If you’re looking for information on a newer Volvo XC60, we’ve published an updated review: 2019 Volvo XC60 Review
If you’re looking for a small luxury SUV that’s distinctive without going over the top, the 2017 Volvo XC60 is calling your name. The XC60 stacks ups nicely against the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Lexus RX, finding that sweet spot between luxury, performance, safety and price.
From a comfort angle, four adults can lounge all day in the roomy cabin, and the engines range from energetic and efficient to out-and-out fun. It proves that being sensible and family-oriented doesn’t have to be dull — the XC60 can also tackle corners with more ability than a lot of crossovers, especially in R-Design form. Some great choices are out there, but the XC60 fully deserves to be among them.
What’s New for 2017?
For 2017, Volvo has simplified the lineup, reducing the XC60 to just three trims: Dynamic, Inscription and R-Design. Gone too are the old 5- and 6-cylinder engines, leaving only a turbocharged 4-cylinder in the XC60 T5 and a turbocharged and supercharged 4-cylinder in the XC60 T6. See the 2017 Volvo XC60 models for sale near you
What We Like
Excellent crash-test scores; strong yet fuel-efficient turbocharged and turbocharged/supercharged engines; accommodating back seat; easy on the eyes; plenty of cargo space
What We Don’t
The XC60 T5 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine making 240 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard, along with a stop/start feature. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel economy at 23 miles per gallon in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg in combined driving. All-wheel-drive (AWD) models attain 20 mpg city/29 mpg hwy/23 mpg combined.
The XC60 T6 uses a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, rated at 302 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. This model also uses an 8-speed automatic transmission and comes standard with AWD. Fuel consumption is 20 mpg city/27 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined.
Standard Features & Options
The 2017 Volvo XC60 T5 comes in two trims: Dynamic and Inscription. The T6 offer three trims: Dynamic, Inscription and R-Design.
The T5 Dynamic ($41,945, FWD) ($43,945, AWD) comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, 8-way power adjustable sport front seats with driver’s-side memory settings and lumbar control, remote keyless entry, roof rails, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear fog lights, heated side mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, an electronic parking brake, a rearview camera, a blind spot monitoring system, rear park assist, a rain sensor, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and the Sensus Connect infotainment and navigation system with a 7-in central screen, eight speakers, satellite radio and HD Radio, a USB port and an auxiliary input. It also comes with Volvo’s City Safety system, which can bring the vehicle to a full stop at speeds under 15 miles per hour.
The T5 Inscription ($41,495, FWD) ($43,495, AWD) features much of the same equipment as the Dynamic, but with a more luxurious bent, replacing the sport seats with leather-covered comfort seats and adding more elegant wood inlays and some exterior trim pieces from the R-Design.
The T6 Dynamic ($47,345) adds the 302-hp turbocharged and supercharged engine, AWD, a power rear lift gate, keyless entry/ignition, leather seating surfaces, an adaptive digital thin-film-transistor display and 19-in wheels.
The T6 Inscription ($47,345) is equipped similarly to the T5 Inscription but with 20-in wheels, power folding side mirrors and interior ambient lighting.
Topping the range is the T6 R-Design ($51,995), which deletes the blind spot monitor (it can be added) and adds 20-in wheels, a sport suspension and several other appearance features inside and out to enhance the performance-oriented feel. Also standard are adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning and braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, adaptive xenon headlights, headlight washers, auto high beams, lane-departure warning and a 14-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system.
Options for the T5 Dynamic and Inscription trims include the Climate Package (heated front seats, heated rear seats, heated windshield and windshield washer nozzles, a heated steering wheel and an air purifier system), the Advanced Package (adaptive cruise control, Harman/Kardon audio, collision warning with full auto brake, lane-departure warning, auto high beams and road-sign detection), and the Preferred Option Package (a power rear lift gate, a 12-volt outlet, keyless entry and start, a digital TFT instrument cluster, power folding side mirrors and front park assist).
The T6 Dynamic and Inscription packages differ slightly. The Preferred Option package, for example, adds Homelink, adaptive xenon headlights and headlight washers. A unique optional package for the R-Design is the BLIS Package, which adds blind spot monitoring and front park assist.
Standalone options include heated front seats and a dual 2-stage child booster seat as well as numerous dealer-installed accessories.
Fold down the versatile 40/20/40-split rear seats for maximum cargo space of 67.4 cu ft., which is more than respectable for this class. Even with the seatback fully in place, there’s still 30.8 cu ft. of room behind it.
The XC60 features standard stability control, six airbags and Volvo’s City Safety system. It also offers a long list of optional accident-avoidance technology, including the new Road Sign Information system, lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control, plus a blind spot monitoring system that includes rear cross-traffic alert and parking sensors at both ends.
Six airbags may not seem like many, but crash tests count — and the XC60 aced them. In the government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash testing, it scored a perfect five stars in all categories. Similarly, the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the XC60 its top rating of Good in every category and named it a Top Safety Pick +.
Behind the Wheel
The XC60’s front seats aren’t as stellar as those in the S60 sedan, but they’re close. Volvo’s trademark combination of simplicity and long-distance support is certainly present. The dashboard is also fantastic, featuring premium materials and the floating slimline center panel that looks like something out of a design magazine. Ergonomics are satisfactory, with extra points awarded for the neat airflow controls.
The back seat is more accommodating than many in this class, and the integrated dual-stage child booster seats are a great kid-friendly option.
The ride is quiet and smooth, and the view from the driver’s seat is appropriately commanding. What’s unexpected is the XC60’s handling prowess, which blows up the stereotype of the stodgy, conservative Volvo family vehicle. There’s real athleticism in the way the XC60 moves. An improved stability control system with Corner Traction Control distributes power to the outside wheels for reduced understeer and better control. The XC60 is right up there among the most satisfying crossovers to drive.
Those content with a good balance of power and fuel economy will love the smooth and lively Drive-E 4-cylinder turbocharged engine in the T5. The enthusiast’s choice is the turbocharged and supercharged engine found in the T6. It provides great power (even at low revs), and it’s smooth, quiet and loves to run — all without guzzling gas.
Other Cars to Consider
2017 Audi Q5 — Smaller inside than the XC60, the Q5 has equal styling panache, and it’s fun to drive.
2017 BMW X3 — Arguably the best of the bunch, the X3 has driving fun, tech, equipment and quality all in high measure.
2017 Lexus NX — A relative newcomer, the NX is already a big seller. If the looks appeal to you, take one for a test drive. There’s even a hybrid version.
Used Lexus RX — Admittedly, the RX doesn’t drive as well as the XC60. But if we’re going down the pre-owned route, a high-quality Japanese machine is no bad thing.
All-wheel drive costs an additional $2,000 and we think it’s worth opting for, especially if you intend to take your SUV adventuring in snow or off-road conditions. For the money, we think either the T5 Dynamic or Inscription with the Climate and Advanced Package deliver everything you need in a Volvo SUV, with a nice mix of power, efficiency and pricing. Find a Volvo XC60 for sale