The rebirth during Volvo is in full swing. Flush with supports and a understanding owner, a products over a past few years have proven we don’t need to demeanour to Germany to see a oppulance automobile builder during a tip of a game. This dilemma of a marketplace is now all about a swanky SUV, and a 2018 XC60—tested here in a 400hp T8 plug-in hybrid version—makes a clever box that Sweden is heading a pack.
The new epoch started when Ford sole Volvo in 2010. Freed from American corporate micromanagement, new owners Geely took a hands-off approach, giving Volvo a resources it indispensable to rise all-new engines and automobile architectures. It came adult with what it calls a Scalable Product Architecture, a rarely stretchable starting bottom for all of a middle and vast vehicles. The initial SPA vehicles were all vast ones: a XC90, a three-row SUV that arrived in 2014; afterwards some-more recently a S90 sedan and V90 hire wagons. All are glorious vehicles, yet with a XC60, a stakes are higher—it’s distant and divided a company’s best-selling model.
Solid bone structure
There’s no denying a XC60 is a handsome-looking thing. Its SPA bone structure lays out a figure about 10 inches shorter than a bigger Volvo SUV, and it’s rather narrower and shorter, nonetheless a proportions look—if anything—more elegant. Under a skin is a same brew of high-strength steels, including an endless use of boron steel in a newcomer cell.
Here in a US, we get a choice of 3 opposite powertrains in a XC60, any of that uses a chronicle of a same 2.0L forced-induction, four-cylinder gasoline engine. In a T5 (which starts during $41,500), it’s a 250hp turbocharged engine, while a $44,900 T6 gets a turbocharger and a supercharger, good for 316hp. Both of these send that energy to all 4 wheels around an eight-speed gearbox. The range-topping T8—$52,900—is a plug-in hybrid. There’s still a super- and turbocharged 2.0L engine adult front, that provides 313hp, yet that is usually sent to a front wheels. Power to a back wheels is around an 87hp (65kW) electric motor, fed by a 10.4kWh lithium-ion battery.
As with a XC90 PHEV, a XC60 positions a battery container along a centerline of a car. This means a mass is contained comparatively low down and within a wheelbase, that is good for frigid moments of sluggishness and a advantage of design that was designed with foundation in mind, compared to plug-in hybrid SUVs like a BMW X5 or Porsche Cayenne where a batteries had to be propitious underneath a load area.
The Swedish good looks continue on a inside. Volvo nerds will notice that a atmosphere vents are some-more identical to those in a S90 sedan than a XC90 SUV, yet law be told, a cabins of all a SPA cars demeanour similar. That’s no bad thing, in my opinion. Our rarely specced exam car—a T8 Inscription with a rather vast $71,590 plaque price—came with a $3,000 Luxury Seat container that adds smashing brownish-red Nappa leather, exhilarated and ventilated front massaging seats, exhilarated back seats, and a exhilarated steering wheel. The fit and finish of all is of a high quality, and we venerate a small dainty touches like a Swedish dwindle add-on stitched into a join of a newcomer seat.
Gizmos and gadgets
Regardless of spec, all XC60s come with Volvo’s rather good Sensus infotainment system and a apartment of modernized motorist assistance systems (ADAS) underneath a name City Safety, that includes low- and high-speed collision warning/emergency braking and pedestrian, cyclist, and vast animal detection. But some of a ADAS facilities are sealed adult in options packages. For example, we need to compensate for a $2,000 Convenience package to get Pilot Assist II, a semi-autonomous multiple of adaptive journey control and line keeping. (Lane keep support is indeed customary apparatus on all XC60s, though.)
Blind-spot monitors, cross-traffic alerts, and parking assists come with a Vision package ($1,100). Another $1,900 gets we 360-degree parking cameras, a graphical heads-up display, and active pattern LED headlights in a Advanced package. That adds adult to a nice, even $5,000, that is a lot, yet it’s also a same volume that Tesla will ask we for if we wish extended autopilot on a Model 3, that everybody seems to accept as a good understanding (and, in this case, we get a few things that Tesla won’t have, like a heads-up display).
Volvo says that, compared to a 90 array cars, a XC60 (and a other 60 array vehicles that are coming) underline a some-more assertive pushing feel. But even if a XC60 T8 can opposition a Porsche Macan Turbo when it comes to energy output—both have 400hp, remember—this is still a Volvo and not a Porsche. As with a XC90 T8, a XC60 does not inspire we to speed—even yet 0 to 60mph takes 4.6 seconds—but it does feel a small some-more enchanting to drive. In fact, if we can find a aspect with low adequate grip, it will deposit utterly happily as prolonged as we spin off traction and fortitude control.
Of course, absent pushing on a solidified lake, XC60 drivers are doubtful to try that out. we detected this when Volvo let me try an XC60 propitious with one of those low-grip training systems (an additional set of computer-controlled castors that raises a automobile adult and reduces a volume of hold a tires have). That demo was indeed to denote a efficacy of a car’s reserve systems, and we can news they worked well—at a spirit of oversteer, all gets reined in, and apart tests also showed that a automobile stays controllable and means to expostulate to equivocate objects when a brakes’ antilock triggers. As you’d expect.
However, outward of these tranquil conditions and on a meant streets in and around Washington, DC, if anything we found some of a systems over-intrusive. In particular, a collision mitigation. On dual occasions, a light daub of a stop while pushing contingency have given a car’s electronic smarts a thought that we was about to strike something. Instead of scrubbing off 2 to 3mph as we intended, a collision slackening contingency have triggered—the automobile braked heavily and pretensioned a seatbelts as it did so. Explaining to my mother that it was a automobile and not me that unexpected caused her to be pinned to her chair was a fun review a second time, let me tell you.
Barring that rather over-eager reaction, life with a T8 was pleasing enough. There is abounding load room (29.7 cubic feet/841L) with a back seats folded flat. The float was agreeable and coped with damaged surfaces and potholes (our automobile was propitious with a $1,800 discretionary atmosphere suspension). Visibility from inside was good, and a cabin felt atmospheric and ethereal interjection to a outrageous moonroof (standard to all XC60s). Pilot Assist II is really good during operative with a motorist to take a small of a aria out of trade jams, and a chair massagers were excellent. (I don’t consider I’d spec them on a automobile we ordered, yet we find we make copiousness of use of them each time we expostulate a automobile that has them fitted.)
However, as with a incomparable XC90, I’m not wholly certain a some-more costly T8 PHEV chronicle is value a $8,000 reward over a T6 model, even yet it is authorised for a $5,000 IRS taxation credit. The hybrid is rated during 26mpg total (I managed about 24mpg over a week yet usually had a possibility to assign a battery once). But a T6 is not that most worse during 23mpg. And while a T6 is reduction powerful, it also weighs 550lbs/249kg less.
Absent that doubt over a relations value for income of a hybrid T8 contra a T6, a XC60 creates a remarkably constrained box for itself. If you’re looking for a oppulance SUV, we need to take a demeanour during this Volvo.
Listing picture by Jonathan Gitlin