- Shrunken XC90 looks
- Tons of safety gear
- Plug-in hybrid available
- Gorgeous, high-tech interior
- Shrunken XC90 looks
- Too much like the XC90 inside?
The 2017 Volvo XC60 looks ready to bring the latest Scandinavian style to the masses.
In the mold of its successful XC90 three-row crossover, Volvo has recreated its mid-size XC60 for 2018.
It's a much-needed update for the outgoing XC60, which had remained fairly competitive despite having been on the market for the better part of the decade. The new XC60, which should go on sale in the U.S. by the end of 2017 as a 2018 model year, doesn't necessarily change the XC60's successful recipe, but it should square off well against some competitive rivals like the BMW X3, Audi Q5, and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class.
Styling and performance
With its abrupt front end punctuated by a large grille opening and the brand's signature Southwest/Northeast grille, the XC60 is clearly a Volvo. Its squinting headlamps are a clear link to the larger XC90 (and the S90), but the XC60 is a little more relaxed in some of its details.
A nice kink upward in the belt line shrinks the greenhouse a bit but provides a sportier look without significantly harming visibility. It's a pleasant way of keeping with Volvo's traditionally phenomenal outward visibility while bending a bit to some styling trends. At the rear, Volvo's designers have retained the brand's vertical tail lamps, but a thin portion sneaks across the tailgate toward the license plate.
Inside, the XC60 veers only slightly from the soothing simplicity of the XC90 and S90 sedan. A tall touchscreen infotainment system takes up residence and is flanked by big air vents. The touchscreen absorbs most controls, but it operates much like a tablet and takes advantage of its vertical rather than horizontal orientation. There aren't as many surfaces covered in a choice of wood trims here as in the XC90, which speaks to the XC60's more modest price point.
The XC60 is a two-row five-seater.
So far, Volvo has only announced availability of its twin-engine hybrid system that combines a turbo- and supercharged gasoline engine with an electric motor to provide 400 horsepower. An electric motor also powers the rear wheels to provide all-wheel drive traction. All told, a so-equipped XC60 should give the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 and Audi SQ5 a serious run for their money with its manufacturer-estimated 0-62 mph sprint of 5.3 seconds.
In the XC90, that powertrain tops the range—and it should do so here in the XC60.
More powertrains haven't yet been announced, but we assume the XC90 will get both the turbocharged and turbo/supercharged versions of the 2.0-liter inline-4 that powers the XC90. In that application, they're rated at 250- and 316-hp, respectively. Given the XC60's lighter curb weight, it should be noticeably quicker than the already fairly light-on-its-feet XC90.
Safety and specs
We're still waiting for Volvo to detail just what's standard and what will be optional on the new XC60, but it does bring some additional safety tech to the table. Starting with the City Safety system that can automatically bring things to a halt if it detects an impending collision with a vehicle or pedestrian and is standard on the outgoing XC60, a new Oncoming Lane Mitigation system will tug the car back into its lane if it begins to drift and a potential wreck is detected.
It's one big step toward self-driving cars, something Volvo is hard at work on creating in its quest for zero road fatalities.
Volvo says that the XC60 will offer as an option its Pilot Assist system, which offers semi-autonomous driving at highway speeds for short stints. Once activated, the system will keep the XC60 in its lane and will ensure that it never gets too close to the vehicle in front. It only requires occasional driver input—essentially to make sure that the person behind the wheel isn't nodding off.
A lot more information about the latest XC60 should become available soon—and we'll update this space once we know more.