2013 Volvo XC60: Family Checklist

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The 2013 Volvo XC60 is a stylish compact crossover that can only be described as sensible. While it's a luxurious five-passenger family hauler, it failed to thrill me during my weeklong test drive.

My test car, an XC60 T6, had a 300-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. It didn't have a problem getting up to speed and passing cars on the highway. However, there were moments when the ride felt less than smooth. Maybe it was the endless construction on my local thoroughfares, but I noticed it on roads that weren't littered with construction debris. The XC60 doesn't always offer as comfortable a ride as its minimalist looks might imply.

There were days that I wanted a little more from the XC60. Perhaps I hit the doldrums because fuel economy isn't great in the XC60. The XC60 T6 with all-wheel drive gets an EPA-estimated 17/23 mpg city/highway. Its all-wheel-drive competitors, the Lexus RX 350 and Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class, both best the XC60 with 18/24 and 19/24 mpg, respectively; the Cadillac SRX falls short on city mileage with 16/23 mpg.

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The XC60's cabin is nicely appointed with attractive two-tone leather upholstery and a clutter-free floating center stack. This design creates a handy storage space behind the center stack that can hold your gadgets or a small diaper bag or purse.

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For a compact crossover, the XC60 is surprisingly roomy and comfortable. Rear legroom is plentiful at 36.4 inches. It's great for children, but even a couple of adults could survive a longer trip sitting in the XC60's rear seats. The 40/20/40-split folding backseat is always appreciated for its flexibility with kids and their corresponding gear, and it offered plenty of flexibility for seat configuration. My children, ages 3, 4 and 6, had no problems climbing in and out of the XC60, though some did it more gracefully than others.

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Only two child-safety seats fit in the XC60's backseat, which is a bummer for this three-car-seat family. However, a child who no longer needs a safety seat could fit relatively well between two safety seats. My son, who uses a booster seat, had no problem buckling up independently thanks to the XC60's seat belt buckles on stable bases.

2012 Volvo XC60: Car Seat Check

The 30.8-cubic-foot cargo area handled our demands well, swallowing up groceries and even some summer planting items that thankfully remained upright. With the rear seats folded, the cargo area grows to 67.4 cubic feet. The XC60's cargo area numbers beat the GLK-Class' 23.3/54.7 and the SRX's 29.8/61.1. However, the RX 350 puts all three competitors to shame with its 40.0/80.3 dimensions.

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Volvo has built its reputation on safety, which is a draw for many including those with families. The XC60 has Volvo's City Safety feature that detects a stopped or slow-moving car — 31 mph or less — in front of you and applies the brakes automatically. And you can even opt to top it off with features like built-in booster seats ($500).

Related
Research the 2013 Volvo XC60
Read the 2013 Volvo XC60 Expert Review
More Family News

Comments 

AgentMike

I have been a Loyal Volvo Owner for 12 years. Was given the XC-60 as a loaner two weeks ago. Poor power and poor gas mileage. Very harsh ride, felt like I was in a sports version of a BMW with run flats.I have two teenage boys, and to say they were cramped in the back seats is an understatement.
I love Volvo's, but This one has missed the mark, and High Standards that I have come to expect from this Swedish Car Company.

fanboy

AG,
Try the traverse. Larger, better ride, better mpg, and chevy is now in the top five rankings for reliability. Volvo has great seats but thats about all.

AgentMike

Sorry won't touch an UAW Made car.

Cuse R

I am a current owner of a 2011 (w/ Sensus) model. Its 2 years old with almost 30k miles and I have had zero problems.

The ride is firm and may not be not for everyone. As for the fuel economy being "poor" - its within 1 MPG of the Lexus / Caddy / BMW / etc.....I don't see this as a valid criticism. I routinely get 20-21 MPG with a mix of city and highway driving.

AgentMike - for being underpowered you must have not had the T6. If the backseat was cramped with teenage boys then they must be well over 6 feet tall.

My only complaint with the car is the wind noise at highway speeds. That aside, this car offers exceptional value to BMW/Lexus/MB.

MrMatt

Just bought the XC60 for my wife today. We are indeed thrilled with it and did not get it to be a thrilling ride. Our other car is for that.

What we got is a great family hauler and good road trip car. The safety and accident avoidance features deserve more than the cursory mention given at the end of the article.

I mostly agree with Cuse R's comments. However, the '13 models we test drove and the one we left with were not bad noise wise on the highway at 75. Possible they could have addressed that between the 11 and 13 model years.

Vik

AgentMike- I'm sure the UAW is heartbroken, and the Euro, Japanese and Korean makes are celebrating. Get real, nobody cares.

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