The 2021 Volvo XC40 or XC60 — Which Should You Buy?


We're pitting the Volvo XC40 against the Volvo XC60 to see which one is the better car for your commuting needs. As we witness the Volvo XC40 vs. XC60 battle, pay close attention to each aspect we go over, as each one will have a say in deciding which SUV is the one for you.

A Brief History

Volvo XC40

The Volvo XC40 began production in November of 2017 as a compact SUV, and it remains a popular model to this day. In its first full year on the market, it won tons of awards like Car of the Year from What Car? magazine and European Car of the Year at the Geneva Motor Show in 2018. It has only gained popularity since its first couple of model years, and Volvo Cars has had to ramp up production to meet the increased demand for the model in recent years.

Volvo XC60

The Volvo XC60 was first sold in America in 2009 as a 2010 model mid-size SUV. As such, it has many more model years under its belt than the Volvo XC40, giving Volvo Cars extra time to perfect the Volvo XC60 recipe. Like the Volvo XC40, the Volvo XC60 has won its fair share of awards, receiving accolades from the automotive industry's biggest names, such as the IIHS and NHTSA. It has even made a splash in pop culture, as it was used in the 2009 film The Twilight Saga: New Moon as the main vehicle that Edward Cullen drove.

Volvo XC40 vs. XC60: Power

Volvo XC40

The Volvo XC40 has two available powertrains. The first is the standard T4 FWD powertrain. It gets up to 32 MPG on the highway1 and has a 14.2-gallon tank. Its T4 engine gives you 187 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. That torque paves the way for its 3,500-lb. max towing capacity.2

The second powertrain, which you can opt into for just $2,000, is a T5 AWD. It gets slightly lower highway fuel economy but still impresses with 30 MPG on the highway.1 Where it ups the ante is in its horsepower and torque. It gets 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It also has the same exact max towing capacity as the T4 FWD powertrain.

Volvo XC60

Where the Volvo XC40 has two powertrains, the Volvo XC60 offers three powertrains and overall increased performance. The first is the T5 FWD, which gets 29 MPG1 on the highway and has an 18.8-gallon tank. Like that of the Volvo XC40's power, it also gets 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, and it has a max towing capacity of 3,500 lbs.2

The next powertrain is the T5 AWD, which you can get for $2,300. Though the Volvo XC40 has this powertrain, some specs will differ slightly. For example, the T5 AWD for this model gets 28 MPG on the highway1 as opposed to the Volvo XC40's 30 MPG. It also offers slightly more horsepower, giving you 250 horsepower as opposed to 248. The torque and max towing capacity numbers match up, though, at 258 pound-feet and 3,500 lbs.,2 respectively.

The final powertrain is the T6 AWD, which is not seen on the Volvo XC40. It will run you an extra $5,800, but it's totally worth it. You'll agree once you see the power it has in store for you. That power is 295 pound-feet of torque and a hefty 316 horsepower. The max towing capacity is still the same, capping out at 3,500 lbs.2 It gets slightly lower highway MPG than other powertrains at 27 MPG,1 which is still not a number to be trifled with.

Volvo XC40 vs. XC60: Interior

Volvo XC40

As these are both Volvo vehicles, you're not going to be disappointed in the interior of either model. The Volvo XC40 offers two different interiors for the Momentum trim, one for the R-Design, and four for the Inscription. Here are those options:

  • Momentum: Charcoal Leather and Blond Leather
  • Inscription: Charcoal Leather, Amber Leather, Oxide Red Leather, and Blond Leather
  • R-Design: Charcoal Nubuck Textile Perforated Nappa Leather

What about space? The Volvo XC40 offers a max cargo capacity of 57.5 cubic feet, which is plenty of space to pack up anything you need and hit the roads.

Volvo XC60

The Volvo XC60 interior is similarly refined and stylish, but it offers a few more color choices overall. The Momentum trim has four options, the Inscription trim has five options, and the R-Design trim has two options for interior colors and finishes.

  • Momentum: Charcoal Leather, Blond City Weave Textile, Maroon Brown Leather, and Blond Leather
  • Inscription: Charcoal Perforated Nappa Leather, Midnight Zinc Wool Blend, Amber Perforated Nappa Leather, Maroon Brown Perforated Nappa Leather, and Blond Perforated Nappa Leather
  • R-Design: Charcoal Nappa Leather and Slate Nappa Leather

The Volvo XC60 isn't shy on space, either. At max, it gets 63.3 cubic feet of storage space, inching out the Volvo XC40's 57.5 cubic feet of space, if only just.

Volvo XC40 vs. XC60: Price

Volvo XC40

As with many Volvo vehicles, both the Volvo XC40 and the Volvo XC60 have three trims that come at varying prices. Below, you'll see the starting MSRP3 for each model's trims.

  • Volvo XC40 Momentum - starting at $34,795 MSRP
  • Volvo XC40 R-Design - starting at $40,545 MSRP
  • Volvo XC40 Inscription - starting at $40,045 MSRP

Volvo XC60

  • Volvo XC60 Momentum - starting at $42,795 MSRP
  • Volvo XC60 R-Design - starting at $50,295 MSRP
  • Volvo XC60 Inscription - starting at $48,945 MSRP

As you can see, the starting price for the base model Volvo XC60 is higher than the starting price for the highest trim of the Volvo XC40. This makes perfect sense seeing as the Volvo XC40 is a compact SUV whereas the Volvo XC60 is a mid-size SUV, so it is larger and offers more room for passengers and other features inside.

XC40 XC60
Starting Price
Momentum
Inscription
R-Design

$34,795
$40,545
$40,045

$42,795
$50,295
$48,945

Engines

T4 FWD Standard
T5 AWD + $2,000
T5 FWD
T5 AWD Momentum + $2,300
T5 AWD Inscription + $5,800

0-60

8.4 seconds
6.1 seconds
6.9 seconds
6.4 seconds
5.9 seconds

MPG

32 mpg
30 mpg
29 mpg
28 mpg
27 mpg

Horsepower

187
248
250
250
316

Torque

221 ft. lb.
258 ft. lb.
258 ft. lb.
258 ft. lb.
295 ft. lb.
Cargo 57.5 cu. ft. 63.3 cu. ft.
Towing 3500 lbs. 3500 lbs.

Volvo XC40 vs. XC60: Who's the Winner?

So, which one should you get? Sadly, we can't answer that question for you. As you can see, each model has different elements that make it stand out and create a great SUV for you and your family. They both share the same features concerning safety, as the Volvo safety suite is standard across their entire vehicle lineup. The Volvo XC60 will come for a slightly increased price over the Volvo XC40, but you will enjoy extra power options and more horsepower. We suggest you take some time to really focus on what you need, what price you can pay, and what features really speak to you the most. When you have that figured out, we'd be glad to help get you into a Volvo XC40 or a Volvo XC60, whichever one you choose.


1EPA estimates only. Actual mileage may vary.

2When properly equipped.

3Prices shown are Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), Base Price or Starting At price and excludes destination fees, taxes, title, license, and registration and/or electronic filing fees, dealer fees.