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2012 Volvo XC60

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2012 Volvo XC60 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.2

The 2012 Volvo XC60 does battle in the highly competitive segment of smaller luxury SUVs against stalwarts such as the Lexus RX and BMW X3, as well as other competitors like the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLK and Cadillac SRX. But the XC60 sets itself apart with the one thing that has long identified the Volvo brand: safety. In this case, every XC60 comes standard with the City Safety system, which can prevent accidents by automatically applying the brakes in certain situations where the driver is distracted or otherwise fails to stop. In addition to brains, the XC60 boasts beauty. Available in front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD) and with two main engine options, the XC60 boasts exterior curves that set it apart from the blocky shapes of Volvos past.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you prize safety as much as looks, versatility, power and standing out from the crowd, you'll feel right at home in an XC60. At 9.1 inches, the Volvo also boasts higher ground clearance than competitors, making it more suitable for light off-road excursions. And in R-Design form, the 2012 XC60 is the most powerful gas-powered SUV in its class.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you want an SUV with better fuel economy than the XC60's best case of 25 mpg on the highway, consider the Audi Q5 with a 4-cylinder that rated up to 27 mpg or the Volkswagen Touareg TDI, rated up to 28 mpg. If you need to carry more than five passengers, you'll want to step up to a larger, 3-row SUV.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Volvo XC60 has multiplied its trim forms for a total of 10, but they are based off three major ones: the base 3.2, the turbocharged T6 and the top-end-turbo R-Design. All-wheel-drive is standard for models with the turbo engine and optional on the 3.2. This year the R-Design gets a hefty power boost, rising to 325-horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque for class-leading status. New trim forms for the XC60 are designated Premier, Premier Plus and, at the top, Platinum. The R-Design XC60 with the 3.2-liter engine has been discontinued for 2012. T6 models are available with the Dynamic Package, which includes Volvo's FOUR-C Active Chassis control, speed-sensitive power steering and xenon headlights.

Driving the XC60

Driving Impressions Not surprisingly, the 2012 Volvo XC60 offers distinct driving impressions depending on what's under the hood. The base, 240-horsepower 6-cylinder engine has enough oomph to get the Volvo SUV up...

to speed adequately, clocking a 0-60 mph time of 9.1 seconds. Moving up to the turbocharged inline-6, however, provides a much more rewarding experience. With a 0-60 mph time of just 6.9 seconds, this version of the XC60 feels downright quick, effortlessly getting up to speed on freeways or passing slower vehicles. The downside of the turbo, though, is that its improved dynamics can come at the expense of harsher ride quality. With the standard 17-inch wheels and tires, the XC60 3.2 offers a smooth, comfy and quiet ride. The larger wheels found on the more powerful versions of the Volvo, however, make for a firmer ride and a noisier cabin. On highways, all XC60s feel stable and well-behaved.

City Safe
This system provides a technological safety net for distracted drivers. At speeds of 19 mph or below, the system senses stopped or slow-moving objects ahead - such as other cars in stop-and-go traffic - and automatically applies the brakes if the driver does not. Volvo says the system can avoid or at the least lessen the severity of accidents.

T6 R-Design
With increased horsepower and torque, the 2012 T6 R-Design XC60 is now the segment's crossover to beat. Fuel economy for this version isn't fabulous - 17 mpg city/23 highway - but it's not worse than the other turbo engine used in the mid-level T6, and can still run on regular unleaded.
2012 Volvo XC60 Details

2012 Volvo XC60 Details
2012 Volvo XC60 photo Interior

As befitting a Swedish automobile, the XC60's interior is sleek and relatively understated. There are many controls and buttons in the dash, but they are easy to identify and use, most notably the ventilation controls in the shape of a human. To direct air to your upper body, just hit the figure's "head." Contrasting colors adorn seats and door panels, and the bucket-style front seats are very comfortable. On the downside, the manual lumbar controls are awkwardly place and hard to turn. The complicated screens on the optional navigation system are inferior to touch menus found on even store-bought units.

Exterior
2012 Volvo XC60 photo

Today's Volvos look nothing like the blocky models of the past, and nowhere is that more apparent than the XC60. Bucking the squared edges and boxy greenhouses of other SUVs, the Volvo has a wonderfully curved and shapely rear that is highlighted by bright taillights. Lovely in form, the 2012 Volvo XC60 is still functional. The vehicle's roof rails are low to reduce wind noise, and an optional crossbar system can be attached to carry bikes, kayaks, skis and more. R-Design models have larger, more stylish wheels that lessen the XC60's off-road abilities. If you regularly traverse snow or mud or mud, we recommend the base 3.2 or T6 trim.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A base 2012 Volvo XC60 comes with a 3.2-liter 6-cylinder engine, 6-speed Geartronic automatic transmission, skid plates on the front and rear, the City Safety system, a 5-year/50,000 mile warranty, complimentary factory scheduled maintenance for five years, and five years of roadside assistance. Also standard are steering wheel-mounted audio controls, power windows, Bluetooth hands-free phone interface with audio streaming, a 160-watt, 8-speaker sound system with CD/DVD player and HD Radio, and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel.

