Volvo XC60

#8 in Luxury Compact SUVs Overall Score: 8.3 / 10
2016 Volvo XC60 View More Photos »
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2016 Volvo XC60 Overview

The 2016 Volvo XC60 ranks 8 out of 13 Luxury Compact SUVs.

The data and analysis that drive our rankings show that the 2016 Volvo XC60 is right at home among competing luxury compact SUV brands, which are known for their opulence and strong performance. The XC60 ...

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Pros & Cons

  • Supreme seating comfort
  • Best-in-class cargo space
  • Powerful engine options
  • Supple ride quality
  • Below-average predicted reliability

Notable for 2016

  • 3.2-liter six-cylinder engine discontinued 

Volvo XC60 Rankings and Research

The 2016 Volvo XC60 ranking is based on its score within the Luxury Compact SUVs category. Currently the Volvo XC60 has a score of 8.3 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 66 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.


Overall: 8.3
Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 8.2
Safety: 9.7
Reliability: 2_5

2016 Volvo XC60 Pictures

2016 Volvo XC60 Review

By Courtney Jones June 10, 2016

The data and analysis that drive our rankings show that the 2016 Volvo XC60 is right at home among competing luxury compact SUV brands, which are known for their opulence and strong performance. The XC60's interior features some of the most comfortable seats on the market, as well as top-notch materials, inviting styling, and state-of-the-art tech features that are easy to use. 

The XC60's performance won't bore you either. While it's not as quick or sporty as some German rivals, the XC60 handles corners with poise and confidence, and its ride comfort is nearly unsurpassed in the class. For what you get, the XC60's price point is impressive, compared with other luxury compacts. You'll also save money at the pump, because the XC60 earns better fuel economy estimates than nearly every rival. 

Additionally, the XC60 upholds Volvo's reputation for safety, earning some of the better safety scores among its rivals and offering a wealth of safety and driver assist features to help keep you and your family safe. Its predicted reliability, however, is below average, so it may not be an SUV you can pass down for generations. 

XC60 Interior

Nicely Priced Elegance …

In the luxury SUV segment, you can expect most interiors to exude elegance. The Volvo XC60 is no exception, and it holds its own among pricier rivals like the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. Its dashboard is made with both real wood and leather trim, and soft-touch surfaces are found throughout the cabin, which feels contemporary and is attractively styled.

… and Technology

Even with a base price on the lower end of the class, the Volvo XC60 comes loaded with tech features and can be equipped with many more. The standard Sensus infotainment system lets you connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth or a USB port. It even has Wi-Fi hot spot capabilities so passengers can access the internet while on the go. The Sensus system has a user-friendly interface, but the multifunction knob used to control the system sits on the dashboard – an inconvenient place for the driver to access.

Intuitive Controls

Regulating the cabin climate controls is straightforward. The distinctive human-shaped climate controls make it easy for you to quickly identify where you want the air to flow. The stereo controls have easy-to-read buttons that make changing audio functions a snap. An available 12-speaker premium Harman Kardon stereo offers concert-quality sound, and an optional rear-seat entertainment system will keep the kids occupied.

Class-Leading Cargo and Top-Notch Seating Comfort

You won't find another SUV in the class with as much cargo space as the XC60. With 67.4 cubic feet of maximum cargo space, the XC60 has over 10 cubic feet more space than the class average. The next-highest cargo capacity in the class goes to the BMW X3, which has 63.3 cubic feet. An available power liftgate helps you access the space by letting you open and close the hatch with the press of a button.

Even with its rear seats occupied, the XC60's 30.8 cubic foot cargo capacity surpasses that of most rivals. Most luxury compact SUVs have less than 23 cubic feet of storage space behind their back rows, including the Audi Q3 and Infiniti QX50, which have 16.2 and 18.6 cubic feet, respectively.

The Volvo XC60's five seats earn praise as some of the best in the class. The front seats offer great support and remain comfortable throughout long road trips. Back-seat passengers won't be disappointed either, as the rear seats provide ample headroom and legroom for tall riders.

