Volvo XC60
Ryan Darby

Ryan Darby

Ryan takes the lead on all things 'wordy'. With a sports media background, a true passion for cars, and a LOT of driving experience under his belt, he'll make sure you have all the information you need, when you need it.

Read time of 6 minutes.

Volvo’s mid-size SUV continues to ooze effortless quality

Sitting in the middle of Volvo’s SUV line-up, the XC60 offers the ideal middle ground for somebody searching for a mid-size family car.

Rivalling the likes of the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC, it is competing with some tough competition in the premium SUV sector.

To see how it compares against some of its German rivals, we’re putting this B5 AWD mild hybrid R-Design edition through its paces.

It is worth noting that Volvo have recently revived their trim levels, with the Momentum, R-Design and Inscription being replaced with Core, Plus and Ultimate.

Our R-Design model closely matches the spec that is now available in Plus, which sits in the middle of the range. Prices and specifications referenced throughout this review will be focusing on the updated options now available.

What did we drive?


Transmission: 8-speed Automatic

Power: Petrol Hybrid

Colour: Onyx Black

Price of model driven: £45,885

*Prices correct at the time of publication

Volvo XC60 side profile


Depending on your model and engine choice, the XC60 can vary from a reasonably affordable family SUV to one of the more premium options on the market.

Prices can start from around £47,000 but quickly rise to the £70,000 mark for the range-topping trim levels. This pricing is not too dissimilar to the Audi Q5, which can range from £47,000 to £65,000.

The Lexus NX presents a premium rival with a more affordable entry price at just over £41,000.

If you would prefer to spread that cost into a competitive monthly figure, Volvo XC60 lease deals with Carparison can start from £343 per month (ex.VAT).

Volvo XC60 driving


There are three different powertrain options to choose from and depending on which trim level you choose to lease, you might not have access to them all.

The B5 AWD Mild Hybrid is available in all three trims, while the B4 engines are only available under Plus specification.

The full details of each powertrain is outlined below:

B5 AWD Mild HybridB4 Mild HybridB4 AWD Mild Hybrid
Available on Core, Plus and UltimateAvailable on Plus Available on Plus 
0-62mph: 6.9s0-62mph: 8.1s0-62mph: 8.3s
34.9-35.8mpg (comb)37.2mpg (comb)44.1mpg (comb)
2021 Volvo XC60 driving


The Volvo XC60 has one of the most assured drives on the market for a car of this size.

It’s a common trait we have seen during previous Volvo reviews, and it is no different here. At its best when cruising along the motorway, it is efficient, comfortable, and remarkably easy to drive.

The engine can be a little noisy and at slower speeds the automatic gearbox is somewhat laggy and unresponsive in the moments you need it not to be, but once you get going, you can sit back and relax.

It never felt too big to drive and thanks to small windows by the C pillar, you have fantastic visibility of all angles – something that feels like a rarity these days.

Volvo XC60 interior and exterior design

Design & Interior

You’re guaranteed refinement and minimalism with most things Volvo and the XC60 is as sleek as they come.

Both inside and out, the XC60 is mature in its design. It’s not the most exuberant looking car I must admit, something that could leave the door open for rivals to swoop in with more eye-catching looks.

With such a polished design, you can argue that the XC60 lacks character, especially when compared to premium rivals like the Lexus NX or the Alfa Romeo Stelvio.

However, from the minute you step foot inside, the quality of the interior is clear to see with excellent build quality and clever use of high-quality materials. Everything is nicely positioned within the cabin and well within reach of the driver.

The Charcoal Nappa leather and graphic textiles created a classy and stylish space and the lack of physical buttons allows the high-quality materials to take precedent inside the cabin.

Volvo XC60 boot space

Space & Practicality

This might come down to personal preference and what you have driven before, but the interior space of the XC60 felt closer to that of the Volvo XC40, rather than the XC90 (despite sharing many parts with the latter).

The sheer size of that car was a noticeable takeaway during our Volvo XC90 review. Where the XC60 comes into its own is its ability to balance the feeling of a spacious cabin that also feels reasonably compact.

