How the XC60 won out over the RX350, Q5, and X3
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    1. #1
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      How the XC60 won out over the RX350, Q5, and X3

      I have read with interest many of the posts here describing the Pros and Cons that led to purchasing an XC60. Thought I would toss mine into the mix. In our case, we were looking to replace a 10+yr old Sienna that served us well until our kids completed HS. No longer required for hauling kids, my wife wanted my Avalon which left me to find a commuter/occasional hauler.

      Our requirements were extensive and that quickly reduced the field. I wanted a reliable commuter with top sound/nav system, leather, great seats, etc that would get mid-20's MPG on the highway. Being 6'4" with a son a bit taller, I was very concerned about leg room front and back. Also having a newly-licensed teenage boy we were even more concerned about safety. As we have a narrow (7.5') garage opening with tandem parking, folding mirrors are a must and even better if they can do so at the push of a button. Finally, we needed seating occasionally for 5 adults and good cargo space with both rows up.

      I actually did not initially look at the Volvo having tried an XC70 about 5 years ago and found the driver position to tight and low. However, many of my early candidates were either too big (Highlander, MDX,) or too small (RDX, GLK, FX35). I also was quite disturbed by the recent trend to ship crossovers with 19"-22" wheels (Venza, Edge, etc.). I had no interest in feeling every bump and expansion joint not to mention paying double to triple for replacement tires.

      I had narrowed my search down to the new (larger) X3, RX350 and the Q5, when I saw an XC60 in our company parking lot. After reading up on it and visiting a few local dealers, I discovered it was a real candidate. While both the X3 and Q5 come standard with AWD, this was not a requirement for us living in CA and rarely going to the snow. I did compare the 3.2L versus the T6, and discovered that while initially I found the 3.2 to hesitate under acceleration, that this went away when I test drove a 2011.5 version. It had comparable power to my Avalon and I simply couldn't justify the $3500+ net difference for the T6 especially with the reduction in MPG.

      Faced with deciding between these 4, the Volvo optioned how we wanted was going to be $3K to $6K cheaper than the other 3. However, we didn't want to decide solely on price. Therefore, I took my wife on a weekend of test drives to get a second opinion.

      The results..

      4th Place: Audi Q5 - Though the Q5 had and excellent interior, neither of us could live with the front styling. In fact the car's rear and front looked to both of us as if they were meant for different cars. It drove well but in the end when the options were added up we both clearly felt it was not a good value.

      3rd Place: BMW X3: This was the car, I initially wanted to win, but the changes for 2011 are simply not enough for us. It stayed in the hunt due to its length increase and I definitely enjoyed driving it. My wife not so much. It was the least comfortable highway commuter and it felt quite confined and really wouldn't work for 5 adults. Its refresh kept its "Land Rover" type styling and driving position and this worked against it as compared to the others. It too got quite expensive once optioned and simply was overtaken.

      2nd Place: Lexus RX350: Now one would not normally put the 350 in the same comparison with these others, however the FWD version, its MPG and the generous dealer discounts makes it a candidate. In fact it only placed 2nd because the XC60 was too good a value to pass up. Obviously, the interior was first class and it had the most legroom front and back as well as being very comfortable for 5 adults having a flat rear foot area. While it is 6" longer, where it really felt big was in its width. It was at home on the highway and both of us found it very comfortable to drive. One oddity was that while it had steering wheel controls like the Sensus system, those only governed what was displayed in the gauges area. You still had to use their center console knob to control Nav, Sound, etc. In the end it didn't differentiate itself enough to offset its cost.

      1st Place: Volvo XC60 3.2L: First, it won on looks - not something one usually associates with Volvo's. It has by unanimous family consensus the most comfortable seats. The Sensus system is a huge step forward compared to the previous system and the fact that there are discrete buttons for the technically challenged gives it another 1st place. The safety features even without the Tech pkg are not only comprehensive but reasonably priced. While not having the 300hp of its sibling, the 3.2L pulls strongly without hesitation. The fact that it comes with 17" high profile tires I actually consider an advantage for our use. It wins on cargo space with its ability not only to fold down combinations of the rear seats but the passenger as well. Little touches like the overlaid lines showing the car alignment in the rear camera and the automatic folding mirrors are simply icing on the cake. Finally, the fact that when fully optioned as we desired it was from $3K to $6K cheaper than all of the others sealed the deal.

