CarsDirect Review

Our Take: 2018 Volvo XC60

, Contributing Writer -

The all-new 2018 Volvo XC60 features a slick exterior, stunning interior, and outstanding advanced safety features that, together, surpasses offerings from Jaguar, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. But all is not perfect, as the styling is somewhat derivative, fuel economy is mediocre, and the ride and handling are more isolated than engaging.

Best Value

With three models offered in three trims – each with its own engine – pricing starts with the $42,495 T5 Momentum and tops out at $72,000 and change for the top-line T8 Hybrid in Inscription trim.

The best value has to be the T6 in Momentum trim with the supercharged and turbocharged version of Volvo’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. With a starting price of $45,895 and 316 horsepower under the hood, it offers a 9.0-inch portrait-style touchscreen, leather seats, a leather-wrapped wheel, a panoramic sunroof, automatic high-beam LED headlights, automatic steering assistance, lane keeping assist, road sign information, a rearview camera, 19-inch wheels, and the Volvo On Call smartphone app with remote start and lock/unlock.

The Momentum also allows access to option packages that can add everything from advanced safety systems to a navigation system that includes a digital instrument display.

Here’s how we’d build it:

  • Model: 2018 Volvo XC60 T6 Momentum
  • Engine: 2.0-liter, supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Output: 316 hp / 295 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • MPG: 21 City / 27 Hwy
  • Options: : Vision Package ($1,100, Park Assist Pilot, front and rear park assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, power retractable rearview mirrors, auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors), Convenience Package ($2,200, drive mode settings, heated wiper blades, smart key with push-button start, hands-free power tailgate, Pilot semi-autonomous drive with adaptive cruise control, power-folding second row seats and headrests, power rear door child locks), Heated Front Seats ($750, heated front seats, heated steering wheel).
  • Base Price: $45,895 (including a $995 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price:$49,945

Performance

Volvo XC60

An excellent performer, the XC60 is blessed with a smooth, well-controlled ride and three turbocharged four-cylinder powertrains – one of which is also supercharged. With plenty of usable torque, all three (including the hybrid) offer robust off-the-line performance and accelerate to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds (2.0-liter turbo), 5.9 seconds (2.0-liter supercharged turbo), and 4.9 seconds (2.0-liter turbo/electric motor hybrid).

While not guzzlers, all three models require premium fuel, and both gasoline-only models miss the 30 mile per gallon highway mark. Also, once its battery is depleted, the hybrid only manages an EPA-estimated 26 mpg on the highway. On top of that, the XC60's poor steering feedback doesn't encourage driver engagement.

Style

The XC60's exterior originality begins and ends with its narrow hammer-style LED headlights that evoke the larger XC90. Inside, however, it's a different story. Centered around a 9.0-inch portrait style touchscreen – like those found in Teslas and McLarens – the cabin is stylish and spare, with elegant touches like driftwood trim and an overall ambiance that makes many competing vehicles seem garish by comparison.

Other than the front fascia, the XC60 comes with a derivative mainstream mid-size crossover design; not offensive, but hardly unique. At the same time, the only blemishes detracting from the XC60’s interior goodness are some sharp-edged speaker enclosures and a hard plastic glovebox door.

The Best and Worst Things

Overall, the XC60 is a stunner; we just wish that the exterior was as elegant as the interior.

Right For? Wrong For?

Volco XC60

Although its exterior design is somewhat restrained, the XC60's achingly luxurious interior should have value-oriented, style-conscious buyers beating down the doors of Volvo showrooms.

At the same time, the XC60's heft and lack of steering feedback will have enthusiasts looking elsewhere.

The Bottom Line

Despite a conservative exterior and handling that places comfort over sportiness, the XC60's serene ride, stunningly elegant interior, and breadth of advanced safety features make it a top choice in the luxury mid-size crossover class.