R-Design XC60 doesn't go fishing for compliments
"Dimensionally the Volvo XC60 is similar to a medium-size four door sedan, with ample room for five adults and lots of gear in the rear storage area."
I started recreational fishing at the tender age of 9. My father took me to a lodge on the north shore of Lake Nipissing in Ontario. It didn’t take long and I was bitten by the sport like a #7 Rapala Clackin’ Rap lure wiggling through a pike infested weed bed during a rainstorm in early June. Added memories of walleye nibbling on the line stir me to push down on the pedal of the 2012 Volvo XC60 R-Design and get to the lake as fast as possible.
The 2012 Volvo XC60 is one of those rare SUVs perfect for doing almost anything you can imagine. Dimensionally it is similar to a medium-size four door sedan, with ample room for five adults and lots of gear in the rear storage area. Comfort is truly first-class, with superb, two-tone leather seats offering exceptional support and adjustment. Gauges are analogue white numbers on a blue background with round knobs throughout for easy adjustment. Swedish style results in a floating center stack with silk metal silver trim, including the well-appointed three-spoke steering wheel.
Power comes in the form of a 3.0-litre turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine. Matched to a six-speed automatic transmission, it delivers 325 horsepower at 5,400-6,500 rpm and 354 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,000-3,600 rpm. Acceleration is snappy given the 2,440 kg weight of this all-wheel drive R-Design package. Fuel economy is also surprisingly good. We experience this firsthand on the drive as I forget to fill-up, causing us to cruise an extra 22 km with the fuel gauge reading completely empty.
Our destination on this trip is the secluded location of Island 10 Fishing Retreat on Lady Evelyn Lake. Located six hours north of Toronto, off Hwy 11 towards Mowat’s Landing on Hwy 558, our hosts for this week long fishing adventure are the always accommodating Ken and Bev Byberg.
Access to the lodge is by boat or floatplane only, no driving. We park the Volvo for a few days, pack our gear in the boat and motor across the Montreal River prior to making our way above the dam. Once past, Ken puts the hammer down and we fly across the lake arriving just in time for dinner. Everyone dines together in the main lodge and we are quickly introduced to our new friends, sharing a table, lots of laughter and incredible homemade meals.
A total of 10 engineered log cabins define this exceptional island fishing paradise. Our lodging for the week offers bedding for 4, a central bathroom with shower, dining table, fridge, wood stove and living room with couch and chairs. On the deck, four comfy Muskoka chairs will be the setting for many late night fishing tales.
Plank walkways throughout the island allow easy passage. The lodge is designed to host all functions; it also features a large deck where later in the week we enjoy a group fish fry. A total of 30+ guests of the lodge share the island, many driving 10-12 hours from all points in the U.S. and Canada. Aluminum boats with 25 horsepower motors make getting around the 19,000 acres of water easy. On this week, we catch our share of walleye, pike and smallmouth bass assuring us of a quality shore lunch and enough fish to enjoy once we get back to civilization.
Leaving the memories of Island 10 in the rearview mirror, I take advantage of smooth Highway 11 and let the R-Design additions do their work. Handling the corners is easy, almost like a boat on the water.Where to Stay
Island 10 Fishing Retreat
Lady Evelyn Lake, ON
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2012 Volvo XC60
Trim level: R-Design
Price as tested (before taxes): $61,195.00
Options on test vehicle: Technology Package ($2,100).
Configuration: front engine/ all-wheel drive.
Engine/transmission: 3.0L 6 cyl./ 6-spd auto. with sequential shift
Power/torque: 325 hp/ 354 lb.-ft.
Fuel (capacity): Regular (70L)
Fuel economy ratings: 12.1 L/100km city; 8.5 L/100km hwy
Observed fuel economy: 10.3 L/100km over 1,100 km
Warranties: 4 years/ 80,000 km (basic)
Competitors: Acura RDX; BMW X3; Cadillac SRX; Infiniti EX35; Land Rover Evoque; Lincoln MKX; Lexus RX 350.
Strengths: styling; interior comfort; safety
Weaknesses: somewhat hefty weight