2012 Volvo XC60 Performance

7.0
Performance

The XC60 comes with a choice of base six-cylinder and turbocharged drivetrains, as well as front- or all-wheel drive. Either way, it feels quick and handles with a secure feel.

The standard XC60 gets power from a 3.2-liter in-line six-cylinder engine, an uncommon configuration these days, but one that pays off in drivetrain smoothness. In the XC60, the six is responsive though not as perky as its 240 horsepower on paper suggests. The XC60's a heavy vehicle, though (at more than 4200 pounds when all-wheel drive is specified). It wakes up more at highway speeds, when its responsive six-speed automatic puts the spurs to it. In that environment, the XC60 can pull off very rapid passes. The automatic transmission comes with a sport mode as well.

Quick and secure, the Volvo XC60 isn't an edgy performer.

Turbocharging turns the XC60 into a more sporty T6 model. Rated at 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, the uprated crossover has gutsy performance, and it can accelerate to 60 mph in seven seconds or less.

The XC60 looks tall, but overall it drives like a much lower vehicle, with a secure, planted feel in tight corners. Steering is definitely weighted better than that in many previous Volvo models, but the XC60 is still by no means a sporty vehicle when the road turns twisty. T6 models corner a bit better, and steering feel can be adjusted through screen-based settings. Ride quality in the XC60 is quite firm—enough so to allow better body control than you might expect, yet be pliant enough to take on most nasty, unmaintained road surfaces. It's quiet and stable, too.

The XC60 shares some mechanical and structural pieces with the Volvo S80—the crossover's turbocharged V-6 engine and Haldex all-wheel drive will be familiar to fans of the big four-door. That, however, means that under some slippery surfaces you'll have to feel a little wheelspin before the Haldex system sends power to the rear wheels. Its 9.1 inches of ground clearance can come in mighty handy for those needing to get through deep snow, though.

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