Fresh from Sweden is the second generation of Volvo's compact crossover model, the XC60. This all-new design casts a similar shadow, but wears styling cues linking it to the brand's other recent introductions, include the 90-series sedan and wagon, and the larger XC90 crossover.
It may be similarly sized to its predecessor, but this new crossover rides on a wheelbase nearly 100 mm longer, pushing the wheels closer to the corners and promising more space inside the car's taut-looking new body.
Along with styling more respresentative of the "new" Volvo, the XC60 also gains the latest in the company's powertrain technology. T6 trims use a 2.0L four-cylinder engine that benefits from both turbo- and supercharging to crank out 320 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, while T8 models tie that motor into a plug-in hybrid system that boosts output to 400 hp. The outlier in the new lineup is the T5, which settles for a 2.5L turbocharged five-cylinder carried over from the old car, which makes 254 hp and 258 lb-ft.
Regardless of engine choice, all XC60s use an eight-speed automatic transmission; AWD is also standard.
Volvo boldly suggests the XC60 is one of the safest cars ever made. Whether that's true is a topic for another time, but we certain agree this new crossover makes safety a priority, with a new generation of Volvo's city safety system that adds steering assist. That function is also used by a feature called oncoming lane mitigation to help avoid head-on collisions, and by the blind spot indication system (BLIS) to prevent crashes during lane changes.
But the new XC60 is only about safety, nor is the T8 PHEV model solely focused on saving fuel. Volvo says that "twin engine" model puts its 400 hp to use scooting the crossover from 0-100 km/h in a claimed 5.3 seconds, and a high-performance variant tuned by Volvo's Polestar division will boast 421 hp, making it one of the most powerful vehicles Volvo has ever produced. Polestar's people revised the powertrain for more mid-range power, and the transmission is tweaked for quicker shifts timed to best take advantage of the extra power.
Inside, the XC60 gets an interior drawn up a lot like that in the larger 90-series crossover, wagon and sedan models, with an available four-zone climate control system Volvo says removes pollutants and particles from the air. There's also an updated version of Volvo's Sensus infotainment system that supports the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration platforms.
Other standard kit includes off-road hill descent control, two USB ports, heated leather-trimmed and power-adjustable front seats with lumbar, power tailgate, eight-inch digital instrument cluster display and 18-inch wheels.
An R-Design trim adds navigation, four-zone climate control, panoramic sunroof, 12.3-inch full digital gauge cluster, hands-free tailgate, steerable LED headlights with washers and 19-inch wheels.
Finally, the Inscription model gets 20-inch wheels and ventilated Nappa leather seats with power cushion extension for driver and front passenger.