Since its divorce from Ford, Volvo has revamped its line of vehicles, with a heavy emphasis on SUVs. The 2020 Volvo XC60, now two years out from its introduction, hits a sweet spot for luxury crossovers in price, performance, and prowess.
Last year, a new front-wheel-drive model joined the ranks for buyers lucky enough not to need the all-weather capability of all-wheel drive. This year, the new model is a bit more exciting: the Polestar Engineered XC60 is priced more than $20,000 over the top-shelf Inscription trim, but comes nearly fully loaded with 415 battery-aided horsepower.
Also new: a standard digital gauge cluster across the board, a bigger battery for plug-in hybrids, and refined safety equipment.
Review continues below
With the 2020 XC60, Volvo shows off a breadth of performance and convincing luxury trappings. We rate it a 7.3 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
What’s most notable about the XC60 is a sense of occasion. It’s a crossover that is sharply dressed, well-built, calm in its demeanor. There’s no garishness, no loudmouthed styling.
The XC60 doesn’t deviate from the family dress code. Its styling is familiar to anyone who has seen a XC90, including the signature headlights up front and the vertical taillights out back. It’s a clean look, and one that’s now clearly Volvo.
Three powertrains are available on the XC60. Base models get what Volvo calls the T5, which is a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that makes a healthy 250 horsepower. It’s available with either front- or all-wheel drive and mates to an 8-speed automatic.
If that’s not quite enough go juice, the T6 setup takes the turbo 2.0-liter and adds a supercharger; the result is 316 horsepower and brisk acceleration, exclusively paired with all-wheel drive and the 8-speed automatic.
Volvo’s most powerful and efficient powertrain is also on tap. This one is known as the T8 and pumps out 400 horsepower and 495 pound-feet of torque via a hybrid gas-electric setup that marries an 87-horsepower electric motor to the T6 4-cylinder. There’s also an 11.6-kwh battery to provide the necessary electrons. The result of all this wizardry is both fast and economical: there’s up to 17 miles of electric-only range and a total of 400 horsepower to play with. It’s not cheap, though.
Whatever engine you get, the 2020 Volvo XC60 rides and drives with the same sense of refinement that’s suggested by the styling and interior. And it’ll only be improved if you opt for the optional air suspension.
Volvo offers the 2020 XC60 in three trims: Momentum, R-Design, and Inscription. The base Momentum includes leather upholstery, power-adjusting seats, a power liftgate, and a 9.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The latest driver-assist safety features are also standard; this includes automatic emergency braking and lane-departure warnings.