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2018 Volvo XC60: What You Need to Know

U.S. News & World Report - Cars logo U.S. News & World Report - Cars 9/15/2017 U.S. News & World Report
2018 Volvo XC60© Volvo Cars of North America 2018 Volvo XC60

Fresh for 2018, the fully redesigned Volvo XC60 arises as one of the best luxury compact SUVs you can buy. Top attributes include a massive amount of safety features (most of which are standard) and a sophisticated, serene interior. 

The 2018 Volvo XC60 is ranked:

Is the Volvo XC60 a Good SUV?

The all-new Volvo XC60 is a terrific luxury compact SUV. It's been fully redesigned for 2018 and features improvements across the board. These changes bump the vehicle from its previous midpack standing; it now resides with some of the best in the class. Some of the most notable improvements include a state-of-the-art infotainment system, more legroom for rear-seat riders, and peppy engine choices. There’s also a new Volvo XC60 plug-in hybrid model for 2018.

Should I Buy the Volvo XC60?

If comfort, safety, and sophistication are the main drivers in your search for a new crossover SUV, the Volvo XC60 crossover SUV is a good fit for you. With its roomy second row and impressive list of safety features, it is also a good pick for families. Tech-savvy shoppers will want to take note of its sleek infotainment system and available semiautonomous driving functions. The XC60 feels pretty lively, but it isn't a sporty SUV. Spirited drivers will likely prefer the performance of a Porsche Macan or Jaguar F-Pace.

We Did the Research for You: 9 Reviews Analyzed

Don't let the overwhelming amount of online information scare you away from your quest for a new car. This review has everything you need to know about the 2018 Volvo XC60, the first model year of the car’s second generation. We analyzed viewpoints from 9 different reviews and combined them with pertinent data like fuel economy ratings, safety features, and the differences between the T5 and T6 engines.

Why You Can Trust Us

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How Much Does the Volvo XC60 Cost?

The XC60’s starting MSRP ranges from $41,500 for the base T5 Momentum trim to $48,700 for the top-level T6 Inscription. Its base price is about $2,000 higher than the average starting price for this class, but the XC60's rich array of standard features makes it a pretty good value. Starting prices for the T8 Plug-in Hybrid range from $52,900 to $56,700.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Volvo dealer.

Volvo XC60 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Volvo XC60 or Audi Q5?

You'll be hard-pressed to find a swankier interior than the XC60's, but there are noticeable differences in competitors' on-road manners and personality. If you want a more thrilling ride, the Audi Q5 – also fully redesigned – is a good pick. Its handling is sharp and poised, with brisk acceleration from either turbocharged powertrain. Audi didn't overlook the cabin, either, adding premium materials and lots of standard features.

Which Is Better: Volvo XC60 or BMW X3?

With its precise steering and athletic suspension, the BMW X3 makes curvy routes a delight. Its above-average fuel economy and safety scores mean it's a great pick for commuters. Prices for extras add up quickly with the X3, though.

Which Is Better: Volvo XC60 or Volvo XC90?

The compact XC60 and the midsize Volvo XC90 share nearly identical interior designs and features lists. However, the 3-row XC90 costs about $4,000 more and can carry more people and cargo, while the smaller XC60 has brisker acceleration and feels more nimble.

XC60 Interior

How Many People Does the XC60 Seat?

The new XC60 is a little longer and wider than the previous model, granting passengers even more room to spread out. It's built to hold five people, and though the hump in the floor shrinks foot space somewhat for the middle rear-seat passenger, adults can get cozy in both the front and back seat. Leather upholstery is standard, along with a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat. Swanky extras like Nappa leather, heated seats, and a massage feature are among the available options.

XC60 and Car Seats

To secure child safety seats, there is a full set of tether and lower anchors on the rear outboard seats, plus a third tether anchor for the middle seat. The previous generation's built-in child booster seats are no longer available.

XC60 Interior Quality

You may never want to climb out of the XC60 after going for a test drive – and we wouldn't blame you. This SUV’s clean and modern cabin is not only its shining glory, but also one of the best in the class. Top-notch materials like supple leather and aluminum inlays come standard, and test drivers rave about the available open pore driftwood trim.

XC60 Cargo Space

The XC60's 22.4-cubic-foot cargo hold (with the rear seats in use) is on par with the average luxury compact SUV – though the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 offer more space. With the back seats folded down, however, the XC60’s overall cargo space of 63.3 cubic feet is one of the largest in the class. All trims come with a power liftgate to help you easily load your gear, and uplevel models feature a hands-free liftgate and power-folding rear seats.

XC60 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Volvo does away with the bulk of the previous model’s center stack buttons. With the exception of a few climate and audio buttons, all other adjustments are made using the vertically mounted touch screen. This design adds to the SUV's clean, modern styling, but it means you’ll have to use the touch screen for almost all of your infotainment needs. Because this 9-inch display is responsive, has crisp graphics, and can even be used when you're wearing gloves, this isn't too big of an issue. Learning the menus takes a little bit of time, but most users find the Sensus Connect system user-friendly. It also comes standard with a nice array of tech features, such as voice controls, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a rearview camera.  

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

XC60 Performance

XC60 Engine: Three Levels of Power, Price, and Fuel Economy

Out of the XC60's three engine choices, the midlevel T6 gets the most attention. The fuss over it is well-deserved – drop the throttle, hear the soft whine of the supercharger kick in, and you'll get up to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. A turbocharger is also on board, and while it doesn’t feel quite as brisk as a Jaguar F-Pace’s, overall an XC60 with this energetic engine is fun to pilot.

If you don't want to shell out the extra $3,400 for the T6, the XC60's standard T5 engine is perfectly agreeable (just not that aggressive). The XC60 is also available as a plug-in hybrid. Its T8-designated powertrain combines the supercharged, turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine with an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery.

