Volvo has long been a brand that focused on functionality and safety first, then worried about styling. In recent years, however, the looks of Volvo’s vehicles has finally caught up to their safety. This combination of style and crashworthiness makes the midsize 2016 XC60 a good option for luxury crossover shoppers.

Pricing and Equipment

With a base MSRP of $36,400, we think of the XC60 as a less expensive alternative to the pricier Mercedes GLC-Class and a more upscale alternative to the Lexus NX 200t. As standard, the XC60 Drive-E T5 comes with:

  • 18-inch wheels
  • Automatic headlights and wipers
  • Premium fabric upholstery
  • Eight-way power front seats

One downside to the XC60 lineup: choosing between an array of engines and multiple trim levels can be a little overwhelming.

Performance Pros

Volvo XC60 Rear Quarter

While there are a larger-than-normal number of engines to choose from, they are all excellent. Our favorite, however, is the 325-horsepower 3-liter inline-six in the top-spec T6 AWD R-Design. However, even the base 2-liter turbo-four delivers plenty of pop, and is highly efficient.

Performance Cons

Our test car came with 20-inch wheels and low-profile tires that did not pair well with the XC60’s firm suspension. We suggest sticking with smaller rims to get better ride. The transmission can also be shift-happy at times.

Interior Pros

Volvo Xc60 Interior Front

We can’t say enough about the XC60’s cabin, as it is near perfection. It does a wonderful job of combining luxury, simplicity, and safety, making it one of our favorite interiors in the class. The seats are also among the most comfortable we've ever tested.

Interior Cons

We find it difficult to criticizes the XC60’s cabin, but we do think its austere black dashboard might be too plain for some buyers. Conversely, the busy design of the center stack strays from the interior's otherwise elegant simplicity.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

Competition is heating up in the upscale crossover segment, but Volvo is up to the challenge with the steadily perfected XC60.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

Opting for all-wheel drive means you can't have the highly efficient Drive-E engine -- that means buyers who want the extra traction will have higher fuel costs.

The Bottom Line

Volvo has long been a brand that caters to those who want a more understated alternative to German luxury car. The XC60 is just that, getting the job done in comfort and style while continuing to be one of the safest vehicles on the road today.