      In summary, I must say that Volvo has a real winner here and I am quite surprised I don't see more of them on the road.

      Now all I have to do is wait...
      Last edited by mark-sf; 03-19-2011 at 06:44 PM.
      2011.5 XC60 3.2L Flamenco Red/Anthracite Black, Premium, Multimedia, Convenience, BLIS, Xenon + Custom Subwoofer

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    3. #2
      Junior Member T Schroeder's Avatar
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      Congratulations. I think you chose a really great color combination too! Now the waiting begins eh?

    4. #3
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      Awesome write-up from your car shopping! Glad you went with the XC60 too. I definitely agree with you on the seats: they are way comfortable.

      PS - I think you meant "Flamenco red" (instead of "Flamingo") for your color choice. Quick, change it in your sig before anybody else notices
      2010 Volvo XC60 T6
      2009 VW GTI

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    6. #4
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      This is a great forum! I just ordered my R-design on Friday and it's already been a long four days...mine is also due in sometime in middle / late May and I am not sure I can make it.
      2011.5 R-Design T6 Black/Black SOLD
      2014 R-Design T6 White/Black

    7. #5
      Junior Member Star4ever's Avatar
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      BlackBlack:
      In a few days it will be 7 weeks for me since my order was placed. I think you can figure a minimum of 8 weeks and perhaps the typical longer time of 12 to 17 weeks.
      From what I have been able to deduce here, the R-Design cars seem to take a wee bit longer than the typical 3.2 or T6 models. This may be due to the
      fact that there are some unique parts that have to be staged and readied for the R prior to release to build. In any case, welcome to the forum.
      FYI, it took 5 weeks time to get my VIN#...., it takes 10 to 12 days for the car to cross the Atlantic....(ships to NJ via Halifax leave on Saturdays or Sundays from Zeebrugge) for the most part.
      I am checking the WW website daily to see if my XC60 was sent from Ghent to the docks at Zeebrugge for shipment.

      Very much like stalking... my wife just shakes her head and laughs....
      2011.5 XC60 T6 - Xenons - BLISS - PCC - Convenience - Climate - Nordic Oak Stack - Ice White w Rear Skid and Side Scuff Plates, Mud Flaps, Sill Plates, R-Design Pedals
      MY XC60 T6's FUEL USAGE ->http://www.fuelly.com/driver/2011xc60t6/xc60

    8. #6
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      Star4ever Thanks for the info! I too like to track, can't wait for the VIN# to at least start...if it ends up being 12-17 weeks I'll go nuts! Really would like it by Summer. Look forward to progress on both of ours!
      2011.5 R-Design T6 Black/Black SOLD
      2014 R-Design T6 White/Black

    9. #7
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      Star4ever checked and my XC60 T6 hit the mainland 5 or 6 days ago... Should be in my hands in a few weeks. It is a LONG tough wait.
      2011.5 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD * Flamenco Red Metallic * Canadian Level III Package + Premium Sound + Keyless Drive
      http://www.fuelly.com/driver/howwwwl/xc60 <- Trip Details
      http://www.fuelly.com/sig-us/64801.png <- MPG
      http://www.fuelly.com/sig-metric/64801.png <- L/100km

    10. #8
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      I finally got my FYON on the weekend and my dealer stated that he had a 5/14 In-Port date which means for me, San Diego. He also said there is a 2-week window +/- that date but that they have been seeing them lately earlier than later. From what I hear here that "one should not start counting one's chickens" until the VIN is assigned. It may be something I can look forward to on Tax Day (4/15 for those outside the U.S).

