Volvo XC60 2020 Review

The XC60 is a compelling, great all-round package.

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Out of 5


  • Good performance throughout the range
  • Beautiful design
  • Luxurious interior


  • Expensive
  • Not as good to drive as other SUVs
  • Engines aren’t the most refined
Model review

Following on from the success of the XC90, Volvo launched its first venture into the mid-size SUV world in 2008 with the XC60. The Swedish manufacturer ensured that the new model offered what buyers were after – comfort, practicality, a classy interior and safety. As such, it was little surprise that the model flew out of showrooms.

In fact, it’s been Volvo’s best-selling model for multiple years now, accounting for 30 per cent of the Swedish firm’s total sales, while also being the best-selling premium mid-sized SUV across Europe.

A facelift in 2013 ensured it remained on par with tough competition from Land Rover, Audi and BMW, although a revitalisation of the model was overdue by the time the second-generation car went on sale in 2017.

Latest model

Volvo unveiled its new XC60 at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, and it adopted a similar look to that of the larger XC90, which had set a firm precedent of what future models would look like from the Swedish firm. The interior and exterior both followed the XC90, with a classy, clutter-free interior and a stylish exterior headed up by LED front and rear lights.

Safety is another hugely important factor on the new XC60, with Volvo claiming that its new SUV is one of the safest cars ever built. New safety tech includes a system to avoid head-on collisions, steering assist integrated into the blind spot monitoring and a suite of autonomous braking assists. A system known as ‘Pilot Assist’ is also available as an option, which can take control of the steering, acceleration and braking on clearly marked roads up to 80mph.

The XC60 was also offered for the first time with a plug-in hybrid powertrain – known as the T8 Twin Engine – which is the same powerplant seen in the larger XC90.

Value for money

The XC60 starts at a tad under £40,000 – £38,915 to be exact. That price tag is roughly in-line with, if not a little cheaper than competitors such as the £40,355 BMW X3 and £41,420 Audi Q5.

On the used market, a one-year-old R-Design example with around 20,000 miles on the clock can be had for around £27,000 – quite the bargain in our opinion. Go for an older model, however, and buyers can expect to pay as little as £4,000.

Looks and image

The XC60 has always been a classy-looking model, but the latest version is a huge improvement. Borrowing styling cues from the larger XC90, the XC60 features the same flat-nosed grille as its bigger sibling, as well as its distinctive front and rear LED lights.

The interior design is equally as impressive, with Volvo offering some of the best cabins in the business.

The Swedish firm adopts a minimalist approach for its interiors, with few physical buttons to press. Instead, a portrait nine-inch touchscreen controls the majority of the car’s functions which can seem a bit intimidating at first as you have one screen controlling so much, but it’s quite easy to adjust to. The interior quality is also superb, and it feels plush, refined and luxurious inside.

Video review

Space and practicality

Overall, the XC60 doesn’t exactly lead the class when it comes to practicality, but it’s not bad by any means, with good levels of headroom and legroom throughout the cabin, and plenty of cubby spaces dotted around.

Boot space stands at 505 litres to the window line and 635 litres to the roof. That’s by no means a small load area, but it’s not as spacious as some rivals, which can also offer more seating flexibility.

Overall, the XC60 is a superb family car, which is also helped by its impressive safety rating.

When tested by Euro NCAP in 2017, the XC60 was dubbed ‘the safest new model you could buy today’. That’s high praise indeed, and unsurprisingly the XC60 was awarded a five-star safety rating with exceptionally high scores recorded in all categories.

Standard safety equipment is hugely impressive; it includes an advanced autonomous emergency braking system, a driver attention alert, lane-keep assist and a system to swerve out of the way of oncoming traffic featuring.


The XC60 is offered with a range of petrol, diesel and hybrid powertrains. At the entry-level side of the spectrum, there’s a 187bhp diesel powerplant, badged D4, that comes in front-wheel-drive. Base petrol variants include a 247bhp option, called the B5.

Those wanting to buy at the higher end of the spectrum may want to take a look at powertrains like the T8 Twin Engine. This hybrid setup comes with all-wheel-drive and has 401bhp combined, so is rather swift – in fact, it’s the quickest of the bunch.


Running costs

Across the board, the powertrains offered with the XC60 provide for relatively cheap running costs for the class. The base diesel, for example is said to return 42.2mpg, while emitting between 157g/km and 176g/km of CO2.

For the lowest running costs, however, the T8 might just be your best bet, as it claims to return from 108.6mpg to 113mpg and emit 56g/km to 58g/km of CO2. That being said, it will be very difficult to hit those claimed figures without a regular place to charge it.

Things to look out for

Volvo hasn’t always had the best reliability reputation, but its latest models have ironed out any past issues. As the latest XC60 is still a rather new model, there’s still not a lot known about its long-term reliability just yet.

Although, as Volvo tends to rank quite highly in the driver satisfaction surveys, we think most buyers will be pleased with the XC60 and not have too much trouble with it. Just look out for any potential issues, as you should with any vehicle.


The premium, mid-sized SUV segment is a popular one, resulting in competition from cars such as the BMW X3, Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLC. The XC60 is a compelling product, however, and one that isn’t outmatched by the strong German rivals just mentioned. When looking within the class, this Volvo really deserves to be considered and given a good look at.


While the XC60 is a premium product – which goes to help resale values – it’s still going to depreciate. It should lose value on par with other cars from the class, if not a little slower due to its slightly lower starting price new compared to some competition. This means the model shouldn’t break the bank when it comes to selling it on, especially the T8 hybrid – as that’ll be desirable due to its low running costs and impressive performance.

Trims explained

There are four trim levels offered with the XC60 – Momentum, R-Design, Inscription and Polestar Engineered.


While this is the base variant, it still gets good levels of kit, such as a three-spoke leather steering wheel with chrome trim, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather-faced upholstery and iron ore aluminium inlays.

Priced from £38,915


This trim level adds some sporty features, including a lowered sports chassis, gear shift paddles, twin integrated exhaust pipes, 19-inch alloy wheels, sports pedals, as well as sports floor mats.

Available from £41,215


Upping the ante in terms of luxury is the Inscription trim. It gets kit like driftwood inlays, a power driver’s seat with a memory function, powered passenger seat, in addition to a tailored instrument panel with contrast stitching.

Starting at £43,165

'Polestar Engineered'

Offered only with the T8 powertrain, the Polestar Engineered XC60 sits at the top of the range. It receives equipment like a heated steering wheel, Polestar Engineered chassis, a fresh air subwoofer for the speaker system and metal mesh inlays.

Available from £64,545


  1. The XC60 is a mid-sized SUV, which is now in its second generation
  2. It features a smart, sophisticated look inside and out
  3. Interior quality is superb
  4. All engines offer good amounts of power and are relatively economical for the class
  5. Some rivals are more enjoyable to drive, but the model is comfortable
  6. New XC60s start at £38,915
  7. Used examples can be had for as little as circa £4,000
  8. There are four trim levels to choose from
  9. The SUV can be had with petrol, diesel and hybrid powertrains
  10. The XC60 offers good levels of practicality

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