Yowza! I was pleasantly surprised by this Volvo. Powerful and fun like a sports car with the storage of an SUV. Loved the interior trim and seats -- masculine and sporty. Seat heaters worked like a dream. Plenty of room for passengers and luggage, yet tight turning radius and compact size got me into some tight spaces.
From an art guru perspective: I love the taillights, which make for quite the abstract look at night. I'd park this in my stable before a Lincoln MKX or a Cadillac SRX. It'd be a tough call between an XC60 and an Audi Q5, but I think the Volvo might beat that as well.
- Kelly Murphy, Creative Director
The Volvo XC60 drives well, rides very comfortably, handles well, and has a well-balanced, nicely calibrated powertrain. It's also very stylish inside and out. The numerous R-Design touches (grille, seats, wheels, tailpipes, etc) are nice, but red certainly wouldn't be my choice for this car. Otherwise, I would gladly park an XC60 in my garage.
- Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor
The in-car technology on the Volvo XC60 was pretty much outdated when the vehicle launched in 2009. One year later and it looks utterly archaic, compared not only to the luxury competition, but also cars costing tens of thousands of dollars less. Our long-term Hyundai Sonata costs less than $26,000 and has a much more attractive and functional navigation system. The Volvo's large screen is comically underutilized, only capable of displaying the navigation map. Audio, climate, and phone information are displayed on a smaller, pathetic single-color display.
I vehemently disagree with Rusty that this XC60 rides comfortably after driving across Michigan during the Thanksgiving holiday with family in tow. Over modest bumps and cracks, the ride can be jarring, especially for backseat passengers. On long trips, it quickly becomes unpleasant. The compromised ride, though, is likely due to the 20-inch wheels that are part of the R-Design package. I highly suggest staying away from it.
Aside from the ride and the technology, the XC60 does have a lot of endearing traits. The turbocharged inline-six is strong and smooth, the steering is excellent, and the body control is impressive for an SUV. It's a pretty fun and sporty package in this segment, but Volvo's delivered those attributes in a rather compromised vehicle.
- Eric Tingwall, Assistant Editor