New & Used Volvo XC60: In Depth
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The Volvo XC60 is a luxury crossover vehicle that's available with either front- or all-wheel drive. It's a mid-size model, though by American standards it leans a little toward the compact end of the spectrum.
Because of its size and level of luxury, the XC60 is a rival for vehicles like the Lincoln MKC, Land Rover LR2, Acura RDX, Lexus NX, and Audi Q5. It sits below the wagon-like XC70 and the XC90 in Volvo's crossover lineup; the latter model is all-new for 2015 after a very long run in its first generation.
For more details on prices, options, and specifications, see our 2015 Volvo XC60 review.
With the same Scandinavian design influences as the XC90, blended with the lines of the S60 sedan, the XC60 packs in cool modern design, safety technologies aplenty, and just enough quirkiness to remind you that its roots are not German, Japanese, or American. It offers striking looks, responsive performance, and of course an array of features that reinforce Volvo's long tradition of safety.
At the time of its launch, the Volvo XC60 combined a 3.2-liter straight-six engine with front-wheel drive for the most fuel-efficient of the bunch. It returned a reasonable 19/25 mpg city/highway and was rated at 240 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. That engine has since been replaced.
Despite its height, the XC60 drives nicely on the road, with a very carlike feel. It has a planted, secure feel that's absent on many crossovers, and behaves as well on tight turns as it does on long highway straights. The well-weighted steering system and smooth six-speed automatic transmission certainly add to its demeanor.
Volvo offers some higher-powered options for the XC60. A turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six makes 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque in all-wheel-drive T6 models or 325 hp and 354 lb-ft in the R-Design model. The latter also benefits from aggressive body kit pieces and unique chassis tuning that firms up the suspension. There is also a Polestar-tuned version available, which is based on the R-Design.
Further down the track the XC60 will serve as the basis of Volvo’s first plug-in hybrid model in the U.S. It already sells a V60 Plug-In Hybrid wagon in Europe, but that vehicle uses a diesel engine--so Volvo is retooling its hybrid hardware to work with a new range of four-cylinder gasoline engines it will launch in future products. The automaker has already shown off a concept XC60 Plug-In Hybrid, but remains coy on its launch date, stating only that it is due in showrooms in a couple of years--most likely around 2015.
When it comes to safety, the XC60 ticks all the right boxes and scores top marks in independent crash testing. There’s also an array of advanced safety features like Volvo’s City Safety pedestrian and object avoidance system, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Driver Alert Control, Distance Alert, and the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS)--and both Road Sign Information and an Active High Beam system were added for 2013 to the Tech Package. And in 2015 Cyclist Detection was added to the City Safety system. The XC60’s safety alone makes the vehicle worthy of consideration for anyone in the market for a mid-size crossover.
The 2013 model year brought realigned features between the T6 and R-Design models, as well as a few more standard features, including rain-sensing wipers, headlight washers, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, with new Tunnel Detection for the headlamps.
Volvo lightly refreshed all of its models for 2014, including mild frontal styling updates and various changes to the infotainment system inside.
For 2015, the Volvo XC60 gets some serious changes in the form of new four-cylinder Drive-E engines for front-wheel-drive models. The base XC60, known as the T5, uses a 240-horsepower turbocharged version, while the more powerful T6 gets a 302-hp Drive-E that's supercharged (to boost power at low engine speeds) and turbocharged (for increased output at higher engine speeds). Fuel economy is much improved in these models, with EPA combined ratings now up to 27 mpg for the T5. The all-wheel-drive models continue on with their five- and six-cylinder engines.
Separately, 2015.5 model-year XC60 models will offer a completely new Volvo Sensus infotainment system, with new 3D map views, integrated concierge services, and new apps for streaming audio.
In addition to the R-Design model, the XC60 is available in special editions that include the Ocean Race Edition, with its special deep blue paint and unique interior trimmings, and an Inscription model, which boasts a higher level of craftsmanship and attention to detail.