I drove the XC60 only briefly, but it’s a handsome little crossover, certainly better looking than the Mercedes-Benz GLK350, if not quite as sexy as the . The interior is a letdown. The Volvo center stack is really, really getting old, and it’s not particularly user-friendly. The navigation screen displayed the usual legal warning language and instructed me to “push ENTER to accept these conditions.” I pushed the ENTER button numerous times, to no avail; the screen retained the legalese and I never saw a map.
Joe DeMatio, Executive Editor
A turbocharged in-line six making 281 horsepower should generate some driving excitement. But wrapped in a heavy Volvo body, the result is smooth but not speedy acceleration and a huge turn circle (caused by mounting the engine sideways between the front wheels). Turn-in is crisp, but aggressive cornering produces a nervous tippy-toe feeling because of the tall build and relatively narrow track. I do give the new XC60 style points, because there isn’t a Volvoesque square corner to be found and the interior is elegantly finished in leather, aluminum, stainless steel, and deeply grained plastics. I’d spend my $40,000 elsewhere, but dog owners who rate their safety as the over-riding priority will appreciate the XC60.
Don Sherman, Technical Editor
Joe and Don seem quite happy with the XC60‘s design, but I thought it looked like any other Volvo when I looked at it in my driveway. Sure, the taillights are very stylized and look quite nice, but the rest of it looks pretty tame. The interior is no different than any recent Volvo and the navigation system requires a remote control to be used, which is a joke.
Still, this drives rather well. Acceleration is strong enough and quite smooth, as Don points out. It’s a relatively good value with a $38,000 base price, but I wish the interior were as modern as that of the competing Mercedes-Benz GLK or Audi Q5. Both of its German rivals offer much better infotainment systems that are also more intuitive to use.
Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor
I attended the launch of this vehicle six months ago, and I have to say that I still like its exterior styling, the latest evolution of Volvo‘s decidedly unboxlike design language. As to its interior, which a couple of my colleagues have expressed disappointment in, I’ll only say that while it’s true that the center stack is no longer cutting edge, the controls work well and are quite intuitive. The seats are as comfortable as Volvo seats always are, although I don’t think they work quite as well visually when upholstered in black leather, as in this vehicle. The two-tone interior of the test vehicles I drove in October were, in my estimation, more attractive.
What doesn’t work for me, as it doesn’t for my colleagues, is the fact that the navigation system is operated solely by a remote control device. I remain confounded by the decision to forgo an in-dash controller–what an odd choice. I do like that the rear seats fold completely flat, making for a very spacious cargo hold, although I didn’t have occasion to take advantage of all that space during my time with the XC60. Driving this crossover isn’t exactly a scintillating experience, but then again, it’s a crossover, not a sports car. Power delivery from the turbo in-line six is quite smooth, but fuel economy is pretty disappointing at just 18 mpg (combined EPA rating). Last but not least, the City Safety system (which brakes the car at speeds up to 19 mpg to avoid collisions) is quite impressive. I had a chance to test the system at the vehicle’s launch, but it’s not something anyone should try out on public roads. It’s one of those features that you can’t appreciate until it comes into use, which makes it hard to evaluate during a short test such as this. However, owners of the XC60 will surely be enamored of it should it ever be needed.
Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor
If we think of smaller crossovers like the XC60 as the new family sedan, we’ll be thinking more like the people who buy them. As such, the XC60 shines. It’s safe, comfortable, spacious, smooth, modestly attractive, and reasonably powerful, with great cargo space and a flat load floor. All that and priced right, especially if you lose the stupid remote-controlled nav option.
Jean Jennings, President & Editor-in-Chief
- Base price (with destination): $38,025
- Price as tested: $42,250
- Laminated Panoramic Roof $1,200 value (no charge)
- Metallic Paint $525
- Multimedia Package $2,700
- Climate Package $1,000
- Fuel economy: 16 / 22 / 18 (city/hwy/combined)
- Engine: Turbocharged In-line six-cylinder DOHC
- Size: 3.0L
- Horsepower: 281 @ 5600 RPM
- Torque: 295 ft-lb @ 1500 RPM
- Transmission: Geartronic 6-speed Automatic with adaptive shift lock
- Weight: 4,174 lbs
- Wheels/Tires: 18 x 7.5 Alloy wheels
- 235/60R18 Tires