Volvo’s XC90 showed the world that the Swedish company has the expertise to build a luxury SUV that can hang with Audi and Mercedes-Benz. The XC60 is that vehicle’s little brother. Little doesn’t mean lesser, and it may actually be the better vehicle when compared with its larger sibling. It lacks the third row of seating, but it is more svelte and compact. In short, the XC60 is one of the best luxury crossovers out on the road.
The company has a highly polished vehicle in the XC60, leaning on the XC90’s successful points and upping the ante where necessary. The model is excellent all around. It’s attractive outside and in, more comfortable than most of the vehicles on the road, and well equipped from an infotainment standpoint. We could go on for pages about all of the XC60’s merits but we thought it worth it to discuss five key parts of the vehicle that set the XC60 apart.
1. The Interior Design is Gorgeous
The overall interior design of the XC60 mimics the XC90's stylish cabin. It has the same kind of Scandinavian minimalist styling and the same attention to detail. However, it lacks a little of the XC90's elaborateness, but that is made up by the use of exquisite materials and the superb fit and finish. The open pore, "drift wood" trim on the dash, center console, and doors is some of the best looking trim out there. Overall, the cabin reminds us of a lavish, European hotel. It's subdued and elegant, and it makes some of the more garish designs from American and German automakers look cheap in comparison.
2. The Safety Features are Some of the Best Available
Volvo has a reputation for safety, and the XC60 supports this well by utilizing features like blind spot monitoring, 360-degree surround view camera, adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, automatic high beams, park assist, and automatic emergency braking. Also, the XC60 can actually steer you around obstacles in the road. The driver has to initiate the swerve, but once initiated, the XC60 will help you perform the maneuver in a smoother and faster fashion than you’re likely capable of. Also, you can override the vehicle’s intervention should you need to.
3. The Sensus System is Top Notch
In general, automakers are getting better at utilizing almost fully touch-based infotainment systems, but few do it better than Volvo. The company has one of the best systems out there. If you're used to using something with multiple buttons spread out across the dash, Volvo's system will take some getting used to. However, after a few days with the vehicle, you'll be swiping and tapping without issue. The vertically oriented 9-inch screen makes accessing all of the Sensus system's features easy, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, navigation, apps, and vehicle settings.
4. It Has Optional Air Suspension
If you’re looking for adaptive suspension that can give you the soft, cushioned ride you often want and the firm sporty ride you occasionally need, the available air suspension is the way to go. Also, the air suspension allows you to adjust the ride height. This comes in handy if you’re heading off the beaten path, though the XC60 isn’t as capable as a Land Rover. You can lower the vehicle, too, which comes in handy if you need to load a lot of gear or bags in the cargo area or if you simply want a nice place to sit while the vehicle is stationary.
5. There are Three Powerful and Efficient Powertrains
The XC60 offers plenty of variation when it comes to powertrains though all three options utilize a 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The T5 base engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The next step up is the T6, which is a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. At the top of the range lies the T8, which is a turbocharged and supercharged plug-in hybrid 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque. The T5 engine manages 22 mpg city and 28 mpg highway, and the T6 engine gets 21 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. The plugin hybrid’s EPA mileage has not yet been released. However, we’d expect it to be better than the XC90’s plug-in hybrid rating of 54 mpg-equivalent.