The launch of the second-generation XC60 marks the culmination of a transition period for Volvo. In the nine years since the compact crossover SUV made its initial debut, the Swedish automaker has changed owners (from Ford to Geely), developed the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, and introduced safety systems.
Along the way, the XC60 has sold more than 1 million units, accounting for nearly a third of Volvo’s sales worldwide. The demand for a full redesign has become increasingly urgent as new editions of the larger XC90, the S60 sedan, and the V60 and V60 Cross County wagons have turned heads in recent years. In the 2018-MY, the XC60 will join those vehicles on the SPA platform and share their lineup of powerful four-cylinder engines.
At the head of the new vehicle’s family is the T8 plug-in hybrid, a 400-horsepower (hp) turbocharged and supercharged twin-engine suburban rifle round. Slightly downmarket are the 2.0-liter T6, also turbocharged and supercharged with a 320-hp rating, and the base T5, a 254-hp, 2.0-liter turbo.
Each of the XC60’s engines will be mated to an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. Future variants could include front-wheel drive and diesel powerplants, but they might be confined to overseas markets.
Volvo stresses that the new styling is not a reduced version of the three-row XC90, but the resemblance is uncanny. The SUVs share a chrome grille and “Thor’s Hammer” LED headlights, vertical taillights, and clean shoulder and belt lines.
The XC60 distinguishes itself with a lower nose, minimal front and rear overhangs, and a more athletic stance. Despite adding 3.6 inches to its wheelbase and 2.4 inches to its overall length, the 2018 avoided any significant weight gain thanks to the use of lightweight steel.
The cabin features all the trappings of a premium SUV, including Nappa leather, reclaimed driftwood accents, and Bowers & Wilkins stereo. Volvo’s Sensus Connect navigation and infotainment center will be accessed through a 9.3-inch touchscreen; a 12-inch digital display replaces the instrument cluster.
The 2018 Volvo XC60 is expected to become available before the end of 2017. Prices will start at $48,100 for the T5, $54,100 for the T6, and $63,650 for the T8, not including destination. Check in at BusinessFleet.com for updates.