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#5

in Luxury Compact SUVs

MSRP: $34,850 - $49,800
Invoice: $32,759 - $46,812
MPG: 18 City / 26 Hwy
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Volvo XC60 Performance

Play 2014 Volvo XC60 Performance Review Video Video: XC60 Performance 2014 Volvo XC60 Performance Video Review

Reviewers say the Volvo XC60’s base engine is sufficient, but models with the turbocharged engine have a satisfying amount of power and zippy acceleration. Test drivers note that the standard six-speed automatic transmission is generally smooth, but sometimes searches for the right gear when climbing hills. Handling is controlled, test drivers note, and the ride is comfortably smooth on the highway and appropriately firm over bumps. The available all-wheel drive seamlessly provides traction when needed, test drivers say. Critics also like the steering, which they say is sharp, and a small turning radius helps drivers maneuver in tight spaces.

  • "The 2014 Volvo XC60's impressive blend of performance and comfort should satisfy the majority of shoppers looking for a small luxury crossover." -- Edmunds
  • "The XC60's all-wheel-drive system did not falter once, regardless of the road conditions. Torque moved to the wheels with the most traction seamlessly and without hesitation. How do I know? Because no one in the vehicle ever had a hint that the car was working to compensate for a slick surface." -- AutoWeek (2013)
  • "XC60's 3.0-liter turbo I6 generates an abundance of power, should you want it." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "Moving up to the turbocharged inline-6, however, provides a much more rewarding experience. With a 0-60 mph time of just 6.9 seconds, this version of the XC60 feels downright quick, effortlessly getting up to speed on freeways or passing slower vehicles." -- Kelley Blue Book (2012)

Acceleration and Power

The base Volvo XC60 has a 3.2-liter, six-cylinder engine that makes 240 horsepower. Higher trims have a turbocharged, 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 300 horsepower in the T6 and 325 horsepower in the T6 R-Design. All trims have a six-speed automatic transmission and T6 models have a sport mode with paddle shifters. The base XC60 gets an EPA-estimated 18/26 mpg city/highway, which is decent for the class. Models with the turbocharged, 3.0-liter engine and all-wheel drive average 17/24 mpg, which is on par with all-wheel drive rivals.

Test drivers describe the XC60’s base inline six-cylinder engine as adequate, but they much prefer the optional turbocharged six-cylinder for its ample power and peppy acceleration, which they say makes driving a lot of fun. One reviewer says the transmission is generally smooth but can have trouble finding the right gear when climbing hills.    

  • "The XC60 does have some downsides, the most notable being its base 3.2 engine. Acceleration is lackluster with this engine, and fuel economy is below that of many competing models. Going with the stronger T6 model gets you plenty of power without a significant drop in efficiency, but it's also more expensive." -- Edmunds
  • "To no one's surprise, our opinion of the 2014 Volvo XC60 depends greatly on which engine is under the hood. Performance from the base 240-horsepower 6-cylinder is adequate, but requiring nearly 10 seconds to reach 60 mph won't cut it in this league. The turbocharged T6 and T6 R-Design deliver a much more satisfying driving experience, providing effortless power to merge, overtake or simply enjoy the drive." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • “The transmission shifts smoothly but occasionally hunts for the proper gear while driving in hilly terrain." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "The XC60 T6 comes with a turbocharged 3-liter six-cylinder engine creating maximum 300 horsepower and 325 foot-pounds of torque. That's more than enough power for people who just want to move themselves, their families and their stuff from one place to another as quickly and safely as possible." -- The Washington Post (2013)
  • "Inside and out, there's a lot of form and function offered here, and the 300 horses of turbo power are excellent for everyday commuting battles; I really enjoy this engine. It's strong from launch and able in passing situations." -- AutoWeek (2013)

Handling and Braking

Test drivers say that while the XC60 may not be the sportiest crossover in the class, it offers a comfortable and composed ride. The ride is firmer on bumpy roads, they note, and pleasingly smooth on the highway. Steering is precise, with good road feel, reviewers say, and a tight turning radius is helpful when maneuvering in small spaces.

  • "Although the Volvo's handling isn't overtly sporty when going around turns, the XC60 nevertheless remains poised and confident." -- Edmunds
  • "The new Corner Traction Control system improves cornering and stability, but with the T6 models come a stiffer ride and a bit more road noise in the cabin. Don't even get us started about the ride with the optional 20-inch wheels. For most drivers, the 18-inch wheels on the base 3.2 and T6 will suffice." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "In line with its crossover nature, the XC60's ride is firm. You'll feel and hear that when driving on rough roads. But when the pavement is smooth the XC60 glides along the road, with firm feedback in the steering." -- AutoWeek (2013)
  • "XC60 is generally comfortable and controlled, with no hint of float or wallow." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "I found the XC60 uncomplicated transportation, easy to get in and just go. For city maneuvering, the tight turning radius was a big help." -- CNET (2013)
Review Last Updated: 5/19/14

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