      Mark
      2011.5 XC60 3.2L Flamenco Red/Anthracite Black, Premium, Multimedia, Convenience, BLIS, Xenon + Custom Subwoofer

    11. #9
      Junior Member Star4ever's Avatar
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      MARK-SF:
      Counting 5 weeks hence, from your order date, your VIN could be assigned by 4/22 (and hopefully earlier).
      2011.5 XC60 T6 - Xenons - BLISS - PCC - Convenience - Climate - Nordic Oak Stack - Ice White w Rear Skid and Side Scuff Plates, Mud Flaps, Sill Plates, R-Design Pedals
      MY XC60 T6's FUEL USAGE ->http://www.fuelly.com/driver/2011xc60t6/xc60

    12. #10
      Global Moderator GrecianVolvo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by mark-sf View Post
      I finally got my FYON on the weekend and my dealer stated that he had a 5/14 In-Port date which means for me, San Diego. He also said there is a 2-week window +/- that date but that they have been seeing them lately earlier than later. From what I hear here that "one should not start counting one's chickens" until the VIN is assigned. It may be something I can look forward to on Tax Day (4/15 for those outside the U.S). ;

      Mark
      Typically, it takes about 7 days to get to your retailer.

      The cars come in at Port Hueneme (Los Angeles), not San Diego.
      2001 Volvo V70 T5 M SR, Classic Red/Graphite Lthr, TME Stage II ECU, 3" Downpipe w/ Cat-back exhaust from MTE, Volvo Roadholding & Lowering Kit w/ Nivomats, 17" PEGASUS, Rear Spoiler, Dolby Surround Sound
      2019 V90 Cross Country Osmium Grey metallic w/ Charcoal L, Advance, Retractable Tow Hitch, Polestar, 19" wheels
      2019 S60 T6 AWD Inscription Black w/ Maroon/Brown L, Advanced, Heated Seats/Steering, Charcoal Headliner, Park Assist Pilot, 4C, Ext Styling Kit, 19" wheels, Polestar

    13. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by Star4ever View Post
      MARK-SF:
      Counting 5 weeks hence, from your order date, your VIN could be assigned by 4/22 (and hopefully earlier).
      It turns out my VIN was much earlier as my car was already at ZEEBRUGGE on 3/31 now due in Port Hueneme on 4/23! Count me as very happy man
      2011.5 XC60 3.2L Flamenco Red/Anthracite Black, Premium, Multimedia, Convenience, BLIS, Xenon + Custom Subwoofer

    14. #12
      Global Moderator GrecianVolvo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by mark-sf View Post
      It turns out my VIN was much earlier as my car was already at ZEEBRUGGE on 3/31 now due in Port Hueneme on 4/23! Count me as very happy man
      It will be at your retailer by May 2nd.
      2001 Volvo V70 T5 M SR, Classic Red/Graphite Lthr, TME Stage II ECU, 3" Downpipe w/ Cat-back exhaust from MTE, Volvo Roadholding & Lowering Kit w/ Nivomats, 17" PEGASUS, Rear Spoiler, Dolby Surround Sound
      2019 V90 Cross Country Osmium Grey metallic w/ Charcoal L, Advance, Retractable Tow Hitch, Polestar, 19" wheels
      2019 S60 T6 AWD Inscription Black w/ Maroon/Brown L, Advanced, Heated Seats/Steering, Charcoal Headliner, Park Assist Pilot, 4C, Ext Styling Kit, 19" wheels, Polestar

    15. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by GrecianVolvo View Post
      It will be at your retailer by May 2nd.
      Thanks, keeping my fingers crossed!
      2011.5 XC60 3.2L Flamenco Red/Anthracite Black, Premium, Multimedia, Convenience, BLIS, Xenon + Custom Subwoofer

    16. #14
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      I have now had my new baby for a day and can say that I am very impressed by its quality, ride and functionality. I have already gotten several compliments on its color. You can see some quick shots of the exterior that I also posted in the gallery here. Below is the first one.



