2013 Volvo XC60 Performance

7.0
Performance

You can get the XC60 with a choice of two different engines, as well as with front- or all-wheel drive. While they can vary quite a bit in perceived quickness, the XC60 in any case handles securely and responsively.

The base 240-hp, 3.2-liter in-line six-cylinder engine is strong and very smooth, but it doesn't always move the heavy (4,200-pound) all-wheel-drive XC60 as quickly as you might think. Front-wheel-drive versions feel just a bit faster. And these models do wake up a bit on the highway, where the responsive six-speed automatic transmission helps make the most of it with rapid passes--especially with the Sport mode engaged.

The XC60 is quick and secure, but not at all an edgy performer.

With the more performance-oriented XC60 T6 model you get a turbocharged six 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.

If you appreciate decent handling, don't let the XC60's tall proportions scare you off; the XC60 drives like a much lower vehicle, with a secure, planted feel in tight corners. You can't quite call the XC60 a sporty vehicle, but it's stable and responsive, with steering that's weighted better than in previous Volvo models. T6 models corner a bit better, and steering feel can be adjusted through screen-based settings.

With 9.1 inches of ground clearance and a solid Haldex all-wheel drive system, the XC60 has the goods for getting through deep snow, or even through a muddy path to a trailhead. The XC60 shares some mechanical and structural pieces with the Volvo S80, but running gear has been bolstered to be ready for when the pavement ends.

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