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Scandi-cool and safe family SUV is a great all-rounder

Volvo XC60 SUV Review Video
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At a glance

New price £40,175 - £63,270
Lease from new From £398 p/m View lease deals
Used price £18,835 - £53,390
Fuel Economy 28.0 - 113.0 mpg
Road tax cost £150 - £475
Insurance group 31 - 44 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Spacious, stylish and comfy interior
  • Excellent safety credentials 
  • Broad range of engines and trims

CONS

  • High-spec models are expensive 
  • And some engines costly to run 
  • Ride is firm without adaptive suspension 

Volvo XC60 SUV rivals

Written by Keith WR Jones on

Sales of medium-sized, upmarket SUVs remain srong, which explains why the Volvo XC60 is one of the Swedish brand's more popular models. Sandwiched between the dinkier XC40 and plusher XC90, the XC60 offers safety, style and solidity in spades.

>> We rate the best hybrid SUVs for 2020

Galvanising its appeal is a very broad selection of engines, including mild- and plug-in hybrids, while the available equipment is extensive, high-tech and user-friendly across a wealth of trim levels. Narrowing down your choice to one is the tricky part, but that's where we can help.

Minimalist interior is packed with technology

Jump behind the wheel of the XC60 and you could be driving any model in Volvo's range, so uniform in style and use is the dashboard. That’s no bad thing: there’s a simple yet classy design with a set of digital dials, a portrait-oriented touchscreen and not much else.

The materials broadly look and feel suitably expensive, the seats are utterly brilliant and comfort is key. There’s also a lot of technology lurking beneath all of this, with the firm’s Intellisafe driver assistance and safety systems available, high-end sound systems and plenty of other convenience features you’d expect.

What trim levels are there?

Quite a few, with some recent rejigging by Volvo increasing the number and complexity, somewhat. 

Entry point to the range is the well-specified Momentum, but from that point you can take either a luxury or sporty path. The former meanders via Inscription Expression and Inscription to Inscrption Pro (we said it was complex), while the latter ventures via R-Design and R-Design Pro to Polestar Engineered. You can also boost each of these trim levels with various option bundles that add specific extra kit to each model.

Whichever you go for, all XC60s come with the following equipment:

  • Leather upholstery
  • LED headlights
  • Two-zone climate control
  • Heated front seats
  • An electric tailgate
  • 9.0-inch Sensus touchscreen infotainment with sat-nav
  • Volvo City Safety with Steer Assist

The last bullet point is an autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system, which 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.

With so many engine and equipment options, there should be a version of the popular Volvo XC60 for anyone in the market for a premium SUV. It's certainly proving a hit for those looking for an upscale off-roader that doesn't wear one of the more obvious premium-market badges.

What engines are available?

More a case of what's not available. All barring the D4, which is front-wheel drive-only and limited to the less expensive trim levels, have some form of electrification, although confusingly - again - Volvo's opted to badge all of its mild-hybrid models with a B-prefix, regardless of whether its petrol or diesel. At least the price lists helpfully insert (P) and (D) to distinguish them, as we do here for clarification.

B4 (D) and B5 (D) feature all-wheel drive (AWD) as standard and produce 197hp and 235hp, respectively. For those who prefer petrol, the 250hp B5 (P) is available with front- or all-wheel drive, with the B6 (P)  producing 300hp and AWD-only.

Those aren't inconsiderable numbers, yet more power is available should you choose a plug-in hybrid. Until 2020, Volvo persisted with referring to these as Twin Engine models, but now they are all badged Recharge.

With a combined power output of 340hp, the Recharge T6 is the entry-level PHEV, but there are two different performances on offer from the Recharge T8, with 390hp in R-Design Pro and Inscription Pro models, or 405hp when installed in the flagship Polestar Engineered model.

Whichever XC60 engine you choose, it will come with a smooth eight-speed automatic transmission. You'll have to look elsewhere if you want a manual SUV.

Is it as good as it looks?

The XC60 is as good as it gets for the money. From the scaled-down XC90 exterior design to the luxurious, high-technology interior, it feels every bit the modern family accessory, giving strong competition to the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 in particular, but also the Mercedes-Benz GLC and Alfa Romeo Stelvio.

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 warm, cutting-edge image without the aggression of some of the German alternatives.

Click through the next few pages to read everything you need to know about the Volvo XC60 including its practicality, how much it costs to run, what it's like to drive – and whether we recommend buying one.

Volvo XC60 SUV rivals

Other Volvo XC60 models: