Quite possibly the safest, most family-friendly SUV around
At a glance
- New price: £37,205 - £48,405
- Insurance group: 31 - 36 How much is it to insure?
- One of the safest vehicles around
- Generous equipment levels
- Comfortable with air suspension
- Fantastic interior, excellent screen
- Family-friendly and good value
- Not as fun to drive as best rivals
- Quite a bit of body roll in the corners
- Only two Isofix points
- Some expensive options
- Running costs only average
This is the second-generation Volvo XC60 – a premium mid-size SUV that places a high emphasis on safety equipment, user-friendliness and technology, on sale in the UK from 2017.
Rival models include the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class and Volkswagen Touran – though those looking for a similar experience on a lower budget might also consider looking at Skoda’s latest SUV offerings, the Kodiaq and the Karoq.
The previous XC60 was launched in 2008, and quickly became not only Volvo’s best-selling model, but also the best-selling vehicle in its class across Europe. To say that this is an important car for the Swedish brand would be a serious understatement – XC60 Mk2 needs to be good.
And it is. From the scaled-down XC90 exterior design to the luxurious, high-technology interior, it feels every bit the modern family accessory. The engines are refined, the ride is comfortable, and performance is brisk throughout the range.
It also features more standard safety equipment than any of its rivals, and a distinct image that projects a warm, cutting-edge image without the aggression of some of the German alternatives.
Volvo XC60 trim levels and standard equipment
There are three main trim levels – Momentum, R-Design and Inscription – though each one can be further enhanced by a bespoke Pro package, which adds specific extra kit.
Regardless, equipment specification is comprehensive throughout, with every version of the XC60 sold in the UK fitted with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive as standard.
And that’s just for starters, also included on every single model are:
- Leather upholstery
- LED headlights
- Two-zone climate control
- Heated front seats
- Powered tailgate
- 9.0-inch Sensus touchscreen infotainment with sat-nav
- Volvo City Safety with Steer Assist
This last is an autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system, which now detects pedestrians, cyclists and large animals as well as other vehicles.
The original XC60 was the first production car to feature AEB technology; new for the second-gen model is Steer Assist, which aims to reduce accident severity by helping the driver to take emergency avoidance action.
Volvo XC60 engine choice
The XC60 is available with three conventional engine options: a choice of 190hp D4 or 235hp D5 diesel – the former the projected best-seller, the latter featuring PowerPulse technology – and a 254hp T5 petrol.
Each of these engines is a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder unit with at least one turbocharger, while PowerPulse on the D5 uses compressed air to help the turbos get going at lower speeds, increasing responsiveness.
At the top of the XC60 range sits the T8 ‘Twin Engine’. Combining a powerful 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with a plug-in hybrid electric motor drive system, this promises strong performance as well as tax-friendly CO2 and fuel economy figures.
The Parkers Verdict
The XC60 is an excellent choice for a family SUV. It combines a high standard of safety equipment with a modern design and very good ride comfort. While some rivals are more fun from behind the wheel, few challenge this Volvo as an overall package, and it would certainly have a place near the top of our shortlist.