Along with adult-friendly comfort, the XC60's back seats offer convenience and safety for even the smallest members of your family. The XC60 can be equipped with integrated child booster rear seats that pop up from the seat bottom, a convenient and notable feature not offered in many other vehicles. Still, keep in mind that if you want a bit more seating versatility, some rivals, like the Audi Q5, offer reclining and sliding second-row seats that allow you to adjust their positions to your liking.

Read more about interior »

XC60 Performance

Phenomenal Fuel Economy and Satisfying Speed

Powering the 2016 XC60 is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that has 240 horsepower. There are two stronger engine options: a 250-horsepower, 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder and a 305-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo- and supercharged four-cylinder. While the latter two produce brisk acceleration, the base engine is no slouch, delivering satisfying highway passing power along with excellent fuel economy.

In the city, the XC60 gets 23 mpg, and on the highway it gets 31 mpg, according to the EPA. Aside from the Lexus NX Hybrid's 35 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway, no rivals can match the XC60's outstanding fuel economy. 

Still, if you're more concerned with performance than fuel savings, you might want to consider competitors like the BMW X3 and the Infiniti QX50, which have lower fuel estimates but more brawny base engines.

An eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, while all-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic are available. The standard transmission generally performs well but can be less smooth during low-speed driving.

Comfort-Tuned Ride

What makes the Volvo's performance distinct in this class is its exceptional ride comfort. If you want a smooth and pleasant ride, the XC60 is one of the best options in the class. It also offers the benefit of poised handling and precise steering, so turning a corner won't feel like a chore.

If your thing is corner-carving handling, there are several options in the class that will probably be more enticing than the XC60. The BMW X3 offers agile handling, and though its ride is a bit more firm, the X3 still offers a decent level of comfort. The Infiniti QX60 is quite nimble, and its heavier steering lends itself to sportier handling around corners.

Read more about performance »

Options, Trims, and Pricing »

The Volvo ties the XC60’s pricing to powertrains, as opposed to trims. So that’s how we’ll walk you through pricing. Unfortunately, the powertrains’ nomenclature can be as hard to understand as the character names in Norse mythology. So bear with us.

There are five powertrains that fall into two broad categories – the T5 and the T6. Two trim sizes (Premier and Platinum) are available with the T5. Only the platinum trim is available with the T6.

The base model is the T5 Drive-E FWD, which starts at $36,600. It’s a four-cylinder, turbocharged motor that comes with a nice array of standard features. Up front, both driver and passenger get power seats. The Sensus infotainment system, a USB port, and satellite radio are also standard. Safety features include low-speed collision mitigation, in which the car, when traveling at or below 30 mph, will apply the brakes if it detects an imminent collision.

If you upgrade to the Premier trim for $3,250 you get, among other features, leather seating and navigation. The Platinum trim ($7,550) includes an array of active safety features, such as a detection system for cyclists and pedestrians that includes automatic braking, lane departure warning, and all the features of the Premier trim.

The T5 AWD comes with a turbocharged five-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. It starts at $38,100 and has the same technology and safety features as the T5 Drive-E FWD. Premier and Platinum trims are also available.

All three T6 powertrains come with a supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder engine. You can also get all three powertrains in the Platinum trim, which includes a number of active safety upgrades, as well as some convenient interior and exterior features, like folding side mirrors.

The base T6 model is the T6 Drive-E FWD, and it starts at $41,350. With only a few minor exceptions, it comes with the same basic equipment at the T5 models except that it adds a panoramic moonroof and sunshade.

The T6 Drive-E AWD starts at $43,350 and comes with all-wheel drive and the features on the Drive-E FWD.

Finally, the T6 Drive-E AWD R-Design, which starts at $47,200, is a performance-oriented model that includes a special chassis and sporting amenities like ambient lighting and a special racing-oriented digital display.

With all models, there are a number of packages that can be added on. These range from $600 for the convenience package that includes a cargo cover and retractable exterior mirrors, to $2,300 for the Inscription Package. Several packages are included with the Platinum trim.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Volvo dealer.

