in 2010 Luxury Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $19,270 - $23,559
Original MSRP: $32,395 - $37,200
MPG: 16 City / 21 Hwy
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2010 Volvo XC60 Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Reviewers find the 2010 XC60 to be a nimble performer, which is impressive considering its hefty curb weight. However, the turbocharged engine suffers a bit under all that weight.

To see how the XC60 performs out on the road, check out our XC60 video.

  • "The XC60 crossover is not as sporty or athletic as some of its competitors, but it is supremely comfortable to drive, with predictable handling and very good ride quality." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The XC60 isn't quite as athletic as the RDX and the X3, but grip, augmented by its standard Haldex 4 all-wheel drive, seems abundant. This Volvo promises to be a pleasant ride to live with." -- Car and Driver
  • "Away from the safe haven of a closed circuit and out on the open road, the XC60 was a little gem. The turbo six pulls strongly, and the handling was safe and predictable." -- AutoWeek
  • “Similar to the Mercedes-Benz GLK350 we tested, the XC60 provides an almost boring driving experience. Just push the gas and it goes. But for this type of family wagon, that's not a bad thing." -- CNET
  • "Performance-wise, the XC60 makes a good case for itself, as it's among the very quickest studies in its class, though nobody will call the turbocharged six-cylinder's soundtrack 'sonorous.' Better still, it corners with surprising alacrity - a performance attribute that Volvo isn't readily known for. " -- Autoblog

Acceleration and Power

The XC60 comes with a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine that makes 281 horsepower. There's also a regular 3.2-liter six-cylinder engine that achieves fewer horsepower (235) but better fuel economy. Both are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Reviewers find the turbocharged engine quite powerful – which is surprising considering the SUV’s hefty weight. However, that weight takes a toll on the 3.2-liter engine, which could use more power in passing maneuvers. But while power in general is a high point, fuel economy is a low point.

According to the EPA, the turbocharged XC60 achieves 16/22 mpg city/highway, while the non-turbocharged model is rated at 18/27 mpg. While the latter rating is near the top of the class, the turbocharged model’s rating is near the bottom.

  • "The best part of the transversely mounted turbocharged engine was that all 295 pound-feet of torque kicked in at just 1,500 rpm. This allowed for near instant acceleration when ever I needed it, such as pulling onto the highway or passing a car on a country road. The XC60 always felt powerful." -- Detroit News
  • "The base inline-6 is unremarkable, but it will get the job done for those who don't care too much about passing power, and its fuel economy is laudable. The turbo straight-6 lacks the aural excitement one might expect, but it pulls cleanly from low rpm and is certainly sufficient to motivate the XC60's 4,200-pound approximate curb weight." -- Edmunds
  • "The [turbocharged] engine makes the XC60 one quick crossover when accelerating hard from a standstill, and it also feels strong at freeway speeds." -- Cars.com
  • "Although it holds its own, the XC60 would be quicker but for its extra heft, which can be blamed for the disappointing 15-mpg city and 22-mpg highway fuel-economy estimates." -- Car and Driver
  • "The XC60 comes with a turbocharged inline-six-cylinder engine that made my heart beat faster every time I started the car. This mom-mobile can haul some serious booty and take on all the curves and traffic chaos without jostling finicky passengers. " -- Mother Proof

Handling and Braking

Though the Volvo XC60 is a large vehicle (for a compact SUV), most reviewers are impressed with its nimble handling. A major plus for rougher terrain is that it features the highest ground clearance in its class. All-wheel drive is standard on the T6 model and a $2,000 option on the base model.

  • "The 2010 XC60 is a capable handler -- in fact, the T6's 65.0-mph slalom speed at our test track is among the quickest in this segment. When driven aggressively around corners, though, the XC60 doesn't feel confidence-inspiring.” -- Edmunds
  • "Where the XC60 really surprised us was on a long and twisty backcountry highway. Although at crossover height, the car took corners like a champ, showing no tendencies to wallow or roll. However, it's hardly a sports car, though it responded well as we pushed it through these maneuvers, the all-wheel-drive assisting by pushing the power to the wheels that needed it most." -- CNET
  • "We'd venture to say that this is one of the best handling crossovers in its segment, right up there with the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 (the latter of which endures a stiff-legged ride and a dated interior).” -- Autoblog
  • "The XC60 is not a small vehicle, but on the narrow, twisty roads of Spain, the XC60 exhibited a nicely balanced ride that belied its hefty mass. The chassis is set up to minimize body roll, the steering is precise, and the braking performance is quite good." -- Automobile Magazine

Next Steps: 2010 Volvo XC60

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