2019 Volvo XC60Should you buy?
Having been revamped for the 2018 model year, it might surprise consumers to learn that the 2019 Volvo XC60 boasts several important updates. The changes reflect Volvo's increasing emphasis on rolling as many key features as they can into their luxury vehicles, thereby creating more justifiable price tags. With three different engine options to choose from and a stunningly contemporary interior design, drivers might just be able to overlook a few noticeable performance and spatial issues.
What's New for 2019?
Quite a few changes have been made on the 2019 Volvo XC60. First and foremost, the base trim (the Momentum) is now equipped with power child locks, a 12-volt outlet for the rear seats, and heated seats and wiper blades on the all-wheel drive version. Additionally, the Inscription and R-Design models now have a standard blind-spot monitoring system, key-less driving and entry, a 14-speaker sound system, parking assistance, and power-folding outer head restraints for the rear seats. To top it all off, Volvo has replaced the former Climate, Convenience, and Vision packages with similar packages that have been respectively renamed the Advanced, Premium, and Multimedia packages.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2019 Volvo XC60 – The Pros
1. Multiple Engine Options
There are several engine options that you can choose from on the 2019 Volvo XC60. There are three altered versions of the same 4-cylinder, and all are paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. On the Momentum, you get the standard 2.0-L 4-cylinder. Upgrade to the T5, and you will get a turbocharged version that is capable of generating 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The T6 offers a turbocharged and supercharged version that nets 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Finally, for those looking to save some fuel and leave a smaller carbon footprint, there is the T8 eAWD Plug-in Hybrid, which matches the T6 engine with a battery pack and electric motor. Together, this gets you 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque.
2. A Chic and Contemporary Interior Design
The Volvo XC60 looks more high-brow on the inside than some of its chief rivals, including Jaguar and BMW. All of the materials used in the cabin's design look extremely durable and are pleasing to the eye. The wood trim that comes in some of the higher-level trims is especially stunning and reflects the amount of craftsmanship that has clearly gone into designing the vehicle.
3. An Excellent Braking System
Braking in the 2019 Volvo XC60 comes close to perfection. The pedal provides the right amount of firmness and gives a little extra punch at the get-go. The brakes are quite compliant in terms of modulation, and they remain predictable during high intensity braking situations. In road tests, the XC60 has been able to make a panic stop from 60 to 0 mph in just 114 feet, which is on-par for vehicles in its class.
4. Off-road Mode Helps During Inclement Weather Conditions
Although the Volvo XC60 is not meant for any type of heavy off-roading adventure, it is more than capable of handling dirt roads and inclement weather conditions thanks to its off-road mode. With the optional air suspension equipped, this feature lifts the suspension by two inches, providing extra ground clearance. If you are driving an all-wheel drive version, you get the extra sense of security and stability during harsh winter months.
5. Extremely Comfortable Seats
The seats inside the 2019 Volvo XC60 are packed to the brim with comfort. Up front and in the rear, seats offer just the right amount of firmness to allow for comfort during long rides. There is an optional massaging feature that does not come in any other vehicle in this segment right now. Adjusting the seats is easy, and you get to experience the comfort of heated and ventilated seating in the XC60.
6. Features Are Easy to Use
Some luxury vehicles have technological set-ups that range from odd to downright confusing. The features on the XC60 are actually quite easy for most drivers to use. Getting used to the touchscreen infotainment system takes little effort since it is appropriately responsive to touch commands. Even the gauge clusters take little time to figure out.
7. Clear Outward Visibility
Visibility from behind the wheel of the 2019 Volvo XC60 is expansive thanks to the slender roof pillars up front and in the back. The front and rear windshields are both wide, and the view from the 45-degree angle of the side mirrors is not blocked off. Also, being able to fold the head rests and use the 360-degree camera enhances visibility to the rear of the vehicle.
