2020 Volvo XC60 is a luxury leader in safety, ride quality Featured

Posted On Monday, 09 March 2020 00:04 Written by
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The 2020 Volvo XC60 is a compact SUV that checks almost all the boxes impressively. The 2020 Volvo XC60 is a compact SUV that checks almost all the boxes impressively. Photo courtesy of Volvo.



Volvo’s entry in the compact luxury SUV category, the XC60, is battling for buyers among the giants of the luxury world — from Acura and Audi to Benz and BMW — so the task it faces in finding an audience can be daunting.

The 2020 model maintains the look from the 2018 redesign, but the good news is this is still among the best-looking and top-performing vehicles in the class. 

Read on for my full take on how it measures up in the segment.

The 2020 Volvo XC60 features a unique and well-designed exterior for a luxury SUV, especially in the rear of the vehicle. Volvo doesn’t blend in with the crowd like so many competitors do.

Inside, the XC60 is extra comfy and well put-together. The brand isn’t the first nameplate most people think of when the term luxury is mentioned, but anyone who has sat in a Volvo in recent years knows that it should be top of mind.

Attractive driftwood touches highlight the front dashboard, and extremely cozy and warm Nappa Leather seating will support you even on longer rides. The XC60 makes you feel at home, like a luxury model should.

Second row seating is roomy compared to other options in the segment, and the driver and front passenger will be very comfortable.

Quality features available on the XC60 include a Panoramic Moonroof w/Power Sunshade, Keyless Entry w/ Hands Free Tailgate Opening, Rear Park Assist Camera, 4-Zone Automatic Climate Control, Heated Wiper blades with Integrated Washers, and heated rear and front seats.


The 2020 Volvo XC60 I tested featured a 2.0-liter Supercharged and Turbo-Charged engine, with impressive numbers of 316 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. This is paired with an 8-Speed Automatic Transmission.

All-Wheel Drive is offered, but FWD is standard on the XC60. Multiple drive modes are offered, including Eco, Comfort, Individual, Dynamic and Off-Road. Dynamic is the fun one. Eco is boring but offers better fuel mileage.

You expect a smooth ride in a luxury vehicle, but this was truly one of the better experiences I have experienced. From power to handling to the lack of road noise intrusions, the XC60 offered a truly smooth and enjoyable driving experience. It’s responsive to the driver and offers a quality suspension, which can be upgraded further to an optional 4-corner air suspension.

Other engine options include a Polestar variant with 415 hp and 472 lb.ft.; as well as a base engine offering 250 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft.

For those looking to get more green with their XC60 purchase, there is a plug-in hybrid offered. This offering is a step in Volvo’s mission to offer a lineup solely consisting of EVs and AVs in the not-too-distant future.

The plug-in hybrid offers 400 horsepower and 472 lb.-ft. of torque. And it goes very fast when you want it to. 313 HP comes from the engine and 87HP comes from the electric motor.

The gasoline plus electricity rating on the plug-in hybrid XC60 is 58 MPGe.


A Volvo hallmark is safety, so of course there are a ton of safety features included on the XC60, and this is an area where they beat the competition.

The tech side still needs work though. Volvo’s Sensus interface is overly complicated and voice commands are not always responsive. There’s something to be said for simplicity, and Volvo goes in the complete opposite direction with its infotainment offerings. The result is a very frustrating experience with delays in startup and confusing controls.

That system includes a 9-inch touchscreen, which does offer smartphone integration through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Bluetooth is offered for streaming audio and phone calls, and you get a trial subscription to satellite radio.

You have the option to get a WiFi Hotspot in the vehicle too. And a 600-watt Harman Kardon premium sound system with 14 speakers is offered to boost the audio quality for music lovers.

Getting back to the safety offerings, the impressive features on the XC60 include: 

  • Collision Avoidance by City Safety
  • Vehicle/Pedestrian/Cyclist/Large Animal Detection
  • Run-off Road Protection & Run-off Road Mitigation 
  • Lane Keeping Aid & Oncoming Lane Mitigation 
  • Road Sign Information
  • Supplemental Restraint System (Airbags): Driver Adaptive & Fmt Pass Dual Stage, Driver Knee, Driver/Fmt Pass Dual Chamber Side-Impact, Inflatable Curtain Head Side-Impact (Incl. Rear) 
  • Side Impact Protection System (SIPS)
  • Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) in Front Seats 
  • Unibody High Strength Steel Safety Cage
  • Hill Descent Control
  • LED Headlights w/Thor's Hammer DRL & Auto Highbeam
  • Blind Spot Information System (BUS) with Steer Assist & Cross Traffic Alert with Autobrake 

Another advanced safety package option will get you the very helpful Pilot Assist, a driver assistance system with Adaptive Cruise Control; 360-degree Surroundview Camera, Head Up Display, full LED headlights w/ Active Bending Lights, and more.

Official numbers are 20 city/27 highway/23 combined … I averaged 22 mpg.

These numbers are strong, but a couple ticks off the best fuel mileage in category, as it battles competitors including the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X3, Cadillac XT5, Lexus RX, and Mercedes-Benz GLC. The difference is small enough though, that it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.

My test vehicle was pretty well loaded with options and priced over $65,000; base price starts about $40K for the XC60. So that leaves a wide range of pricing options for buyers. Leasing and subscription options are also offered and may be more agreeable to those who fancy the XC60.

The 2020 Volvo XC60 is safety focused, well-designed inside and out, offers a great ride quality and holds up against other luxury SUV options in all areas except infotainment/tech setup. Add that all together and it’s well worth the test drive for luxury car buyers exploring their options.


AutoTechReviews.com can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2020 Volvo XC60 
  • Price as tested: $65,740 (starts about $40K) 
  • Best feature: Strong safety features, extra-smooth ride, well-designed in and out
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars 
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Luxury buyers seeking a safe and high-quality ride
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

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