In days gone by, pretty much the only things that came to mind when people thought of Volvo vehicles were outstanding safety content and boxy sheet metal. There’s nothing wrong with either of these attributes, but Volvo is a luxury brand, and the best luxury vehicles pique your desire by offering features and amenities that help you transcend the mundane.
The Volvos of recent years have aimed to capture that spirit of whimsical extravagance. Today, the brand does a credible job of crafting vehicles that measure up nicely with other premium models.
The 2018 Volvo XC60 sees the manufacturer cruising into territory that’s more affluent than ever before. Volvo’s compact luxury SUV gets a top-to-bottom redesign for 2018, and the upgrades add something decadent and satisfying.
The overhauled XC60 raises the bar when it comes to luxury, offering a plush cabin and a deep list of amenities. New driver-assistive technology has been added with an eye to keeping you safer than ever on the road. There’s also some fresh diversity in the powertrain lineup, thanks to the addition of a plug-in hybrid variant.
While the 2018 XC60 brings new levels of opulence and innovation, some things, thankfully, haven’t changed. Like all Volvo products, the model remains steadfastly committed to providing its driver with one of the safest vehicles on the road.
With the XC60, you get a compelling blend of European panache and smart practicality. But that doesn’t mean this handsome Scandinavian is perfect.
Here are eight great traits of the 2018 Volvo XC60… along with a deficit you should be aware of when evaluating the vehicle for purchase.
Like it or not, hybrids are the way of the future. These green machines meld gas and electric powertrains to get you where you need to go with improved fuel efficiency. Volvo is committed to this technology, and the brand has announced that all its new vehicles launched from 2019 onward will be either hybrid or electric.
For 2018, the XC60 introduces the T8, a new plug-in hybrid variant that offers 400 horsepower and 472 lb.-ft. of torque. If you think all hybrids are slow and pokey, think again: Volvo claims that the T8 will sprint from 0-60 mph in a scant 4.9 seconds.
This green Volvo can travel for up to 18 miles solely on electric energy, and when it’s operating in this mode, it has an EPA rating of 59 MPGe combined city/highway. With just the gas powertrain in use, mileage stands at 26 mpg combined.
Snow and rain can create hazardous conditions on the road. If you frequently face this kind of precipitation, you may need a little extra help when it comes to traction.
All-wheel drive (AWD) helps stack the deck in your favor. This system sends power to all four wheels, and it can help your vehicle keep its grip on roadways that are dangerously slick with rain or ice.
The 2018 XC60 comes standard with AWD. If you frequently drive in rough weather, this feature can go a long way toward helping to keep your commute accident-free.
Every year, automakers race to come up with technology that can create a safer experience for drivers. Volvo has a storied reputation as a safety pioneer, so it’s no surprise that the automaker is on the leading edge when it comes to driver-assistive innovations.
For 2018, the XC60 upgrades its safety proposition with a new feature called Steer Assist. With Steer Assist, the vehicle is automatically steered to help you avert catastrophe in situations that could cause an accident.
Steer Assist is part of a new safety feature called oncoming lane mitigation. This standard amenity becomes active at 37 mph, and it steers you back into your lane if you cross a lane marking and find yourself in the path of oncoming traffic. Steer Assist has also been integrated into the XC60’s optional blind spot warning system, and it automatically kicks in if it senses that you’re making a risky lane change.
If you’ve ever found yourself wishing your vehicle would take a more active role in the driving experience on long stretches of highway, you’ll love the XC60’s available Pilot Assist feature. Pilot Assist is a semi-autonomous driver-assistance system that will handle your vehicle’s steering, acceleration, and braking at speeds of up to 80 mph.
You can count on Pilot Assist to keep you safely in your lane, provided the lanes on the road you’re traveling on are well marked. Pilot Assist also works with the XC60’s available adaptive cruise control to help you stick to a set speed and maintain a certain distance from the vehicle that’s immediately in front of you.
Modern drivers have come to depend on active safety features to protect them on the road, and we expect our vehicles to offer these amenities. In many cases, this type of technology is presented as a costly option, but the XC60 comes equipped with a healthy array of driver-assistive features as standard equipment.
All models come with low-speed frontal collision mitigation with automatic emergency braking, hill descent control, hill start assist, lane keeping assist, and oncoming lane mitigation. Rear collision warning is also standard, and it flashes your Volvo’s hazard lights if it detects that a vehicle is approaching from behind at perilously quick speeds. Finally, all Volvo XC60 SUVs come with a driver drowsiness monitor that issues a warning if its sensors detect that you’re driving while fatigued or distracted.
Even in a segment built on luxury, certain features stand out for being supremely indulgent. This group of elite perks includes massaging front seats. While this amenity is frequently seen in flagship premium models, it’s less common in the lower echelons of the luxury-car kingdom.
The XC60 is available with a backrest massage feature on its front seats. This amenity gives you a choice of five programs, three speeds, and three levels of intensity, allowing you to easily customize your massage experience.
Two-zone climate control is standard on the XC60, and it allows the driver and the front passenger to maintain separate temperature settings within the cabin. With the XC60’s available four-zone electronic climate system, those seated in the back seat have a chance to get in on the action.
The settings are governed using touchscreen controls. If you upgrade to this system, you’ll also get a chilled glove compartment that you can use to keep beverages cool on hot days.
Buyers shopping for luxury transportation want to be wowed by a vehicle’s cabin. Luxury models cost more than the average car or SUV. In many cases, part of the payoff with each of these vehicles is an interior that goes all out in its effort to cocoon passengers in an environment of singularly deluxe refinement.
The XC60 takes this lofty ambition and colors it with a style and panache that’s uniquely Swedish. The design cues within its cabin are sleek and modern, and top Inscription models feature interiors that are lavished with acres of gorgeous wood.
Once you’re ensconced within, there’s no confusing the XC60 for anything less than a premium SUV.
SUVs of days gone by were known for being a big step down from sedans when it comes to driving dynamics. Thankfully, this is no longer the case. Among today’s crop of small luxury SUVs, there are quite a few choices offering handling that is designed to move the soul and stir the senses.
Unfortunately, this is one area in which the XC60 isn’t at the front of the herd. The model certainly offers a pleasant driving experience, and it feels secure and stable in most circumstances. But unlike some rivals, it lacks the sort of fun-loving spirit that would encourage you to take it along as a companion on stretches of winding mountain road.
Luxury is all about having the best choices, and the XC60 delivers admirably on this front. It offers a top-of-the-line assortment of feature content. Options such as massaging front seats and four-zone electronic climate control are on hand to scratch your itch for the finer things.
If your desire is to get on board the hybrid revolution, the XC60 has you covered there as well. Its available hybrid powertrain uses the latest technology to churn out prodigious output.
The XC60 also provides amenities that help it live up to Volvo’s reputation as a safety leader. There’s a long list of standard safety features, and you’ll also find driver-assistive options that are truly innovative.
Put it all together, and you’ve got an SUV that’s a ritzy standout in an exclusive class.