2020 Volvo XC60


Volvo, like many manufactures, uses initials and numbers to identity models. At least in the case of Volvo, the system is relatively easy to understand. The bigger the number after the initials, the bigger the vehicle. Sedans start with the letter S (90 and 60), wagons with V (90 and 60) and SUVs with XC (90, 60, and 40). Our test drive was a medium sized SUV the XC60. This model has a starting price of about $41,000.

Volvo has been moving toward more electrification of its power plants, and, as a result, the XC60 has a plug in hybrid option. The base power plant and in our test model is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder producing 250 horsepower. With the addition of a supercharger to the action, the horsepower jumps to 316 ponies. When the batteries and electric motor are added making it a plug in hybrid, the power is a stout 400 horsepower. Front wheel drive is standard, and all wheel drive is optional. One transmission handles the power in the form an eight speed automatic.

Styling follows the Volvo theme. The front has the large rectangular grille flanked by very hefty and long headlights. The sides of the body have a bump outs around the wheel wells and some side sculpturing to break up the flat line. The last side window narrows and is smaller than the rest. A large rear spoiler is above the lift gate. On the back end, very tall taillights are on the side of the body and back area. The optional and good-looking 20-inch alloy wheels provide a performance look to this attractive midsized SUV.

When approaching this Volvo with the key on you, the side mirrors greet you by lighting up and opening up, and the door handles light up. Then you can pull the handle to open the door. The engine is then started with a twist of dial on the center console. For the 2020 model year, a leather interior has become standard equipment. As a result, the entire seat upholstery and the steering wheel are covered in leather. Unlike many in the automotive world, Volvo has a 9-inch video screen that is vertical rather than horizontal. Nonetheless, the screen is very clear and colorful. Control is chiefly handled by touch, but can be also controlled by punching the voice button on the steering wheel and giving commands (like FM radio please). Below the screen are some dials or buttons to control the action. Apple and android phone apps can be tied into the screen. The dash pod does not have traditional instruments. Instead, there is a large video 12-inch screen with a video speedometer and tachometer as well as other info (like mpg, time, distance, etc.). A small speed limit sign also appears in the screen showing the current legal speed on the road being traveled on.

Rear seating room is fine for full size adults. An armrest with two pop out cup holders are available. Two air vents are in the door columns to take care of cooling needs. The rear-powered lift gate can be opened with the key fob button or a button on the dash or a swing of a foot under the rear bumper. There is a good amount of storage available under a removable cover. And the rear seat backs are split 60/40 and can be dropped for carrying big items. A small door behind the armrest can be opened to put small things in the rear carrying area.

On the road, the suspension does an excellent job of soaking up and absorbing uneven potholed filled roads without being loose in taking the corners. The base 250 horsepower turbocharged engine in our test SUV was generally quiet even when pushed. The automatic transmission shifted without any gear changing detection. With the use of a dial on the center console, there are four driving modes (i.e. eco, comfort, dynamic, and off road). Essentially shifting patterns and other functions are changed for the conditions when using this mode control. There is a start/system that turns off the engine at stops and pops it on when accelerating. This system is relatively smooth unlike some others, but it can be turned off. Steering is direct and to the point. And as one would expect from the Volvo, besides airbags and curtains, there are a number of safety systems that react to situations to avoid collisions and accident mitigation involving pedestrians and vehicles.

With this edition to the Volvo SUV lineup, the customer receives a luxury mid side SUV that clearly handles the rough roads easily. And with the now standard leather interior on the base model, the interior presents a nice look.

Tech Specs

Model: Midsize SUV 5 passenger.
Price: (base) $40,150 as tested $48,145.
Powertrain: (test model) 2.0 liter, turbocharged 4 cylinder, 250 hp 8-speed automatic transmission, front wheel drive, all wheel drive (optional)
Performance: (test model) 0-60: 6.4 seconds.
Fuel Mileage: (test model) 24 mpg average, city 22 mpg, 29highway, 22 mpg average.
High Beams: Very absorbing suspension. Quiet inside nearly all the time. Attractive exterior.
Low Beam: Some of the controls need time to get use to.