2012 Volvo XC60 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent safety scores
  • ample interior space
  • comfortable ride
  • strong turbocharged engine
  • distinctive design inside and out
  • available integrated booster seats.
  • Some unintuitive interior controls
  • pokey acceleration with base engine.
List Price Range
$10,990 - $12,900

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2012 Volvo XC60 is a well-rounded compact luxury SUV that's one of the top choices for families.

Notably, we picked the Volvo XC60 as one of Edmunds' Best Used SUVs and Best Used Luxury SUVs for 2012.

Vehicle overview

The compact luxury SUV segment is growing. Almost every premium automaker now offers one, and while each has its own character, the 2012 Volvo XC60 sets itself apart with its capability as a family car. With impeccable crash test scores, generous interior space and several unique features, the XC60 is ideally set up to keep your family comfortable and safe.

Frankly, that description makes the XC60 sound pretty similar to the safe and practical Volvo wagons that were once so popular. And in a way, the XC60 is indeed the modern Volvo wagon. Yet even if the XC60 accomplishes similar goals, it does so with handsome, unique styling that stands in sharp contrast to those boxy Volvos of yore. Whether you're looking at its nicely sculpted exterior or enjoying the distinctive shapes, surfaces and color combinations of its chic interior, the XC60 not only stands out from its predecessors but also from its contemporary competitors as well. It can even be pretty sporty thanks to the R-Design model and its extra power for 2012.

Notably, the XC60 is one of the few vehicles on the road in 2012 to get a perfect five stars in the government's tougher, new crash tests. It also offers a slew of safety features designed to prevent an accident in the first place. Especially nice for young families are the dual booster seats for children that pop up in the backseat. You'll no longer have to remove Junior's booster (and find some place to put it) when you go out for an evening with the neighbors. Your friends will also appreciate the greater amount of room the XC60 provides compared to its rivals.

As for those rivals, the well-rounded Audi Q5 comes closest to matching the XC60's family friendliness, while being a tad more luxurious as well. The Mercedes-Benz GLK350 isn't as roomy as the Volvo, but it boasts solid build quality, added refinement and a similar emphasis on safety. You could also consider SUVs from non-premium automakers that provide as much or more practicality than the XC60 for a lower price, such as the Ford Edge or Nissan Murano.

These are all good choices, but when it comes to finding family-friendly transport in a stylish, luxurious package, it's hard to beat the 2012 Volvo XC60.

2012 Volvo XC60 models

The 2012 Volvo XC60 is a compact luxury SUV that seats five people. It is available in 3.2, T6 and T6 R-Design trim levels. Each is available in standard, Premier Plus and Platinum sub-trims, while the 3.2 gets an additional Premier sub-trim.

Standard features on the XC60 3.2 include 17-inch wheels, roof rails, heated mirrors, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat with memory functions and adjustable lumbar, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, fabric upholstery, a leather-wrapped wheel and shifter, a split-folding 40/20/40 backseat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface. The 3.2 Premier and T6 add silver-painted roof rails, tinted rear windows, a panoramic sunroof, an eight-way power passenger seat and leather upholstery. The T6 differs with its more powerful engine and 18-inch wheels.

The Premier Plus sub-trims add parking sensors, a power liftgate, a cargo cover and power-folding rear head restraints. The Platinum trims gain a rearview camera, a navigation system, real-time traffic and a 12-speaker surround-sound audio system.

Each R-Design model is pretty similar in feature content to its T6 counterpart save for extra power, a sport-tuned suspension, special styling features, twin chrome exhausts, special interior trim, a sport steering wheel and sport seats.

The Climate package adds headlight washers, heated windshield washer nozzles, automatic wipers, heated front and rear seats and an interior air quality sensor. The Technology package adds adaptive cruise control, a collision warning and active brake system, a distance alert system, a driver attention warning system and a lane-departure warning system. Stand-alone options available on all trims include keyless ignition/entry, a blind-spot warning system, integrated rear booster seats and a rear entertainment system with dual screens.

The T6 can be equipped with the Dynamic package, which adds an adaptive suspension, speed-sensitive steering and adaptive headlights (available separately on 3.2 and T6).

2012 Highlights

For 2012, the Volvo XC60 gets new sub-trim levels in lieu of previous option packages. The T6 R-Design also gets a power bump, while a newly optional Dynamic package adds to the T6 AWD an upgraded suspension and steering.

Performance & mpg

The 2012 Volvo XC60 3.2 comes with a 3.2-liter inline-6 that produces 240 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic and front-wheel drive are standard, but all-wheel drive is optional. Volvo estimates that the 3.2 takes 9.1 seconds to go from zero to 60 mph. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 19 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined with front drive and 18/24/20 with all-wheel drive. Both are average for the segment.

The T6 gets a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 good for 300 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive are standard. In Edmunds testing, a T6 hit 60 mph in 7 seconds, which is average for the class. EPA fuel economy estimates are 17/23/20.

The T6 R-Design gets a more powerful version of this engine good for 325 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive are also standard. In Edmunds testing, it hit 60 mph in a rapid 6.2 seconds -- only the BMW X3 xDrive35i is quicker. Volvo says fuel economy estimates will be identical to the regular T6.

Safety

Every 2012 XC60 comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and whiplash-preventing front seats. Also standard is City Safety, which can mitigate or avoid a low-speed frontal impact by applying the vehicle's brakes without driver intervention. Optional features include integrated child booster seats, blind-spot warning, collision warning and active braking, distance alert, driver attention warning, lane departure and a heartbeat monitor that can detect intruders inside the vehicle.

