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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Volvo XC60


The Volvo XC60 is a mid-size luxury crossover with Swedish design. Offered in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, it's a worthy alternative for the brand's larger XC90 crossover, and it's easier to drive, too. For more details on prices, options, and specifications, see our 2013 Volvo XC60 full review. With the same Scandinavian design influences as the XC90, blended with the racy lines of the...


The Volvo XC60 is a mid-size luxury crossover with Swedish design. Offered in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, it's a worthy alternative for the brand's larger XC90 crossover, and it's easier to drive, too.

With the same Scandinavian design influences as the XC90, blended with the racy lines of the S60 sedan, the XC60 packs in cool modern design, safety technologies aplenty, and just enough quirkiness to remind you that its roots are not German, Japanese, or American. The XC60 effectively replaces the V70 wagon that left the market at the end of 2010. It offers striking looks, responsive performance, and of course an array of features that reinforce Volvo's long tradition of safety.

Volvo has lightly refreshed all of its models for 2014, including mild frontal styling updates and various changes to the infotainment system inside. The 2013 model year brought realigned features between the T6 and R-Design models, as well as a few more standard features, including rain-sensing wipers, headlight washers, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, with new Tunnel Detection for the headlamps.

The base Volvo XC60 combines a 3.2-liter straight-six engine with front-wheel drive and is the most fuel-efficient of the bunch. It returns a reasonable 19/25 mpg city/highway and is rated at 240 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. On the road, the XC60 performs well, belying its tall appearance. We find it drives like a much lower vehicle, with a secure, planted feel in tight corners that is much more car-like than you’d find with most crossovers and SUVs. Also aiding the XC60’s on-road performance is a sweet six-speed automatic transmission and well-weighted steering.

For anyone looking for something a little bit sportier, the XC60 also comes with a turbocharged 3.0-liter six good for 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque in standard trim or up to 325 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque in R-Design models. In addition to the power bump, the R-Design XC60 also gets a sporty bodykit and some other performance mods including stiffened suspension.

Further down the track the XC60 will serve as the basis of Volvo’s first plug-in hybrid model in the U.S. It already sells a V60 Plug-In Hybrid wagon in Europe, but that vehicle uses a diesel engine--so Volvo is retooling its hybrid hardware to work with a new range of four-cylinder gasoline engines it will launch in future products. The automaker has already shown off a concept XC60 Plug-In Hybrid, but remains coy on its launch date, stating only that it is due in showrooms in a couple of years--most likely around 2015.

When it comes to safety, the XC60 ticks all the right boxes and scores top marks in independent crash testing. There’s also an array of advanced safety features like Volvo’s City Safety pedestrian and object avoidance system, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Driver Alert Control, Distance Alert, and the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS)--and both Road Sign Information and an Active High Beam system were added for 2013 to the Tech Package. The XC60’s safety alone makes the vehicle worthy of consideration for anyone in the market for a mid-size crossover.

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