Optional Equipment

Additions to the XC60 include in-dash navigation, dual-screen rear entertainment system, 12-speaker premium sound system, heated rear seats, panoramic roof with power sunshade, and a walnut steering wheel. On the safety front, more options abound, including adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and a pedestrian detection system with full auto braking capability.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Volvo XC60 3.2 is powered by a modest 3.2-liter in-line 6-cylinder. T6 models employ a turbocharged 3.0-liter in-line 6-cylinder engine that puts out 300 horsepower. R-Design models give a further boost to the turbo engine, improving output to 325 horsepower. All XC60 models can run on regular unleaded gasoline and are mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Towing capacity for all models is limited to 3,300 pounds.


3.2-liter inline-6
240 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
236 lb-ft of torque @ 3,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/25 mpg (FWD), 18/24 mpg (AWD)

3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6
300 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
325 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23 mpg
3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 (R-Design edition)
325 horsepower @ 5,400-6,500 rpm
354 lb-ft of torque @ 3,000-3,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23 mpg

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2012 Volvo XC60 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 82 Ratings for the 2010 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Fantastic Car

By on Thursday, November 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, confident in the snow, great seats"

Cons: "Takes a while to learn the Navigation System well"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought a 2015.5 T5 (5cyl) Platinum AWD XC60 in Oct of 2014. It has CTC, Volvo's torque vectoring system, and 20 in Pirellis, and it will flat go around a corner. Fantastic driving dynamics. But still very confident in the snow despite having performance tires -- and I've driven it in some very slippery wet snow in the Colorado foothills. The car's been nothing but a joy, no problems. Incredibly comfortable seats and great storage in the back."

23 people out of 37 found this review helpful

Been the Best Volvo yet, this is my second

By on Monday, November 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Design, Options, Reliability, Stability"

Cons: "Gas mileage unless you get Polestar option."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

Xc60 with Xenons

"Owned Volvo S80 Sedan prior to this one..this Volvo has been superior to that one, Has Bluetooth,Xenon HID headlights,Premium Radio, SAT/NAV and rear view backup camera. The other gadgets are ok..but for me the BLIS feature (Blind spot) is a distraction on Rainy days always have to cut it off. The lane deviation also is a distraction, makes irritating beeps. Glad they have a cut off button for all these gadgets. However this is a SAFE car.. perfect options for the wife and children with the Turbo power option that is good for those who know to use it responsibly. At 6ft 2" have no problem with height or getting in and driving long distances in this vehicle.Especially on Mountain roads & passes, the Turbo models & those Pirelli Scorpion Zero Tires are a Plus+. Would recommend this car to any entry family mid size SUV ..."

16 people out of 30 found this review helpful

Xc60 with Xenons

A Car of Our Dreams

By on Saturday, November 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Ext. Lighting, 2nd row sts. fold flat"

Cons: "None yet"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"1st as you can see we have only had this car a few weeks. But, just about everything I read has been true. We sold our 1996 GMC Envoy, we tend to keep our cars a while. We decided to stay with a SUV, more upscale, & safety was our 1st priority. This 2016 Volvo XC60 delivers on all fronts. The 20" wheels are well worth the extra $$ IMO, it is fun to drive and handles like a car. i"

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

My name says it all

By on Tuesday, September 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Everything"

Cons: "Blind spots when backing up. However, the back up"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is the best Volvo I have owned! So easy to drive and more comfortable than our 2013 Lincoln MKS,"

22 people out of 36 found this review helpful

My Volvo XC60 is stylish, reliable and awesome!

By on Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Reliability, Comfort, Safety and Style"

Cons: "None yet!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Everything is right with this car, styling, performance, reliability, value and it's so fun to drive."

18 people out of 31 found this review helpful

Great driver, behind the times in technology

By on Friday, June 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "Probably the best "driver" I have ever owned."

Cons: "Behind the times in some of their so-called luxury"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"I have driven this car from Ohio to Oregon and back and have to say, it is a true "road car". Great handling, acceleration, etc., but I am VERY disappointed in the Bluetooth and navigation technology. You have to go through several steps to make a phone call. In most all SUV's I tested, all you had to do is say "call home" and it dialed the number. With Volvo, you have to go through several steps (or more) just to call someone from your contact list. The navigation is fair to poor, particularly if you are using the "voice activation" system. I experienced one serious problem while returning from a trip in Oregon. At one point the navigation system told me to "bear left", which would have thrown me head on into oncoming traffic. The voice activation system also does now work very well at highway speeds. Overall, the vehicle is a great driver. I love that aspect of it. However, it you are buying a 2015 (not the 2015.5), beware of the so called technology that this car fails to provide."

23 people out of 46 found this review helpful

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