BEHIND THE WHEEL: The 2018 Volvo XC60 takes sexy to a new level

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By Rita Cook

If you’re a Volvo fan like most readers know I am then you are going to be excited about the Volvo XC60 news I have for you. Debuted back in 2010 as a luxury crossover, for 2018 the Volvo folks are introducing a fully redesigned XC60 for fans to get to know.

While any Volvo set of wheels is a crowd pleaser, the 2018 XC60 is really stepping up. It’s the same crossover we know and love, but add a cooler style and more room for passengers in the back seat.

If you are familiar with the larger XC90 three row Volvo, the 2018 XC60 is much the same only in a smaller package. That smaller package means 10.3 inches shorter overall with a wheelbase that is 4.7 inches less than the XC90 version.

A new addition for the 2018 XC60 is the T8 plug-in hybrid option. The engine on the T6 is what propels the front of the vehicle and in the rear the electric motor steps in to do the job.

The 2018 Volvo XC60 competition include the Lincoln MKC, Acura RDX, Jaguar F-Pace SUV, Mercedes-Benz GLC Class SUV and the Audi Q5 SUV. Never fear however, the Volvo luxury conditions you will find on the XC60 easily match the competitors in all areas.

The 2018 Volvo XC60 is being offered in three trims. These trims are diverse enough that you will find there is a level of luxury and sportiness to fit any new vehicle shopper’s whims. From the Momentum to the R-Design to the highest end Inscription option, from there you choose the engine based on the T5, T6 or T8 powertrain.

On the basic Momentum trim you get 18-inch alloy wheels or with the T6 powertrain you get 19-inch wheels. Add to that LED headlights and taillights, automatic high beams and wipers, roof rails and a power lift gate. With leather upholstery even on this base trim there is also aluminum interior inside, a panoramic sunroof, 10-way power-adjustable front seats with memory settings for the driver and a nine-inch touchscreen for entertainment and information. There are heated and air-conditioned front seats that offer a massage feature and in the back you get 60/40-split folding rear seats with plenty of storage underneath. The audio comes with 10 speakers, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone and Bluetooth connect.

On the R-Design trim levels there is everything from the Momentum trim and 19-inch wheels with LED front cornering and fog lights, keyless entry, hands-free liftgate, illuminated door handles and a navigation. To keep the R trim sporty there are sport seats with manual seat bottom extensions and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. Also the different drive modes come in handy with the steering wheel paddles.

The high-end Inscription model is the R-Design with a different exterior and interior vibe meaning no sport seats or steering wheel paddle on this trim. You get 20-inch wheels, a leather-wrapped dash and cooled glove box with ambient interior lighting.

Depending if you want to add more to your chosen trim level the stand alone options are varied from the digital gauge cluster to the ambient lighting, keyless entry or 15 speakers complete with the Bowers and Wilkins sound system.

The Vision package will add auto-dimming and folding side mirrors and safety features like blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and front and back parking sensors. For the Convenience package addition you get adaptive cruise control, power-folding rear seat and headrests, heated wiper blades and one more 12-volt power outlet.

If you really want to up the comfort level on the Inscription trim add the Luxury Seat package with a higher end leather upholstery, upgraded front seats and a heated steering wheel and rear seats.

Under the hood of the 2018 Volvo XC60 the T5, T6 and T8 option will determine how you feel when taking the XC60 around town. All models are eight-speed automatic with all-wheel drive. The T5 gives you a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque while the T6 adds a supercharging function with 316 horsepower and 295 pound feet of torque. For the ultimate under the hood experience the T8 is a plug-in hybrid that gives you the T6 engine and a 65 kw rear electric motor cranking out 400 horsepower with 472 pound feet of torque.

On the safety side this is where Volvo always shines. All the trims feature lane keeping assist, road departure mitigation, oncoming collision avoidance and there is a bike/pedestrian/animal detection. The driver attention alert keeps everyone safe and of course there is blind spot monitoring and a rollover protection system. Other safety features are the traction control, auto-leveling headlights, front and rear tow hooks, 4-wheel ABS, 4-wheel disc and drum brakes, brake assist, electronic stability control, child safety locks, integrated turn signal mirrors and night vision. The airbags include the driver air bag, passenger air bag with an on/off switch, rear, side head, rear head and side/rear body air bags.

Driving the 2018 XC60 is an easy ride. There is adaptive air suspension that makes a comfortable ride and drive complete. The cabin is as quiet as most in its class even when highway driving.

In the back seat there is more legroom and you will find plenty of space all around for storing items. There is only 22.4 cubic feet of cargo space when all the seats are in use, but when folded down you get 63.3 cubic feet, which is plenty for ordinary hauling needs.

The infotainment system takes some getting used to, but after you get to know the vehicle it will be just one more feature to make your life easier.

With a price tag starting at $41,500, when driving the 2018 Volvo XC60 you will feel the “home away from home feel” that the Swedish automaker takes pride in projecting. The vehicle becomes an extension of you as you are driving on the highway or in town. Indeed, you can feel the cohesiveness between car and driver. It is also a relaxing ride since the sound system stands out as does the fact that getting a massage at 60 miles per hour isn’t bad at all.

For more auto tips and information follow Rita @RitaCook13.

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