The driving position is fantastic, with the driver afforded a reasonable amount of headspace. Everyday storage is also generous with good-sized door bins and cubby holes dotted around the cabin.

Boot space in the XC60 is competitive at 483L, but not class leading. It falls short of the 550L that is on offer in all three of the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC.

This R-Design edition was also fitted with the Integrated 2-Stage Booster Cushions for the outer rear seats (optional extra) – a handy feature for those with younger children.

Headroom and legroom for passengers is good for this class and those on the outer seats won’t be feeling the squeeze.

If you need to carry three in the back, you could get by for shorter journeys. The middle seat is comfortable – not always guaranteed – but there the transmission tunnel that runs through the middle is noticeably large.

Volvo XC60 touchscreen


Volvo have made their stance on the physical button very clear – most of the car’s major functions are accessible through the touchscreen.

There are very few buttons in the cabin, which places a bigger emphasis on the quality of the infotainment system.

It is a very good system to use. Somewhat fiddly if you’re unfamiliar with the system, it is reminiscent of an Android phone. Everything is well laid out and separated sensibly into sub menus, while your climate controls are laid across the bottom of the screen.

Some may prefer physical climate control buttons, but this will of course come down to personal preference.

Elsewhere there is wireless charging, two USB C ports in the centre console and a couple of 12V sockets also.  

This R-Design spec would typically come with a 360 degree camera, but due to the global semiconductor shortage, it was not available on this particular model.

Volvo XC60 driving in rain


Make no mistake about it; the Volvo XC60 is one of the safest mid-size SUVs you can get your hands on.

During its 2017 Euro NCAP safety testing, it scored top marks with all five stars and a mighty 98% score for adult occupants.

As well as a host of safety equipment that comes as standard, such as Driver Alert Control with Lane Keeping Aid, Front Collision Warning and Road Sign Information display and many more, this is an excellent family-friendly car.

Model Lines & Equipment

To get yourself familiar with the updated trim levels available with the XC60, we have outlined some of the key features below.


  • 2-Zone Electronic Climate Control
  • Cruise Control
  • Park assist camera, rear
  • Park assist, rear and front
  • 18″ 5-Double Spoke Black Diamond Cut
  • Black side window trim
  • Power-operated 2-way lumbar support
  • High Performance Sound


(In addition/replacement of Core)

  • 4-Zone Electronic Climate Control
  • Front LED foglights
  • Pilot Assist
  • 360 degree camera
  • Park assist, front, rear and sides
  • Glossy Black Window Trim
  • Keyless Drive
  • 4-Way Lumbar Support
  • Heated front windscreen
  • Heated Rear Seats - Outer Positions
  • Power Driver's Seat with Memory
  • Power cushion extension, driver
  • Premium Sound by Harman Kardon
  • Fresh Air Subwoofer
  • 19″ 5-V Spoke Black Diamond Cut


(In addition/replacement of Plus)

  • Full LED highlights
  • Head-Up display
  • Active chassis with air suspension
  • 20″ 5-Y Spoke Black Diamond Cut
  • Panoramic roof
  • Tinted rear windows
  • Ventilated nappa leather upholstery
  • Orrefors® Crystal Gear Lever (automatic only)
  • Front Seat Backrest Massage
  • Power Folding Rear Seat Headrests
  • Power Passenger Seat
  • Power operated passenger seat with memory function
  • Power side bolsters
  • Ventilated Front Seats
  • Bowers & Wilkins high-fidelity audio system
Volvo XC60 driving around corner


Volvo’s biggest threat to the success of the XC60 could very well be themselves. The Swedish manufacturer have produced a vehicle that is so assured across the board, it can almost be considered a little dull.

Compared to some of the more premium rivals in what is a hugely competitive sector, it may not offer you the same thrill or character – it is as refined as you would expect from Volvo.

However, this is a decisive factor that will come down to personal preference. If you want assured quality without all the (what you might deem to be unnecessary) thrills, you’re not going to go far wrong with the XC60.

Their SUV line up has long been viewed as one of the best on the road. The combination of excellent build quality, a composed drive and interior space and comfort make it a fantastic family car. 

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