Stylish, modern, and undeniably desirable, the 2020 Volvo XC60 is the Swedish brand’s twist on today’s luxury compact SUV. Borrowing interior and exterior styling cues from the larger XC90 SUV gives the XC60 a head start in the desirability department, but it backs up its premium, contemporary image with a long list of standard and optional features that elevate it above many of its rivals. Inside its spacious cabin, buyers will find upscale materials and thoughtful details. Technology is front and center, from the 9.0-inch portrait-oriented infotainment display and 12.3-inch digital gauge display to the many standard driver-assistance features, including automated emergency braking and lane-keeping assist. An adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode is optional. Three different powertrains are available—all variations of Volvo’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder—including the turbocharged T5, the turbo- and supercharged T6, and the plug-in hybrid T8.
What’s New for 2020?
All XC60s now come standard with the 12.3-inch digital gauge display; the plug-in hybrid T8 powertrain gets a larger 11.6-kWh battery pack; and active-steering assist accompanies the SUV’s City Safety feature. The base Momentum trim ditches its faux-leather upholstery in favor of the real deal and comes standard with rear parking sensors. The R-Design gains standard nappa leather, a stitched dashboard cover, and four-zone automatic climate control; gloss-black accents replace last year’s matte-silver exterior trim. Buyers of the R-Design and Inscription models must now pay extra for the XC60’s self-parking feature, and power-folding rear seats are removed from all trim levels. At the top of the range sits a new Polestar Engineered model that is powered by a 415-hp version of the hybrid T8 powertrain; it comes with adjustable Öhlins dampers in the suspension, 21-inch Polestar wheels, and Akebono-brand brakes with gold calipers. To announce its high-performance intentions, it wears black-chrome exhaust finishers, a host of Polestar logos, and gold seatbelts.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Volvo offers three different powertrains—T5, T6, and T8—in the XC60, all mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard but upgrading to either the T6 or T8 powertrains adds all-wheel drive. Under the hood of base T5-badged XC60s is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 250 horsepower. Its 6.4-second zero-to-60-mph time in our testing is adequate but unremarkable. The T6 is powered by the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder as the T5, but a supercharger is added for more oomph. With 316 ponies in its stable, it feels peppier and its performance on our test track was measurably quicker. The plug-in hybrid T8 version borrows the T6’s engine and pairs it with a set of electric motors for a total of 400 horsepower or 415 in the Polestar Engineered model. The XC60 takes corners well, feels tied to the road while cruising, and changes directions with confidence, but doesn’t inspire hooliganism like the Porsche Macan. The ride can feel a touch harsh when driving over rougher stretches of road, but on smooth sections it’s agreeable and calm.