The XC60 is the smallest in the line of crossover vehicles from Volvo. This is the economy version of its bigger siblings the XC70 and the XC90. The compact crossover market has yet to be defined as even the larger crossover models are very new and still defining their place in the current auto industry. The one thing that buyers know when they look at the XC60 is that it is built to Volvos safety standards, which means it is build like a rock and is very safety conscious. The size of the XC60 puts it in direct competition with the BMW X3.
Starting at $32,400 the XC60 is still more expensive than many other compact crossovers, but there is a higher level of quality in most of Volvos products that many consumers are willing to pay for. There are 3 major trim levels available for the XC60 ranging from an inline six cylinder engine offering 235 horsepower to a turbocharged engine offering a much larger 281 horsepower. Each model also offers some variations of the interior accommodations and external flare that is offered.
Body style: 4-door SUV
Engines: 3.2L I-6, 3.0L turbocharged I-6
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Models: 3.2, T6 AWD, R-Design
The XC60's latest news is the introduction of the R-Design trim midway through 2010. As with its other implementations in the Volvo lineup, R-Design means an enhanced suspension (here, a firmer suspension and larger, 20-inch wheels wrapped with 255/45R20 rubber, complimented by more direct steering gear) as well as visual enhancements including body-color matched lower cladding.
The XC60's exterior appearance represents much about where Volvo design is headed, a direction that was further defined through the lines of the all-new 2011 S60 sedan. The XC60's body is flowing and expressive in ways unimaginable to Volvo enthusiasts of yore, and features giant headlamp assemblies, lots of trapezoidal elements, a pronounced step-down between the power dome hood and the fenders, and a rising waistline from stem to stern.
Inside, more of Volvo's new design expressiveness is evident in the XC60, were you'll find Volvo's signature thin, waterfall center stack as the anchor point. The instrument pod and door inserts have a unique, modular feel to them. Although the XC60's nav system's display (available as part of the multimedia package) is not as large as some of its competitors, it comes with loads of standard and optional amenities buyers expect from a premium offering.
Performance & Handling
The Volvo XC60's 0-60 mph times vary considerably depending upon the drivetrain. The front-drive version of the 3.2 achieves it in an estimated 8.6 seconds, while the T6 AWD and R-Design drop that to a quick 7.1 seconds. With its firmed-up suspension, larger wheels and tires, and more direct steering, the R-Design is easily the best handler of the group -- though its 20-inch tires don't lend themselves to supple ride quality. The base 3.2 comes with 235/65R17 tires while the T6 AWD wears 235/60R18s.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has awarded the XC60 good results for frontal offset crash, side impact and rollover strength testing. In addition, Volvo's legendary safety technologies are available in abundance for the XC60, including Volvo's first deployment of City Safety, which can automatically stop the XC60 from speeds below 19 mph if it detects a potential hazardous situation is imminent.
EPA Fuel Economy
3.2: 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway (FWD); 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway (AWD)
T6, R-Design: 16 mpg city/21 mpg highway
- Stylish Looks, especially R-Design
- Impressive interior
- Solid interior space
- Safety, safety, safety
- Nice turbocharged engine
You Won't Like
- Not quite as sporty as competitors
- Modestly-sized nav screen
- Poor fuel economy on AWD versions
Attractive alternative in the compact crossover set
If You Like This Vehicle
- BMW X3
- Acura RDX
- Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
- Audi Q5