Volvo XC60 Review 2024: A Scandinavian masterpiece 

Volvo XC60 Review: Is it worth buying? Let’s dive in…

Think of a premium-badged midsized SUV, and German automakers likely spring to mind, perhaps a Jaguar or a Lexus too. However, consider broadening your horizons to include the refined, elegantly crafted second generation Volvo XC60.  

This Swedish marvel is not just an SUV; it’s a testament to Volvo’s prowess in building vehicles that are safe, efficient, clever, practical, and stylish. 

Once renowned for its spacious estates and solid saloons, Volvo’s product range has shifted dramatically. The bulk of its current business revolves around SUVs, like the XC60.  

This second-generation model, which debuted in 2017 and received a facelift in 2021, represents a significant evolution in the brand’s lineup. 

Want to see the XC60 in action? Watch the comprehensive Volvo XC60 Review now 

What is the engine like? 

The XC60 employs Volvo’s 2.0L Drive-E engines and sits on the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, which it shares with the larger XC90.  

In contrast, the smaller XC40 uses a less sophisticated Compact Modular Architecture (CMA). This setup ensures the XC60 offers a comprehensive SUV experience in a more compact, five-seat format. 

The PHEV variants benefit from a larger battery introduced in 2021, almost doubling the capacity to 18.8 kWh.  

This improvement extends the electric-only driving range to about 50 miles, depending on the variant. While not leading the class, it provides a practical balance between performance and efficiency. 

Volvo has phased out diesel engines in favour of petrol and hybrid options. The range includes a mild-hybrid B5 and two plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models, the T6 and the T8.

The T8 offers impressive performance, combining a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0L petrol engine with an electric motor to produce 455 horsepower, propelling the car from 0-62 mph in just 4.9 seconds. 

How does the Volvo XC60 drive? 

Volvo has never sought to make the XC60 the most agile SUV on the market. Instead, it prioritises a stable, relaxed, and beautifully balanced driving experience.  

The steering may lack the precision of its German rivals, but the overall ride quality and comfort more than compensate for this. 

While not primarily designed for off-road adventures, the XC60 is equipped to handle occasional excursions off the beaten path. 

The intelligent all-wheel-drive system and optional air suspension provide a level of capability that, while modest compared to hardcore off-roaders, is more than sufficient for most users’ needs. 

Volvo XC60 Safety features 

Volvo’s commitment to safety is evident in the XC60, which boasts an array of cutting-edge safety features.  

Standard equipment includes a rear auto brake function to prevent collisions while reversing, oncoming collision mitigation by braking, and run-off road protection.  

The City Safety system, with steering support, offers autonomous braking and steering assistance to avoid potential collisions.  

Additional features include twin front, side, and curtain airbags, a pedestrian-friendly active bonnet, and various stability and traction control systems. 

What does the interior offer? 

Driver interior Volvo XC60

Inside, the XC60 exudes Scandinavian charm with high-quality materials and minimalist design.  

The latest update brings a new Android-based infotainment system, featuring Google Maps, Google Assistant, and the Google Play Store, seamlessly integrating with your digital lifestyle. 

Wireless smartphone integration via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, along with wireless device charging and multiple USB ports, ensure that all your devices stay connected and charged. 

The 12.3-inch driver display, though not the most customisable, offers clear navigation and essential driving information. 

The XC60’s infotainment package includes a 10-speaker, 220-watt high-performance sound system with DAB digital radio.  

A complimentary one-year subscription to a PSIM card with 100GB of data provides a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to eight devices, real-time traffic information integration, and roaming across 42 countries.  

The Volvo Car Services app further enhances convenience, allowing you to remotely lock, unlock, or start the car, track journey data, and receive service reminders. 

Rear interior

Practicality is a strong suit for the XC60. The seats are supremely comfortable, with options for heating, ventilation, and massage functions.  

Interior air quality is managed by Volvo’s CleanZone system, and there are numerous thoughtful storage solutions throughout the cabin.  

The rear seats provide ample space, with features like easy entry mode on models equipped with air suspension, making ingress and egress a breeze. 

Luxurious Standard Features 

Even at the entry-level core trim, the XC60 impresses with an array of luxurious features.  

Standard offerings include 18-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, front and rear parking sensors, automatic headlamps and wipers, and a power-operated tailgate.  

Additionally, all versions feature adaptive LED headlights and a comprehensive suite of electronic safety equipment. 

Inside, the XC60 offers full leather trim, a powered heated driver’s seat with lumbar support and memory settings, two-zone electronic climate control, an auto-dimming interior mirror, a rear-view camera, and a 12.3-inch active TFT crystal driver’s information display.  

The T6 PHEV variant also boasts a panoramic glass roof, enhancing the cabin’s airy feel. 

Trim levels 

Design Volvo XC60

Volvo continues to raise the bar with its mid-range plus spec upgrades, offering a choice between a dark theme or a black edition for an additional £1,800.  

For those opting for the faster T8 plug-in hybrid all-wheel drive model, the price significantly increases due to its restriction to the ultra trim level.  

This top-tier variant, tested here, starts around £68,500 and offers a choice between B5 and T8 engines, each with various styling packages such as dark theme, bright theme, and the pricier black edition. 

Upgrading to the mid-range plus trim level introduces autonomous driving features such as adaptive cruise control and Volvo’s Pilot Assist system. 

Additional comforts include keyless entry, a powered driver’s seat with memory settings, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and four-zone electronic climate control.  

The top-spec Ultra trim adds larger 20-inch wheels, air suspension, a head-up display, and even more luxurious interior finishes, including soft Nappa leather upholstery and a Bowers & Wilkins audio system. 

Competitive Pricing and Rivals 

Competing in the premium midsized SUV segment, the XC60 faces stiff competition from the BMW X3, Audi Q5, and Mercedes GLC, among others.  

Despite this, Volvo has carved out a niche with its distinctive approach, emphasising safety and innovation over outright handling agility. 

The B5 model, priced similarly to the Audi Q5 45 TFSI and the BMW X3 xDrive 20i, offers competitive value.  

Opting for an Alfa Romeo Stelvio could save a few thousand, and for those seeking non-plug-in hybrids, the Honda CR-V e or Lexus NX 350h are viable alternatives, each saving around £4,500 compared to the XC60 B5.  

While more expensive rivals include the Jaguar F-Pace P250 and the Mercedes GLC300, the Volvo XC60 aims to stand out with its superior power and efficiency, especially in the T8 plug-in hybrid variant. 

Volvo XC60 Review Summary: Should you buy, lease, or finance one? 

The Volvo XC60 stands out in the crowded midsized SUV market by offering a distinctive blend of style, comfort, and luxury.  

Whether you opt for the base model or the high-end T8 PHEV, you’re assured of an SUV that doesn’t compromise on quality or innovation.  

While it may not be the sportiest option available, it excels in providing a serene and luxurious driving experience that prioritises what many buyers in this segment truly value. 

If you value long-term ownership and prefer to invest in a vehicle that offers exceptional safety, innovative technology, and timeless Scandinavian design, buying the XC60 is a solid choice. 

Leasing the XC60 is ideal if you enjoy driving a new car every few years and want to experience the latest in Volvo’s advancements without the commitment of ownership. This option also allows for lower monthly payments compared to financing. 

Financing the XC60 might be the best route if you want to own the car eventually but need the flexibility of spreading out payments. It allows you to build equity in the vehicle while enjoying the benefits of a luxury SUV. 

In essence, the XC60 is a premium SUV that perfectly embodies the understated elegance and practicality of Scandinavian design, making it a compelling choice whether you decide to buy, lease, or finance. 

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