly started this month in style—and in utmost safety.
On the pilot’s seat of the Volvo XC60 T5, I smiled a bit, not just because I would be reacquainting myself with the iconic global car brand symbolizing performance, technology and safety, but also because I realized that women are now seen more often behind the wheels, steering themselves to their own destinies, rather than strutting their “assets” in front of them.
It is also quite apt that Volvo would be among such prestigious institutions to lead the cause for women empowerment. Eight years ago, Inquirer Motoring interviewed the eight-woman team from Volvo Cars of Sweden who designed the prototype YCC (Your Concept Car)—Volvo’s first car designed solely by female engineers and designers. The design was anything but “powerpuff” (which has been a generally erroneous stereotype of women, that’s for sure).
During the interview, one of the women-engineers said something that has stuck to my mind since: “If you meet the expectations of women, you exceed the expectations of men.”
Now, Viking Cars Inc., the exclusive distributor of Volvo vehicles in the Philippines, had loaned its new XC60 to a woman. With this crossover vehicle came documents from Volvo that revealed an interesting fact about the vehicle: One out of three XC60 vehicles were owned by the fairer sex.
To be fair, the XC60, with its athletic stance, was designed for urban professionals—male or female—with an active lifestyle.
Its strikingly pronounced sculpted lines, exceptionally broad shoulder (which gives a feeling of stability), large wheels, bold wheel arches and tail lamps with micro optics and LED technology spells “sexy and safety” all over.
Exactly 33 percent of XC60 buyers are women. According to the documents, XC60 owners, in general, are established business owners, CEOs, presidents and top-level executives. They are well-educated and well-traveled.
XC60 owners also own more than one car and are up-to-date with vehicle technologies. They are self-reliant with strong self-esteem. They choose cars based on their own wants and needs, rather than succumbing to peer pressure.
About 48 percent of XC60 owners are 40 years old and below.
XC60’s Power potential
The testdrive XC60 is a seashell metallic 2-liter gasoline-powered turbocharged direct injection T5 version which, for its size, would not be left behind in the acceleration department. Inside the hood is a four-cylinder turbocharged engine that can generate 240 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and torque of 320 Nm at 1,800 to 5,000 rpm.
The interior is elegant and comfortable, typical Volvo. Its floating console—slightly angled towards the driver—has a sporty and dynamic feel.
On paper, the top speed is 230 kph, making full use of the 6-speed powershift transmission. For stopping power, the brakes use the 4-channel ABS with electronic brake assist. Its front suspension is composed of a MacPherson strut, coil spring, hydraulic shock absorbers and stabilizer bar, while its rear suspension is multilink independent suspension with coil springs, hydraulic shock absorber, stabilizer bar with automatic level adjuster.
Tech-packed, with room to spare
Passengers in the three-section rear seat can be properly entertained with its Premium Sound, which comes with a 7-inch screen and three audio systems to choose from.
With all the technology packed inside this crossover, it’s a wonder that there’s still a lot of space left for cargo. The load area has a lockable load floor covering two storage areas, one for personal items and another for soiled or wet items. The cargo cover extends over the entire load area. The rear door prevents the floor hatch from being opened when the car is closed and locked.
The XC60 T5 is the most affordable XC60 variant at P3.545 million compared to the P4.295-million XC60 3.0L T6 and the P3.895-million XC60 2.4L D5 turbo diesel.
Next week: This woman’s driving impressions of the XC60 T5.