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Volvo XC60 SUV (2017 - 2021) review

The Volvo XC60 is one of the best family SUVs around. Read our in-depth review to find out why.

Pete Tullin

Words by: Pete Tullin

Dan Trent

Additional words by: Dan Trent

Last updated on 14 October 2021 | 0 min read

The Auto Trader expert verdict:


The XC60 is one of Volvo’s best-selling cars, and one of the best family SUVs you can buy. It’s a real class act, providing excellent comfort, good practicality and exceptional safety. Some versions are pricey, but the XC60 is a very credible rival to the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Jaguar F-Pace.

Reasons to buy:

  • tickQuiet and smooth
  • tickAttractive interior
  • tickAdvanced safety kit

At a glance:

Running costs for a Volvo XC60

Prices for the XC60 are pretty much on par with the likes of the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, so it’s not exactly cheap. The prestige clout of the Volvo badge is rapidly catching up with those of its German rivals, though, and the XC60 is expected to hold its value very well. This, in turn, makes for some very keenly priced leasing and finance deals. Official fuel economy and CO2 figures for the diesel models are competitive. The powerful turbocharged petrol engines have quite a thirst, however, and will cost business users more in company car tax. Some models use mild hybrid technology that provides some electric assistance to the engine. It's not enough to make much difference to overall ownership costs, mind. The two Twin Engine plug-in hybrid models, by contrast, have incredibly low CO2 emissions and remarkable official fuel consumption figures. They can use electric-only power for short trips, so you may find that you can commute without using any fuel. The downside is that these models are very expensive, so you need to do your sums carefully.

Expert rating: 3/5

Volvo XC60

Reliability of a Volvo XC60

Volvo has effectively reinvented itself in recent times. Starting with a clean sheet of paper, it has released a raft of newly created models that utilise all-new technology from the ground up. Consequently, we’ll have to wait a while to get a good idea as to how reliable they will turn out to be. The early signs are positive, though. The 2019 JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study ranked Volvo 10th out of 25 in the overall manufacturer table, and it was far and away the highest-scoring premium manufacturer. Should anything go wrong with your XC60, Volvo offers a fairly standard three-year, 60,000-mile warranty.

Expert rating: 4/5

Volvo XC60

Safety for a Volvo XC60

The XC60 is one of the safest SUVs you can buy. As well as all the crash protection you’d expect, it comes with a range of extremely advanced safety features to help prevent you having a collision in the first place. As standard, you get an automatic braking system that can help to avoid – or mitigate – collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and large animals. There’s also ‘run-off-road’ technology that uses the car’s steering and brakes to help prevent you veering off the road unintentionally, as well as front seats that are specially designed to reduce vertical impact (and therefore spinal injuries) if your car leaves the road and lands heavily. On top of that there’s a system that automatically steers the car back into your lane should you drift out of it and an automatic braking function that steps in if it detects that a collision with an oncoming car is imminent. Options include advanced cruise control that steers the car to keep you centred in your lane on the motorway, as well as a blind spot information system that can also help steer you away from oncoming traffic. A rear collision mitigation system that activates the hazard warning lights and pre-tightens the seat belts is also an option.

Expert rating: 5/5

Volvo XC60

How comfortable is the Volvo XC60

Seat quality has always been a Volvo USP, and those in the XC60 don’t disappoint, providing superb comfort and excellent side support. The driving position and forward visibility are good, too, but the rather small rear screen and large rear head restraints can make things a bit tricky when reversing. Thankfully, Volvo offers an excellent rear view camera to help overcome the blind spots. As a family SUV the XC60 fits the bill, with lots of headroom and legroom, and well-shaped seats, front and rear. It's got a big boot , too. At 505 litres, it falls slightly short of the Audi Q5’s for capacity, but it’s roomy by any other standard, and is well shaped. Folding the rear seats gives you a runway-flat load bay, and all XC60s come with a powered tailgate that’s very handy when your hands are full. The interior is undeniably one of the most stylish in the class, with a minimalist design and very smart materials. Most functions are controlled via a large central touch-screen that’s responsive and easy to use. Most versions have a very comfortable ride, although the very large alloy wheels that are standard with the higher trim levels and optional for others do add a slightly firmer edge. The XC60 is notably quiet at speed, which makes it a great long-distance cruiser. In fact, it was voted Best Car for Long Distances in the 2019 Auto Trader New Car Awards. The Polestar Engineered high-performance model has bespoke suspension and brakes for a sportier character, but doesn’t sacrifice too much in the way of comfort.

Expert rating: 4/5

Volvo XC60

Features of the Volvo XC60

The XC60 is not cheap, but the entry-level model is so well equipped that there’s little need to add any options or choose a higher-spec version. Alongside the 9.0-inch infotainment screen, which features sat-nav, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio and voice control activation, the cheapest versions get LED headlights, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and a powered tailgate. A bewildering (and admittedly very tempting) array of cosmetic and luxury kit are added as you move up the range, or delve into the lengthy list of options and option packages. The only anomaly is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is a cost option for most models.

Expert rating: 4/5

Volvo XC60

Power for a Volvo XC60

Premium mid-size SUVs ought to provide effortless performance, and the XC60 duly delivers. You can opt for petrol, diesel and hybrid versions and each one provides strong performance and a smooth automatic gearbox. The entry-level D4 diesel is all you really need, while the more powerful diesels, the B4 and B5, both come with a 48-volt mild hybrid system that helps to make them even more flexible. The T4 and B5 turbocharged petrol engines are very responsive, with the B5 again benefiting from a mild hybrid system. The T6 gives you a real shove in the back when you put your foot down, while the T8 Twin Engine hybrid models, which combine a petrol engine with a powerful electric motor, are seriously quick. While cheaper models have front-wheel drive, those higher up the range have four-wheel drive as standard.

Expert rating: 4/5