Volvo debuted its small luxury crossover, the XC60, back for the 2010 model year. Over the years, we’ve given it high marks for its powerful engines, roomy cargo area and strong safety scores. For 2018, Volvo’s got a fully redesigned XC60 on offer. Much of the model’s core appeal remains, but this year’s model is more stylish, has a bit more room for rear passengers and has new engine options.
The 2018 Volvo XC60 is essentially a scaled-down version of the larger three-row XC90. And because of the similarities between both structures, the smaller, lighter XC60 can actually use all of the same powertrains from the XC90 model line. The XC60 T5 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, but we like the 316-horsepower output of the midlevel T6. It’s the best match for the XC60, and it gives up only 1 mpg on average to the T5.
All-new for 2018 is the T8 plug-in hybrid. It uses the T6’s engine to drive the front wheels and an electric motor to drive the rears. It delivers a big jump in power (400 hp) with only a small benefit in fuel economy. It’s also considerably more expensive. Since the XC60’s best strengths are in areas other than soul-stirring performance, we don’t see much appeal in the T8.
No matter which powertrain you pick, though, you’ll appreciate that Volvo has upped the luxury factor in the XC60, especially when it comes to interiors and amenities. It matches what you’ll find inside an Audi or Mercedes-Benz, but with a distinctly Swedish style. We are most impressed by the top Inscription trim, which benefits from exquisitely formed wood inlays and a leather-wrapped dashboard. The sport-focused R-Design comes exclusively with paddle shifters and sport seats, and it sits in between the Inscription and base trim, which Volvo now calls Momentum in lieu of Dynamic.
The 2018 Volvo XC60 is available in three trims, which offer varied levels of luxury and sport-focused amenities: Momentum, R-Design and Inscription. All trims can be paired with any of the available powertrains designated by T5, T6 and T8. The T5 features a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (250 horsepower, 258 pound-feet of torque), and the T6 has a similar engine but with turbo- and supercharging (316 hp, 295 lb-ft). The range-topping T8 is a plug-in hybrid that combines the T6 engine with a rear electric motor (400 hp, 472 lb-ft). All models are equipped solely with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive.