We’re wrapping up a year of driving out long-term 2019 Volvo XC60 and reflecting on its many virtues. This luxury SUV is up against some very tough competition like the Acura RDX, BMW X3 and Audi Q5, just to name a few.
Before we dig into what we liked about it, let’s recap on the specific model we’ve been driving. It’s the T5 all-wheel drive (AWD) Inscription model. That’s the fanciest trim for 2019 with the base engine and added AWD. It’s powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 that we found to be more than adequate. A few of our XC60’s features include a 9-in infotainment system with a Wi-Fi hot spot, plus Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Bowers and Wilkins premium audio, massaging Nappa leather seats, 4-zone automatic climate control, a hands-free power lift gate and much more, including some safety features we’ll get into shortly. The out-the-door price of our long-term XC60, including the $995 destination fee, is $58,495.
Our editor Tara had gotten pretty used to driving bigger, 3-row vehicles and was pleasantly surprised by how well the XC60 worked for her family of four. The XC60 is technically a compact crossover, but it kind of straddles the line between compact and midsize. This means more room for passengers and cargo than you might expect in this segment. Of course, if you want or need more than five seats, you’ll want to upgrade to the bigger XC90, but for families of four or fewer, the XC60 isn’t too big and isn’t too small, it’s just right. Tara called it "the perfect size" for her.
Not only is the XC60 a nice size, but it also has an interior that’s superb by anyone’s standards. The optional massaging Nappa leather seats we opted for have some of the highest-quality and most comfortable leather we’ve ever seen in a car and the premium design of the interior justifies this Volvo’s price tag. Our editor Rob was particularly pleased with the massaging seats and they even scored him some brownie points with his significant other. "The most extravagant feature by far though is the massage functionality on the front seats, and has made me somewhat of a hero to my girlfriend, who has become thoroughly infatuated with the option," Rob said of the Volvo’s supremely comfy seats.
The XC60 is a pleasant place to be, not only in the front, but also in the back, which has plenty of room. There’s also some generous cargo space to boot with our editor Ben able to carry his mountain bike in the XC60 with the back seats folded down. Normally you might need some kind of special carrier attached to the back to carry a bicycle for a vehicle this size, but this Volvo had enough space to bring it along with no extra equipment required.
Volvo has always been a brand associated with safety, and that reputation is on full display in our long-term XC60. Its safety features include the City Safety collision avoidance system, lane-keeping assist, road sign assist, run-off road protection, emergency crash notification and oncoming lane mitigation. The Inscription package adds blind spot monitoring with steering assist and cross-traffic alert and park-assist pilot. The advanced package adds Volvo’s Pilot Assist semiautonomous driving system with adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera and a head-up display.
So, how does that very long list of safety features work in practice? Naturally, technology like collision avoidance is the kind of thing you hope you never have to use. However, our editors found a great deal of peace of mind knowing about all of the in-car technology keeping us safe on the road, especially when we have kids in the car. Tara noted that all of those safety features at work made her "feel much more confident behind the wheel."
The XC60 is noticeably quick, even with the base T5 engine. It packs a delightful punch and it has an engaging driving character that you might be surprised to find from behind the wheel of a Volvo. This pleasant performance comes on top of its family-friendly, everyday practicality we were just talking about, making it a small family vehicle that’s fun for mom and dad to drive. Our editor Brian summed up the XC60 nicely when he described it as "a luxurious, accommodating, tech-heavy SUV that has just enough fun to be rewarding." Brian also complimented the Volvo by saying it "feels like a combination of a sports car and a luxury SUV," which is exactly what a lot of drivers are looking for in this segment. The performance of our XC60 is good enough to impress both casual drivers and enthusiasts without being too intimidating to the average driver. If you want a little more muscle, consider upgrading to the available T6 engine setup, which is both supercharged and turbocharged.
Overall, the Volvo XC60 really delivers on the whole ethos of the newly rebranded Volvo that’s been emerging over the last few years. Yes, Volvo still holds on to its reputation as one of the safest automakers in the world (on top of its distinct Swedish quirkiness), but now it can also compete with the heavy hitters in the luxury car world when it comes to refinement, technology and performance. Watch out, Germans — you have some surprising competition coming from one of your European neighbors. Find a Volvo XC60 for sale