As a relatively small company, Volvo has to choose carefully its opportunities to make a good impression. These days, the best chance a manufacturer has is in the auto industry’s various and sundry SUV and crossover segments. That’s where a lot of buyers are going, especially in the upscale categories Volvo specializes in.
The Swedish brand’s mid-range model is the XC60, a car Volvo redesigned for 2018 and has carried forward into 2019 without major changes.
XC60 trims begin with Momentum, which starts out as the T5 with a 2.0L turbocharged, four-cylinder engine that makes 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Momentum can be optioned to a T6 powertrain that uses a turbo- and supercharged version of that engine making 316 hp and 295 lb-ft.
R-Design and Inscription trims come standard in T6 form. The powertrain option here is the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) T8, which pairs the T6’s engine with an electric motor for 400 hp and 472 lb-ft.
Regardless of engine and trim, the XC60 is standard with AWD and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
It’s an understatement to say the XC60 is an important car for Volvo. This compact crossover competes with Germans like the BMW X3, Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC, and Japanese models that include the Acura RDX and Lexus RX. The Brits field the Jaguar F-Pace and Land Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport in this class, and Italy’s Alfa Romeo has the Stelvio. All of that is to say that an upscale brand that doesn’t have a compact crossover or SUV to go against this crowd is missing out on a significant number of sales.
Standard features include rain-sensing wipers, auto engine start/stop, front collision mitigation, lane keeping aid, hill start assist and hill descent control, two-zone automatic climate control, panoramic sunroof, 8.0-inch driver display, smartphone integration, leather upholstery, heated and power-adjustable front seats with two-way lumbar, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power tailgate, satellite radio, LED headlights and 18-inch wheels.
R-Design brings 19-inch wheels, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, sport chassis, four-zone climate control, sport front seats with four-way lumbar and a bottom cushion extension, navigation, active bending headlights with high-pressure washers and fog lights.
The Inscription package includes 20-inch wheels, driftwood interior trim, tailored dash panel, Nappa upholstery, ventilated front seats with power-adjustable side bolsters and hands-free tailgate operation.
Volvo’s fuel consumption estimates are 11.3 / 8.5 L/100 km (city/highway) in T5 form, and 11.8/8.6 L/100 km for T6 models. T8’s ratings are 9.5 / 8.5 when running as a gas-electric hybrid, and 3.8 Le/100 km in electric mode.