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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 86 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

Our 2nd XC60. Will be looking for 3rd soon.

By on Thursday, July 7, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

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 about the car."

Cons: "Local mileage is a bit poor."

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

"I've read some of the reviews relating to battery problems. We had a similar problem with our first XC60 about 3 years ago. Purchase dealer could not find but service dealer in a second location found and corrected the problem. It related to the radio seeking the Sirius signal when the engine was not running. This wore down the battery. Corrected by software update. We are lovers of this car. Best car ever!"

Great Entry Into the Luxury Market

By on Friday, June 3, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Engine, Comfort, Visibility, Volvo On Call, leathe"

Cons: "Infotainment, could be slightly quiter on hwy"

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

"My wife and I traded in our 2007 Ford Edge for a 2016 XC60 R-Design Polestar. We looked at many other vehicles including the BMW x1, Volvo v60, Mercedes GLA, Lincoln MKC. To date, we could not be happier with our decision. The vehicle normally makes about 300 hp, but with the Polestar update it gets 325 HP and 350 lbft. It is much quicker than anything else we looked at. It is true that the infotainment system is dated, but in reality the number pad system is something you can use with your eyes on the road and is an interface most are used to and is simple to operate. The seats and leather are soft and comfortable and I have not noticed any quality issues yet. The car is no M or AMG, but it is exciting to see what Polestar can do with just a simple tune; I would imagine that their future with volvo is bright. The springs are a bit softer than I would like but firm enough to allow spirited driving without being crashy like the German competition. Based on reviews, I was worried about gas mileage but we are averaging around 22 with a lot of around town operation, on an engine that really hasn't been broken in yet, which is better than I expected. The luxury establishment (BMW, Mercedes) has its hold on peoples opinions but their entry levels are underpowered, loud and cheaply made once you really examine the interior quality. Out the door, the XC60 was significantly less than a used 2016 X1, despite being larger, faster and having more options. People really need to avert their eyes from the German manufacturers glare and look elsewhere. The domestics and lesser known european brands are making some hugely competitive vehicles."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

awesome SUV!!!

By on Sunday, May 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000

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

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

"I have aways wanted a Volvo and purchased the XC-60 AWD a year ago. Love, love, love it and recommend to anyone looking for an SUV. The safety especially in rainy weather is amazing. I feel so confident in heavy rains due to traction control, handling and weight of the SUV. During a recent ice/snow storm, yes in North Carolina, my husband drive it and there were no problems what so ever. We are getting ready to purchase a Volvo Sedan S60. Great on trips, love the confidence and reliability."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Nice ride, but voice recognition is deeply flawed

By on Wednesday, March 2, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "A tight ride with precise, responsive handling."

Cons: "Voice recognition is appalling;MPG way below specs"

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

"I bought my XC60 T5 AWD Platinum in October 2015. I'm a former Audi A4 Quattro standard driver (from their late '90s Golden Age) looking to trade up to a more fun ride than I got in my Lexus RX 350 yet with good safety features since I have kids. After test driving all the major luxury models and the top-rated competitors, I drove a Volvo and was hooked. The ride was tight, the handling precise, and the responsiveness was stellar. Add in the great safety options and life is good, right? Wrong. The first thing I noted about the car is that the gas mileage is considerably lower than advertised. I opted for the T5 rather than the T6 for fuel economy and regardless am getting a combined highway and city of a lowly 14.7 MPG, significantly less than the MPH Volvo advertises of 19/26. The real killer however is the ridiculously poor voice recognition. I have worked in the voice and telephony industry and cannot understand how Volvo would have put such a sub-standard product into their cars. Having driven many cars with voice recognition, including my Lexus and the 2010 Ford Fusion hybrid that I traded in, I was shocked at how badly Volvo's product performs. While it seems to do OK with navigation commands, it is completely flustered with certain names, does not hang up calls and instead leaves them open (especially inconvenient and costly when making international calls), and takes a long time for data to load, giving the user a "phonebook is empty" response. I run my own business and make a lot of calls while on the road. It is staggering to me that Volvo would have put a voice product in their pricey luxury cars that is clearly deeply flawed and performs more like a high school science project than one that is prime-time ready. After trying to unsuccessfully resolve this issue with Volvo, even tapping their North American President's office for help, I'll be looking to trade in my Volvo and looking at other brands. It's a pity because the car is a sweet drive, but the voice recognition issues are a brand killer."

23 people out of 33 found this review helpful

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."

26 people out of 41 found this review helpful

Been the Best Volvo yet, this is my second

By on Monday, November 9, 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 ..."

18 people out of 36 found this review helpful

Xc60 with Xenons

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