Used 2020 Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered
2020 Volvo XC60 Review
- Elegant interior design
- Spacious second-row seating
- Many standard safety technology features
- Available as a plug-in hybrid
- Not as fun to drive as most competitors
- Too many controls are dependent on a frustrating touchscreen interface
- New high-performance Polestar Engineered variant
- T8 hybrid model gets small increase in EV range
- 12.3-inch digital dash display is now standard
- Part of the second XC60 generation introduced for 2018
We'll get this out of the way first: If you're looking for a well-rounded luxury SUV, the 2020 Volvo XC60 should be one of the first to check out. It's available with a variety of powertrains to suit your power or fuel efficiency needs, it's spacious enough for adults and their luggage, and it's got all the standard and optional equipment you'd expect in an upscale vehicle.
For power, you have a choice of three main powertrains in the XC60. The first two are fairly standard: the XC60 T5, which has a 250-hp turbocharged four-cylinder, and the T6, which is turbocharged and supercharged to make 316 hp. Then you have the XC60 T8. It's a sporty plug-in hybrid that makes 400 hp plus gets the best fuel economy of the bunch.
This variety of powertrains would be nice enough on its own, but the Volvo XC60 has one of the most appealing trim-level structures on the market today to make things even better. For the most part, you can select any powertrain with any trim level, which means the nicest of optional features aren't tied exclusively to the most expensive engine. And standard equipment is impressive across the range, no matter which powertrain you go with.
Even the base-level XC60 now gets all sorts of appealing features such as the large 9-inch touchscreen display (and a 12.3-inch driver display), a panoramic sunroof, forward collision mitigation, and lane departure warning with lane keeping assist. There are all the available luxury options you'd expect to see, too, such as LED headlights, wood and leather interior trim, and massaging front seats.
Unfortunately for the Volvo, it isn't the sportiest SUV in its segment, nor is it the quietest. And the T8 hybrid, despite its promises of maximum power and mpg, is a bit of a disappointment because of its cost and drivability issues. But overall we're quite fond of the 2020 Volvo XC60 and think it's a luxury SUV worth your consideration.
Notably, we picked the 2020 Volvo XC60 PHEV as one of Edmunds' Best Luxury Cars for this year.
While the XC60 is a solid midpack contender, it does have some flaws worth noting. Surges in power from the twin-charged engine mean some issues with low-speed drivability, but a well-tuned transmission helps even things out. Steering and handling are a bit behind the curve for a luxury SUV, though, lacking some of the precision that rivals possess.
Cabin noise in the XC60 is relatively hushed, although you may hear some supercharger whine at low speeds if you've got the stereo turned off. And unfortunately Volvo hasn't optimized the air suspension for ride comfort, and the ride can be busy over broken surfaces.
The cabin is pretty spacious, with the exception of a panoramic sunroof eating up a little headroom. Volvo went above expectations when it comes to visibility, with the XC60's thin pillars, excellent (optional) 360-degree parking camera and power-folding rear headrests.
Connecting your smartphone is easy, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. The voice controls work well to execute navigation and phone-call commands, and they even turn on the heated seats. The XC60's safety systems such as adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist are easy to access and work well on busy freeways.
In-cabin storage is decent, and there are felt- and rubber-lined door pockets that keep items from clanking around while you're on the road. Installing your child's car seat is relatively easy too, with flip-up seat anchors and enough space for two rear-facing seats.
The build quality is excellent, and Volvo matches most segment competitors with its warranties. Scheduled maintenance coverage is typical for luxury vehicles at three years/36,000 miles, but roadside assistance is above average at four years/unlimited miles. Volvo also offers free towing for the life of the vehicle, a unique perk regardless of how much you've paid for your car.
Which XC60 does Edmunds recommend?
2020 Volvo XC60 models
The 2020 Volvo XC60 is available in four trim levels that offer varied levels of luxury and sport-focused amenities: Momentum, R-Design, Inscription, and Polestar Engineered. With the exception of the Polestar Engineered (which only comes as the high-output hybrid model), each trim level is available with any powertrain — T5, T6 or T8 eAWD Plug-in Hybrid. An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission available. All T5 models come standard with front-wheel drive (all-wheel drive is optional), while all other XC60s come standard with all-wheel drive.