      I really like the fact that I can keep an iPod hidden and hooked up but switch to Bluetooth streaming from my iPhone easily. The Nav system as yet is not picking the optimum routes, but I am still exploring this. The Premium Sound system sounds excellent down to about 80Hz where it begins to boom. Some may like this but it is clear this system cries out for a quality sub. I will be working on one. I am running everything flat and dialed back DPII processing to two bars.

      I tried a variety of discs and it does not like Hi-Res DVD-Audio but does play standard DVD-A ones. I did find one disc that it took 10 minutes to load and start playing. I could not eject the disc when it was in that state. Don't know how one forces an eject should a disc get stuck in that state.

      As reported by others iPod scrolling is not great and I did get it stuck where it was playing a song and stopped scrolling at all. (Found my first bug!). It would be great if they could use the Nav serach interface for artists, albums, and songs.

      I really like the visibility all around as well as the Bi-Xenon headlights. While I was expecting a greater throw, I was not expecting the wider angle which is great for catching approaching pedestrians. The backup camera is the only one that I have seen that is done right. The overlaid lines make backing up, especially out of my narrow garage with angled drive a dead cinch. BLIS is also more useful than anticipated as being higher up it is possible to have low side blind spots which was something I hadn't anticipated.

      One does feel the road even with 17" tires but it is not jarring. While lower profiles may look better, I am glad I didn't pay extra for them. I have just done about 50 miles mostly highway but the steering and tracking while not of sports car caliber are just fine so far.

      More later ...
      Last edited by mark-sf; 04-30-2011 at 06:55 PM.
      2011.5 XC60 3.2L Flamenco Red/Anthracite Black, Premium, Multimedia, Convenience, BLIS, Xenon + Custom Subwoofer

    17. #15
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      Gratz. Awesome color choice.
      2011.5 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD * Flamenco Red Metallic * Canadian Level III Package + Premium Sound + Keyless Drive
      http://www.fuelly.com/driver/howwwwl/xc60 <- Trip Details
      http://www.fuelly.com/sig-us/64801.png <- MPG
      http://www.fuelly.com/sig-metric/64801.png <- L/100km

    18. #16
      Global Moderator GrecianVolvo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by HowwwwL View Post
      Gratz. Awesome color choice.
      Yes, that picture is brilliant!
      2001 Volvo V70 T5 M SR, Classic Red/Graphite Lthr, TME Stage II ECU, 3" Downpipe w/ Cat-back exhaust from MTE, Volvo Roadholding & Lowering Kit w/ Nivomats, 17" PEGASUS, Rear Spoiler, Dolby Surround Sound
      2019 V90 Cross Country Osmium Grey metallic w/ Charcoal L, Advance, Retractable Tow Hitch, Polestar, 19" wheels
      2019 S60 T6 AWD Inscription Black w/ Maroon/Brown L, Advanced, Heated Seats/Steering, Charcoal Headliner, Park Assist Pilot, 4C, Ext Styling Kit, 19" wheels, Polestar

    19. #17
      Junior Member Star4ever's Avatar
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      Verry Nice Mark!
      How are the Xenon's?
      2011.5 XC60 T6 - Xenons - BLISS - PCC - Convenience - Climate - Nordic Oak Stack - Ice White w Rear Skid and Side Scuff Plates, Mud Flaps, Sill Plates, R-Design Pedals
      MY XC60 T6's FUEL USAGE ->http://www.fuelly.com/driver/2011xc60t6/xc60

    20. #18
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      Thanks everyone. The Xenon's were a last minute choice but have proven to be well worth it. My neighborhood has sparse street lighting and is within a mile of a university. Therefore, I always have to be very careful making turns as more than once I have seen a student, runner, or walker in the last second The width of the beam in combination with the bending totally illuminates intersections and a good 30 feet of sidewalk on either side of the crosswalk I will be turning into. These are a great safety feature.
      2011.5 XC60 3.2L Flamenco Red/Anthracite Black, Premium, Multimedia, Convenience, BLIS, Xenon + Custom Subwoofer

