2015 Volvo XC60

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Key Specs
Our Take
Road Test
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Key Specs

of the 2015 Volvo XC60. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Comfortable front seats
  • Easy-to-use tech
  • Impressive fuel economy

The Bad

  • Torque steer

Notable Features of the 2015 Volvo XC60

  • Two new turbocharged engines
  • Digital gauge cluster

2015 Volvo XC60 Road Test

David Thomas

To be good, a small luxury SUV needs to be a family car, a utility vehicle and a commuter car, and the reworked 2015 Volvo XC60 does all that. It provides an upscale environment and a dash of surprise — both on the window sticker and under the hood.

For 2015, the Volvo XC60 gets a number of new powertrains — teamed with confusing trim level names carried over from 2014 — and a dazzling new gauge cluster. In fact, the T6 version we tested might have too much power for its own good, but that just means shoppers can save a bit of cash and still get one of the best models in the segment.

Exterior & Styling
You don't buy a luxury SUV if you want radical styling. Most are sedate, if not a tad boring. The Volvo XC60's design leans toward the sophisticated side, with a contemporary front and a rather avant-garde rear. It's those vertical taillights that are the signature style of the XC60.

Overall, the Volvo has as much appeal as any in this class, whether it's the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X3, Cadillac SRX, Lexus RX350 or Mercedes-Benz GLK.

How It Drives
Two of the Volvo's five available engines are new, and these Drive-E efficient turbocharged engines are the biggest enhancements for 2015. Both, however, are teamed only with front-wheel drive. The base Volvo XC60 is now the T5 Drive-E, which packs a turbocharged, 2.0-liter inline-4-cylinder engine good for 240 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of torque. In the past, T5 signified a turbocha...

To be good, a small luxury SUV needs to be a family car, a utility vehicle and a commuter car, and the reworked 2015 Volvo XC60 does all that. It provides an upscale environment and a dash of surprise — both on the window sticker and under the hood.

For 2015, the Volvo XC60 gets a number of new powertrains — teamed with confusing trim level names carried over from 2014 — and a dazzling new gauge cluster. In fact, the T6 version we tested might have too much power for its own good, but that just means shoppers can save a bit of cash and still get one of the best models in the segment.

Exterior & Styling
You don't buy a luxury SUV if you want radical styling. Most are sedate, if not a tad boring. The Volvo XC60's design leans toward the sophisticated side, with a contemporary front and a rather avant-garde rear. It's those vertical taillights that are the signature style of the XC60.

Overall, the Volvo has as much appeal as any in this class, whether it's the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X3, Cadillac SRX, Lexus RX350 or Mercedes-Benz GLK.

How It Drives
Two of the Volvo's five available engines are new, and these Drive-E efficient turbocharged engines are the biggest enhancements for 2015. Both, however, are teamed only with front-wheel drive. The base Volvo XC60 is now the T5 Drive-E, which packs a turbocharged, 2.0-liter inline-4-cylinder engine good for 240 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of torque. In the past, T5 signified a turbocharged five-cylinder — hence the letter T and the number 5.

That doesn't seem to matter to Volvo in 2015, but it may confuse shoppers, especially ones who own an older T5. Those drivers will, however, be happier with the new mileage, at 24/31/27 mpg city/highway/combined. Acura's RDX, BMW's X3 and Mercedes-Benz' GLK have similar or more power, but none breaks 28 mpg on the highway. Compare the four here.

Another version of this 2.0-liter four-cylinder tops the range, called the T6 Drive-E. It's not only turbocharged but also supercharged, reaching impressive figures of 302 hp and 295 pounds-feet of torque. It replaces a turbocharged inline 6-cylinder that was close in power, at 300 hp and 325 pounds-feet of torque, but fell well behind in fuel economy. The 2015 Volvo XC60 T6 Drive-E — the model we tested for this review — is rated 22/30/25 mpg.

On the street, that's a lot of power for this type of vehicle. It's nice to have in certain situations, especially passing on the highway, but it's a bit uncontrolled when going from a dead stop. The front tires spin relatively easily when pushed only a bit harder than the norm. There's also a bit of torque steer when taking crisp turns. But the Volvo XC60 T6 Drive-E is surprisingly fun to drive, which isn't normally the case in this class, no matter how strong the engine.

Most drivers will likely be quite satisfied with the front-wheel-drive T5's power.

No matter the engine, the Volvo XC60's ride quality really impresses, with a luxuriously soft ride that many in this class don't achieve. Road and wind noise are minimal at highway speeds.

The only sore point in terms of both power and mileage will come when a shopper wants all-wheel drive. The Volvo XC60's three all-wheel-drive models carry over older engines and have names similar to the new power plants. There's the 3.2 all-wheel-drive model that features a 3.2-liter inline-six-cylinder and is the only XC60 without turbocharging. Next comes the T6 all-wheel-drive and T6 all-wheel-drive R-Design, both of which feature a turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder. Those two produce 300 and 325 hp, respectively, and I found that the 2014 R-Design was also too powerful for this class when I tested it.

The all-wheel-drive models' mileage ratings also suffer. The 3.2 all-wheel-drive comes in at 18/25/20 mpg, while the two T6 all-wheel-drives have identical ratings of 17/24/20 mpg.