See 2016 Volvo XC60 specs and trims »

XC60 Safety and Reliability

For many years, Volvo has had a strong reputation for safety, and the tradition continues with the 2016 XC60 and its long list of driver assistance features. The XC60 comes standard with City Safety, a feature that can help you avoid low-speed collisions by automatically braking if the car senses something in the SUV's path. This is a great feature if you live in a city with lots of pedestrians or in a neighborhood with many small children. A collision warning system can also help you avoid accidents by alerting you to approaching cyclists and pedestrians.

Available driver assistance features like driver drowsiness monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning are helpful for instances when the driver briefly loses focus. Also available are blind spot monitoring and front and rear parking sensors.

The XC60 is available with a rearview camera, but it can also be equipped with a front blind view camera, a unique feature that allows you to see around a corner as you approach it.

The Volvo XC60's safety score is above average for the class. In all five Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the XC60 earned perfect scores. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the XC60 five of five stars in three crash test categories and four stars in the rollover test. However, there are a few rivals that get similar scores (the BMW X3 and Acura RDX) or better (the Audi Q3).

The Volvo XC60's reliability rating is disappointing. J.D. Power gives it 2.5 out of 5, a score that is well below the class average and also places it just a half point above the lowest-rated vehicles in the class.

Volvo covers the 2016 XC60 with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty.

Read more about safety »

Other SUVs to Consider

The Infiniti QX50 has a slightly lower base price than the XC60's, and it delivers engaging driving dynamics thanks to its somewhat hefty steering weight that amplifies its sporty handling. In addition, ride quality isn't compromised by its athleticism, as its remains comfortable and smooth over patchy roads. Its base V6 engine is one of the strongest in the class, offering up quick acceleration for highway driving. The QX50's seven-speed automatic transmission is silky smooth, as well. Unfortunately, the QX50 has some of the lowest fuel economy ratings in the class.

The Mercedes-Benz GLC's fuel economy estimates are almost as good as the XC60's, and it has an above-average predicted reliability rating for the class. The GLC earns praise for its luxurious cabin, which is considered one of the nicest in the class. The front seats are supportive and spacious, and the back seats have plenty of head- and legroom. The GLC has a smooth ride, and available air suspension adds even more comfort to your ride. Additionally, the GLC's combination of positive reviews and family-friendly features earned it our 2016 Best Luxury Compact SUV for Families award.

Compare the XC60, QX50, and GLC in more detail »

Details: 2016 Volvo XC60

The 2016 Volvo XC60 seats five and comes standard with front-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is available, and models with AWD have a six-speed automatic transmission. There are five powertrain options: T5 Drive-E FWD, T5 AWD, T6 Drive-E FWD, T6 Drive-E AWD, and the T6 Drive-E AWD R-Design. Each powertrain can be outfitted with one or both available trims – the Premier and the Platinum. There are no major changes for the 2016 model year, and aside from a small refresh in 2015, the XC60 has seen few changes since its introduction for the 2010 model year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2010 through 2016 model years.

The 2016 XC60 comes standard with Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system with Bluetooth, a USB port, satellite radio, a 7-inch display screen, and Volvo's City Safety system with automatic low-speed braking. It also comes with smartphone app integration and a Wi-Fi hot spot. Available features include voice-controlled navigation, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon stereo, a panoramic moonroof, and a dual-screen rear-seat DVD entertainment system. Optional driver assistance features include a rearview camera, front and rear park assist, adaptive cruise control, a driver drowsiness detection system, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, a front blind view camera, and collision warning with cyclist and pedestrian detection.

See 2016 Volvo XC60 specs and trims »

  • "Luxurious, fun to drive and distinctly Swedish, the 2016 Volvo XC60 luxury SUV competes in a crowded and tough segment of the market. Up the luxury of the Lexus RX, the agility and power of the BMW X3 and Audi Q5, but priced like the Acura RDX, this Volvo delivers." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Many vehicles promise to be all things to all people, but the 2015 Volvo XC60 is the rare ride that actually delivers." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "New engines for front-wheel-drive models only increase the 2015 Volvo XC60's appeal. It's one of our top recommended compact luxury crossovers due to its generous space, appealing road manners, attractive cabin and emphasis on safety." -- Edmunds (2015)

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