Volvo XC60 SUV

Review

Volvo XC60 SUV

Price  £31,260 - £43,720

Volvo XC60 SUV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Good looking, classy shape
  • Frugal diesel models
  • Very safe
Cons
  • Sluggish auto box
  • Five-cylinder diesels aren’t very efficient
  • Not much fun to drive

At a glance

The greenest
D4 (181hp) Start/Stop SE 5dr £31,260
The cheapest
D4 (181hp) Start/Stop SE 5dr £31,260
The fastest
T6 AWD (304hp) Gtronic R-DESIGN Lux Nav 5dr £43,720
Top of the range
T6 AWD (304hp) Gtronic R-DESIGN Lux Nav 5dr £43,720

"Stylish, easy to drive and very comfortable, the Volvo XC60 also offers class leading safety and strong resale values."

The Volvo XC60 blends traditional Volvo strong points, such as safety and practicality with an SUV body shape. It competes with cars such as the BMW X3, Audi Q5 and the Land Rover Freelander.

If you are used to driving a Volvo estate then there's lots to make you feel at home in the XC60. It gets the same comfortable seats and an interior design that makes for a refreshing change from the German competition, even if it doesn’t always feel quite as well built.

The XC60 only comes with one petrol engine, but plenty of diesels the best of which is the D4 which offers a superb blend of performance, economy and emissions that are so low that road tax will cost just £30 annually.

All Volvo XC60s get equipment such as the City Safety automatic emergency braking system, climate control, a DAB digital radio, and a Bluetooth phone connection. Trim levels include SE, SE Nav, Lux, Lux Nav and R-Design.

MPG, running costs & CO2

2.6 / 5

Volvo XC60 D4 diesel offers cheap running costs

The XC60’s engine line-up is complicated, but there’s a clear favourite – the D4 engine fitted to front-wheel drive models. The 2.0-litre diesel engine produces CO2 emissions of just 117g/km, for road tax of £30 a year, and fuel economy of 62.8mpg.

Four-wheel drive versions of the D4 use a a 2.4-litre diesel, so CO2 emissions go up to 139g/km for a £130 annual tax bill while fuel economy drops to just 53.3mpg. Both versions are available with a manual gearbox or an optional automatic – choosing the latter increases running costs.

The D5 version, meanwhile, adds more power, but also costs more to run. Its won’t return more than 44.1mpg, and CO2 emissions translate into annual road tax of £130 – or £205 with the automatic gearbox.

The petrol engine in the T6 is the one to avoid. It may be fast, but it can only achieve fuel economy of 26.4mpg that combines with CO2 emissions of 249g/km for road tax of £485 a year. The T6 is also the most expensive XC60 to insure. It is rated in group 34 compared to group 28 for the basic D4 SE.

Volvo also offers service plans (prices vary according to model) that cover your car for six years or 10 separate services, and allow you to make interest-free monthly instalments rather than a lump-sum payment. Sign up for this scheme and you get free Volvo roadside assistance, as well as free updates for your car’s sat-nav system.

Interior & comfort

3.6 / 5

Comfort is a Volvo XC60 forte

Comfort is an area that Volvos are known for scoring highly in and the XC60s seats are some of the most supportive available in a car. High-speed refinement is excellent and only a little wind noise makes its way into the interior.

Both the driver’s seat and the steering wheel get plenty of adjustment, so getting a decent driving position is simple. The Volvo’s high driving position also gives a good view of the road ahead.

Sit in the driver’s seat and the Volvo is a nice place to be. Its dashboard is logically laid out, but also stylish and the interior uses plenty of quality plastics to make it feel almost as good as the Audi Q5. 

Practicality & boot space

3.0 / 5

The Volvo XC60's interior is spacious and practical

The Volvo’s tall body shape gives plenty of headroom in the front and back seats of the car, and there is room enough for three adults to get comfortable in the back. Volvo doesn’t offer the XC60 with a third row of rear seats, an option that is available in the Nissan X-Trail.

With a 495-litre boot, the Volvo lags behind rivals such as the Audi Q5, which has a 540-litre boot. However, folding down the rear seats reveals a total load capacity of 1,455 litres. Loading even heavy items is simple thanks to the Volvo’s huge boot opening and the lack of a load lip, which means heavy luggage can be slid straight in.

There should be ample storage spaces in the car’s interior for a family’s odds and ends. Cubbyholes include a large glovebox, big door bins, and two cupholders between the front seats.

Reliability & safety

3.8 / 5

High-quality plastics dominate Volvo XC60 interior

Our 2014 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey scored the Volvo XC60 in 66th place out of 150 cars, which represents a dramatic dip in form for a car that once made it into the top ten. In reality though, not much has changed and the car still scored well in areas such as build quality and seat comfort, it’s just starting to show its age against newer models.

With Volvo’s excellent reputation for safety – the company owns one of the most advanced crash-test facilities in the world – it is hardly a surprise to see the car get a five-star ranking form Euro NCAP. It comes with a comprehensive armoury of safety features, which includes dual-stage airbags, traction control, electronic stability control, and a blind-spot warning system.

The Volvo XC60 was also one of the first cars to feature automatic emergency braking. Called City Safety, at speeds of under 19mph it can detect an imminent collision and apply the brakes.

Engines, drive & performance

3.0 / 5

Four-wheel-drive Volvo XC60 an excellent tow car

The Volvo is calm and composed in the corners, with plenty of grip and minimal body lean, but it is not as much fun to drive as the BMW X3. Get on a motorway and the XC60 makes much more sense as a relaxing cruiser.

We would recommend the 2.0-litre D4 diesel. It is frugal on fuel but can also get the car from 0-60mph in just eight seconds and is smooth and quiet. By comparison, the 2.4-litre engines are scarcely any faster and are less refined than the 2.0-litre.

The T6 petrol is the fastest model of all with 0-60mph taking just 6.5 seconds, but that pace comes with huge running costs. All of that performance feels at odds with the XC60’s generally relaxed nature.

Fit the XC60 with four-wheel drive and it can cope with muddy tracks and slippery roads. Diesel XC60s also make excellent tow cars, with the ability to tow a maximum of 2,000kg.

Price, value for money & options

2.5 / 5

Volvo XC60 R-Design has sporty looks

Even the basic Volvo XC60 SE comes fitted with 17-inch alloy wheels, an electrically operated boot lid, TFT dials, four electric windows, cruise control, climate control and a decent stereo. The SE Lux model adds luxury extras such as a leather interior, electrically adjustable front seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, and headlights that point in the direction of the steering wheel.

The R-Design model is aimed at buyers that want sportier looks than the standard car and it gets a body kit, sports seats inside, and a leather steering wheel. At the top of the range is the R-Design Lux model which adds automatic parking, electrically folding mirrors, and electric memory front seats. All Nav models come with satellite navigation with a seven-inch colour display and a powerful stereo.

You can expect the Volvo XC60 to lose more of its value after three years than a BMW X3 or an Audi Q5, but the Volvo will perform better than cars such as the Hyundai Santa Fe.

What the others say

4 / 5
based on 2 reviews
4.0 / 5

While off-road ability is limited, Volvo says the raft of electronics, coupled with the raised body height, will ensure few cars encounter significant traction issues. It's effortless at speed, and a particulate filter cuts dirty exhaust emissions.

4.0 / 5

The XC60 is a brilliant family car. It's practical, classy, good to drive and scores highly for safety. The front-wheel drive version is notably more affordable to own than other models in the range.

Last updated 
24 Jul 2014

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