All 2015 Volvo XC60s, however, run on regular gasoline, a big plus.

Interior
Swedish design is usually simplistic by nature, but don't let the rather mundane styling keep you from thinking the XC60 is a true luxury car. The available leather seats are exceptionally comfortable, with a nice feel to the material, which is done in a two-tone look with nice stitching throughout the cabin.

Everywhere you look and touch, whether it's on the doors or dash, items are finished in substantial metal or metal-looking trim.

The backseat felt far roomier than the specs suggest. The numbers place it toward the bottom of the pack in terms of legroom and shoulder room, but my 6-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter — still  in large car seats — had plenty of room and were able to walk across from one side to the other. Headroom throughout the cabin is impressive even with the optional, large panoramic moonroof that takes a chunk out of interior height.

Ergonomics & Electronics
Besides the engine options, the other major shift for 2015 is the addition of an all-digital gauge cluster. It replaces a simple yet elegant two-gauge layout I always appreciated. Digital gauge clusters are becoming more common and are used by Cadillac and Jaguar, among other automakers.

Dead center, a large ringed display houses a configurable speedometer and tachometer; a full menu appears when called up using controls on the turn-signal stalk. Two "wing" displays flanking the main display house various information that can also be customized with simple controls. There are also three color and layout themes from which drivers can select.

It's a well-executed look and feel, and all the controls are quite good, but I found operating the trip computer to be the most confounding aspect of the whole system.

Volvo's straightforward multimedia system, on the other hand, has a fan in me. A 7-inch screen — small compared with many competitors — has above-average resolution, and you control selections using a knob with two inset buttons. The scrolling and selecting is intuitive and fast versus using touch-screen controls.

While the available navigation system isn't as good as in some others in this class, the rest of the functions, like phone and audio, work just fine. The optional Premium Sound System produces spectacular range even at high volumes and is worth adding.

Cargo & Storage
Cargo space is impressive. Not only are dimensions robust, at 30.8 cubic feet with the rear seats in place and 67.4 cubic feet with them folded flat — besting most competitors — but the cargo floor is quite low to the ground, making loading large items easy.

The rear seats also fold completely flat, flush with the cargo floor, which isn't always the case.

There are numerous cubbies sprinkled throughout the cabin for both front and rear occupants.

Safety
In the past, Volvo was synonymous with safety, but many other automakers have caught up in terms of crash-test ratings and safety systems. Still, by most measures the Volvo XC60 still ranks high in safety.

The 2015 Volvo XC60 earned a five-star overall crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, while the 2014 model received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick+ award, that organization's highest rating. IIHS has not released 2015 results at this time, but because the Volvo XC60 hasn't been structurally redesigned, the earlier tests are likely to be deemed valid for the 2015 model.

The XC60 has a number of available preventative safety features, like a blind spot information system, cross traffic alert, forward collision warning and lane departure warning. There's also a pedestrian/cyclist detection system that can apply the brakes when someone happens across the SUV's path.

You can find a full list of safety features here.

Value in Its Class
Power, fuel economy, a luxurious interior, a large cargo area and its safety pedigree should influence any shopper to consider the XC60. Its price also happens to be right in each trim level.

Comparing the most basic T5 Drive-E XC60, which costs $36,675, it's a few thousand less than equivalent BMW and Mercedes options and a bit more than the Acura RDX. Prices range all the way to $50,725 for the T6 R-Design Platinum (prices include destination charges). The wide array of powertrain options gives more shoppers a point of entry to the model.

Send David an email  

 


Latest 2015 XC60 Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.8)
Interior Design
(4.6)
Comfort
(4.8)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Most Excellent Car I've Owned

by bergendriver from Brooklyn on August 7, 2018

The Volvo XC60 drives smooth like country butter. This car comes with so many awesome features, such as a backup camera, sunroof, and luxurious leather seats. As a customer, you'll definitely get your ... Read full review

(5.0)

My Volvo XC60

by Birdman from Estero, Fl on August 2, 2018

I love my XC60, it is dependable and the interior design is great. Everywhere I drive the car I get compliments on it looks. It is a very safe car to be driving and is very comfortable when taking ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2015 Volvo XC60 currently has 0 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2015 Volvo XC60 T5

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/thigh
good
Lower leg/foot
good
Overall evaluation
good
Retraints and dummy kinematics
good
Structure and safety cage
good

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Small Overlap Front - Driver Side

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/Thigh
good
Lower Leg/Foot
good
Overall Evaluation
good
Restraints and Dummy Kinematics
good
Structure and Safety Cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranties

Backed by Volvo
New Car Program Benefits
  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits
  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    Less than 5 years/less than 80,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    7 years/100,000 miles

  • Powertrain warranty

    7 years/100,000 miles

  • Dealer Certification Required

    130-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All Program Details

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The XC60 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*

Third-row access

N/A

Infant seat

C

Booster

(second row)

B

Booster

(third row)

N/A

Latch or Latch system

B

Forward-facing convertible

(third row)

N/A

Forward-facing convertible

(second row)

A
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker