The 2020 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.
Now in the third year of its second generation, the XC60 has impressed the auto industry and is widely recognized as a class leader in a few important categories, most notably, interior design and comfort. Volvo has been going through a bit of a renaissance over the last few years and the XC60 has been at the forefront.
What’s New for 2020?
A high-performance Polestar Engineer trim has been added on the top end of the XC60 model range for 2020. Also, leather upholstery is now standard on the base Momentum trim. See the 2020 Volvo XC60 models for sale near you
What We Like
Elegant styling inside and out
High level of standard equipment and safety features
Wide variety of drivetrain options
Smooth, luxurious ride
What We Don’t
The T5 setup is only so-so
Less athletic than sportier rivals
Polestar Engineered model is pretty expensive
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 all-wheel drive, 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. Volvo’s eAWD system is standard on every T8-equipped XC60. Total system output is 400 hp and 495 lb-ft of torque with the horsepower rating going up to 415 in the new Polestar Engineered model. 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.
It’s worth noting that every 2020 XC60 requires premium gas, which is something to keep in mind when considering fuel costs.
Standard Features & Options
The 2020 Volvo XC60 comes with T5, T6 and T8 drivetrains, each of which is available in Momentum, R-Design, and Inscription trim levels. There’s a new Polestar Engineered trim available exclusively with a higher-performance version of the T8 drivetrain.
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, a programmable powered lift gate, rain-sensing wipers, leather upholstery, 10-way power-adjustable front seats with driver-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, a 10-speaker audio, 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 ($47,495) has a sportier suspension, paddle shifters for the transmission, 19-in alloy wheels, several specific cosmetic additions inside and out including black mirror caps and dual integrated tailpipes, Nappa leather, open grid textile upholstery, 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 ($47,495) 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.
The new-for-2020 XC60 Polestar Engineered ($70,145) sits at the top of this Volvo’s model range coming exclusively with a T8 drivetrain that is 15 hp more powerful than the T8 in the other three trims of the XC60. This trim includes an appearance package similar to what the R-Design offers and adds 21-in wheels black polished forged alloy wheels, a Polestar-engineered chassis, and Bowers & Wilkins premium audio.
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 $46,595; T8 Momentum models are priced from $54,595 and these also include a plug-in charging cable. Pricing for the R-Design and Inscription models are identical with the T6 models starting at $53,295 and the T8 hybrid versions starting at $61,295.
Fold-down the 60/40 split rear seats for maximum cargo space of 63.3 cu ft. With the rear seats in place, there are 29.7 cu ft. of cargo space. Every drivetrain has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.
The XC60 features standard stability control, seven airbags (including a driver-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.
As of this writing, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have yet to crash-test the 2020 XC60. However, the IIHS gave the 2019 XC60 a Top Safety Pick award with a Good rating in every crashworthiness category and Superior front crash prevention.
Behind the Wheel
One of the many good things about this high-class, highly intelligent interior is the ultra-comfortable seating and high-quality materials you might be surprised to find at this price point. 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.
While some European competitors might be more athletic, the XC60 is a clear leader in its class if you prioritize comfort over driving dynamics. That said, the R-Design and Polestar Engineered models are engaging to drive, especially with the T8 drivetrain.
Other Cars to Consider
2020 Acura RDX — The RDX is all-new for 2020 and it’s no longer a tarted-up Honda CR-V. It delivers good fuel economy from a potent turbocharged engine, lots of modern tech, a roomy cabin and a sharp new look. It’s also more affordable than the XC60 and a great luxury value.
2019 Audi Q5 — The Q5 is a little pricier than the Volvo if you’re comparing models with similar equipment, but this Audi has athletic handling, a comfortable ride, lots of standard features, and standard AWD.
2019 BMW X3 — The X3 is a bit of a jack-of-all-trades, but master of none in this segment. It does everything well but isn’t a clear class leader in any single category. That’s not a bad thing and it makes this BMW a great choice for a well-rounded luxury SUV and the X3 M is an exciting performance option.
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class — The GLC-Class shares many strong suits with the Volvo like a roomy, well-designed cabin with supremely comfortable seats and a smooth ride. The two even have a similar base price. This Benz also benefits from a lot of standard and available features, a premium look, and high-performance AMG models.
Used Volvo V60 — Now that this generation of the XC60 is in its third model year, used and certified models are starting to pop up at pretty affordable prices. Check out our review of Volvo’s CPO program to see if it’s right for you.
We recommend going straight for the T6 powertrain, or the T8 if you can afford it and want a hybrid. Since the pricing for the R-Design and Inscription trims are the same, you get to pick whether you want a sportier or more luxurious flavor for your luxury SUV. As excellent as the Polestar Engineered model is, it’s priced similarly to the BMW X3 M and the Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 63 and although neither of those are hybrids, they’re arguably better performance crossovers.
If you’re shopping for the base Momentum model and if your budget allows it, consider the Advanced package ($2,500) and the Multimedia package ($1,850). Find a Volvo XC60 for sale