Volvo XC60 Crossover full 9 point review
Ride & Handling
Standard models have a smooth ride and plenty of grip, although their steering is a little slow. The XC60 keeps everything well controlled in corners, but most rival SUVs have less body lean. R-Design models sacrifice some comfort for tighter body control and sharper steering, but we reckon the standard car offers the better compromise for family buyers.
The four-cylinder diesel engine is generally hushed and smooth, whereas the five-cylinder units are gruff. There's some wind noise on the motorway, but little road noise finds its way into the cabin. An automatic gearbox is optional on every version except the petrol (which gets the auto 'box as standard); it changes gear smoothly, but can be slow to respond. The manual version has a vague shift action.
Confusingly, there are two D4 diesel models; one with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive, and one that gets a 2.4-litre five-cylinder unit and four-wheel drive. The D5 gets the same 2.4-litre engine but with more power. There's also a T6 petrol, which has enough oomph to trouble hot hatches. If you can live without all-wheel drive, the 2.0 diesel is our pick of the range; it accelerates strongly and smoothly from low revs, so makes the faster models look a bit pointless.
Buying & Owning
The XC60 isn't cheap to buy and its resale values are merely average for the class, but huge discounts are readily available and its contract hire rates are lower than those of many rivals. The standout model is the 2.0 D4: it has exceptionally low costs and makes an excellent choice as a company car. The four-wheel-drive models will cost you substantially more, but still have decent buying and running costs. The T6 will be extortionate to own, so is best avoided.
Quality & Reliability
Dense, high-quality plastics give the cabin an upmarket feel, and the XC60 should withstand the rigours of family life. Many components are borrowed from the rest of the Volvo range, so the mechanical bits should also prove hardy – this was borne out by the latest JD Power ownership satisfaction survey, in which Volvo was one of the most reliable brands.
Safety & Security
The XC60 scored a full five stars in its Euro NCAP crash test, and its standard kit includes front and side airbags, cabin-length window 'bags, and anti-whiplash front head restraints. It also has Volvo's City Safety system, which applies the brakes automatically if it detects an imminent impact with the vehicle (or even pedestrian) in front. Security firm Thatcham awarded the XC60 five out of five for its resistance to being stolen, and four out of five for its resistance to being broken into.
Behind The Wheel
There's plenty of head-, leg- and elbowroom, and the superbly supportive seat and two-way adjustable steering column make it easy to find a comfortable driving position. Most of the controls are located on Volvo's cool-looking ‘floating’ central instrument stack, but some of the buttons are a bit small to be easily found on the move.
Space & Practicality
The rear bench is elevated to give a good view of the road ahead – even for little ones – and there's plenty of space for a couple of six-footers. Fold down the rear seatbacks and you're left with a flat floor and a cargo space that goes from a useful 495 litres to a mountain bike-swallowing 1455 litres. Another neat touch is a front passenger seat that clamshells down, allowing you to load seriously long items such as ladders and flat-pack furniture.
Entry-level SE trim offers the best blend of equipment and price. It comes with a decent amount of standard kit, including climate and cruise controls, rear parking sensors, a powered tailgate and a digital radio. Similarly priced rivals get leather (or fake leather) upholstery as standard, however. While there's a long list of optional extras, various option packs bundle together key bits of kit for less than it'd cost to add them separately.