June 17, 2015 @ 04:37 PM

Review: Volvo XC60 T5 tested in Penang!

As you know the entire CAR Malaysia team was hanging in Penang the past weekend. Jerrica Leong drove the XC60 with the smaller engine around the island and tells all about it.

As you know the entire CAR Malaysia team was hanging in Penang the past weekend. Jerrica Leong drove the XC60 with the smaller engine around the island and tells all about it.

Penang, the island of traffic jams. I will never understand how anybody can complain about traffic in KL when the roads of Georgetown were congested even on a Saturday afternoon! What was the CAR team doing in Penang you ask? Well we didn’t head north just to test the car there, it was because we were attending Astro Digital Publication’s team building activity. You didn’t think we would miss this opportunity to test a car cross country do you? So this was how the XC60 T5 made it back to our garage for a quick review.

What’s my verdict on travelling cross-country in Volvo’s very popular crossover? Read and find out.

Exterior (Score: 5/5)

The XC60 looks like a bullet - a huge bullet - that shoots through the highway, only with SUV ground clearance. The rounded front end that fits the grilles flows into the harsh shoulder-lines that run across the side of the car. The XC60 that you see here is made even sportier with the optional accessories. You get stylish diamond-cut eight-spoke 20-inch wheel rims and a running board that makes entering and exiting the XC60 more convenient. The front bumper gets enhanced with a bumper bar while the rear gets a matching skidplate.

I can understand why the XC60 T5 is making a storm on the roads of Malaysia since it is the most stylish crossover of its segment at that price range. It’s closest competitor couldn’t hold a candle! 

Interior (Score: 5/5)

My score for the XC60’s interior is influenced by the cross country ride up north. After subjecting my muscles to the stress of the activities and a combination of sleepness nights along with the non-stop schedule from shooting the car to exploring the city, I still found myself enjoying the long drive. The interior has that ability that gives anybody the relaxing and enjoyable feel no matter how tired one is.

The most important thing about the interior is how driver focus everything is. The centre dash was tilted a little more to the driver than other cars but at the same time Volvo has managed to make it driver focus without making the passengers feel left out.

The interior of the XC60 is at odds with the sporty aggressive exterior, the inside makes the SUV very much a “mummy car” with all the child friendly features, for example, the back seats have the options to be hitched up and double up as a child seat for children.

Power and Handling (Score: 4/5)

I think Volvo enthusiasts would understand if I put out the statement “it’s a Volvo”. Contrary to belief Volvos are very powerful cars. While the T5 is the less powerful car, it is more than enough to match the XC60’s bullet look. The T5 engine did not hesitate one bit throughout my spritely run through the countryside up to the island. If only I have more driving experience under my belt, I’m sure the XC60 would leave the other two 200bhp cars in the dust.

The only indication that the car is travelling at high speeds is the steering’s weight. Driving around Georgetown is tough enough, I wasn’t allowed to weave in and out of traffic thanks to the steering weight but it gets even tougher to handle at high speeds. So it looks like we’re all going to have to hit the gym if we want to enjoy all 245 horses. 

Tech and Safety (Score: 5/5)

How could one not rate safety for a Volvo at the top of the line? Even though this is the base spec XC60, the car comes with a whole host of safety features to make things safer for the driver. The safety features were my saving grace during my time in Penang, I have lost count of how many drivers that tried to change lanes at the last minute and with no warning at all, Auto City Safety had kicked in numerous times to prevent the accidents.

I also had fun driving around the dark mountainous roads with the cornering lights, I never thought that this advanced feature would be helpful in real life but the XC60 has proven me wrong. With the XC60’s size, BLIS was ever helpful, along with the speed trap detection that beeps whenever it detects a board that informs drivers about a speed trap zone. Useful when travelling cross country yes?


The XC60 T5 is more family oriented than I had expected. It has space to fit two large persons and one smaller in stature in the back seats and everybody had felt comfortable. The backseats were also fitted out with numerous child friendly features to encourage child safety. While I would prefer a lighter handling, the car is still comfortable to drive cross-country. So look here to for an executive daily drive that easily doubles up as a family SUV when the time calls for it. It was definitely a nice car to live with!

(PS: I would love to have shot the car with Penang's scenery but sadly it was raining and prevented us from going out!)

Overall Score: 19/20
Volvo XC60 T5
On sale
RM288,888.00 without insurance
1969cc, inline-4, 245bhp @ 5500, 350Nm @ 1500-4800rpm
8-speed Automatic with Geartronic and Shift Lock, front wheel drive
7.2sec 0-100kph, 210kph, 6.7litres/100kph, 157g/km CO2
Length/ width/ height/ wheelbase (mm)
4644/ 1891/ 1713/ 2774mm

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