Last year, the 3.2 base model was added to the XC60 lineup, which mostly carries over for 2012. One notable change is to the R-Design package (firmer suspension, retuned steering, and appearance tweaks), which used to be available as a 3.2 and a T6 but is now only available as the T6. The R-Design also benefits from the same upgrades to the engine as the S60 R-Design, which means an additional 25 hp and 29 lb-ft from the 3.0-liter turbo six. That additional power makes this small crossover quite a rocket, as the 300-hp in the T6 AWD already was more than enough to make the XC60 move quickly off the line and down the road. Thanks to torque-vectoring four-wheel drive on the various T6 models, the XC60 performs more like a sport sedan than a tall crossover. The interior is very comfortable, with some of the best seats on the market and good outward visibility despite the angled rear hatch and sweeping beltline. The XC60's exterior is stylish without being austere, with attractive LED lighting accenting the front and rear ends. Volvo's City Safety low-speed collision-mitigation system made its debut on the XC60 and is standard here; blind-spot monitoring, a pedestrian-detection system, and adaptive cruise control with distance alert are all optional. The XC60 presents a comprehensive package that matches or betters its competition on style, equipment, luxury, and price.
Drive: Front-wheel, 4-wheel
Trim levels: 3.2, 3.2 Premier, 3.2 Premier Plus, 3.2 Platinum, T6 AWD, T6 AWD Premier Plus, T6 AWD Platinum, T6 AWD R-Design, T6 AWD R-Design Premier Plus, T6 AWD R-Design Platinum
Body style: SUV/crossover, 5-passenger
Engines: 3.0L turbo I-6, 300/325 hp, 325/354 lb-ft
3.2L I-6, 240 hp, 236 lb-ft
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Passenger volume: 102.4 cu ft
Cargo space: (rear seats up/down) 30.8/67.4 cu ft
The 3.2 R-Design has been discontinued, and trim levels have been revised. Premier Plus nets keyless drive and rear park assist; Platinum adds a premium sound system and a nav system. A dynamic package available on the T6 AWD includes active xenon headlights, speed-sensitive steering, and an adjustable chassis. The R-Design's output is now 325 hp and 354 lb-ft.
Front, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; traction and stability control; and a tire-pressure monitoring system are standard, as is the City Safety crash-avoidance system. Adaptive cruise control, a pedestrian-detection system, and blind-spot monitoring are optional.
EPA Fuel Economy
All: 17-18 mpg city/22-24 mpg highway
- Attractive design
- Powerful engines
You Won't Like
- Counterintuitive navigation system
- Smallish back seat
Volvo's small SUV has plenty of pep and sleek styling.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Audi Q5
- BMW X3
- Cadillac SRX
- Mercedes-Benz GLK-class