Driving Notes

2018 Volvo XC60

November 22, 2017

by Paul Clinton - Also by this author

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

Volvo's realignment of its U.S. lineup continues with the 2018 XC60, which arrives as the mid-size sibling of the XC90 in a stylish update that includes a bevy of new safety features, infotainment tech, and a well laid-out cabin.

The XC60 enters its second generation — it debuted with the 2008 model year — as a chip off the old block with styling cues and safety tech that's trickled down from the 2016 revamp of the larger SUV, as well as the 2017 S90 flagship sedan. It's a sign of what's to come from Volvo, which is on the verge of rolling out a range of smaller SUVs and cars on its Compact Modular Architecture (CMA).

Volvo has built the XC60 on its Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) that also underpins the previously mentioned models and the V90.

Volvo offers the XC60 in three trims, including Momentum, the sportier R-Design, and Inscription. All models offer all-wheel-drive, and the lineup will eventually offer a trio of engines, including a 2.0-liter turbo-four T5 engine, a 2.0-liter that adds supercharging (T6), and a 400-horsepower plug-in hybrid that pairs the T6 engine with an electric motor.

We tested the T5 Momentum, which starts at $42,495. Our model also added a few other options, including the Vision Package ($1,100) that includes a blind-spot non-audible alert with steering assist, a cross-traffic alert, front and rear park assist, and Park Assist Pilot.

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

The vehicle benefits from a reworked nose that adds the signature Thor's hammer headlights and a lower section that's a bit more tucked in to give it a sculpted look.

The base XC60 rides on 18-inch wheels, while drivers can add 20-inch or a pair of 22-inch wheels, and air suspension (for $1,800) to enhance the ride. We felt enough comfort with the model we tested.

Cargo space is adequate when the rear seats are in the seated position (22.4 cubic feet), and plentiful when the seats fold down (63.3 cubic feet).

Like the XC90, the vehicle employs a more vertical, 9-inch color touchscreen mounted into the dash.

The vehicle's dual-pane moonroof is a nice touch, and floods the cabin with natural light during daytime driving. The shade can be fully opened or closed with the push of a button, but it would have been nice to have a half-open configuration.

Related Photos: Volvo's 2018 XC60

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