The T5 uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (250 horsepower, 258 lb-ft of torque), while the T6 upgrades to a turbocharged and supercharged version (316 hp, 295 lb-ft of torque). The T8 eAWD Plug-in Hybrid uses the same engine as the T6 but adds an electric motor and battery pack (combined 400 hp, 472 lb-ft). The XC60 Polestar Engineered gets a high-output version of the plug-in hybrid powertrain that puts out 415 hp and 494 lb-ft of torque.
The base Momentum trim is nicely equipped, featuring LED headlights, a power liftgate, leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, power-adjustable front seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and a 10-speaker audio system. Many advanced safety features are also standard.
The R-Design trim adds to the Momentum with sporty styling differences, a few extra safety features and upgrades such as keyless entry, a Harmon Kardon audio system and navigation. The Inscription trim is similarly equipped to the R-Design but goes with more luxurious styling elements.
Most of the equipment from the R-Design and Inscription trim levels is available for the base Momentum in the form of stand-alone options or small packages.
The Momentum, R-Design and Inscription levels can be equipped with an Advanced package that adds Volvo's Pilot Assist (adaptive cruise control plus extra driving aids) and a 360-degree parking camera system. There's also a Luxury package offered exclusively on Inscription models — it adds premium leather upholstery and upgraded front seats.
The Polestar Engineered version of the XC60 gets most of the R-Design and Advanced package equipment, plus it comes with the high-output plug-in hybrid powertrain, a stiffer suspension, Brembo brakes, and a 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins premium sound system.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
Our experts like the XC60 models:
- Oncoming Lane Mitigation
- Helps avoid collisions by steering back into the lane if you cross a lane marking in the way of an oncoming vehicle.
- Adaptive Cruise Control with Pilot Assist
- Adjusts cruise control speed automatically in relation to the vehicle in front and supports the driver in keeping the car within the lane.
- Driver Alert Control
- Monitors steering inputs and senses if you're driving more erratically or have signs of drowsiness. Provides an audible warning and message.
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover15.5%
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
2020 Volvo XC60 First Impressions
The 2020 Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered Has the Juice
494 Lb-Ft of Torque for the Family
What is it?
The 2020 Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered is a sportier take on Volvo's small luxury SUV. The formula is relatively simple. Volvo started with an XC60 T8 Plug-in Hybrid and upped the output, wringing 415 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque from the combination electric motor and turbo- and supercharged four-cylinder gasoline engine.
Next, it addressed the car's handling, adding manually adjustable Öhlins struts. These are interesting units: Unlike on some other sporty SUVs, they aren't adjusted via controls in the cabin, so you can't switch from Sport to Comfort on the fly. Instead, knobs at the top of each strut tower can be adjusted (with a satisfyingly clicky action) to increase or decrease stiffness.
Then Volvo added massive Akebono brakes. The big six-piston front calipers (and smaller rear calipers) are highlighted in gold behind 20- or 22-inch forged aluminum wheels unique to the Polestar trim.
Finally, Volvo dusted everything with a bit more style. The grille and other trim elements are blacked-out, the machined 22-inch wheels feature contrasting black and silver surfaces, and inside the cabin you'll even find gold seat belts.
Why does it matter?
Polestar used to be a separate company attached to a racing team. Volvo acquired Polestar in 2015 and promptly did ... not a lot. We got a few bright blue sedans and wagons with added performance, but it never expanded to the level of, say, Mercedes' AMG or BMW's M. Today, Polestar is the brand face for Volvo's future high-performance all-electric Tesla competitors. But we're glad to see Polestar hasn't been fully separated from the Volvo brand because, frankly, Volvo's current lineup could use an injection of sport and fun.
To that end, luxury SUV buyers are always looking for something a little extra, which is why so many brands have introduced more powerful and sportier versions of their small crossovers. Volvo's also establishing the performance cred of its electrified powertrains. Other than Porsche, most automakers are unwilling to slap a performance label on a hybrid SUV, but making a hybrid the halo of the XC60 lineup could increase the desirability of the regular T8 trim.
