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Volvo XC60 engines, driving and performance

How does the Volvo XC60 drive?

The Volvo XC60 isn't a driver's car so, if you're after a family SUV that's still fun to drive, check out the BMW X3. Nevertheless, the controls are intuitive enough that you don't have to guess how much steering or pedal input is required to get the result you want.

It does tend to bounce about on its suspension over bumps and through turns, where sportier rivals remain more level. That softness also means there's a bit of roll in corners but the car never feels wayward or unpredictable.

While the steering is accurate enough that you're not sawing at it to keep the car pointed straight, it does feel a little rubbery as you start to turn more sharply. Again, this won't bother anyone just cruising around in the XC60, but keen drivers may prefer a more connected experience.

Is the Volvo XC60 comfortable?

Certainly, the XC60 isn't sporty but it is at least impressively comfortable. The absorbent suspension soaks up large bumps and also filters out much of the busyness you'll find on rougher road surfaces. Paired with the supportive passenger seats, the XC60 is an incredibly easy car to rack up big miles in.

Road noise is also well suppressed with very little intrusion from the tyres or suspension at speed, although you do notice a little wind whipping around the door mirrors. The only other time cabin peace is disturbed is when you put your foot down – there's lots of power available from the engines but they do make quite a racket if you ask for full throttle.

What’s the best Volvo XC60 engine to get?

All XC60s – petrol, diesel and hybrid – come with 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engines. Entry-level B4P petrol cars – previously called T4 – have 197hp, meaning plenty of power whether you're just cruising around or pulling out for a fast overtake, for example. The standard eight-speed automatic gearbox is rarely caught off guard in the wrong gear, although you might find yourself prodding the throttle hard if you want a sudden burst of power. B5P models step this up to 250hp for even more insistent acceleration.

B4D and B5D diesel engines lack the outright performance of their petrol counterparts, but their healthy low-down shove masks most of the performance deficit.

T6 and T8 plug-in hybrids sit at the top of the range and both offer impressive straight-line performance. More of interest to regular commuters will be their electric-only range, which is more than 40 miles for both models.

Volvo XC60 performance

Performance isn't really the point of the XC60, but all models are powerful enough that they feel relaxed when overtaking or joining the motorway. There aren't any sporty driving modes to select, however, so you'll need to floor the accelerator and trust that the automatic gearbox will bang through the ratios.

If performance is a priority, the T8 plug-in hybrid engine will smash the 0-62mph benchmark in less than five seconds, putting it among some seriously punchy sports cars.

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