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- Superlative safety equipment
- Interior is achingly on-trend
- Eager turbo-4 performance
- Excellent packaging
- Plug-in hybrid option
- Exterior’s a little me-too
- Lifeless steering in most modes
- Hefty in most editions
With the new 2018 XC60, Volvo has cached all the XC90’s good data, and trimmed some fat from its code.
Volvo builds sublime sedans and best-bar-none wagons. Though it resisted crossover SUVs for a long time, it now makes some true knockouts, like the heavily awarded XC90.
This year, it’s replacing its best-selling vehicle by scaling down the XC90 to two-row, five-seat dimensions. The result, the 2018 Volvo XC60, claws and climbs its way past some worthy rivals, including Jaguar’s F-Pace, the Benz GLC, and the Audi Q5.
It earns an 8.0 out of 10 on our overall scale, thanks to a serene, spacious cabin and lush equipment and trim. That’s before any safety or gas-mileage scores are in. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The XC60’s eye-soothing interior is worth its own highlight reel. Whether it’s awash in driftwood trim or outfitted in natty shades of black (you know, the one), the XC60 cockpit caters to the senses without overwhelming them. The sheet metal takes a less adventurous tack; it’s a flashback to the BMW X3 from many angles.
We’ve driven just one of the three drivetrains in the XC60. The T6 goes about its work with undramatic flair. With standard all-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic, the 316-hp turbocharged and supercharged 6-cylinder emits power evenly across its rev range. With adaptive dampers and three driving modes, the XC60 smothers the road instead of engaging it.
The XC60 puts its biggest markers down on interior space and ambiance. Four adults can take refuge amid its soft leathers and cloudlike wood trim, with less noise than in the XC90. Minor foibles aside, it’s a relaxed and roomy place to enjoy some silence, both aural and visual.
No crash-test data is available, but the XC60 can be fitted with surround-view cameras and Volvo’s piloted driving assist. All models have leather, LED headlights, a power tailgate, Apple CarPlay and Android auto, a 9-inch portrait-style touchscreen, Bluetooth, and in-car data hardware. Sporty R-Design cars have 19-inch wheels, a digital gauge display, and paddle shift controls; Inscription models have a stitched dash, navigation, and that fabulous driftwood trim.