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- Superlative safety
- Impressive standard equipment
- Good ride
- Great front seats
- Not particularly efficient
- Aged styling
- Leg room is limited in rear
The 2017 Volvo XC60 is a near-luxury contender at near-luxury prices. Its safety might be its biggest strong suit, which it rightly deserves.
The 2017 Volvo XC60 is the brand's second best-selling model behind the hugely popular XC90, and it's no surprise why. The compact crossover is packed full with standard gear, and is comfortable for four—oh, and it's still one of the safest crossovers on the planet.
The XC60 models range from Dynamic and Inscription, which are priced the same but offer more sport or creature comforts respectively, to the aggressive R-Design model.
It earns a 7.0 out of 10 on our overall scale, thanks to its nearly perfect safety score and great features. There's room for improvement in its fuel economy score, and its styling may be getting a little stale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Styling and performance
About that styling, it may have aged quickly. New offerings from Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar age the XC60's exterior a little too fast and the interior—beyond its impressive digital instrument cluster—is a little old and boring.
It's still distinctly a Volvo, and its wedge profile still looks good in profile, but the 8-year-old SUV shows its age in the dash layout and some of the Volvo's packaging.
New for 2017, Volvo ditched its dizzying array of powertrains in favor of just two. The base engine in T5 models is a turbo-4 that makes 240 horsepower and manages up to 30 mpg on the highway. It's mated to an 8-speed automatic and is front-drive only. It's a little coarse sounding at low speeds, and the 8-speed isn't very refined.
The step up to the T6 models comes with a turbocharged and supercharged inline-4 that makes 302 hp and is mated to the same 8-speed. We'll stop short of saying it's the best solution, simply because the transmission's singular mission is to keep it off the boil and maximize fuel economy.
In either configuration, the XC60 is fairly smooth riding crossover, although with bigger tires it can be a little jarring.
Comfort, safety, and features
Four adults will fit fine in the Volvo, with plenty of room for gear. Its fit and finish is good overall, but again, the interior can be a little plain looking compared to others in its class.
Where the XC60 succeeds is in safety—standard or optional. It nearly aced both major U.S. rating agencies' battery, a four-star overall score for rollover safety in the federal test is its only blemish. Regardless, the XC60 is impressively equipped with blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alert, low-speed crash mitigation, a rearview camera and parking assistants.
In standard configuration the XC60 comes with leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power adjustable front seats, Bluetooth streaming, panoramic sunroof, 7.0-inch display with navigation, and rear parking sensors.
We have a small bone to pick with Volvo product planners: some popular features are buried in bundled packages that we'd rather see as a la carte options. For example, a premium stereo is part of a $2,500 upgrade that includes safety features such as road sign recognition and lane-departure warning. A heated steering wheel is bundled in a $1,500 cold weather package that includes heated headlight washers and heated rear seats.