What does it compete with?
Volvo has been pretty open about targeting the successful Audi SQ5, a vehicle we quite like. By the numbers, it has the SQ5 beat: 415 hp, 494 lb-ft of torque, and a 4.9-second sprint to 60 mph, versus the SQ5's 349 hp, 369 lb-ft and 5.1-second gallop. The margin would be wider but for the added weight from the XC60 Polestar Engineered's battery packs.
But there are other hot luxe SUVs on the road. The Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 43, which falls between the Audi and the Volvo in terms of power but claims a 4.7-second 0-60 mph sprint. And there's the new BMW X3 and X4 M, both of which make impressive power and start around the price of the XC60 Polestar Engineered.. It may seem odd to compare a hybrid to high-output gas vehicles, but that's the space Volvo wants to play in with the Polestar Engineered. There's always the regular T8 if you're willing to settle for a 400-horsepower PHEV.
How does it drive?
The XC60 Polestar Engineered drives smoothly and with authority. We'll know more when we can subject the vehicle to a full battery of tests in a variety of driving conditions, but in our early exposure to this Volvo, it delivered gobs of power without any herky-jerkiness from shifting between electric and gas motivation. We did notice a bit of squirm under hard acceleration, as the all-wheel-drive system felt like it was shifting power around at full throttle.
Those hefty brakes haul the car down from speed straight and strong. We were told that with the vehicle set to Polestar Engineered mode (in place of Sport), it wouldn't attempt to use regenerative braking but would default to the Akebonos, making for a smoother performance experience. Overall, we didn't notice the same brake-feel issues we 've noted with past Volvo PHEVs.
We were able to test the dampers in two settings, a softer road-oriented setting and a firmer performance-oriented one. Through a cone slalom, the XC60 Polestar Engineered handled its weight well, with smooth transitions and controlled body roll. It definitely inspired confidence when pushed a bit past the norms of street driving.
But there's no getting around the fact that, even in a softer setting, this is a sporty suspension. Bumps on the road felt harder, and more of each impact was translated into the cabin. The manually adjustable struts are good in that they mean the vehicle doesn't feel floaty in Comfort and jittery in Sport like some adaptive setups, but they also don't seem to have quite the same range, and of course they're less convenient to change.
The XC60 Polestar Engineered's steering also lets it down a bit. We've noted that the XC60's steering is light and on the numb side, and that remains true for the Polestar trim.
What's the interior like?
The interior of the Polestar trim is mostly like that of any other XC60: comfortable, quiet and relatively practical. There aren't any crazy performance buckets to be found here. Rather, the gold seat belts are the biggest clue that you're not in a regular XC60.
How practical is it?
The Polestar version of the XC60 is as practical as the regular vehicle since no real changes were made to the interior. But the storage area is really only average for the class, and some competitors offer larger trunks. The SQ5, for example, provides just a touch more cargo volume.
What else should I know?
The XC60 Polestar Engineered starts north of $70,000, making it much pricier than the base Audi SQ5. But the Polestar is a fully loaded trim, and don't forget that it comes with a plug-in hybrid powertrain capable of all-electric operation.
By the way, while the gas-powered XC60 is available through Volvo's subscription program, Care By Volvo, the T8 PHEV and Polestar trims aren't. At least not yet.
The XC60 Polestar Engineered is a nicely executed sporty hybrid, delivering gobs of torque and composed handling and braking characteristics. Its formidable price, complexity and weight may turn off some shoppers, but there's a lot to like here.
Used 2020 Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered Overview
The Used 2020 Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered is offered in the following styles: T8 Polestar Engineered 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger gas/electric plug-in hybrid 8A). The Used 2020 Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 8-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2020 Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered 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 2020 Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered?
Price comparisons for Used 2020 Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered trim styles:
- The Used 2020 Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered T8 Polestar Engineered is priced between $58,700 and$58,700 with odometer readings between 14710 and14710 miles.
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Used 2020 Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered Listings and Inventory
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Should I lease or buy a 2020 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.