In a tight field of competitors, Volvo's XC60 for 2014 must deliver luxury like the Lexus RX, power like the agile BMW X3 and Audi Q5 and pricing like the Acura RDX. The XC60 achieves most of these goals, and then tosses in a big dose of styling, safety and individualism. After all, how special can you feel driving a luxury model parked in half the driveways in your neighborhood? The XC60's trump card, however, is its perfect 5-star crash-test ratings, an achievement no other SUV in this class can match. For anyone who has children, the XC60's safety record trumps any gains its competitors may have in the areas of power, styling or features.
You'll Like This Car If...
If the safety of your family is the primary reason you're willing to spend a bit more on a premium luxury SUV, you can't do better than the 2014 Volvo XC60. Unique styling and a limited owner pool should appeal to those who like to stand out in a crowd.
You May Not Like This Car If...
The XC60 is not the most fuel-efficient crossover SUV. If fuel economy is your top priority, the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLK diesels, not to mention the Lexus RX and Audi Q5 hybrids, all attain 30 mpg or better.
For 2014, the Volvo XC60 receives a major restyling, with all-new sheetmetal from the windshield forward. New features include Corner Traction Control, a revised interior with adaptive digital display on Premium and T6 trims, an enhanced Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) package and a new Sport Package with 20-inch wheels and sport seats.
Driving the XC60
To no one's surprise, our opinion of the 2014 Volvo XC60 depends greatly on which engine is under the hood. Performance from the base 240-horsepower 6-cylinder is adequate, but requiring...
... nearly 10 seconds to reach 60 mph won't cut it in this league. The turbocharged T6 and T6 R-Design deliver a much more satisfying driving experience, providing effortless power to merge, overtake or simply enjoy the drive. The new Corner Traction Control system improves cornering and stability, but with the T6 models come a stiffer ride and a bit more road noise in the cabin. Don't even get us started about the ride with the optional 20-inch wheels. For most drivers, the 18-inch wheels on the base 3.2 and T6 will suffice.
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 – other cars or pedestrians – and automatically applies the brakes if the driver does not, avoiding or reducing the severity of accidents.
R-DESIGN With increased horsepower and torque, the 2014 T6 R-Design XC60 is now the smaller luxury SUV to beat. Fuel economy for this version is only fair – 17 mpg city/23 highway – but it's no worse than the less-powerful turbo engine used in the mid-level T6, and can still run on regular unleaded.
2014 Volvo XC60 Details
As befitting a Swedish automobile, the XC60's interior is sleek and understated. A new dash layout includes an available TFT adaptable digital instrument cluster that allows the driver to select different settings and colors. Still onboard is Volvo's clever ventilation control in the shape of a person sitting down. To direct air to your upper body, just hit the figure's "head;" touch the legs, and air moves to the foot-wells. 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 placed and hard to operate.
Today's Volvos look nothing like the blocky models of the past. Bucking the squared edges and boxy greenhouses of other SUVs, the XC60 has a wonderfully graceful profile. Lovely in form, the 2014 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 stylish 20-inch wheels that lessen the XC60's off-road abilities in favor of more pavement performance. If you regularly churn through snow or mud, we recommend the base 3.2 or T6 trim.
A base 2014 Volvo XC60 comes with a 3.2-liter 6-cylinder engine, 6-speed Geartronic automatic transmission, skidplates 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, 18-inch wheels, a 160-watt, 8-speaker sound system with CD/DVD player and HD Radio, and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard on the 3.2 (AWD optional) while all T6s are all-wheel drive only.
The Tech Package bundles a series of safety technologies, including Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Collision Warning, Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection and the new Road Sign Information, which "sees" important road signs approaching and displays them on the driver information screen. Other available additions to the XC60 include in-dash navigation, dual-screen rear-entertainment system, 12-speaker premium sound system, integrated rear child safety seats, panoramic roof with power sunshade, and a walnut steering wheel. The Climate Package adds heated front and rear seats, heated windshield and a heated steering wheel. New options include active HID headlights with heated washers and a Sport Package.
Under the Hood
The 2014 Volvo XC60 3.2 is powered by a modest 3.2-liter inline-6. T6 models employ a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine that puts out 300 horsepower. R-Design models give a further boost to the turbo engine, raising output to 325 horsepower. All XC60 models are mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and can run on regular unleaded gasoline. Towing capacity for all models is limited to 3,300 pounds.
The 2014 Volvo XC60 3.2 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just over $35,500, including destination charge. An XC60 T6 starts at $41,500, while a top-of-the-line T6 R-Design starts right around $46,750. When fully optioned, an R-Design model can approach $56,000. With a price range this wide, the Volvo XC60 can compete at the lower end with the Acura RDX (about $35,500) and the Infiniti QX50 (close to $35,000), and at the high end with a loaded Mercedes-Benz GLK350 and Audi Q5 3.2 (both close to $60,000). To make your best deal, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price, which reflects what others in your area have paid for their XC60. As for resale, we expect the 2014 Volvo XC60 to retain slightly-better-than-average values over a 5-year period, outperforming the Land Rover LR2 and Mercedes-Benz GLK350, but falling below the Audi Q5, Acura RDX and Lexus RX 350.
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."