In Edmunds brake testing, an XC60 T6 came to a stop from 60 mph in 119 feet, which is a bit better than average. In government crash tests, the XC60 received a perfect five stars for overall crash protection, with five stars for both overall frontal impact and side crash protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also gave the XC60 its highest score of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.

Driving

The 2012 Volvo XC60's impressive blend of performance and comfort should satisfy the majority of shoppers looking for a small luxury crossover. The T6's turbocharged engine lacks the aural excitement one might expect, but its smooth and energetic power delivery make it the preferred XC60 engine. In R-Design tune, the T6 is quicker than almost every other compact luxury crossover. Models with the base 3.2-liter engine are noticeably slower.

On the highway, the XC60 is quiet and stable. It also has one of the most comfortable rides in its class. Although this makes it feel a little soft when going around corners, the XC60 nevertheless remains poised even when rushed. No, we wouldn't call it fun, but we wouldn't call it uninvolved, either.

Interior

Volvo has been making an effort in recent years to give its vehicles some interior flair, and the five-passenger XC60 is the brand's best result yet. The thin-panel center stack -- which comes with metallic trim as standard and real oak trim as an option -- combines with the optional two-tone upholstery to make the XC60's cabin look both modern and inviting.

The straightforward dual-temperature adjustment dials and "mode man" pictogram make climate-control adjustments simple and intuitive. The audio system is fairly easy to use, too, though the array of small audio buttons is starting to look dated. The available DVD-based navigation system's interface works fine in practice (especially when operating the included iPod interface), but Volvo's navigation software still feels a few years behind.

The rear seat is particularly roomy as small crossovers go, with a high seat cushion, above-average headroom and decent legroom for adults. The available integrated dual child booster seats are a great feature. To accommodate cargo, the versatile 40/20/40-split rear seat can be folded in a number of different ways and maximum cargo space is a useful 67 cubic feet.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2012 Volvo XC60.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Best Decision Ever!!!
funkytown,12/16/2011
T6 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A)
researched 6 months before buying. when i drove it home from the dealership i knew i'd made the right decision. i could not possibly love this car more! the turbo really kicks when i need to merge into heavy traffic. car feels substantial' i feel very safe. you can feel that you're driving pure quality. haven't found a single thing i dislike yet. i'm inventing places to go every day just so i can drive it more!! money well spent; i'll keep this car for a very long time. i just read about a 1966 volvo in new york with 2.9 million miles on it...now i understand why! just wish i'd bought it 6 months sooner!! and no, i don't work for volvo!
Awesome
dr_az,02/01/2012
T6 R-Design 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A)
Just got my T6R in cosmic white metallic, it's beautiful. now my wife wants one in red. I commute almost 1.5 hr a day. The car makes the commute so enjoyable, passing cars with ease all the while sitting in those so comfy seats listening to Pandora from my iPhone streamed through the speakers. Also appreciate the fact that after a long hard day at work going home in this car makes me feel safe with all the wonderful safety features. I also love the fact that the the car is rare, compared to the X3s, Q 5s, GLKs, SRXs and forget about the millions of RX350s. Volvo also has the best warrantee in this class. This is a no brainier, if you can find one..
Love this car
xc60sjca,02/06/2012
T6 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A)
I purchased the 2012 XC60, T6, Platinum, Climate, and BLIS. I truly enjoy driving this car. The build quality, interior comfort, and exterior styling are what drew me to this vehicle. I did have this car upgraded to the Polestar improved performance. This dramatically increases torque and hp. I see a huge difference and I love it. I would recommend it for performance, absolutely. I would not recommend it for its value. It is an expensive "add-on". I did get a significant discount from the dealer, and I love the driving experience it provides. The interior very high quality. I really do not like the display in the instrument cluster. They are very dated. Volvo should use high res
You can't go wrong with the Volvo XC60 T6
atlas4,07/03/2012
T6 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A)
The Volvo XC60 T6 in my opinion is the best small luxury class SUV. I know most car reviewers put the Audi Q5 over the XC60 but having owned a 2011 Q5 I can tell you they are wrong. The XC60 has plenty of cargo space, the seats are the most comfortable I have been in. Performance for the T6 model is top notch. I have been averaging 25 miles a gallon to and from work (combined) and 28 on the highway (and I am not holding back).

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover17.6%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2012 Volvo XC60

Used 2012 Volvo XC60 Overview

The Used 2012 Volvo XC60 is offered in the following submodels: XC60 SUV. Available styles include 3.2 4dr SUV (3.2L 6cyl 6A), T6 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A), and T6 R-Design 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A). Pre-owned Volvo XC60 models are available with a 3.2 L-liter gas engine or a 3.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 325 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2012 Volvo XC60 comes with front wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2012 Volvo XC60 comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2012 Volvo XC60?

Price comparisons for Used 2012 Volvo XC60 trim styles:

  • The Used 2012 Volvo XC60 3.2 is priced between $12,500 and$12,500 with odometer readings between 111066 and111066 miles.
  • The Used 2012 Volvo XC60 T6 is priced between $10,990 and$10,990 with odometer readings between 133049 and133049 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2012 Volvo XC60s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2012 Volvo XC60 for sale near. There are currently 3 used and CPO 2012 XC60s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $10,990 and mileage as low as 99300 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2012 Volvo XC60.

Can't find a used 2012 Volvo XC60s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volvo XC60 for sale - 5 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $18,199.

Find a used Volvo for sale - 12 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $13,054.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volvo XC60 for sale - 2 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $24,838.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volvo for sale - 9 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $8,630.

Should I lease or buy a 2012 Volvo XC60?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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