Volvo XC60 Crossover full 9 point review
Confusingly, there are two D4 diesel engines; one 2.0-litre four-cylinder that's front-wheel drive only, and one 2.4 litre with five cylinders that is four-wheel drive. The D5 is also a five-cylinder unit, but gets more power and comes with four-wheel drive. There's also a T6 petrol at the top of the range, which has enough oomph to trouble hot hatches, hitting 60mph in under seven seconds.
Ride & Handling
The XC60 comes in both front- and four-wheel drive, and has good ground clearance and large alloy wheels, but either way it’s more at home on the road than off the beaten track. The standard model's steering is a little slow and light, but its ride is smooth, there’s plenty of grip, and body lean is well controlled, too. R-Design models sacrifice some comfort for even better body control and sharper steering, but we reckon the standard car provides the better compromise for family buyers.
You won't find many more refined cars in this class than the Volvo XC60. It's the low levels of wind, suspension and especially road noise that make it particularly impressive. It’s a shame, then, that the five-cylinder diesel engines are a little gruff when revved hard, but the noise is kept distant enough to stop it becoming annoying. All in all, the result is that the XC60 is an extremely cultured car.
Buying & Owning
The Volvo XC60 isn't cheap, but discounts on the list price are readily available and some rivals cost plenty more. You can also rest easy knowing that the XC60's resale values are among the best in the class. All diesel-engined versions give you good fuel economy, and the low CO2 emissions of the D4 mean it's affordable to run as a company car. However, owning the T6 petrol-engined model hits your wallet hard.
Quality & Reliability
Dense, high-quality plastics give the cabin a real feel of classiness, and the XC60 appears built to last and should withstand the rigours of family life. Many components are borrowed from the rest of the Volvo range, so the mechanical bits should prove hardy – a feeling that was borne out by the 2012 JD Power survey, in which the XC60 finished inside the top 20 overall.
Safety & Security
The XC60 scored a full five stars in crash tests, and its standard kit includes twin front and side airbags, cabin-length window airbags, and anti-whiplash front head restraints. It also includes Volvo’s City Safety system. At 20mph or less, sensors tell if you're likely to hit the car in front and activate a warning buzzer. If you don’t respond, it will brake for you. It won't recognise pedestrians and struggles with motorcycles, but it should prevent, or at least minimise, low-speed shunts.
Behind The Wheel
There's plenty of leg-, head- and elbow room up front in the Volvo XC60, and the superbly supportive seats and two-way adjustable steering column make it easy to find the right driving position. Most of the controls are located on Volvo's snazzy ‘floating’ central instrument stack, which looks cool, 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. Specify the 40/20/40 split/fold rear seats with built-in child booster seats and a central picnic table, and add a pair of DVD screens, and we're talking nirvana for fractious nippers. Whip down the rear-seat backs 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.
Every XC60 gets an impressive standard kit list, including six airbags, climate and cruise control, alloy wheels, automatic lights and wipers, DAB radio, a USB socket and Bluetooth phone connectivity and music streaming. While there's a long list of possible options to add, Volvo is offering 10 different option packs to XC60 buyers, designed to offer greater luxury, performance, safety or security for a lower price.