2024 Volvo XC60 Review: Ignore the Germans, go Swedish


Pros: Elegant styling and beautiful cabin; spacious for the segment; excellent plug-in hybrid option; solid value

Cons: Middling handling; pricey and strange Polestar performance model

There’s no doubt that European luxury SUVs are dominated by German carmakers. But what if you’re looking for something a bit different? The 2024 Volvo XC60 may be the alternative you’ve been seeking, with unique Scandinavian design inside and out. Add in Volvo’s commitment to safety, which should be of particular importance to family-minded shoppers, and the XC60 should have even stronger appeal.

The XC60 is available as either a mild-hybrid or a more powerful Recharge plug-in hybrid, which can drive as many as 36 miles on electricity alone. We’re certainly fans of the plug-in model, but its significant price premium may have shoppers settling on the more-than-adequate B5 base engine. More likely than not, prospective owners will spend more time configuring the interior. There are several choices of upholstery and interior trim that should fit a variety of tastes, and we’re especially fond of the wool blend seats that are available on the Recharge.

The XC60 isn’t as sporty as the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC or Audi Q5, but that shouldn’t matter much for the typical SUV driver. If you’re one of the rare drivers who wants more athletic handling, the Polestar Engineered model should satisfy, but it comes at the cost of ride comfort. Considering the similarly sized Volvo V60 wagon would perhaps be a stronger alternative, including the raised, all-wheel-drive Cross Country model. Whichever route you take, the 2024 Volvo XC60 is a classy, safe and sensible alternative to the more common luxury SUVs.

Interior & Technology   |   Passenger & Cargo Space   |   Performance & Fuel Economy

What it’s like to drive   |   Pricing & Trim Levels   |   Crash Ratings & Safety Features

What’s new for 2024?

The XC60 lineup gets pared down a bit. The base B5 engine is no longer offered with front-wheel-drive and the more powerful B6 engine has been discontinued. There are some additions, though, including an air purifier for Plus and Ultimate trims and laminated windows for the Ultimate. A new Black Edition appearance package also debuts for the top trim.

What are the XC60 interior and in-car technology like?

Volvo’s attractive and refined shape is mirrored in its stylish, welcoming interiors. With premium materials and beautiful design from top to bottom, it’s difficult to find anything negative to say about the XC60’s interior. Open-pore wood and real metal are both available depending on trim, and you can even get an Orrefors Crystal gear selector. Leather seats are available if you want traditional luxury, but you can select a beautiful wool textile upholstery (pictured below) for a little something different and more animal/Earth-friendly, too.

Volvo’s Android Automotive infotainment suite is compatible with Apple CarPlay, but its integration with the Google suite of apps such as Google Maps, Google Assistant and the Google Play Store make a strong case for ditching the smartphone connection tech altogether and using the native interface. The infotainment system is quick to respond, and it’s integrated nicely with the instrument cluster. You can choose to display the Google Maps interface in the cluster, and the digital readouts for vital info are easy to digest alongside it.

297189 Volvo XC60 Recharge T8297181 Volvo XC60 Recharge T8

How big is the XC60?

The XC60 is Volvo’s compact crossover, slotting above the smaller XC40 and below the flagship three-row XC90. With a wheelbase of just under 113 inches and an overall length of approximately 185 inches, it’s the same size as most of Europe’s luxury compacts, including the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class and Audi Q5. Thanks to their midsize-like wheelbases, these ostensibly compact crossovers offer plenty of people- and cargo-hauling capability. Just know you’ll get more of both in non-luxury compact SUVs.

When comparing them back-to-back, however, we’ve found the XC60 ultimately has more back seat space than the Germans, making it a tad more family friendly. We also like that you can get Volvo’s unique integrated booster seats.

In our real-world testing, we found the XC60’s cargo area also exceeds the Germans (the GLC comes closest), but falls short of the Acura RDX for class best. It should be noted, though, that the Recharge we tested has a slightly raised cargo floor, which minimally reduces volume, as well as no underfloor storage. Cargo volume is also very similar to what you’ll get in the Volvo V60 wagon – the XC60 technically has more, but that extra space is mostly up high where it’s less usable.

317113 XC60 Black EditionXC60 Recharge cargo area no cord

What are the XC60 fuel economy, performance and electric range specs?

Volvo offers the 2024 XC60 with two powertrains. The base engine, dubbed B5, is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four paired with an eight-speed automatic and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that delivers 247 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Volvo says it will go from 0 to 60 mph in a tidy 6.6 seconds. It’s only available with all-wheel-drive and is estimated to return 22 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 25 mpg in combined driving.

