2017 Volvo XC60 Driving Impressions

On the whole, the XC60 doesn’t feel on par with class-competitive crossovers. Despite its tall profile, however, this Volvo handles quite well, sticking to the pavement even through tight curves and corners.

Few would call the XC60 sporty in nature, but it’s definitely stable. Steering is nicely-weighted, compared to prior Volvo models, yielding a helpful amount of road feel. Ground clearance of 9.1 inches, combined with Haldex all-wheel drive, should let the XC60 ease through deep snow, muddy paths, or rocky trails.

Ride quality is European-firm, thus less smooth than in many crossovers. That’s especially true with 20-inch wheels and low-profile tires, which can yield some jarring. On the other hand, an XC60 is quite forgiving when faced with rough surfaces. Overall, with smaller tires, the ride is reasonably comfortable. Noise suppression is on par with other members of the near-luxury crossover category.

At low speeds, the base engine sounds somewhat coarse, emitting a thrumming sound when stop/start operation is active. The 8-speed transmission lacks refinement and tends to feel disconnected, striving too hard to keep engine speed down in the interest of fuel economy. Some shuddering occurs during low-speed maneuvers.

Even the stronger turbo/supercharged engine feels constrained by the transmission, which does a lot of gear-searching. The T6 also has a heavy feel, though actual weight isn’t excessive. Front-drive models feel lighter and better balanced, particularly in Sport mode.

The base engine is EPA-rated at 23/30 mpg City/Highway, or 26 mpg Combined. Estimated mileage in an all-wheel-drive T6 dips to 20/27 mpg City/Highway, or 23 mpg Combined.

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