By NITISH S. RELE – nitishrele@gmail.com

It is one of our favorite midsize luxury crossover SUVs. We have driven several versions of the XC60 over the years and can say with surety that the 2023 version tops them all.

Under the hood of this Volvo sits a 2.0-liter inline-4 turbocharged and supercharged engine putting out a massive 455 horsepower and 523 pounds-feet of torque. We test drove the T8 plug-in hybrid version (E-AWD). That is essentially an electric motor and an 18.8 kWh lithium-ion battery, which can take the SUV nearly 35 miles before the gasoline engine kicks in (full charge time for the battery is about five hours on 240 volt). The 8-speed auto gearbox in our all-wheel-drive SUV is sprightly in any untoward situation. And the start-stop feature (auto engine stop when the vehicle halts) ensures substantial savings in fuel and weight. Tow capacity is a cool 3,500 pounds.

The handsome crossover portrays a centered high-gloss black mesh grille with the familiar Volvo iron mark, flanked by LED headlights and Thor’s hammer-like daytime running lights. The generous cabin conveys an upscale aura with a 12.3-inch instrument panel decked in shimmer graphite aluminum inlays. New for 2023 is a Google built-in Assistant, Maps and Play store. There is ample space for leg and shoulder room for three adult passengers in the rear seat. Volvo Sensus infotainment, with a distinct vertical 9-inch display touch screen, is essentially made up of four tiles: navigation, media, phone and user-defined. Activate one and watch it expand while keeping the other tiles visible for future use. The splashes of wood décor and a tailored dashboard is a nice touch. Standard goodies include two-zone auto a/c, 10-way power heated/cooled Nappa leather front seats, 60/40 rear seat, aluminum cargo scuff plate, panoramic moon roof, and a leather-wrapped dashboard. XC60 continues as is with passenger volume topping around 100 cubic feet.

The Chinese-owned but Swedish-made car company is renowned for safety. Continuing the tradition, the XC60 gets dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, driver knee airbag, lane departure/keep aid, blind spot information, cross traffic alert, rear park assist and sensors, adaptive cruise control, four-wheel antilock brakes, three-point seatbelts for all, side impact protection, dynamic stability and traction control, 360-degree camera, hill start assist and descent control, City Safety (brakes automatically to help prevent a rear-end collision) also gets steer assist, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights.

Yes, it’s an SUV but don’t for a minute believe that your outing will be sluggish. Sitting on 20-inch wheels, the XC60 can take off 0 to 60 mph in a mere 4.5 seconds and reach top speed of 130 mph. Apart from astonishing liveliness and sharp handling, the ride boasts a well-crafted and wisely-designed cabin. Volvo’s prolonged safety list makes it a no-brainer.


Wheelbase: 112.8 inches

Length: 185.4 inches

Height: 64.2 inches

Width: 78.7 inches

Suspension: double wishbone front, multilink rear

Steering: electric power

Weight: 4,677 pounds

Fuel capacity: 18.8 gallons

Electricity+gas:  63 MPGe

Gas only: 28 mpg combined

Base price: $66,950

Price as tested: $74,690

Web site: www.volvocars.com