2018 Volvo XC60 T6 First Ride! Review

Jan 23rd

Surströmming, as those who’ve walked on the wild side in Sweden know, is fermented herring. Typically canned, the local delicacy produces indelicately pungent aromas when its packaging is opened. In one way, Volvo’s XC90 SUV, S90 sedan, and V90 wagon were like cans of surströmming: When yanked from captivity and thrust under the noses of the public, they made a strong impression. But in the case of the Volvos, the impressions were largely good.

The one-size-smaller XC60 is Volvo’s global top seller, and the Swedes are about to launch an all-new, much more stylish 2018 model into the compact luxury SUV/crossover segment, one of autodom’s hottest. Volvo needs it to have a similar splashy impact to the 2015 arrival of the XC90. After a brief ride in the 2018 XC60 at Volvo’s Hällered test track in Sweden, we found little reason to doubt that it has the potential to do exactly that.

Dimensionally, the new XC60’s 112.8-inch wheelbase is 4.7 inches shorter than the XC90’s but 3.6 inches longer than that of the old model, directly benefiting rear-seat space. With no driving duties, we had plenty of time to evaluate the passenger spaces. The previously tight aft quarters now nicely accommodate two people; there is plenty of legroom, knee room, and headroom, plus the front seats are mounted high, leaving toe space galore. Externally, the XC60 just plain looks bigger than its predecessor, with a long hood, a more upright greenhouse, and clipped front and rear overhangs.

The 2018 XC60 is more handsome thanks to Volvo’s new design language, which incorporates the Thor’s Hammer sideways T-shaped LED headlight garnishes, gently undulating fender bulges, and intricate taillights. We think it is one of the most attractive entries in the segment, easily in the hunt with the Jaguar F-Pace. And the Volvo’s interior is as stylish as they come. Its overall design mimics that of the larger XC90, with the same vertically oriented touchscreen bisecting a horizontal scallop that includes the gauge cluster and all four front-seat HVAC vents. Up close, the dashboard detailing isn’t as elaborate as that in the XC90, although the materials are upscale and lend the cabin a generally luxurious air. The front seats we did experience—we sampled the available massaging, 10-way power-adjustable chairs—are very comfortable, while the rears feature a nice cushion height and optional heating elements, although they have no recline adjustment. Complete review on www.caranddriver.com, by Manufacturer

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