2018 Volvo XC60 Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Mar 07, 2017
  • Completely redesigned, 5-passenger, compact premium SUV
  • Based on scaled-down version of Volvo XC90 platform
  • Employs same family of Drive-E powertrains as XC90
  • Looks like an XC90, inside and out
  • Introduces new driver-assistance and collision-avoidance systems
  • Debuts an updated version of Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system
  • Production begins in Sweden in April 2017


The Volvo XC60 accounts for nearly one third of the company’s global sales, making it one of the most important models in the automaker’s lineup. It is also one of the oldest models Volvo offers, which makes the debut of the redesigned 2018 Volvo XC60 that much more important.

Based on the same scalable vehicle architecture that forms the basis for the larger 7-passenger XC90, the new 5-passenger XC60 SUV will be offered in T5, T6, and T8 Twin Engine model series, and in Momentum, R-Design, and Inscription trim. Production of the new XC60 starts in April 2017 in Sweden; the SUV is expected to arrive in the United States by the end of this year.

Exterior Features

Longer, lower, and wider than the model it replaces, the 2018 XC60 is larger than before but weighs about the same as the old model thanks to greater use of lightweight materials.

Volvo calls the new XC60 “athletic…subtle and timeless,” apt descriptors for what is a handsome vehicle. Styling cues are clearly taken from the larger 90-series models, from the Thor’s hammer headlights to the large, thin-spoke aluminum wheels available for the Inscription trim level.

Choose the XC60 R-Design for a sportier appearance with specific design details, body-color trim, and unique oversized wheels that make the SUV appear to have adopted the proportions of a Hot Wheels car.

Interior Features

As is true of the exterior, the XC60’s interior looks like a downsized version of what you would find within the XC90. Volvo characterizes the XC60’s cabin as “beautifully appointed and calm,” a “masterful composition” of design, materials, and technology.


Optional Features

2018 Volvo XC60 Inscription interior photo Equipped with seating for 5 people, four occupants are more likely to be comfortable due to the XC60’s narrower width compared to the XC90.Volvo has divulged few details about XC60 options, but it is fair to expect that the company’s approach will be similar to how the XC90 is packaged.

That means that by upgrading to Inscription trim the XC60 can be upholstered in premium leather and decked out with real wood trim. Volvo also introduces a new 4-zone CleanZone automatic climate-control system in the new XC60; it will be available with a panoramic glass sunroof and a hands-free power rear liftgate.

A thundering Bower & Wilkins premium sound system is also on the XC60’s optional equipment menu.

Under the Hood

Continuing on the theme of a downsized XC90, the new 2018 Volvo XC60 will be offered in T5, T6, and T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid model series, each equipped with a member of Volvo’s Drive-E powertrain family.

The XC60 T5 is equipped with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that Volvo says will make 254 horsepower (European specification). Upgrading to the XC60 T6 supplies a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder good for 320 horsepower (Euro-spec).

Volvo’s plug-in hybrid drivetrain is installed in the XC60 T8 Twin Engine model, delivering more than 400 horsepower and acceleration to 60 mph in just over 5 seconds, according to the automaker. This version of the SUV also provides limited pure-electric driving range and returns better fuel economy in addition to superior acceleration.

All three versions include an 8-speed automatic transmission. The XC60 T5 is front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive (AWD) offered as an option. The T6 and T8 Twin Engine models include AWD. Volvo also offers an air suspension for the new XC60.


Volvo says: “The new XC60, one of the safest cars ever made, is fully loaded with new technology.” The key development on this front is the debut of Steer Assist, which is included with the XC60’s City Safety suite of driver-assistance and collision-avoidance technologies.

Steer Assist makes a new Oncoming Lane Mitigation system possible, which is designed to help drivers avoid head-on collisions, or to at least lessen the severity of such crashes. Steer Assist also works with the XC60’s blind-spot information system to help reduce collisions during lane changes.

“All three of these new features represent clear steps in our work towards fully autonomous cars,” said Volvo.

Additionally, the new XC60 is available with Pilot Assist, a semi-autonomous driver-assistance system, as well as Large Animal Detection, Run-off Road Mitigation, and Active High Beam systems, among other safety items that are a part of the existing Volvo arsenal.


For the redesigned XC60, Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system gets a graphical update and improvements in usability, according to the company. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone-projection technologies are also added, and owners enjoy remote access to their vehicles through a Volvo OnCall smartphone app.

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