It wasn’t until the early 2000s that Volvo ventured into the world of SUVs with the XC90. Since then the Swedish manufacturer has built up its portfolio of SUVs, and the sales have only continued to climb.
Amid a general downturn of new car sales, Volvo sales continue to rise. And a large part of that is down to the XC60. Introduced in 2008, this mid-size SUV was exactly the right car for the right time. The first-generation model sold exceptionally well, right up until 2017 when it was replaced with a svelte all-new car.
With an all-new look, an increased focus on technology and safety, as well as a classy interior, the latest XC60 is a huge step forward next to the car it replaces. But is it good enough to rivals models such as the Audi Q5 and BMW X3?
Volvo offers a lengthy list of engine options on the XC60, whether it be a petrol, diesel, mild-hybrid or even a plug-in hybrid. There is something to appeal to most buyers here, for sure.
Here we’re testing the ‘T4’ petrol engine – the cheapest petrol-powered option. It utilises a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine producing 187bhp and 300Nm of torque. The T4 is also only offered with front-wheel-drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission, although more powerful engines get all-wheel-drive.
In terms of acceleration, a 0-60mph time of 7.9 seconds and a 127mph top speed will prove to be plentiful for most.
Ride and handling
Unlike certain rivals from Porsche and BMW, which favour sportiness, it’s immediately obvious that Volvo has prioritised comfort with the XC60. Our test car rode on optional air suspension and the rise was superb, with very little body roll being seen in the corners.
The XC60 feels at its best on the motorway where this supreme comfort comes into its own along with the outstanding refinement. Relaxation behind the wheel is absolutely key, which helps to explain why there is little in the way of driver involvement.
Interior and equipment
The XC60 has an interior matching that of its larger sibling. Volvo has taken a minimalist approach – removing as many buttons as possible to leave a clean fuss-free design. The portrait touchscreen handles many of the functions traditional buttons used to, which certainly looks modern. The interior quality is also superb, and equally matches those from similar models from Audi, BMW and Mercedes.
Standard equipment on Momentum cars is plentiful, with 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, satellite navigation and an electric tailgate coming as standard.
The sporty R-Design grade adds sports seats, larger exhausts, bigger alloy wheels and a revised styling kit, while the top-spec Inscription brings Nappa leather seats and ambient interior lighting to name but a few features.
Prices start from £37,785 for the XC60, with our T4-engined test car surprisingly been the cheapest model in the Volvo range. At that price, it seems good value, but a select few options and more expensive engines can quickly make the XC60 look a bit expensive. Prices also keep rising to £65,000 for the Polestar Engineered T8 plug-in hybrid.Find XC60 Prices
The latest XC60 is a huge step forward for the Volvo brand, with vast improvements in the interior making this latest car feel hugely competitive next to rivals.
Add in a relaxing and comfortable driving experience and an impeccable safety record, and the XC60 makes a fantastic case for itself in the mid-size SUV market.