Volvo XC60 SUV (2008-2017) - Engines, drive & performance

Safe and solid, but the Volvo XC60 is uninspiring on country roads

Carbuyer Rating

2.8 out of 5

Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.0 out of 5

The Volvo XC60 is calm and composed in corners, with plenty of grip and minimal body lean, but it's not as much fun to drive as the BMW X3. A big downside is the steering. It feels reassuringly heavy, but it's also artificial – giving little feedback to warn you when the car is losing grip. The problem is worse in the front-wheel-drive versions, which quickly lose grip if you accelerate mid-corner.

R-Design models come with larger 18-inch alloy wheels, which look cool but also highlight bumps and imperfections in the road that would go unnoticed in smaller-wheeled models.

Forget about driving the XC60 like it's a sports car and you'll get on a lot better. Volvo has a talent for building cars that are quiet and stable on the motorway and the XC60 follows this brief. Its raised driving position not only gives you a better view of the road ahead, but also makes you feel safer.

Volvo XC60 diesel engines

We'd recommend the 2.0-litre D4 diesel. It's frugal, yet can also get the car from 0-62mph in just 8.1 seconds – plus it's smooth and quiet. If you need four-wheel drive (for more grip on slippery roads or if you intend to use the car for towing), then the 2.4-litre D4 is the best option. The extra weight of the four-wheel-drive system, along with the power used to turn the rear wheels, means it's more than a second slower from 0-62mph than the 2.0-litre model.

Fitted with four-wheel drive, the Volvo XC60 can tackle rough and muddy tracks, but attempting anything more taxing could leave you stranded.

Petrol engines

There's also a 2.0-litre petrol engine called the T5, which is turbocharged, produces 242bhp and can do 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds.

Recommended

Volvo XC60 owner reviews
Volvo XC60 SUV review
Volvo XC60
15 Mar 2021

Volvo XC60 owner reviews

Volvo XC60 SUV review
Volvo XC60 SUV review
Volvo XC60
15 Mar 2021

Volvo XC60 SUV review

Best tow cars
Skoda Kodiaq SUV driving
Best cars
18 Feb 2021

Best tow cars

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2021
Lexus UX SUV
Deals
18 Jun 2021

Best new car deals 2021

Best 4x4s and SUVs
Peugeot 3008 SUV rear 3/4 tracking
Family SUVs
3 Jun 2021

Best 4x4s and SUVs

Svelte look for all-new Range Rover Sport
2022 Range Rover Sport
Range Rover Sport
16 Jun 2021

Svelte look for all-new Range Rover Sport

Best hybrid cars
Toyota Corolla Trek
Best cars
8 Jun 2021

Best hybrid cars

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

New Lexus NX is brand’s first plug-in hybrid
2021 Lexus NX
Lexus NX
12 Jun 2021

New Lexus NX is brand’s first plug-in hybrid

Best cheap cars
Dacia Duster SUV
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Best cheap cars

Should you use a car wash?
Car wash pros and cons
Tips and advice
11 Jun 2021

Should you use a car wash?

Best used cars
Vauxhall Astra
Family cars
14 Jun 2021

Best used cars

Cheapest electric cars
Renault Twizy
Electric cars
14 Jun 2021

Cheapest electric cars

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Speed awareness course: all you need to know
Police car - open boot
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Speed awareness course: all you need to know

Ford EcoBoost engines: what are they and should you buy one?
2020 Ford Puma - front tracking
Ford Focus hatchback
4 Jun 2021

Ford EcoBoost engines: what are they and should you buy one?

New Polestar 3 SUV teased
2022 Polestar 3 teaser
Polestar
16 Jun 2021

New Polestar 3 SUV teased

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Best car interiors
Best cars
10 Mar 2020

Best car interiors

Best electric cars
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
6 May 2021

Best electric cars

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Hot hatches
9 Apr 2020

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks