2018 Volvo XC60 Review


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2018 Volvo XC60 Overview

Volvo’s XC60 compact crossover has been around for nearly 10 years, and the first generation, while still popular, was starting to get a bit long in the tooth. Just unveiled at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, the all-new second-generation version brings things up to date. Given the success of the wildly popular and highly praised second-generation XC90 that debuted in 2015, it was only natural for Volvo to scale down that formula for the new version of its smaller and cheaper XC60 sibling. As part of Volvo’s “Scalable Product Architecture” concept, the platform underneath the 2018 XC60’s all-new bodywork is similar to that of the XC90, the S90 sedan, and the V90 wagons.

For exterior styling, the 2018 XC60 gets new LED headlights that wrap all the way around the nose on either side of the grille, and the front end is more upright. The ends sport shorter overhangs, while the wheelbase is longer. The LED taillights are new as well, although their shape and the way they run all the way up both sides of the rear glass is a signature Volvo styling feature.

So far, Volvo has only announced one powertrain option for the 2018 XC60—the turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gas-hybrid electric engine that’s also available in the XC90. The electric motor sends power to the rear wheels, making this technically an all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicle, and total output is a claimed 400 hp. Volvo estimates a 0-to-60 time of 5.3 seconds, which is pretty impressive for such a hefty vehicle—and enough to give this Swede’s German rivals a run for their money. Other versions of the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine found in the XC90 range will likely make their way to the smaller 2018 XC60, but nothing is official yet.

The interior of the XC60 is dominated by a tall, portrait-oriented touchscreen with vents on either side that houses the Sensus Connect infotainment system and offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The Sensus infotainment system works in conjunction with the newly redesigned Volvo On Call app to send navigation destinations directly to the vehicle, and it can locate the car in a crowded parking lot. In the instrument cluster, a digital screen reproduces the look of analog gauges. The rest of the cabin combines typical Scandinavian minimalism with a premium look and feel. The XC60’s interior is outfitted in a conservative amount of aluminum trim, and textured natural driftwood trim is available. Volvo also boasts that its CleanZone 4-zone climate-control system filters pollutants and particles from outside to “deliver Scandinavian-fresh air on the inside.”

The new XC60 hasn’t yet been crash tested, but given Volvo’s near-obsession with safety, it’s expected to perform well when it’s finally put through its paces. As in the XC90, high-tech safety features are big selling point. A lane-keeping system that works at speeds from 37 to 87 mph will sense if the vehicle is drifting into oncoming traffic and automatically pull it back into its own lane. Volvo’s updated City Safety system can now steer the XC60 away from potential trouble if it detects an impending collision at speeds of 31 and 62 mph, whereas the previous system could only apply the brakes. The City Safety system can also stop the vehicle if it detects an impending collision with another car or a pedestrian. Furthermore, an available semi-autonomous driving feature—called Pilot Assist—will keep the XC60 in its lane and maintain a safe distance from the car in front.

Volvo’s freshest design distills the successful formula of the larger XC90 while remaining its own distinct model, positioning the 2018 XC60 to compete with long-established compact luxury SUVs like the BMW X3, Audi Q5, and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class when it goes on sale later in 2017.


Andrew Newton first got into cars through vintage racing a Formula Vee. After receiving history degrees, he followed his passion for cars and became a contributor for sites like Sports Car Digest, BoldRide.com and JamesEdition.com in addition to serving as Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA. Andrew currently covers the collector car market full time as Auction Editor for Hagerty Classic Car Insurance.

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