XC60 Gas Mileage: One of the Thriftiest

The base T5 engine gets 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, which is one of the highest fuel economy ratings in our best luxury compact SUV rankings. You'll spend about $150 less each year on fuel than you would with all-wheel-drive versions of the Porsche Macan or Acura RDX. The T6 engine reduces fuel economy slightly to 21 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway. Range and fuel economy estimates for the T8 Plug-in Hybrid powertrain have not yet been released.

XC60 Ride and Handling: Smooth and Spry

As part of its redesign, the XC60 gets a new suspension setup. Much of the body roll that plagued the previous generation is now gone, and this compact crossover feels agile and light on its feet. You can adjust the response of elements like steering and throttle using the four standard drive mode settings. Even in Dynamic mode, the XC60 is a comfort-oriented SUV, focusing more on delivering a smooth ride (which it does very well) than an athletic jaunt. Switching into Off Road mode automatically engages hill descent control. Ideal for navigating gravel roads in Smokey Bear's neighborhood, this mode is aided by the XC60's 8.5 inches of ground clearance and standard all-wheel drive.

XC60 Towing Capacity                                                           

With the Volvo XC60's towing capacity of 5,291 pounds, you can bring a small boat or camping trailer on your next adventure. This is an outstanding tow rating for a crossover SUV of this size, trouncing rivals like the Lexus NX (which can tow 2,000 pounds) and the Acura RDX (rated for 1,500 pounds). To learn more about towing, read How Much Towing Capacity Do I Really Need?

XC60 Reliability

Is the Volvo XC60 Reliable?

The 2018 XC60 doesn't yet have a predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power and Associates. The scores of other Volvo models currently for sale run about average or slightly below.

Volvo XC60 Warranty

The 2018 Volvo XC60 comes with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty.

XC60 Safety

XC60 Crash Test Results

Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have released crash test results on the 2018 XC60.

XC60 Safety Features

When it comes to safety, Volvo is one of the most advanced brands in the marketplace. The XC60 offers more standard and available safety equipment than competing Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, and Audi crossovers. Every trim comes with run-off road mitigation and protection, oncoming lane mitigation, collision mitigation with active braking (with the ability to scan for intersections, cyclists, pedestrians, and large animals), automatic braking after a collision, active high-beam headlights, a driver drowsiness monitor, traffic sign recognition, lane keep assist, and a rearview camera.

Available safety equipment includes blind spot monitoring with steering assist, rear collision warning with braking, cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, semiautonomous drive, distance alert, and a 360-degree camera.

Which Volvo XC60 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2018 XC60 offers three trims (Momentum, Inscription, and R-Design) and three engines (T5, T6, and T8 Plug-in Hybrid). These can be matched together in any combination you desire. Every model includes all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

We cover each trim in depth below, and information on the different engines is available under the performance tab. The Momentum trim comes with many comfort features in addition to an impressive amount of safety technology. Unless the driftwood inlays or Nappa leather seats of the Inscription trim speak to you, save the extra $3,800 and stay with the base model. You’ll still feel swaddled in opulence.

That said, if you can afford it, you'll be most content with the Volvo XC60 T6. This engine upgrade adds $3,400 to the sale price, but with its trivial reduction in gas mileage and satisfying boost in acceleration speed, most will find the T6 to be a worthy investment.

Volvo XC60 Momentum

The base Momentum trim comes standard with dual-zone automatic climate control, a panoramic moonroof with a power sunshade, and an in-cabin air filtration system. Its Sensus Connect infotainment system features a 9-inch touch screen, 10 speakers, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, voice commands, Bluetooth, and satellite radio. A lengthy array of advanced safety technology also comes standard, like active high-beam headlights, collision mitigation with active braking (and the ability to scan for intersections, cyclists, pedestrians, and large animals), a driver drowsiness monitor, traffic sign recognition, and a rearview camera. Prices start at $41,500 for the T5 Momentum and $44,900 for the T6 Momentum.

Volvo XC60 Inscription

Standout features added to the Inscription trim include quad-zone automatic climate control, driftwood trim, Nappa leather upholstery, a navigation system, and a hands-free power liftgate. MSRP increases by $3,800, working out to $45,300 for the T5 Inscription and $48,700 for the T6 Inscription.

Volvo XC60 R-Design

The R-Design dresses up the XC60 with a sportier look. Trim-exclusive elements include cloth and leather sport seats, special wheels and grille, and R-Design badging inside and out. Most other features are similar to the Momentum trim. The R-Design trim costs $44,800 with the T5 engine and $48,200 with the T6 engine.

Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid

The T8 Plug-in Hybrid can be ordered in the Momentum ($52,900), Inscription ($56,700), or R-Design ($56,200) trim. Its 400-horsepower T8 powertrain includes a four-cylinder engine that’s turbocharged and supercharged, and a singular electric motor.

For great deals at your local Volvo dealer, check out our U.S. News Best Price Program.

The Final Call

The 2018 Volvo XC60 is a great example of what culture and comfort should look like in a luxury 2-row SUV. Its standout feature is its elegant cabin, which is swathed in opulent materials and state-of-the-art technology. Even though this Volvo has a higher starting price than rivals like the Mercedes-Benz GLC and Acura RDX, it's packed with so many standard features that it's still a good value. This vehicle's main focus is comfort, which means the ride is smooth – even over uneven pavement. Its engines and new suspension system are peppy and quick, but it’s not as sporty as the Porsche Macan, BMW X3, or Audi Q5.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.


Read the full 2018 Volvo XC60 reviewon U.S. News & World Report for more details, photos, specs and prices.


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