Crossover SUVs, thanks to their combination of utility and carlike handling, have become the mainstream choice for many drivers. The Volvo XC60 is the Swedish manufacturer's latest entry. Seating five, the XC60 competes in the growing small luxury crossover segment.
Since it's a Volvo, you might assume that the XC60 has safety going for it, and you'd be right. There's even a trick City Safety system that automatically brakes the vehicle to prevent or mitigate low-speed collisions. But the XC60 is also a stylish and functional vehicle, and it handles unusually well for a crossover, let alone one with a Volvo badge on the front. It belongs on your short list if you're shopping for a vehicle of this sort.
Current Volvo XC60
The Volvo XC60 is a premium crossover SUV that's available in three trim levels: 3.2, T6 and T6 R-Design.
The 3.2 has a 3.2-liter inline-6 that generates 240 horsepower, while the T6 has a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 engine rated at 300 hp. The R-Design bumps output to 325 hp. Front-wheel drive is standard on the 3.2, with all-wheel drive optional. The T6s come with all-wheel drive. All XC60s feature a six-speed automatic with manual shift control. The XC60 T6 accelerates from zero to 60 mph in about 7 seconds flat, which is pretty quick for this segment.
Standard features on the 3.2 include alloy wheels, a power driver seat, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity and iPod control. The T6 adds the turbocharged engine, leather upholstery and a power passenger seat. The T6 R-Design adds 20-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, sport-tuned suspension and steering, a panoramic sunroof, privacy glass and special styling elements inside and out. Option highlights include heated front and rear seats, a power liftgate, parking sensors, keyless ignition/entry a navigation system, a back-up camera and Volvo's integrated child booster seats.
Safety features are plentiful and include stability control, antilock brakes with brake assist, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and whiplash-reducing front seats. The standard City Safety feature allows the XC60 to automatically apply its brakes below certain speeds to prevent or lessen damage from collisions. A Collision Avoidance package is optional and adds a lane-departure warning system, a blind-spot warning system, adaptive cruise control and other driver aids.
In reviews, our editors have praised the XC60's stylish cabin with its avant-garde "floating" center stack, available real oak trim (metallic trim is standard) and high materials quality. The roomy and comfortably elevated rear seat has a convenient 40/20/40-split configuration. With all sections folded down, there are 67 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity. Parents should love the optional integrated rear booster seats.
On the road, the Volvo XC60 delivers performance that's easily on par with its European rivals. The base 3.2 engine is just adequate, but the energetic turbocharged straight-6 provides plenty of power with no perceptible lag and is the gem of the two. The handling is hampered somewhat by numb steering, but most will find the XC60 provides a strong sense of vehicle control.
Used Volvo XC60 Models
The Volvo XC60 debuted for the 2010 model year. Initially, there were just the 3.2 and T6 trim levels, the former having 235 hp and the latter with 281 hp. The following year brought increased output for both engines (to 240 and 300 hp, respectively) as well as the debut of the sporty "R-Design" variants of each, for a total of four trim levels. The 3.2 R-Design lasted just one year, however. The T6 R-Design's power output also went up to 325 hp for 2012.