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2018 Volvo XC60 Review By Larry Nutson +VIDEO

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2018 Volvo XC60
Modern luxury

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, there are no bad cars today. Many other auto writers and industry experts will agree. Having a vehicle that rises to the top, whether it be car, truck, van or SUV, certainly makes an automaker’s life a lot easier. And, more importantly it assuredly helps give a new vehicle buyer confidence in narrowing the choices within the segment they are shopping.

To wit, the completely redesigned 2018 Volvo XC60 is one of three finalists for the award of 2018 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year. The all-new XC60 is also a candidate for the Family Vehicle of the Year award presented by the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), of which I am a voting member.

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A year ago the XC60’s larger sibling, the Volvo XC90 SUV, was named the 2016 North American Truck/Utility of the Year and also 2016 Family Vehicle of the Year by MAMA. Volvo has got a good thing going.

I recently spent a week test driving a 2018 XC60 T6 AWD with the Inscription trim, which is the top-of-the-line. The base MSRP is $44,900 plus there’s the $995 destination charge. The Inscription package adds $3,800.

Buying up to the Inscription from the Momentum trim gets you various added chrome trim pieces, LED front fog lights and cornering lights, a “Inscription” logo, illuminated door handles, and integrated tailpipes. Sitting between the two trims is the R-Design.

On the inside there’s a 12.3-inch driver-control instrument display, navigation, drive-mode control, 4-zone climate control, driver and passenger seat-cushion extenders, and some upgraded wood and leather bits.

There’s also some nice features that would come in handy on a road trip including upgraded interior illumination, storage net on the center tunnel, cooled glove compartment, and keyless entry with hands-free tailgate.

Running down the Monroney label price sticker, the long list of options equipped on my media-loaner test car included: a $2,000 Convenience package, a $1,100 Vision package, a $3,000 Luxury Seat package, a $1,900 Advance package, $595 for Pine Grey metallic paint, $3,200 for Bowers and Wilkins premium sound system and $1,800 for 4-corner air suspension.

All totaled the bottom line hit $63,290, which is a pretty decent chunk of change. If I were buying, some of these options I would want and some maybe not.

The redesigned XC60 sits on a 3.6 inch longer wheelbase but is only a bit under two inches longer overall. The longer wheelbase helps to improve the already good ride quality and overall comfort.

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T6 is the engine designator. It’s a 316-HP turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, now putting our more power than the older model. The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic with a drive-mode switch on the console to choose between Comfort, Eco and Dynamic.

By the way, all XC60s are all-wheel drive.

My driving was a mixture of local Chicago streets as well as a few highway runs, all on dry roads. All-in-all the engine/transmission combo worked well together delivering crisp acceleration and good highway merging and passing ability. Transmission upshifts and downshifts were all spot on no matter the driving condition.

EPA test-cycle fuel economy ratings are 23 mpg combined or 4.3 gallons per 100 miles, with 21 city mpg and 27 highway mpg.

Volvo says the new XC60 is one of the safest cars ever made. And, it’s loaded with new driver-assistance safety technology to support that claim. Steer Assist has been added to the City Safety system. A new safety system called Oncoming Lane Mitigation uses steer assist to help mitigate head-on collisions, while Volvo’s Blind Spot Indication System (BLIS) now uses Steer Assist functionality to reduce the risk of lane-changing collisions.

Pilot Assist, Volvo’s advanced semi-automated driver assistance system, which takes care of steering, acceleration and braking on well-marked roads up to 80 MPH, is available in the new XC60 as an option.

The engine even shuts off automatically when the door is opened.

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I like the looks of the XC60 from the outside but the interior is where I thought it really shined. The seats are very comfortable and luxuriously upholstered in Nappa leather. Although the iPad-like touch screen takes a bit of familiarization, but it’s easily mastered and was easy to operate for me. Overall the interior is very calming and the Bowers and Wilkins audio system is wonderful. It’s certainly one option I would buy.

Behind the XC60’s 60/40-split rear seat there’s 37.8 cubic feet of cargo area that opens up to 68.8 cubic feet when you fold the rear seat.

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Ride quality is very good and there is no disturbing interior cockpit noise. Rear seats are comfortable too with good legroom coming from the longer length,

Take a look at for more information and specifications on the XC600. Look here at for comparative information on other premium compact crossover SUVs.

Along with the T6, there is a 250-HP T5 starting at $41,500 and a 400-HP plug in hybrid T8 starting at $52,900.

The new XC60 is really luxurious as well as being quite practical for a family with children as well as active lifestyle empty nesters.

The Swedes have done a great job on the 2018 Volvo XC60.

© 2017 Larry Nutson the Chicago Car Guy

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