The Recharge model is equipped with the plug-in hybrid T8 eAWD powertrain, which includes a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and 143-hp electric motor. Total output for the Recharge is 455 hp and 523 lb-ft of torque. The 0-60 time drops to 4.5 seconds. Polestar Engineered models strangely keep the same output, but add a bunch of other performance extras. Both Recharge variants can operate up to 36 miles on electric power alone and are rated at 28 mpg combined once that all-electric range is depleted. We’ll note that the range and efficiency numbers for the Recharge model are from the 2023 model, but there shouldn’t be any significant differences for 2024 once those numbers become official.

What’s the XC60 like to drive?

The XC60’s cabin is a haven for commuters and road-trippers thanks to its excellent seats and beautiful design. Higher-end models offer a plethora of customizable driver aids and an effective adaptive cruise control with lane centering that can significantly reduce fatigue on long trips.

On the road, the XC60 isn’t quite as composed as Volvo’s other 60- and 90-series offerings. Its larger, optional wheels can significantly degrade ride quality, especially in areas with pockmarked pavement, and its base suspension got discombobulated on our mountain road test route. The takeaways from this should be: Other Volvos are better to drive, stick to smaller wheels, and most competitors handle better. This may sound damning, but it’s really not. Spec it right and the XC60 will be lovely to drive in 95% of the scenarios most drivers find themselves.

The mild-hybrid B5 model is smoother and better to drive than the old T5 and T6 powertrains thanks to the electric boost, and while it’s more refined than before, there are still smoother power plants out there in other vehicles. Meanwhile, the Recharge with its shockingly powerful electric motor is a treat to drive. With 143 horsepower on tap, there’s no need to dip into the gas engine when operating in EV mode. Plus, the 36 miles of electric range on a full charge ensure that most trips can be done without using any fuel at all.

As for the Polestar Engineered (pictured above), this model is easily the most fun. It gets a different suspension consisting of Ohlins dampers and unique springs, 21-inch forged wheels (available with summer tires), bigger brakes and a new exterior appearance package that gives the SUV a good bit more flair. Those Ohlins dampers are manually adjustable, which is bizarre and frustrating, but they turn the XC60 into a more sure-footed — and a little stiffer-riding — SUV. The big brakes increase stopping power, and while there isn’t any extra twist from the powertrain, the base Recharge hardly needs it. This SUV springs off the line with a surprising amount of excitement, hitting 60 mph in a quick 4.5 seconds. Get the regular Recharge if you just want acceleration and a nice-riding crossover. Spring for the Polestar Engineered if you’re a little weird and want an extra dose of confidence on a winding road. 

What other Volvo XC60 reviews can I read?

2022 Volvo XC60 Recharge First Drive Review | Pumping up the electric range

The revised plug-in XC60 gets faster and way more useful

297177 Volvo XC60 Recharge T8

 

Volvo XC60 Recharge Luggage Test

Take a deep dive into the XC60’s cargo area, putting it to the test with real-world luggage.

Volvo XC60 Recharge Luggage Test

 

2018 Volvo XC60 First Drive

Our first experience with the XC60 revealed few surprises: It was based on the same platform as the bigger 90 series Volvos, it looked liked them and shared much of their technology. That’s hardly a bad thing. 

09 2018 volvo xc60 fd 1

What is the 2024 XC60 price and where is it built?

The 2024 Volvo XC60 starts at $47,845, including a $1,195 destination charge. The model range is broken down into engine choice, designated by B5 and Recharge, and then trim level: Core, Plus and Ultimate, plus the Recharge-exclusive Polestar Engineered.

Base Core models are reasonably well-equipped and feature 18-inch alloy wheels, proximity entry, a power tailgate, blind-spot warning, cloth “textile” or leatherette seats, dual-zone climate control, a power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment, power passenger seat, panoramic sunroof, auto-dimming side mirrors and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The PHEV Recharge model begins at $59,295 and goes up from there with the same trim structure as the B5 model. A new Black Edition appearance package (pictured below) is available on either the B5 or Recharge Ultimate trim for an additional $1,100. Lastly, the Polestar Engineered model is Volvo’s range-topper with myriad performance enhancements detailed in the driving section above.

B5 Core: $47,845
B5 Plus: $52,345
B5 Ultimate: $57,795

Recharge Core: $59,295
Recharge Plus: $63,795
Recharge Ultimate: $69,245
Polestar Engineered: $76,645

The XC60 is built in Volvo’s hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden.

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What are the XC60 safety ratings and driver assistance features?

“Volvo” has long been synonymous with safety innovation. As such, many of its available safety systems are standard. These include front and rear collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning and hill start assist. Volvo’s excellent adaptive cruise control system with steering assistance is available, but only when you step up to the Plus trim. Volvo’s unique integrated child booster seats are also optional.

The U.S. government gave the 2024 XC60 an overall five-star safety rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2023 model with a Top Safety Pick with top marks everywhere — its performance in the updated side impact test and the headlights are the only small blemish, scoring an “Acceptable” rating instead of “Good.”



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