    21. #19
      Junior Member WyoDawg83's Avatar
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      Hey all, just joined after lurking for a bit... tons of great info on here, I can't stop reading! Just put down a deposit on a 2011.5 T6 R-Design in Cosmic White with the Off-Black/Beige insert interior. It will have Climate, Convenience, Multimedia, BLIS, and PCC. Wife and I can't wait to pick it up on Friday hopefully. Will post pics after we get her. This will be my second Volvo and I must say they are always the first make that we look at. After comparing similar models/features it was a no-brainer for me to go with the XC60! I can't wait to hit the road in this baby!

    22. #20
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      Congrats! I know you are going to love it.
      2011.5 XC60 3.2L Flamenco Red/Anthracite Black, Premium, Multimedia, Convenience, BLIS, Xenon + Custom Subwoofer

    23. #21
      Junior Member Star4ever's Avatar
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      Wow! WYO!
      The Dealer Had that R in the showroom!
      Boy you are very lucky to find it!
      Big Congratulations.... Would love to see GOOD pics of that color in the clear Wyo sun.
      Many Safe and Happy Miles.
      Art
      2011.5 XC60 T6 - Xenons - BLISS - PCC - Convenience - Climate - Nordic Oak Stack - Ice White w Rear Skid and Side Scuff Plates, Mud Flaps, Sill Plates, R-Design Pedals
      MY XC60 T6's FUEL USAGE ->http://www.fuelly.com/driver/2011xc60t6/xc60

    24. #22
      Junior Member WyoDawg83's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Star4ever View Post
      Wow! WYO!
      The Dealer Had that R in the showroom!
      Boy you are very lucky to find it!
      Big Congratulations.... Would love to see GOOD pics of that color in the clear Wyo sun.
      Many Safe and Happy Miles.
      Art
      Well we don't have a Volvo in Wyoming so we had to go to Denver to get an R-Design. Ft Collins only had T6s. Denver has three dealerships. Two of them each had 2 Rs but they were both black. The dealer we are buying from actually had 4 Rs on the lot but none were the right combo of color/options but they happened to be having one coming in their next shipment. Almost settled for an electric silver with no PCC for a pretty sweet deal but ultimately decided it was an option we had to have if we were gonna be spending this kinda money on a car. The cosmic white one arrived last night (Wed) and I'll be taking her home Friday afternoon! I can't wait to be the first to drive her (after the techs of course)! Pics to follow for sure... and a serious thanks to everyone on the forum. I have read all 11 pages in the last two days and have gained some serious knowledge on this machine that would have taken quite some time on my own.

      P.S. Art I was actually born in CT still have family in Bristol... dad works at ESPN HQ. I know there are some nice backroads out there that you must be tearing up with your XC!
      Last edited by WyoDawg83; 05-27-2011 at 12:25 AM. Reason: Added P.S.
      2001 S60 2.4 FWD (79K mi)
      2011.5 XC60 T6 R-Design - Cosmic White / Off-Black w/Beige, Climate, Convenience, Multimedia, PCC, BLIS

    25. #23
      Junior Member Star4ever's Avatar
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      Good Going on that R!
      I am with you on Black.... I had a Black car and the way I am with my personality, well it drove me CRAZY KooKoo Bananaz,
      so I vowed never to get black again.

      BTW, ESPN is one of my great customers so I am up there in Bristol at least twice a week.
      2011.5 XC60 T6 - Xenons - BLISS - PCC - Convenience - Climate - Nordic Oak Stack - Ice White w Rear Skid and Side Scuff Plates, Mud Flaps, Sill Plates, R-Design Pedals
      MY XC60 T6's FUEL USAGE ->http://www.fuelly.com/driver/2011xc60t6/xc60

    26. #24
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      Hey, black is not that bad! Going from silver to black though it can be a little frustrating; however, when clean, looks amazing. The sapphire black in the sun looks great. HOWEVER you do notice even the slightest little chips. I am at 999 miles and already I have a few small ones in front....getting the Xpel in about 4 weeks, so that should help.
      2011.5 R-Design T6 Black/Black SOLD
      2014 R-Design T6 White/Black

    27. #25
      Junior Member Star4ever's Avatar
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      Well... I recon the clear bra is the way to go with a black vehicle. Probably the only thing that can keep you sane.
      My black Lexus had a light gray primer coat so any chip in the black really showed up like a frackin' beacon!
      I used all the great high end polishes on it... the Zano Brothers system and the Black Wax as well.
      The swirl marks used to drive me NUTS...

