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The exterior of a silver Volvo XC60

Volvo XC60 review

The Volvo XC60 is an SUV that's one of the most secure cars available as it's packed with safety features. Great for long drives, it's also luxurious, well designed and very comfortable.


  • Great Scandinavian styling inside and out
  • Very practical interiors, especially for families
  • Excellent comfort on short and long journeys


  • First-generation petrol engines aren’t that economical
  • Reliability isn’t as strong as some rivals
  • It's not as much fun to drive as rivals


“The XC60 is a great example of Volvo’s style, practicality and safety.”

The Volvo XC60 looks good with a stylish interior, long-lasting materials and just the right amount of technology. It’s designed to be practical, which is one of the reasons the XC60 is such a popular choice with families.
It also makes a great tow car. The XC60 is capable of pulling a caravan across the country in style, comfort and with minimal fuss. It has a lot in its favour, especially its outstanding reputation for safety.

The latest generation in 2017 elevated the XC60 into the same style league as the brand’s luxury SUV, the XC90. It came with more space, more equipment and a focus on executive design and technology as well as safety. It’s so good in fact that in 2018 it was voted the World Car of the Year.

What's the interior like?

“While the new generation has a more upmarket interior, the previous model is still stylish and practical.”

The interior has a true sense of Swedish style, from the floating centre console with its neatly arranged buttons to the simple and practical layout of the dashboard. The materials are all excellent which adds to the comfortable feel.

Like most Volvos, the seats are extremely comfortable whether on short or long distances and there’s plenty of adjustment options. A three-split (40/20/40) rear seat provides a hugely versatile space. You’ll be able to carry three in the back one day and one in the back plus a bike the next due to backrests that fold out. The seat cushions are fixed and the backrests fold individually.

The interior has lots of storage space for holding your bits and bobs. With up to 495 litres of boot space, you can fit in several suitcases. There’s even extra space under the floor.
The latest 2017 generation has a more upmarket ambience with a large touchscreen infotainment system and Scandinavian style which lends an executive feel to this family SUV.

What's it like to drive?

“With responsive engines and great fuel economy, the XC60 also offers superb comfort.”

It has responsive engines with excellent diesels that provide lots of power and great fuel economy. The D5 is a top choice if you want the best of all worlds. Just be wary of the petrol T5 and T6 because they’re not economical.

For the best drive, go for the latest generation, it has excellent petrol and diesel engines and there's even a plug-in hybrid.

The XC60 lacks the solid feel of its rivals, partly because of the light steering. That said, it’s much easier to drive than many other big SUVs and feels a smaller car to drive.

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“Great value and excellent equipment have made the XC60 a popular choice.”

The XC60 offers great value compared with the price you pay for an Audi or BMW, especially in higher specification models.
The R-Design versions hold their value the best, so expect to pay more for one. The latest generation was only launched in 2017 so prices are still showing a typical depreciation of around 25% from new after a year.
The diesels are definitely the best option in the previous generation, offering up to 63 mpg.
Insurance costs are lower than rivals while tax is about the same. Just like any car of this class, the Volvo could be liable for the premium tax that’s payable on cars that cost more than £40,000 and were registered after April 2017. If it is the case, you’ll pay an additional £310 a year to tax it.

How reliable and safe is it?

“Early XC60s had some reliability issues but generally it’s about average while safety is exemplary.”

There have been a few reliability issues for the XC60, mainly with the power steering and fuel leaks, but both issues should have been fixed by a dealership under recall campaigns. Overall, the XC60 scores just below average for reliability but this is something that should be improved in the next generation.
It almost goes without saying that safety is superb with strong structures, lots of airbags and great protection systems, including the standard City Safety emergency braking.

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - 2.4 D4 190 hp (horsepower)

Best for family - D5 SE Lux

Best for fun - 3.0 T6 R-Design

While the petrol engines are impressive, they’re also less economical than the XC60’s diesels. This doesn’t apply for the newest generation petrols as they’re almost as efficient as the diesels.
The SE models all have a high level of equipment but go for the SE Lux for its all-round parking sensors in town. The R-Design not only gives a sportier driving experience, but it’s also the best looking in the range.

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