heycar editorial team
- Posh but not showy
- Spacious for passengers
- Very safe
Not so great
- Engines can’t offer the power and smoothness of rivals
- The boot’s smaller than some
- Safe and competent, but not entertaining to drive
On the inside
How much does it cost to run
Prices, versions and specification
"The Volvo XC60 provides a refreshing and luxurious alternative to the current crop of driver and performance-focused SUVs, like the Jaguar F-Pace and Porsche Macan."
Like its predecessor, the Volvo XC60 is aimed at family car buyers, with a spacious interior, low fuel costs and lots of safety kit as standard. All XC60 models gets automatic city braking with pedestrian (and animal) recognition. This means it scans the road ahead and will automatically apply the brakes or help the driver steer around an obstacle in an emergency situation.
There's an extensive engine line-up, including mild-hybrid petrols and diesels as well as pricey plug-in hybrid models. While the latter offer impressive performance, the XC60 is better in a mid-level trim with small wheels and an economy-focused engine.
Topping the XC60 range is the powerful Polestar Engineered plug-in hybrid T8. This offers the performance to match a Macan, with firm suspension and beefy brakes. It's expensive, though, starting around £65,000 - and it's not as fun to drive as you might expect.
Comfort and refinement are the XC60's strong suit. Its excellent ride quality (with small wheels) is backed-up by a luxurious and refined interior that is more than a match for anything from the competition. The suspension set-up is carried over from Volvo's 90 range and provides one of the best ride qualities of any car in its class.
The only slight issue we have with the XC60 is its shallow boot, which is one of the smallest of any mid-sized SUV. The price for the entry-level models is also higher than the outgoing XC60, but it's clear to see where the investment has gone. If you value comfort and luxury over razor sharp handling and performance, then the XC60 will make a fine choice as your next family car.
Comfort and design
"As with the latest crop of Volvo cars, the XC60 features a minimalist dashboard with the highlight being the eye-catching tablet touchscreen. The display is bright and straightforward to use, although the myriad of sub-menus can be a little confusing at first."
All models get leather seats, with electric controls for height and lumbar adjustment in the front. Heated front seats are also standard across the range, along with central pillar-mounted ventilation for those in the back.
Handling and ride quality
"The XC60 wafts along with the air and grace of a luxury saloon, while the raised driving position provides a commanding view of the road that makes it easy to navigate this 2.1 metre wide SUV though narrow B roads or multi-storey car parks."
Admittedly, the steering doesn't boast much in the way of feel, but despite its numb nature it remains light and accurate, with compliant turns that will allow the car to complete a u-turn in just 11.4 metres.
As long as you avoid the largest wheel options, the XC60 is comfortable, with the suspension soaking all but the most violent of pot hole-related jolts.
Most XC60s feature all-wheel drive, meaning the 1800kg SUV can carry itself through demanding turns without any sign of scruffiness in the handling department. Those wanting limo-like comfort can fit air suspension as an optional extra, with a soft cushioned ride that will match that of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
MPG fuel costs
"The Volvo XC60’s fuel economy ranges depending on model and thirstiest is the T6 petrol which will manage no better than 31.7mpg"
The mild-hybrid B4 is so good that it almost makes the more powerful B5 irrelevant, unless you really need the extra torque on offer. It's efficient, too, returning more than 45mpg.
How much should you be paying?
"The Volvo XC60 is priced new from £40,175 for a D4 diesel Momentum model with front-wheel drive."
The Engineered by Polestar T8 petrol-electric hybrid sits at the top of the range, costing from £63,200. We’d go for the D4 diesel model in sporty R-Design trim which starts from £42,475. You can make a huge saving by going for a secondhand car, though, we found a 2020 D4 R-Design with less than 5,000 miles on the clock up for sale for less than £31,000.
Is the Volvo XC60 right for you?
The Volvo XC60 is the car for you if you want a practical SUV that’s posh but not as chintzy as some German alternatives.
