Volvo XC60 SUV (2013 - ) review
Read the Volvo XC60 4x4 (2008 - ) car review by Auto Trader's motoring experts, covering price, specification, running costs, practicality, safety and how it drives.
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The most stunning Volvo ever built? Purists may disagree when you look at the sportier models from the 50s and 60s but you can’t help but notice the new Volvo XC60’s dynamic design. It’s full of sleek, rakish lines while providing a muscular presence. The XC60 still has the unmistakable Volvo design meaning the big front grille and long-running rear lights.
Volvo knows how to build a classy interior with everything having a superb, craftsman’s quality feel. The cabin is airy and the dials well arranged. The heater buttons in the shape of a sitting person are a neat and intuitive touch while the sweep of the instrument pod is inspired by Sean Connery’s raised eyebrow during his days as James Bond. And that’s not a joke.
The Volvo XC60’s boot has an enormous 655 litre capacity but this doesn’t come at the expense of passenger comfort. The rear is capable of carrying three adults with relative ease. There is plenty of all-round vision, which is a good thing considering the car’s size. We found parking to be particularly easy for a 4×4.
Ride and handling
The XC60 proved to be equally comfortable on a range of surfaces from motorways to B-roads. The suspension irons out practically every crease it comes across, providing a beautifully relaxed ride. Show it a corner and the XC60’s steering is impressively sharp and direct. There is the inevitable body roll you expect from a 4×4, but it is reasonably controlled. All models with an engine bigger than 2-litres have four-wheel drive, making them far more capable off-road.
The XC60 is offered with three diesel and two petrol engines. The 2-litre, five-cylinder D3 diesel has 161bhp and is available only with front-wheel drive. It’s a great engine for general driving, with a smooth response and impressive refinement. A 2.4-litre D5 engine with 213bhp and four-wheel drive is the best choice for off-roading and those towing large trailers or caravans on a regular basis. For the best performance, there’s a 3-litre T6 turbocharged petrol with 300bhp.
Thanks to its smaller size and front-wheel drive the DRIVe model predictably costs the least to run. Its 49.6 average mpg and emissions of 149g/km are reasonably low, if not as impressive as the BMW X3’s. The D5 is also commendably green, and given its performance, there’s really little reason to be tempted by the T6, which will cost plenty to run thanks to 249g/km of CO2 and 26.4 average mpg.
The XC60 is an all-new model so it’s very early to gauge its reliability but Volvo has used the XC60’s engines across the range for a few years now so they are tried and tested. However, the XC60 has been subject to a large number of recalls since its launch, for issues including gearbox, engine and airbag faults. While a new car should have these issues resolved already, it’s important to check work has been carried out before buying a nearly new XC60.
With the XC60, Volvo continues to justify its reputation for putting safety first. Volvo has fitted the 4×4 with no end of safety equipment with Euro NCAP awarding it an incredible 94 per cent for adult occupancy in its crash test ratings.
There are the usual Volvo trims, ES, SE, SE Lux, R-Design and DRIVe. ES is an entry-level trim, while SE and SE Lux add comfort and convenience to the model. R-Design is aimed at younger buyers and adds sports features including a body kit and a different design of alloy wheels. The DRIVe model is aimed at the best possible fuel economy.
The XC60 is fantastically built and immensely safe as you would expect from any Volvo. But the Swedes have also made their mid-size 4×4 good looking as well, adding to the car’s charm.