It’s no secret Volvo prioritizes both safety and luxury on every one of their platforms. These cars are just as spectacular in terms of safety features as they are to look at or drive. As with any luxury brand looking to keep you ahead of the Jones’, Volvo continues to push their lineup even further with hybrid models throughout.

The 2021 Volvo XC60 is no exception. It maintains the luxury standard it’s well-known for but also puts a hybrid spin on the platform for those looking towards the future. Currently known as the “Recharge,” this hybrid model does away with stuffy ideas of going green. It shows that driving a hybrid can be just as stylish as any other powerplant.

In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the basic features of the 2021 XC60. It’s the Swedish brand’s mid-size SUV, found in between the XC40 and the XC90. You’ll be able to narrow down your choices of trim level, learn how many safety features come on this nearly-bomb-proof SUV, and ultimately answer the burning question. Is the 2021 Volvo XC60 the right vehicle for you?

Performance Specifications

The 2021 XC60 comes with one of three powertrains from the factory. The base engine is a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It’s capable of 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Adding a supercharger bumps the second engine option to 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Finally, you can pair the internal combustion engine to a set of electric motors in the hybrid XC60. The horsepower shoots up to 400 and the torque up to 472 lb-ft. Polestar Engineered models enjoy a finer tuned version of this hybrid variant, which puts out 415 horsepower and 494 lb-ft of torque.

The “rear axle is only powered by the electric motors” in the hybrid model. However, an eight-speed automatic transmission transfers power to the wheels in the rest of the lineup. Front-wheel drive is standard on the base model, but higher trims have all-wheel drive from the factory. The 2021 XC60 is capable of towing up to 3,500 pounds, when properly equipped.

Available Colors

Volvo makes the 2021 XC60 available in the following colors.

  • Ice White
  • Bright Silver Metallic
  • Fusion Red Metallic
  • Onyx Black Metallic
  • Denim Blue Metallic
  • Crystal White Metallic
  • Osmium Grey Metallic
  • Pine Grey Metallic

Trimlines and Pricing

There are multiple trim levels available on the 2021 XC60, ranging in price from just over $40,000 up to $50,00. Of course, there’s plenty of a la carte options, upgrade, and packages that you can build into your new SUV too. The starting prices can quickly jump up a few thousand dollars. Here’s a quick rundown of the various trims available, but you can find even more details on Volvo’s website.


Starting at $41,700, the base XC60 model includes features such as 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, a hands-free tailgate, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats (on AWD models), leather seating, a nine-inch touchscreen, a ten-speaker sound system, Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A 12.3-inch driver info display is standard equipment as well.

Recharge Inscription Expression

This trim exists only on the hybrid model. It includes features found on the Momentum trim level of gas-powered variants. The hybrid 2021 XC60 starts at $53,500.


Known as the sporty XC60, the R-Design model features 19-inch wheels, black exterior trim, quad-zone climate control, heated front sport seats, a 14-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, and, of course, R-Design badging. This model starts at $47,850.


Starting at $49,200, the features list for this trim level includes chrome trim, ventilated front seats, upgraded leather seating, and wood trim.

Polestar Engineered

The crème de la crème of the 2021 XC60 universe, this top trim level includes features such as 21-inch wheels, Öhlins suspension dampers, gold-colored seat belts, a 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, and Akebono disc brakes. This version of the hybrid XC60 sure is a gorgeous SUV, but the price jumps to $71,720.

There are also plenty of packages you can add on to most trim levels to add on features you might not see from the factory. Talk with your local Volvo dealership for more details and specific pricing.

Safety Features

The 2021 XC60 received high marks from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The NHTSA awarded the base and second-level trim models with a 5 out of 5 stars overall rating, but has not yet rated the T8, hybrid, or Polestar Engineered model. The XC60 is a Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS, and rates “Good” in all categories except for the headlights, which rate “Acceptable.”

When it comes to safety equipment, Volvo is practically the industry standard. Speaking of standards, from-the-factory safety systems include rear parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert, rear collision warning with braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, driver drowsiness warning, run-off road mitigation and protection, and a rearview camera.

If that’s not enough to make you feel safe, you can pay a bit more for advanced features. These include adaptive cruise control, distance alert, a heads-up display (HUD), front parking sensors, parallel and perpendicular park assist, and a surround-view parking camera system. Beyond driving to your destination for you, that’s about all the technology currently available on the market when it comes to safety features.

Fuel Efficiency

Let’s talk gas mileage. The base XC60 models achieve 22 city and 29 highway EPA-estimated miles per gallon (MPG) in front-wheel drive variants. All-wheel drive models dip down a point both around town and at highway speeds. Adding a supercharger to the mix takes the count down to 20 city and 27 highway MPG.

Plug-in hybrid models, with a pairing of a gas-powered engine and two electric motors, achieve 27 city and 57 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe).


As you can see, the 2021 XC60 does well when it comes to saving money at the pump — if you even need to visit one. Besides the “good fuel economy from all three powertrains,” there’s plenty more to like about this Volvo SUV. For example, Edmunds named it “one of the most distinctive SUVs in its class.” CarAndDriver bestowed it with an Editor’s Choice award for a “thoughtfully designed package.” Likewise, U.S. News praised it for a “posh interior, comfortable seats, and lots of technology.” And Kelley Blue Book couldn’t help but point out that the SUV “manages to look both assertive and elegant at the same time.”

However, just like anything in the automotive world, the 2021 XC60 did have a few shortcomings. Edmunds found it “hard to brake and accelerate smoothly.” Plus, there were just too many features you couldn’t customize without having to deal with the “frustrating touchscreen interface.”

“Less fun to drive than some competitors,” noted U.S. News. KBB placed the 2021 XC60 among competitors in terms of price: “a bit pricier than the Japanese competition (Acura RDX, Lexus NX, Infiniti QX50), but less expensive than other European competitors like the Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class.”

That said, Volvo does its best to have the XC60 compete with German brands to capture buyers. Other competitive models include the Porsche Macan and Jaguar I-Pace.

The Last Word

We hope you’ve found this review of the 2021 Volvo XC60 helpful. There’s a lot to love about this stylish, safe, and capable SUV. Visit your local Volvo dealership to test drive this model, as well as the rest of the Volvo lineup. There, you’ll find the answer to whether or not a Volvo SUV is right for you.


Rebecca Henderson has a Master's in German and a Bachelor's in Creative Writing. She alternates her time between writing and working on a variety of motorized projects. Most recently, she and her boyfriend have been building a custom drift trike. Rebecca believes that language, love, and a life worth living are only the first ingredients to happiness.