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What kind of tires does the Volvo XC60 need?
We would consider the Volvo XC60 to be a mid sized SUV, meaning Volvo made the vehicle to fit 4 or 5 people, and occasionally have passengers. Some Volvo drivers might also want the XC60 for it’s overall ride height - which is higher than a car, and it’s safety features. An XC60 driver knows that their SUV has a variety of driver assistance features built in - and Volvo itself often calls it’s sales the “Holiday Safely” event.
Since Volvo has a strong reputation for manufacturing safe vehicles, we’ll put some emphasis on the safety of tires. Volvo also offers the XC60 in both all wheel drive and front wheel drive, with their all wheel drive technology giving drivers the ability to get through most inclement weather, so we think that Volvo drivers live all over the country. Knowing that you might be taking your XC60 to work through traffic in New York City, up a mountain in Colorado, or across dry roads in Arizona, all season tires or even snow tires could be quite helpful.
Volvo drivers aren’t especially focused on performance and being able to from 0 to 60 fast on a regular basis, and are more considerate of how quickly the XC60 can merge into traffic on a highway off ramp. We won’t put much emphasis on higher end performance tires, but focus on what the XC60 is really used for with most drivers.
Best All-Season Touring Tire:
Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3
Dry Performance: 9.6
Wet Performance: 9.4
Snow Performance: 8.4
Pirelli has become a widely regarded tire brand, along with the likes of Goodyear, Michelin, Dunlop and others. Their Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3 offers great balance in a rather competitive category of All Season touring. Dry performance is one the best in the category at 9.6/10. Reviews indicate that the Scorpion AS Plus 3 helps keep a vehicle nice and stable, even under spirited highway driving and cornering.
Wet performance is enhanced by sipes, which are the channels in your tire between treads that funnel water and snow away from the tire. Pirelli makes their sipes 3D and deep, all while dedicating all the rest of your treads to offering as much road contact as possible. The result is a very solid 9.4 wet performance which is very good for the class, and 8.4 in show, which is not the best in class, but still a solid value.
Since comfort is among the higher priorities for a Volvo XC60 river, the Scorpion is rated highest because it does well in reducing road noise and offering a comfortable ride. 9.5 is best in class for ride comfort.
Priced at about $190 per tire, the Scorpion also offers a great value. There are other tires in class selling for $220 or more per tire, though those tires do have some unique benefits over the Scorpion AS Plus 3. Overall, the Scorpion AS Plus 3 is an excellent budget option that provides much of what XC60 drivers value the most, including a solid stopping distance in wet conditions going 50mph, at 132 feet. There are slightly better picks for drivers who experience more snow, or are less confident driving in snow.
For the price, Pirelli offers a great warranty. Up to 70,000 miles without a time limit is great for people who don’t travel that often or that far, but want assurance that the tires will last.
Best All-Season Touring Tire for Snow:
Dry Performance: 9.5
Wet Performance: 9.5
Snow Performance: 8.8
Modern tires often have a balance of features and price. In the case of the aptly named Michelin CrossClimate, you’ll get better snow performance the than Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3, but you’ll pay for it when the Michelin CrossClimate starting at $241 per tire. For people seeking more reassurance when they absolutely have to go to work or get the kids to gymnastics practice with snow or ice on the ground, the Michelin CrossClimate outperforms the Pirelli in stopping in wet or slushy conditions by about 10 feet each at 77 feet on dry roads and 117 feet on wet. While these aren’t snow tires, they handle snow and wet pretty well.
The CrossClimate handles snow and ice well by design. The tread blocks are beveled to hold the road in damp conditions. Wide grooves and sipe openings near the shoulders give the CrossClimate the extra ability to both push water and snow out, and dig into whats beneath to provide solid traction while braking and accelerating.
Downside? Well, for an all season tire rated well for snow, and intentionally getting better grip in poor conditions, these are a little louder then Pirellis. Drivers who are more frequent or less confident snow drivers should strongly consider these as a balance between a true snow tire and one that will handle cold and snow better than the average all season. 8.8 is still pretty good though.
The warranty is solid too. Up to 6 years or 50,000 miles is a good start for an all season.
Best All-Season Tire Comfort and the Long Run
Dry Performance: 9.2
Wet Performance: 9.2
Snow Performance: 8.5
Continental CrossContact LX25
Volvo XC60 owners might also want a blend of quiet, stable comfort and a tire that lasts a while. Continental CrossContact LX25 has a pretty good balance for drivers who want to delay the service advisors reminder that your tread is getting down there.
