OK, OK, you might not put the Volvo XC70 in an SUV class, but Volvo has gone to lengths to give the XC70 SUV cues and it pulls them off pretty well. And, Volvo describes the XC70 as a “crossover”, so, QED. The XC70 outpoints the second place Audi Q5 by over 50 rating points.
AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) recognizes the vehicle that best hits the target its buyers demand. To score well shows the product planning and design team understand the vehicle’s buyers very well and have executed the product to meet those standards.
Volvo XC70 Dominates Audi Q5 in IVA Win: The 2012 Volvo XC70 comes closest to the ideal of any Luxury Crossover SUV. The XC70 outpoints the second place Luxury XSUV – the Audi Q5 – by 52 rating points. In fact, eighty-percent or more of XC70′s owners would not change fourteen of fifteen major characteristics of their vehicle.
Any time over 90% of an owner group wants a characteristic to remain the same, the maker has hit its target dead center. Ninety-percent-plus characteristics in the XC70 include: exterior size, exterior styling, driver’s seat visibility, driver’s seat comfort, wheels, and safety features.
The only area lacking is interior storage compartments – 27% of XC70 owners want more interior storage.
You can find an Autobytel review of this IVA award winner at http://www.autobytel.com/auto-news/awards/ideal-suvs-pickups-rated-by-owners-in-2012-iva-awards-112117/
For a complete summary of all AutoPacific 2012 Ideal Vehicle Award results contact firstname.lastname@example.org and title your email “IVA Results”. A copy of the results will be emailed to you within 48-hours.
I probably was the last person to ride with Patrick Paternie on a new vehicle evaluation. Patrick passed away on March 10 following a race in his classic Porsche.
Patrick Paternie: Volvo Chili Cook-Off, Scottsdale, March 8, 2010
I spent two days riding in Volvos with Patrick. He had sought me out to be his co-driver and I looked forward to his commentary and stories. I knew he was a good driver and would never take risks that so many of the hot-shots on these press previews sometimes take.
Patrick regaled me with stories of how he and his wife Linda towed a big trailer behind a Suburban in Arizona and there just wasn’t enough oomph in the big SUV to keep up with traffic with the trailer following behind. He talked about how Linda had come to like riding in his Ford pickup because of all the room in the cab. He was especially complimentary about a drive with the Aston Martin Rapide in Alaska. He said the Rapide was much more capable than he would ever have thought. The folks at Aston Martin admit the car has been “placed at a considerable discount”. He travelled widely for his passion. I was jealous.
We talked about heart surgery I had undergone last November. “How did you know you had a problem,” he asked. “Sprained ankle,” I replied. That got me to the doctor’s office and to get a physical my medical insurance provides every year. Surgery followed a few weeks later.
Patrick never alluded to having a heart problem. He looked fit and healthy. He raced. He finished. He was 65. We miss him.
Volvo means safety, right? Absolutely. But Volvo is no longer alone atop the safety universe. Other vehicles have achieved similar safety ratings and prospective buyers need additional reasons to consider a Volvo than its safety reputation. To solve this conundrum, Volvo Cars of North America turned to Swedish tuner Polestar.
In 1996, Volvo began a long-term relationship with a Swedish performance tuner – Polestar. Polestar souped up Volvos for the European racing circuit. And, now, Polestar has come to the USA through the offer of a chip enhancement for Volvo sedans and XSUVs. Polestar can either be added at the Volvo port or as an accessory by your friendly Volvo dealer. At the dealer it will set you back $1,295 and Polestar says the chipping should take about ten minutes. You get a lot of bang for the buck.
If you get your Polestar upgrade when you take delivery of your new Volvo, it can be residualized in a lease or financed with the vehicle. Volvo’s warranty and maintenance plans remain in place. It’s pretty seamless.
The sporty C30 3-door hatchback is the top rated Premium Compact Car in AutoPacific’s 2011 Ideal Vehicle Research. As the class winner, its owners indicate there is little they would change about their new car with a few notable exceptions. About 35% want better interior storage and easier ingress/egress. About 25% of C30 owners want more infotainment technology, more cargo room and better visibility. C30 owners most like the car’s seat comfort, ride, and power. The C30 outscores second place Audi A3 by a wide margin.
The all new S60 is the top rated Aspirational Luxury Car in AutoPacific’s 2011 Ideal Vehicle Research. As the class winner, its owners indicate there is little they would change about their new car with a few notable exceptions. As with many of today’s Volvos, the car is a little tight inside. About 35% of the S60 owners want more interior roominess and about 27% want more cargo room. About 15% say they would give up technology for easier to use controls. They most like S60’s ride, seat comfort and handling. The S60 wins its class by a substantial margin over the second place Audi A4.
The Volvo XC70 is the top ranked Luxury XSUV in AutoPacific’s 2011 Ideal Vehicle Research. As the class winner, its owners identify few things they would want changed, but there are a few exceptions. The XC70 has a fast, laid-back windshield that makes it look good, but hard to get into and out of. Over 25% of XC70 owners want it to be easier to get into and out of. About 20% want more infotainment technology and more roominess. About 15% of XC70 owners would give up power and acceleration for better fuel economy. XC70 owners are less likely to want to change its exterior size or have larger wheels or firmer seats. Volvo swept the Luxury XSUV class with the Volvo XC60 positioned in 2nd place in the IVA rankings for the class.
Volvo hasn’t been sitting on its hands while it was waiting for the sale of Volvo by Ford Motor Company to Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in August, 2010. Development of the new S60 continued and the car will be introduced late in 2010 as a 2011 model year vehicle. Derived from the new S80/XC60 platform, the new S60 goes head-to-head with its European competitors in the Premium C/D Car Category – Audi A4, BMW 3-Series, Mercedes C-Class. Volvo also counts the Lexus IS as a facing competitor.
There was no 2010 S60 leaving a gap in the middle of Volvo’s lineup in the USA that the new car fills. The wagon derivative of the S60 – the V60 – was just launched at the Paris Auto Show, but it will not be coming the States. Too bad, it’s gorgeous.
Volvo Cars of North America gave us a chance to drive the new S60 T6 with all wheel drive in Newberg, Oregon. Driving out of the new LEEDs Certified Allison Inn and Spa we were able to evaluate the car from rain forest to desert over great driver’s roads.
Think Audi A3, BMW 1-Series and Volvo C30 and you can better understand the competitive set Lexus is targeting with its all new CT200h 5-door hatchback to be launched in February 2011. Also think of the CT200h as a product really designed for the European market where it is right-sized and right-styled.
The competitive set in the USA sells less than 1,500 units per month now – or about 18,000 per year – small potatoes in a 12,000,000 unit industry. Lexus is going after 1,000 units per month – immediately intending capturing 40% of this small segment. Can they do it?
Given pricing in the low $30,0oo range, the CT will undercut the IS 250, but Lexus management tells us it won’t squeak in under the $30K barrier which could prove to be a psychological threshhold.
Premium Luxury Car: The Volvo S80 won the AutoPacific Ideal Vehicle Award in the Premium Luxury Car segment. The S80 received particularly strong ratings from owners with respect to exterior size, handling, and cargo space. Seat firmness also received top marks from S80 owners.
Aspirational Luxury Car: In the Aspirational Luxury Car segment the Volvo V70 edged out the competition with high marks for seat firmness and interior lighting. A very high percentage of owners also said that they wanted the same vehicle ride and safety as they currently have.