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2019 Volvo XC60 Review

The 2019 Volvo XC60 premium compact crossover proves that sensible and family-oriented doesn’t also have to be dull. It has an elegant exterior, distinctive interior design and many advanced safety features — the company has always been at that particular cutting edge. It’s also spacious and comfortable. Yet the XC60 can tackle corners with ease, especially in R-Design form.

Only in the second year of its second generation, the XC60 has impressed the auto industry and is widely recognized as one of the best in its class. We made it our "Autotrader Must Test Drive" pick last year. We think the distinct blend of comfort, materials and technology is unbeatable. And we’re not alone. The XC60 already has a trophy cabinet full of awards from around the world.

What’s New for 2019?

The base T5 drivetrain now comes with front-wheel drive as standard, offering all-wheel drive as an option.

Momentum trim loses its leather upholstery, replaced by simulated leather. A new individual option brings it back. This trim is also eligible for the Premium package (keyless entry/ignition, hands-free lift gate operation, self-dimming mirrors, power-folding rear seats with separate power-folding headrests at the outer positions, heated wiper blades, a garage door opener, partially autonomous parking with sensors front and rear and blind spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert and steering assistance) and a Multimedia package (14-speaker/600-watt Harman Kardon audio system, navigation, a 12.3-in digital driver information display).

R-Design and Inscription trims come with the Harman Kardon system and the contents of the Premium package as standard.

Every 2019 XC60 gains drive mode settings, powered child locks for the rear doors and a 12-volt outlet in the rear. AWD versions have heated front seats as standard. All variants are eligible for a new Advanced package that includes Pilot Assist (partially autonomous driving with adaptive cruise control), a head-up display, active LED headlights with high-pressure cleaning and a 360-degree camera system. See the 2019 Volvo XC60 models for sale near you

What We Like

Styling; high level of standard equipment and safety features; pretty much everything.

What We Don’t

The T5 setup is only so-so; the fact that Volvo isn’t quite up there with Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz in status-symbol terms.

How Much?

$40,795 to $62,045

Fuel Economy

Every XC60 comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The entry level drivetrain is the FWD T5, which consists of a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine making 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel economy at 22 miles per gallon in the city, 29 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg in combined driving. With optional AWD, fuel figures are 20 mpg city/27 mpg hwy/23 mpg combined.

The T6 has that same turbocharged engine, but adds a supercharger to develop 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. AWD becomes standard at this point. Fuel consumption is 19 mpg city/27 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined.

The T8 is a plug-in hybrid setup where the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder is once again turbocharged and supercharged, but it’s augmented by an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery. Total system output is 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque. The EPA puts combined fuel consumption as the equivalent of 58 MPGe. Electric-only range is 17 miles. The battery takes seven hours to charge on a 240-volt supply.

Standard Features & Options

The 2019 Volvo XC60 comes with T5, T6 and T8 drivetrains, each of which is available in Momentum, R-Design and Inscription trim levels.

The Momentum ($40,795) has 18-in alloy wheels, LED headlights with automatic high beams, LED taillights/daytime running lights, roof rails, a panoramic sunroof, programmable powered tailgate, rain-sensing wipers, simulated leather upholstery, 10-way power-adjustable front seats with driver’s-side memory settings, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, selectable driving modes, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone connectivity, remote engine start, voice control, an infotainment system with a 9-in central screen, 10 speakers, satellite/HD radio, USB port and an auxiliary audio input. Several advanced driver aids come as standard (many manufacturers charge extra), including forward-collision warning with pedestrian/cyclist/large animal detection, lane-keeping assist, oncoming lane mitigation, road-departure warning, road sign recognition and driver fatigue monitoring.

The R-Design ($47,645) has a sportier suspension, paddle shifters for the transmission, 19-in alloy wheels, several specific cosmetic additions inside and out, sport front seats with extendable under-thigh support, sport pedals, keyless entry/ignition, LED fog lights, active "bending" LED headlamps, hands-free lift gate operation, navigation and a 12.3-in digital driver information display. The Inscription ($48,145) has all the above, but replaces the R-Design’s sportier equipment for more luxurious alternatives, and dispenses with the paddle shifters. It also comes with quad-zone automatic climate control, a chilled glovebox, ambient LED cabin lighting, "Driftwood" trim and a leather-covered dashboard.

Some equipment in the higher trims is optional at the Momentum level, such as the Premium and Multimedia packages mentioned above. Individual options include an adaptive air suspension, child booster cushions for the rear-seat outer positions, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, massaging seats (for the Inscription) and a Bowers & Wilkins 15-speaker/1,400-watt audio system.

T6 Momentum versions start from $48,195; T8 Momentum models are priced from $56,295 and these also include a plug-in charging cable.

Fold down the 60/40 split rear seats for maximum cargo space of 63.3 cu ft. With the rear seats in place, there’s 29.7 cu ft. of cargo area. Every drivetrain has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.

Safety

The XC60 features standard stability control, seven airbags (including a driver’s-side knee airbag and full-length side curtain airbags) and disc brakes for all four wheels.

Volvo’s City Safety system (standard in the XC60) has evolved to the point where it can provide steering assistance (between 30 mph and 60 mph) in situations where automatic braking would not be adequate.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has yet to crash-test the XC60. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, however, makes the XC60 a Top Safety Pick.

Behind the Wheel

We’ll mention one more award. The new XC60 also received one of Autotrader’s "10 Best Car Interiors Under $50,000" last year.

One of the many good things about this high-class, highly intelligent interior is the ultra-comfortable seating, a perennial Volvo quality. The front seats are especially well cushioned and well shaped for long-distance support. The rear seats, meanwhile, are more accommodating than many in this class.

The XC60 is an absolute pleasure to drive. There’s a subtle athleticism in the way it moves that never becomes jarring. The ride is quiet and smooth, and the view from the driver’s seat is appropriately commanding. Even though there are plenty of modern driver-assistance features, good old outward vision is still alive and well in the XC60.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 Acura RDX — Spacious, well equipped for the money and makes almost every road feel like it’s just been refinished with smooth tarmac.

2019 Audi Q5 — Not as well equipped as the XC60 in standard form, but equally stylish in its own way.

2019 Lexus NX — A big seller and well equipped, including a set of standard safety features. If the looks appeal, take one for a test drive.

2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class — Based on the current (and excellent) C-Class sedan, specializing in comfort and style.

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 never a bad thing. Take a look at the Lexus certified pre-owned (CPO) program.

Autotrader’s Advice

Go straight for the T6 powertrain, or the T8 if you want a hybrid. There isn’t much difference in pricing between R-Design and Inscription trims, so we’d go for the more luxurious version. If the budget can stretch to it, consider the Advanced package ($2,500) and the B&W sound system ($3,200). Find a Volvo XC60 for sale

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