Continental CrossContact offers better than average treadwear at 9.2/10 with just slightly less performance than in wet and dry performance than the best all season tires. Comfort is nicely balanced with a 9 that keeps road noise out of the cabin so you can hear the radio or conversations without having to shout.
How is this achieved? Continental puts thicker tread on the CrossContact to absorb more of the road, while putting Next Generation EcoPlus+ compounds in place that slow down treadwear and reduce the need for more rubber sooner. A blend or horizontal and vertical sipes sift water away to the edges, where they exit the CrossContact with end Traction Grooves that pass water while biting the road.
Stopping distance is also pretty good with just slightly longer distance than the CrossClimate at 128 feet in wet conditions.
Continental offers a good warranty that endorses a longer lasting tire with a 6-year, 70,000 mile tread warranty. At about $208 per tire, Continental isn’t the cheapest tire on the list, but it should last a while and provides good overall performance.
Best Highway Tires for the Volvo XC60
Firestone Destination LE3
Dry Performance: 9.5
Wet Performance: 9.0
Snow Performance: 8.9
Does your commute have you traveling at higher speed limits, whether on on or off road? Firestone’s Destination LE3 is a good option for you. The high comfort marks come from a very good overall ride quality that rivals the well known Contintental TerrainContact - with the difference being that the Continental isn’t sized for the Volvo XC60. Firestone will help you make it to your destination comfortably while feeling the smooth, natural suspension the way the XC60 was meant to be felt.
Safety wise, the Firestone Destination provides about average dry stopping distance at around 87 feet going 50mph.
This tire is best known for its treadwear life. If you are driving a ways everyday, Firestone made this tire for you. The Destination has a couple of steel builts reinforced with nylon to keep the tire shaped during turns over the long term, and consistent, symmetric tread depth that allows the Destination to wear evenly and smoothly. The result? A tire that you don’t notice much over the long term. Some tires are known to lose some of their performance over time due to uneven tread wear - as long as you rotate them, the Destination helps alleviate this problem.
Firestone offers a decent warranty too with 5 years or 70,000 miles. The warranty feels about right for the tire, as most drivers who put the Destination to its full use will drive 70,000 miles or more in 5 years.
Best Tire for High Speed Comfort:
Goodyear Assurance ComfortDrive
Dry Performance: 9.2
Wet Performance: 9.1
Snow Performance: 8.7
We’ll start by saying the Goodyear Assurance Comfort Drive is not the cheapest tire on our list at $215 - but also say that it’s one of the most comfortable highway driving tires out there. From edge to edge, this tire is destined for a soft, quiet, comfortable ride at higher speeds though it doesn’t too poorly at lower speeds. The symmetric tread pattern pair with Tread Lock technology to maintain a peaceful ride that can also handle some worn out highway bumps, all while offering large contact patches and AquaChannel grooves that flow water to the edges of the tire and out.
While the snow rating could be better, the ComfortDrive still stops plenty quick on wet and dry surfaces at about 91 feet on dry and 130 on wet. Some tires in the same class, like the Michelin CrossClimate offer marginally better performance but are priced at least $30 more per tire, so consider this a value pick too.
Goodyear offers a fairly standard 6-year, 60,000 mile warranty on treads. You’ll not likely need the treadwear warranty unless you are a very spirited XC60 drive, as the treadwear rating is a very high 9.7. These tires are meant to last a long time and be comfortable - at a pretty good price. They just aren’t the best snow performers in the group.
Best Around Town Value Tire:
Hankook Kinergy ST
Dry Performance: 8.8
Wet Performance: 8.1
Snow Performance: 6.2
Do you not put a lot of miles on your Volvo XC60? This could be a great choice in tires. The Hankook Sinergy ST is an all season touring tire, meaning that it’s meant for most scenarios though it doesn’t intend to provide over the top performance. The first thing you probably noticed about the stats for the Hankook is the lower snow performance number of 6.2. Hankook makes these tires more for light snow than ice or deep snow, so this isn’t a surprise. Plus, there isn’t a tire out there that we could recommend for ice performance, because good luck with that.
The focus of Hankook here is price. At $171 per tire, they are fairly inexpensive for a person who won’t notice a slightly more stiff ride, or a lack of outstanding performance in snow. You might want to more strongly consider the Hankooks if you live in an area with little to snow frozen precipitation, or you work at home or are retired and just don’t drive that much.
