Stunning, comfortable interior. Step inside the 2019 Volvo XC60, and you’re met with a cabin awash in leather and Swedish sophistication. Beautiful design touches include the portrait-style 9-inch touchscreen with intuitive menus, a soft-touch dashboard trimmed in either metal mesh aluminum or available driftwood, and an Orrefors crystal lever that operates the shift-by-wire system on T8 hybrid models.
Seating is supportive, offering a wide range of adjustability and all-day comfort. The XC60 is roomy enough for four adults or five in a pinch, while cargo space expands up to 65.7 cubic feet.
Available features like four-zone automatic climate control, heated Nappa leather rear seats with power folding headrests, and a Bowers and Wilkins audio system turn the XC60 into a true luxury machine.
The only real downside is the price, which can quickly escalate with too heavy a hand. While the Momentum trim with the T5 engine starts at a modest $40,195, prices escalate until it hits $74,565 for an Inscription with the T8 hybrid powertrain.
At the same time, some buyers may miss a third row, but, otherwise, the XC60 offers an excellent balance of practicality and coziness.
Handsome exterior. Clean and distinctive, Volvo’s best-looking crossover announces its presence with slim hammer-style headlights, tall vertical taillights, and a sharp, high-mounted grille.
Along its flanks, chrome trim follows the beltline, kicking up in front of the D-pillar. Soft curves, deeply sculpted lower door panels, and three-dimensional rocker panels give it a sporty character.
Advanced safety tech. Starting with the three-point safety belt in 1959, Volvo has built its reputation on safety, and the XC60 doesn’t disappoint. Active safety features found on every XC60 include forward collision warning with steering assist, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, road sign recognition, and large animal, pedestrian, and cyclist detection,
Optional advanced safety features include a surround-view camera, front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring with steering assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and Volvo’s Pilot Assist. This suite can steer the car for short periods in traffic or on long trips while maintaining a safe following distance and keeping the vehicle centered in its lane.
The XC60 is an IIHS Top Safety Pick due to “Good” crash test scores and a “Superior” rating for its automatic emergency braking.
Competent powertrains. The XC60 is powered by a trio of engines, all based around a gasoline direct injection 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.
T5 models are offered with the base version, no slouch itself, that develops 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The T5 is the only version offered with front-wheel drive (all-wheel drive is optional). The T6 adds a supercharger to the mix, boosting output to 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Topping things off, the T8 plug-in hybrid adds an electric motor for total system output of 400 hp and 495 lb-ft of torque.
All are capable, with the hybrid offering strong around-town efficiency. The single transmission offering, an eight-speed automatic, is smooth and seamless, complementing a composed suspension. The optional air suspension is another bright spot, customizing handling for improved comfort, dynamics, or ground clearance.
At the same time, although the plug-in hybrid offers excellent highway mileage (with an EPA-estimated 58 miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent combined and 26 mpg combined), we observed a vehicle-measured 35.5 miles per gallon in primarily highway driving.
It sacrifices a bit of brake feel via regen, while fuel economy on lesser trims is adequate but not outstanding. And while most buyers probably won’t object, the fact that all three require premium fuel is still a consideration.
Final thoughts. The 2019 Volvo XC60 is a refreshing and compelling addition to the growing kingdom of luxury crossovers. The features are well placed and well priced, and the interior is among our favorites.
It’s delightful in almost every way, and we believe it has earned the hype surrounding it that includes receiving the 2018 World Car of the Year and the North American Utility Vehicle of the Year honors.
In terms of competition, the XC60 can’t match the cavernous space of full-size SUVs or the off-road ability of brands like Range Rover. Luxury buyers may prefer a more prestigious badge, although we say they’d be missing out.