2013 Volvo XC60 Expert Review

3.5 Overall Score
Performance 3.4 Comfort 3.7 Styling 3.6 Value 3.4

Editor's Overview

The 2013 Volvo XC60 plays in the highly competitive segment of smaller luxury SUVs, but like Volvos always have, it sets itself apart with safety. The XC60 is the only SUV in its class to earn a perfect 5-star rating in the government crash tests. It's available with front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), three horsepower ratings and three or four trim levels.

You'll Like The 2013 Volvo XC60 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 The 2013 Volvo XC60 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

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.

Interior Features

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.

Exterior Features

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.

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.

Pricing Notes

The 2013 Volvo XC60 3.2 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just over $35,000, including destination charge. An XC60 T6 starts at $41,345, while a top-of-the-line T6 R-Design comes in at $45,545. When fully optioned, an R-Design model can approach $57,000. With a price range this wide, the Volvo XC60 can compete at the lower end with the Acura RDX (about $34,000) and the Infiniti EX37 (close to $37,000), and at the high end with a loaded Mercedes-Benz GLK350 ($58,000) and Audi Q5 3.2 ($59,000). 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 2013 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.

Notable 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.

Notable Options

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.

Favorite Features


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.

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

Editors' Notes

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.

Road Test Video Reviews

2013 Volvo XC60 Owner Reviews

21 Reviews
81% 19% 3 star 0% 2 star 0% 1 star 0%
Leave your review Would you recommend this vehicle?
(Select your rating)

Volvos are extremely safe vehicles. Volvo is not only doing their best to keep passengers safe in the event of an accident but they're also working toward finding ways to help prevent accidents.

2013 Volvo XC60

I can take my vehicle for granted on a daily basis. It is extremely safe which is most important to me. It rides smoothly and isn't bad to look at which are added bonuses. Plus it takes regular gas so that's great. I had no maintenance costs in the first four years and now using an extended warranty. Only recently had to replace original battery, tires and brakes. Excellent vehicle.

- ashley B

Safe and reliable is the Volvo xc60.

2013 Volvo XC60

I have never experienced any problems with this vehicle. It is as reliable today as it was when it was new. The all-wheel drive performs flawlessly in the rain and snow. The ride is also smooth and comfortable as the day I bought it. I originally bought it because of its safety ratings and have never regretted it.

- Paula K

That it is safe, one of the safest vehicles on the road.

2013 Volvo XC60

I love that my vehicle is a compact SUV. It is fun to drive and looks super sharp. The safety features are amazing and to this day is ranked one of the safest vehicles on the road. I Do wish the middle seat was adjustable like it is on the XC90. If it was, I don't think I would ever buy another type of vehicle.

- Aimee M

Leave your review