What’s the best i10 model/engine to choose?
The Volvo XC60’s best trim/engine combination is the D4 diesel version in R-Design trim. Specified like the XC60 looks great and it’s D4 diesel has plenty of power, but doesn’t cost a fortune to buy or run.
Quality and finish
The Volvo XC60’s cabin is filled with high quality materials, while the overall build quality is first class, with no worrying creaks or squeaks from the plastics. This gives reassurance that everything has been bolted together with purpose.
While the infotainment screen’s high-tech nature will undoubtedly impress passengers, the screen can become a little bit of a distraction, with the driver needing to take their eyes off the road to change something as simple as the ventilation.
Voice activation controls – for heating and audio – are included, however, which allows the driver to adjust the ventilation or temperature by telling the system to increase the heat or air con. Sensus Connect, which provides access to a range of apps, like the digital music service Spotify is also fitted, but can equally distract. Ambient interior lighting and massaging front seats are also available to those with a penchant for extras.
Space and practicality
Head and legroom will seldom be an issue in the XC60 and the rear seats will easily accommodate two large adults, with room to spare for an equally large or tall driver to get comfortable in the front.
A powered tailgate is standard fit and provides simple access to the boot, with a click of a button. However the XC60 doesn't have as much storage space as its rivals with the shallow boot offering just 505 litres. This means it fills up surprisingly quickly when the load cover is in place. In comparison, the Land Rover Discovery Sport will provide 689 litres while the Audi Q5 has 550 litres.
Engines and gearboxes
There's the entry-level T4 petrol which sells in limited numbers and is only available with front-wheel-drive in Edition trim. If you're after a petrol, you'd be better opting for the mild-hybrid B5, available with two- or four-wheel drive and capable of returning up to around 39mpg depending on things like the size of the alloy wheels.
The T6 is an amusingly powerful 2.0-litre petrol without the faff of a plug-in hybrid, providing 310PS. It's thirsty, though, officially returning 31.7mpg on the combined WLTP fuel economy cycle.
Many XC60 buyers will be better catered for with a diesel, particularly if you cover a lot of motorway miles or are looking to tow regularly. The mild-hybrid B4 is so good that it almost makes the more powerful B5 irrelevant, unless you really need the extra torque on offer. It's efficient, too, returning more than 45mpg.
If you can justify the B5 diesel, though, it's a lovely engine and well suited to the XC60. It offers effortless performance, with excellent refinement on offer. You won't really notice the mild-hybrid side, although it'll quietly recuperate energy under braking, on hand to provide a useful amount of power on hand when you look to overtake.
Then there's the plug-in hybrid T8. If most of your journeys are within its 27-mile electric range but you need a car capable of travelling further when required, an XC60 T8 is a true Jekyll and Hyde car. Around town, with a full charge, it's a quiet and serene electric car. But when the 2.0-litre petrol engine kicks in, it's got a combined 390PS and can sprint to 62mph in 5.5 seconds.
If that's not quick enough, you can spec the T8 in Polestar Engineered form. This has an extra 15PS, shaving a tenth of a second off the 0-62mph time, along with upgraded brakes, firmer suspension and lightweight alloy wheels. While the Polestar Engineered XC60 can certainly be chucked around in a manner unbecoming of its size, it's extremely firm on anything but the smoothest of roads.
Refinement and noise levels
Even the diesels, under hard acceleration, struggle past a muted rumble, and there’s not too much road roar even in models with large wheels which means the XC60 is well-suited for long drives.
As you'd expect from Volvo, safety has been comprehensively addressed, with all cars getting a whiplash protection system that's built into the front seats to prevent spinal injuries. Pretensioners are also fitted to the belts in the back and all XC60s get Volvo's run-off road protection system, which automatically tightens the belts to cushion the impact should the vehicle leave the road.