      But then again, if your personality type is such that these things do not bother you... then you are good with black.
      For me it was a constant battle that over the long haul I found draining.... especially in the winter snow and muck months...
      But that is just me.... I suppose.

      Too High a maintenance price for black in my book.
      But then, when you get it right... Black really looks sharp.
      2011.5 XC60 T6 - Xenons - BLISS - PCC - Convenience - Climate - Nordic Oak Stack - Ice White w Rear Skid and Side Scuff Plates, Mud Flaps, Sill Plates, R-Design Pedals
      MY XC60 T6's FUEL USAGE ->http://www.fuelly.com/driver/2011xc60t6/xc60

    28. #26
      Junior Member WyoDawg83's Avatar
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      Well I picked up my XC60 today and WOW did I have a fun 90mi drive home! That T6 engine really wants to move... got to test almost everything out on the way home and all seems to be working perfectly so far. The ride was smooth on those beautiful 20" wheels and the seats are amazing. BlackBlack, didn't mean to dig on black cars... I think they are amazing when clean, however I just don't have the motivation to work that hard... especially with the weather we get out here! Anyhow, I'll post some pics tomorrow if the weather cooperates since it was overcast today. I now know how you all felt the day you picked up your cars... what a rush!
      2001 S60 2.4 FWD (79K mi)
      2011.5 XC60 T6 R-Design - Cosmic White / Off-Black w/Beige, Climate, Convenience, Multimedia, PCC, BLIS

    29. #27
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      Enjoy! I have had mine for three weeks and still enjoy it like it was the day I picked it up.
      2011.5 R-Design T6 Black/Black SOLD
      2014 R-Design T6 White/Black

    30. #28
      Junior Member Bayloretta's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by WyoDawg83 View Post
      Well I picked up my XC60 today and WOW did I have a fun 90mi drive home! That T6 engine really wants to move... got to test almost everything out on the way home and all seems to be working perfectly so far. The ride was smooth on those beautiful 20" wheels and the seats are amazing. BlackBlack, didn't mean to dig on black cars... I think they are amazing when clean, however I just don't have the motivation to work that hard... especially with the weather we get out here! Anyhow, I'll post some pics tomorrow if the weather cooperates since it was overcast today. I now know how you all felt the day you picked up your cars... what a rush!
      That's awesome that you were able to find a dealer in Denver who had a Cosmic White available so quickly! We ordered in November and took delivery in March of a nearly identical car to yours. I have to agree with the color choice...we went back and forth between Black Sapphire and Cosmic White, and I have to say I am so glad we went with the white. We are in Delaware currently (lots of rain, lots of bugs), are moving to Texas (lots of dust, lots of bugs), and travel to Colorado frequently (snow, slush, dirt). They black would have driven me crazy when I couldn't wash it all the time.

      Congrats!
      2011.5 XC60 T6 R-Design AWD, Cosmic White Metallic, Soft beige w/ off black inserts, Climate, Convenience, Multimedia, BLIS, PCC

    31. #29
      Junior Member WyoDawg83's Avatar
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      Yea we definitely lucked out on that one! Just uploaded four pics to the gallery after giving her a bath. The ones titled Front, Rear, DriverSide, DriverInside. Still having a blast driving this baby!
      2001 S60 2.4 FWD (79K mi)
      2011.5 XC60 T6 R-Design - Cosmic White / Off-Black w/Beige, Climate, Convenience, Multimedia, PCC, BLIS

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