The 2017 Volvo XC60 is a two-row, front-wheel-drive luxury compact SUV with available all-wheel drive. Supplying room for five, the XC60 has excellent storage space, is a consistent top safety pick and offers multiple trims including higher-end Inscription models.
The 2017 Volvo XC60 is available in five trim levels: T5 Dynamic, T5 Inscription, T6 Dynamic, T6 Inscription and T6 R-Design.
For the 2017 model year, the Volvo XC60 slims its powertrain lineup to two engine choices. T5 models come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, while T6 models feature a 2.0-liter engine that’s turbocharged and supercharged for additional power. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. All-wheel drive was previously available only on certain models, but it’s now offered across the entire XC60 line. New wheel choices and exterior colors have also been introduced.
The XC60 is at once athletic and familiar, with the trademark Thor’s hammer insignia centered on the grille. This model projects an athletic stance, with deeply sculpted lines across the hood and running along its profile. A rising beltline amplifies the XC60’s sporty look, while its silhouette suggests a tall, handsome wagon.
Base models come with 18-inch wheels, roof rails, heated side mirrors and body-colored door handles. Options include a power liftgate, as well as 19- and 20-inch wheels.
Our test vehicle was dressed in Inscription trim, with beautiful 20-inch Titania diamond-cut alloy wheels stamping an exclamation point on the profile. The XC60’s exterior is clean, with tasteful chrome embellishments garnishing the rocker panel and dual exhaust ports.
The XC60’s interior is roomy and seats five. Adults may find rear legroom tight as Volvo placed the emphasis here on interior storage space. Indeed, the XC60 offers a generous 30.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat and 67.4 cubic feet when the rear seat is folded.
The XC60 features standard leather-covered seats and a thickly padded steering wheel also wrapped in leather. The interior is clean and ordered, even utilitarian, without the chrome embellishments and other touches that usually define luxury models. The emphasis here is on ergonomics and in this department the XC60 excels. All buttons and knobs have been carefully placed and are easy to reach.
This SUV’s sight lines are excellent, supplying a panoramic view of the road ahead. The rear window is large and provides an unobstructed view of the road behind. Thick rear roof pillars enable this model to score high in rollover tests, but the compromise here are the large blind spots that go with it. That’s typical of any SUV, and Volvo employs attendant safety features to mitigate the problem.
Standard features include power-adjustable driver and front-passenger seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a panoramic sunroof and a 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat. You can upgrade your XC60 with heated front seats, heated rear seats, integrated child booster seats for the second row and a heated steering wheel.
All 2017 Volvo XC60 T5 models are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with an output of 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. T6 models come with a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
With the base engine and front-wheel drive , the 2017 XC60 T5 gets an EPA-estimated 23/30 mpg city/highway. With all-wheel drive, the T5 is rated at 20/29 mpg city/highway. T6 models come standard with all-wheel drive and earn an EPA-estimated 20/27 mpg city/highway. The XC60 tows up to 4,400 pounds.
Our test XC60 T6 provided excellent off-the-mark acceleration with the supercharger and turbocharger uniting to ensure excellent performance. The supercharger kicks in first, followed by the turbocharger, an arrangement that ensures no lag while supplying copious amounts of power throughout the power band. This forced induction combination is unusual, but it works and matches the power numbers of earlier V8 engines.
Engine noise is hardly disguised and seems unrefined. Its raspiness is especially apparent when accelerating, even under modest driving conditions. Unfortunately, front-wheel drive models are burdened with torque steer, but you can avoid this by choosing all-wheel drive. Even still, rough roads reveal that the XC60 could benefit from a suspension system that offers improved isolation and absorption.
The base XC60 comes with tech features that include Bluetooth, satellite radio, a USB port and Volvo’s Sensus Connect infotainment system with navigation and a 7-inch display.
A less-than-optimal infotainment system can drag down an otherwise satisfactory driving experience. It’s a problem many manufacturers have wrestled with, and some have made impressive improvements to their systems over the years. However, Volvo’s infotainment setup remains needlessly complicated.
Volvo’s arrangement features an ordered panel in the center console, located immediately beneath a CD player and above the transmission shifter. It has numerous buttons and knobs for controlling the audio system, managing climate control, connecting your smartphone and obtaining directions. The Sensus Connect arrangement is intimidating at first. Only after consulting the manual do you realize that certain functions can be controlled from the steering wheel, while others respond to your voice commands.
Volvo’s reputation for safety is evident in in the 2017 XC60. Standard features in this area include a full array of air bags along with anti-whiplash head restraints, stability and traction control and antilock brakes. All XC60s feature Volvo’s On Call telematics, which allows you to access roadside assistance or emergency support. Volvo’s City Safety system is also standard, and this a collision warning and mitigation system automatically brakes the XC60 at if a collision is detected at low speeds.
Optional safety features include blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, driver drowsiness detection and front and rear parking sensors. An upgraded forward collision warning system with automatic braking is also offered.
The 2017 Volvo XC60 has the distinction of garnering a top five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for its overall performance in crash tests.
The 2017 Volvo XC60 starts at $40,590 and tops out at $51,000. You can find a well-equipped T6 Dynamic model with the more powerful engine and all-wheel drive for around $46,000. At this price point the XC60 is equipped with a power liftgate, keyless ignition, dual-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof with a sunshade and Volvo’s standard safety equipment. Competing models with similar equipment will cost you more, underscoring the superior value proposition of the 2017 XC60.
The 2017 Volvo XC60 may satisfy the expectations of loyal Volvo enthusiasts, but this model is showing its age and has been eclipsed by more modern and fun-to-drive models such as the BMW X3, Audi Q5, Cadillac XT5 and Lexus NX.
Still, the XC60 gets high marks for safety and cost-effectiveness. Choose a model with all-wheel drive for the best overall driving experience.