Competition in the premium large SUV market is as tough as it gets, but the Volvo XC60 makes a good case for itself.
This Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC rival scores four star on our road test, and impresses with good driving dynamics, a practical and family focused cabin and an impressive suite of safety technology.
At first glance the XC60's starting price of £32,685 might seem expensive, but when you remember that most of the premium SUVs in this market have similar price tags, the Volvo is generally competitive.
Whether you're buying new or used, the Volvo XC60 is a great large SUV designed with families in mind.
Here are 7 reasons why the Volvo XC60 deserves a place on your shopping list.
7 reasons to buy a Volvo XC60
7. Large, low boot
While the XC60 doesn't offer the same outright space as its rivals from BMW and Audi, it does make loading heavy items easy thanks to a low load height. It's still pretty spacious, and you'll have no problem fitting in a mountain bike if you fold down the rear seats.
6. Perfect view
Like most SUVs, the XC60 offers a raised seating position and excellent forward visibility. Seeing out of the back window is fairly easy, too, although reversing sensors are standard on all but R-Design models. A rear-view camera can also be had as a cost option, making parking in tight spots easy.
5. Plus interior
What really sets the XC60 apart is its interior, which looks and feels like a truly premium product. The material quality is very good - just watch out for some rough plastics in the rear - and there's plenty of choice for owners to personalise their cars.
4. Generous standard kit
There's no need to look past entry-level SE models, because these get climate control, DAB radio with Bluetooth connectivity, rear parking sensors, cruise control and automatic lights and wipers. There are plenty of luxuries further up the range if you wish, though.
3. Five-star safety
Euro NCAP gave the Volvo XC60 a full five stars for safety, and every car gets Volvo's City Safety system, which includes the Swedish car maker's version of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) at speeds below 20mph. A Driver Support pack adds other tech including adaptive cruise control and a lane keeping aid.
2. Diesel power
Our favourite engine in the XC60 range is the entry-level D4. It's got all the power you're likely to need but returns an impressive 62.8mpg - which for a large SUV is a real acheivement. It's also quiet for the most part.
1. Quiet and controlled
Refinement is a key consideration for family SUV buyers, and the XC60 is one of the quietest cars of its type. There's little to no wind or road noise inside, and it's only when the diesel engines are revved hard that their noise intrudes into the cabin.
What about buying used?
As the Volvo XC60 was only launched in 2008, it's still in its first generation. That said, there are plenty of cars on the used car market, and if you're looking for a used family friendly SUV, then it's worth considering. A light facelift in 2013 brought with it new materials for the interior, and a refreshed exterior design.
Early cars with high mileage (more than 100,000 miles) can be had for as little as £8800, but for our favourite D4 SE models you'll need to budget closer to £16,000, and more for a post-facelift version. The D4 diesel is definitely your best bet, as its claimed 62.8mpg means you won't be spending too much time at the pumps. The money you'll save on fuel is good news, because the XC60 isn't cheap to tax or maintain, and is known not to hold its value as well as its prime rivals from Audi or BMW.
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