2013 Volvo XC60

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2013 Volvo XC60 Review

By KBB.com Editors

KBB Expert Rating: 7.1

The 2013 Volvo XC60 plays in the highly competitive segment of smaller luxury SUVs, facing off against the Lexus RX, BMW X3, Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLK and Cadillac SRX. But like Volvos always have, the XC60 sets itself apart with safety. The XC60 is the only SUV in its class to earn a perfect 5-star rating – in all seating positions and all crash scenarios – in the government (NHTSA) crash tests. It's available with front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD), three horsepower ratings, three or four trim levels and option groups including the Technology Package (adaptive cruise control, collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning and more). The standard City Safety system automatically applies the brakes when it approaches an object too quickly.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you prize safety as much as looks, versatility and power, you'll feel right at home in an XC60. More ground clearance than most competitors makes it better for light off-road excursions, and in R-Design form, the XC60 is the most powerful 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 of 25 mpg on the highway, consider the Audi Q5 with a 4-cylinder rated up to 27 mpg or the Volkswagen Touareg TDI, rated up to 28 mpg.

What's New for 2013

A new Road Sign Information feature joins the Technology Package. Rain-sensing wipers and headlight washers are standard across the board, keyless entry is added for the top 3.2 trim and both T6s, and 19-inch alloy wheels are available on the 3.2 and T6. Both T6s get a transmission sport mode.

Driving the XC60
Driving Impressions

Not surprisingly, the 2013 Volvo XC60 offers distinct driving impressions depending on your engine choice. The base, 240-horsepower 6-cylinder engine gets the Volvo SUV up to speed adequately, clocking a...

... 0-60-mph time around 9.1 seconds. Moving up to the turbocharged inline-6 provides a much more rewarding experience, even in the 300-horsepower T6 trim. The R-Design's 325 horsepower feels downright quick, effortlessly accelerating onto freeways or passing slower vehicles. The improved dynamics do come with a harsher ride, however. With the standard 17-inch wheels and tires, the XC60 3.2 and T6 offer a smooth, comfy and quiet ride. The 20-inchers and firmer suspension on the R-Design make for a stiffer ride and a noisier cabin. On highways, all XC60s feel stable and well-behaved.

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.

With increased horsepower and torque, the 2013 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.

2013 Volvo XC60 Details

As befitting a Swedish automobile, the XC60's interior is sleek and 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 placed and hard to operate. The complicated screens on the optional navigation system are inferior to touch menus found on even store-bought units.


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 2013 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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A base 2013 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, a 160-watt, 8-speaker sound system with CD/DVD player and HD Radio, and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel. Front-drive is standard on the 3.2 (AWD optional) while all T6s are all-wheel drive only.

Optional Equipment

The Tech Package bundles a series of safety technologies, including Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Collision Warning, Pedestrian 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, heated seats, panoramic roof with power sunshade, and a walnut steering wheel.

Under the Hood

The 2013 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.

3.2-liter inline-6
240 horsepower @ 6,400 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 @ 2,100-4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23 mpg

3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6
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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