Insurance groups and costs
The XC60 sits in Group 31 with the D4 diesel and luxurious Momentum trim, R-Design Pro and Inscription Pro trims with either the B5 petrol or diesel engine are in Group 36. Plug-in hybrid T6 and T8 Recharge models are in groups 41 and 42 respectively.
The Volvo XC60 costs more than £40,000 and, as a result, every model in the range qualifies for the premium tax brand. The first year tax bill ranges from £1,305 in the R-Design B6 petrol to £870 in the D4 diesel and B4 and B5 petrol models. Road tax costs £365 a year across the range thereafter.
Meanwhile, the company car BIK tax is rated at 37% across the range.
Trim levels and standard equipment
Momentum comes with an eight-speed automatic gearbox featuring stop/start and manual change functions, all-wheel drive, height and reach adjustable steering column, speed sensitive steering, three-spoke leather steering wheel with chrome trim, steering wheel remote infotainment controls, cruise control and a whole lot more.
T8 Twin Engine models add a panoramic sunroof, auxiliary heater with pre-conditioning functions, subwoofer, electric rear axle driver, 11.6kWh Lithium-Ion battery, 87PS electric motor, 4.5m charge cable with three-pin plug.
Edition comes with dark tinted windows, rear park assist camera, 19-inch alloy wheels, chrome window surround, smartphone integration (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto).
Momentum Pro adds heated windscreen wipers, heated steering wheel, active bending headlights, keyless drive, head-up display, headlight cleaning system, handsfree tailgate opening/closing, front LED foglights with cornering function, power driver seat with memory for seat and exterior mirrors, puddle lights.
R-Design builds on Momentum specification with sports seats with leather/textile upholstery, front seat cushion extensions, high gloss black steering wheel remote infotainment controls, front LED foglights, dual exhaust pipes, 19-inch alloy wheels, sports steering wheel, sports pedals, dark tinted windows, lowered sport chassis.
R-Design Pro adds heated wiper blades, heated steering wheel, active bending headlights, keyless drive, power driver seat with memory for seat and exterior mirrors, handsfree tailgate opening/closing, 21-inch alloy wheels, headlight cleaning system, head-up display, front LED foglights, Active Four-C chassis with adaptive dampers.
Polestar Engineered models come with a Harmon Kardon premium sound system, black chrome exhaust pipes, floating front brake discs, Polestar Engineered front and rear brake calipers, gold seatbelts, 21-inch alloy wheels, metallic paint, front aluminium tread plates, Polestar Optimised engine and gearbox, Polestar Engineered chassis.
Inscription features Nappa soft leather upholstery, power driver and passenger seat with memory for seats and exterior mirrors, front LED foglights, driftwood inlays, 19-inch alloy wheels, crystal gear lever, chrome window surround, dual exhaust pipes, multicolour theatre lighting, ambient door lighting, multi-directional lumber support.
Inscription Pro adds heated windscreen wipers, heated steering wheel, active bending headlights, keyless drive, Active Four-C chassis with adaptive dampers, 20-inch alloy wheels, headlight cleaning system, handsfree tailgate opening/closing, front LED foglights with cornering function, head-up display, front seat backrest massage, puddle lights.
On the inside
How much does it cost to run
Prices, versions and specification
Ask the heycar experts: common questions
Do Volvo XC60s hold their value?
The Volvo XC60 is a desirable SUV that's very popular with families so you can expect it to have strong residuals versus a more mainstream alternative.
Is the Volvo XC60 four-wheel drive?
You can have the Volvo XC60 with two or four-wheel drive – but we'd recommend the latter if you tow a trailer or often drive on slippery roads.
Which Volvo XC60 engine is best?
The B4 diesel will be the best Volvo XC60 engine for most people. It has plenty of low-down grunt to make swift progress but doesn't cost a fortune to run. That said, the T8 plug-in hybrid makes a lot of sense if you have a short commute.
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Quality checked, all cars less than 8 years old and warranty included