Hankook provides an abrasion resistant compound that reduces the potential wear on these tires. The tires are also constructed with two wide steel belts for optimal response around corners and reduced long term wear.
With Hankook, you still get a good warranty for the price at 6-years/70,000 miles. Considering the fairly low price, this is certainly a nice feature over 50,000 miles or 60,000 miles.
Best Dry Weather Tire for Long Term
Goodyear Assurance MaxLife
Dry Performance: 9.1
Wet Performance: 8.8
Snow Performance: 7.7
One issue that tire buyers and tire manufacturers have to contend with is the feeling that tires are wearing out ahead of their time. The actual problem could be the driver, the streets, the vehicle itself going from the new, comfortable car to the vehicle halfway through it’s life - either people, some people feel tires wither in performance over time - even with the right amount of tread.
Goodyear Assurance is properly named to help with these issues. The manufacturer has provided a unique system called Goodyear’s Wear Gauge that provides clear visuals on the tire of the tire’s current tread depth. This is great for people who don’t want a tire gauge or to use an upside down penny to test their current depth. Visuals aside, the Assurance’s continuous rib in the center provides constant contact so no one part of the tire wears out faster than the other.
The warranty is also outstanding. You get 85,000 mile warranty within 6 years instead of the usual 50,000 to 70,000.
In case you were wondering, this tire is great for people who put serious miles on every year. They also have pretty good ratings in dry and wet performance, though they could be better at good. We don’t highly recommend the Goodyear Assurance MaxLife for people who live in climates with a lot of snow, as the snow performance rating isn’t all that great. The stopping distance is average for the segment at 88 feet in dry weather and 125 in wet. Just understand that this is not the most comfortable tire you’ll drive on, but at $207 per tire, the price is right for a great warranty and considerable tread life.
Best Tire for Spirited Driving
Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus
Dry Performance: 9.3
Wet Performance: 9.3
Snow Performance: 8.2
Volvo’s are known more for their interior luxury and safety, but they can in fact move pretty quickly when that’s what you need. For drivers who find themselves wanting to explore the limits of their XC60, welcome to the Continential ExtremeContact DWS.
While the price is high in the category at $223 per tire, you also get performance across the spectrum with a smooth, quiet ride and outstanding overall set and dry performance. This is a performance tire, so we can readily forgive a low number in the snow performance category. Continental builds in smaller, plentiful tread patches that decrease road noise and increase responsiveness around corners without feeling lots of G-forces in your XC60. They also offer a unique system for determining whether or not your treads are wearing evenly, since drivers who use these often try to push the limits of the tire.
The ExtremeContact is competitive across the board against the tires we didn’t choose as “Best” including Michelin’s Pilot Sport All Season. Why? Continental hugged corners better and felt better to drive - all while offering a quiet ride. That’s an impressive combo.
Best Tire for Spirited Driving in XC60 Runner Up
Sumitimo HTR A/S P03
Dry Performance: 9.3
Wet Performance: 9
Snow Performance: 7.9
The Sumitimo HTR provides a fun tire for your XC60, for less than the Continental at around $157 per tire. The ratings aren’t quite as high as the Continental. Sumitimo offers an asymmetric tread pattern that lends to better cornering performance, along with a high tension steel belt within that keeps the Sumitimo in shape under high stress. The overall result is a fairly comfortable tire for taking corners quickly, or if you happen to live in a dry mountain area where curves, peaks and valleys are a daily event.
Compared to other similar tires, the Sumitimo handles a slalom, or driving with more turning, quite well. They are not the most comfortable tires in the segment, but they are pretty close.
The warranty is also satisfactory at up to 5-year and 65,000 miles. This isn’t bad for an ultra high performance tire in the price range.
Best Overall Snow Tire for the Volvo XC60
Vredestein Wintrac Pro
Dry Performance: 9.1
Wet Performance: 9.0
Snow Performance: 9
At about $190 per tire, you get pretty good snow performance from the Vredestein Wintrac Pro. The Wintrac Pro starts with broad shoulders to get a good grip while turning and cornering under wet and snow conditions. You also get higher angled sipes allow for more water and snow to get into the tire off the road, letting the Wintrac find more pavement faster.
While the snow performance is not much above other tires on the same test, there isn’t much more room to improve here. Compared to a Michelin X-Ice snow tire, this one stops pretty well in light snow at 112 feet instead of nearly 140. That’s a big difference! They also beat the Michelin X-Ice snow tire on stopping on dry - by nearly 10 feet.
