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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

Owners Rating
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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.

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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.

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Andy is Carbuyer's managing editor, with more than a decade of experience helping consumers find their perfect car. He has an MA in automotive journalism and has tested hundreds of vehicles.

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