8. A Large Cargo Space
Many vehicles in this luxury SUV segment suffer from a lack of cargo space, but the Volvo XC60 defies these odds and bests quite a few of its competitors. With all seats in place, there is 29.7 cubic feet of cargo space available. Folding the rear seats down yields a grand total of 68.7 cubic feet. With a cleverly-designed cargo cover and an air suspension that allows you to adjust the rear end for lift height, getting cargo in and out of this huge space is quite easy.
9. Child Safety Seats Are Easy to Install
Installing child safety seats on the XC60 is pretty straightforward. While you are only able to mount two child seats, there is sufficient enough room for those bulky rear-facing child safety seats. Accessing the LATCH anchors is simple since they are conveniently located beneath flip covers, and there are two tethers that can easily be reached on the backs of the outboard seats.
10. High-tech Features That Function Well
All of the high-tech gadgetry found on the 2019 Volvo XC60 is both useful and well-crafted. Using the smartphone app integration system is a breeze regardless of whether you use Volvo's Bluetooth function, Apple CarPlay, or Android Auto. Drivers will also likely appreciate the fact that none of these features eats up the entire display screen. Voice control responds appropriately, and the driver aids seem to function with an unprecedented level of autonomy.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2019 Volvo XC60 – The Cons
1. Average Small Item Storage Space
Despite the fact that the cargo area is huge and the cabin itself is quite spacious, small item storage only earns an 'average' mark. The center arm rest has a bin that can hold cell phones but nothing beyond that size. In the rear, there is one small arm rest bin that fits very little inside of it and one door pocket that also borders on the tiny side. Rear seat passengers will have to find other places to store things like books and larger tech devices like tablets and laptops.
2. Steering Lacks Precise Tuning
One aspect of the Volvo XC60's driving performance that is not quite up to par is its steering. Traveling at slower speeds returns a well-tuned vibe, but when you take the vehicle on the highway, the precision tuning diminishes. Drivers will have to pay closer attention to the steering and make more frequent (albeit minor) adjustments while traveling along at higher speeds. Since this is a luxury vehicle, precision tuning is an expectation drivers have; unfortunately, Volvo falls short on this one.
3. A Busy Ride Quality
The ride quality on the 2019 Volvo XC60 can get busy, and this probably has something to do with the equipping of optional larger wheels. This prevents the optional air suspension from being able to successfully smooth out larger vibrations coming from the road. Putting it on the softest suspension setting will not even do that much to curb the effect.
4. The Cabin Gets Somewhat Noisy
A moderate amount of wind and road noise will seep into the XC60's cabin, but it does not get to the level of being completely obnoxious. Depending on which engine you have equipped, you will hear more noise while going at slower speeds. The supercharged engine does have a tendency to whine. While this isn't a major issue, it takes a little bit away from the luxury feel of the XC60.
How it stacks up to the competition:
2019 Volvo XC60 vs. 2019 Audi Q5
After being redesigned for 2018, the 2019 Audi Q5 is still a major competitor against the 2019 Volvo XC60. The Q5 has an impressively smooth ride quality, standard all-wheel drive, and comes with a huge list of standard infotainment and safety features. However, it does not offer the same generous cargo space as the XC60, and there is only one engine available for the line-up.
2019 Volvo XC60 vs. 2019 BMW X3
The 2019 BMW X3 is another top contender against the XC60 this year. It features several strong engine options that embrace both power and fuel efficiency. Also, the X3 has a massive and comfortable cabin that, while styling leaves something to be desired, is quite enjoyable to ride in. Unfortunately, the exterior of the X3 looks a bit dated, and the brakes are not as refined as those on the XC60.
Gripes with the 2019 Volvo XC60 are few and rather petty. Overall, Volvo has done a good job of providing consumers with a vehicle that is both powerful and luxurious. Drivers should be able to enjoy the ease of use that comes with the Volvo's tech functions, and the fact that so many of them come standard is commendable.
• Why buy a 2018 Volvo XC60? w/ pros vs cons