We also would normally expect snow tires to ask a significant compromise between comfort and snow, but these are pretty comfortable year round if you don’t want to take them off for the spring and summer. That said, you can probably do better for comfort and dry performance midsummer.
Best Overall Snow Tire Runner Up for the Volvo XC60
Pirelli Scorpion Winter
Dry Performance: 9
Wet Performance: 9.2
Snow Performance: 8.8
While Pirelli didn’t get overly creative with their name here, they make a pretty good winter tire with the Pirelli Scorpion Winter. Starting just a few dollars higher than the Vredestein, Pirelli offers similar performance. Pirelli does offer a unique design with the Scorpions - called Pirelli’s seal. The seal uses adhesives to fill in the space around an embedded object to allow a potential puncture to seal while losing minimal air.
Pirelli otherwise uses dual grooves to best maintain contact with the road, with deep sipes to flow water and ice out of the tire while also pushing past snow to find the bottom.
So why are these runners up? Well, they aren’t quite as comfortable on dry roads as the Wintrac Pro, and they cost a little more. Still, these are a good snow tire for people often caught up in winter climates.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need winter tires for my Volvo XC60?
You certainly can. Winter tires are designed to offer additional performance on snow and in wet conditions. They dig in deeper into snow and push it out of the treads faster- with their overal digging ability able to better find solid ground faster.
If you live in a climate where snow falls frequently in the fall and winter, you might want to consider winter tires. This is especially true if you find yourself as a nervous driver in the winter or you have to be in traffic during potentially inclement weather. Winter tires reduce the risks associated with driving through snow, though they can’t exactly control the drivers around you.
Note that snow tires don’t make much of a difference on ice. Icy roads are a different story and even snow tires on a big 4 wheel drive truck aren’t going to help. Your best bet? Drive with caution and don’t push your luck.
You’ll also notice that winter tires do not typically come with a warranty. The manufacturers don’t know if you plan to drive on them all year long - or what the weather will be like. They do, however, tend to include tougher compounds to make them last longer. Worried about the warranty? Don’t. It’s normal.
Does Volvo’s All Wheel Drive system need unique tires?
The answer is no, with a but. Volvo’s All Wheel Drive system is similar to the automatic traction control and all wheel drive systems in most SUVs that offer all wheel drive: the vehicle electronically controls which wheels receive power based on whether or not they are getting traction. If one tire is not getting good traction in a snow bank or wet conditions, the vehicle’s on board computers decide automatically to redistributye power to wheels that are not in distress.
That said, this system doesn’t require a particular set of tires. We do certainly suggest buying all four of the same tires. For proper maintenance, have them rotaed when need to make the best use of the all wheel drive system, as unevenly worn tire treads can reduce traction and fuel efficiency while making any vehicle work harder and wear itself out faster.
Volvo is known for safety. What makes a tire safe?
This is a great question. Volvo has a strong reputation for building safe and practical vehicles. They build in safety features like automatic braking more often than other manufacturers and try to help prevent a crash while also providing an outstanding safety structure to make collisions less impactful to you and yours.
A safe tire is one that can stop quickly and completely in all the conditions you are going to experience. If you drive in the winter frequently, consider a tire with deep biting grooves that allow for proper snow acceleration and deceleration. You never know when the person in front you is going to stop suddenly - and even automatic braking can’t help you too much if the tires can’t actually get a grip.
What tires does the Volvo XC60 come with?
Let’s be honest: you probably don’t know what tires your Volvo XC60 came with - and few people ask the question when purchasing a vehicle. While the answer does depend on the year, newer Volvo XC60s come with Pirelli Scorpion All Season tires. These are similar to the initial Pirelli we suggested, though Pirelli makes a variety of tires.
Why haven’t we mentioned the specific Pirelli’s as a pick? Tires are a very competitive industry, and we only picked a handful of tires from among many that are offered for the Volvo XC60. We suggest you not take this as a hint to replace the tires that came with your Volvo XC60 right away - but consider a tire we suggested once you have to replace yours, or if they just don’t perform well for the conditions you drive with.
Can I put larger-sized tires on my Volvo XC60?
Buying different sized tires for your Volvo XC60 only make a difference in a couple of ways. First, they change the appearance of your vehicle and could give you a couple more inches of height - which looks nice to some. Second, larger sizes do have the potential to have different tires with different features. Also, note that the tires we selected are based on the base tire size which is 18” though various trims of Volvo can ask for larger tires.
About The Author
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding