2018 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Inscription

The thing about the 2018 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Inscription: this all-new crossover from Sweden is the kind of vehicle that you want to be in when driving in and around Gothenburg, from which it hails, because it has the levels of comfort and capability that put you in good stead, regardless of the weather (although, oddly enough, as I am writing this it is 39 degrees F there and 14 degrees F here in Plymouth and there are several inches of snow on the ground, so don’t imagine that you need to go to Sweden to drive a vehicle that has what is described as “instant traction” all-wheel-drive (a BorgWarner Generation 5 coupling distributes torque as required based on on-going sensor inputs; as much as 50 percent of the torque can be distributed to the rear wheels when necessary). One of the things that you probably think about when you think “Volvo” is something that is imminently sensible.

The thing about the 2018 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Inscription: this all-new crossover from Sweden is the kind of vehicle that you want to be in when driving in and around Gothenburg, from which it hails, because it has the levels of comfort and capability that put you in good stead, regardless of the weather (although, oddly enough, as I am writing this it is 39 degrees F there and 14 degrees F here in Plymouth and there are several inches of snow on the ground, so don’t imagine that you need to go to Sweden to drive a vehicle that has what is described as “instant traction” all-wheel-drive (a BorgWarner Generation 5 coupling distributes torque as required based on on-going sensor inputs; as much as 50 percent of the torque can be distributed to the rear wheels when necessary).

The new Volvo XC60

One of the things that you probably think about when you think “Volvo” is something that is imminently sensible. And when you think “sensible” you probably think, well, “boring.” Which this vehicle isn’t in any aspect.

For example, it is powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine which, you think, is somewhat, um, “sensible” for a vehicle that weighs a smidge over two tons (4,045 lb.). But know that this engine is both supercharged and turbocharged, so there is 316 hp at 5,700 rpm and 295 lb-ft of torque at 2,200 rpm, so things can happen with required alacrity.

The new Volvo XC60 - Body structure (with text)

One of the things that is sensible is safety, and although the XC60 has stylish sheet metal (and some rather substantially strong steel creating the better part of the body-in-white, the better to keep occupants safe), there is an array of standard safety technology, such as City Safety, which not only initiates automatic braking should it determine that you’re going to be running into something that you ought not, but it has the wherewithal to help steer out of trouble, too. And there are systems to keep you in your lane, where you belong. What’s more, there is what’s called “On Coming Lane Mitigation,” which operates at speeds between 37 and 87 mph, and which, in the event that you happen to be drifting over to the lane of oncoming traffic and don’t do anything about it, the XC60—in addition to flashing and beeping at you—takes control of the steering to help get you out of that fix.

But enough about that, although it is laudable and important.

The new Volvo XC60

The base price of the vehicle (sans $995 destination) is $44,900, which puts it in the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC territory. But the vehicle as driven had a total MSRP (including the aforementioned destination) of $63,290. So what does the roughly $18,000 additional get you?

Plenty.

To get the Inscription trim you’re looking at $3,800, but you’re also looking at things ranging from a 12.3-inch driver display to trim that’s made with driftwood. And more

There’s the Convenience Package, $2,000, which ranges from adaptive cruise control (including steering assist, but know that you’re responsible for driving at all times) to heated wiper blades (which would be helpful in Plymouth right now).

There is the Vision Package, which is fundamentally a $1,100-priced sensor suite including blind-spot information (and here, too, the steering is included to keep you out of trouble) and cross traffic alert, and parking assist and more.

There is the Luxury Seat Package for $3,000, and all that really needs to be said about that is: Seriously, who knows how to make better furniture than the Scandinavians? (Also know that the front and rear seats are heated.)

There is the Advanced Package, $1,900, which includes such things as a heads-up display and full LED headlights that “bend” in the direction that the wheel is turned.

There is Bowers and Wilkins Premium Sound for $3,200, and even for those of us who aren’t audiophiles: you really can tell the difference. (According to Volvo, the Bowers and Wilkins sound engineers worked with members of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra to replicate the sound of the Gothenburg Concert Hall inside the XC60. Why would they say it if it wasn’t true?)

There is the 4-Corner Air Suspension system, which replaces the conventional dampers/shocks with an electronically controlled damping system for each of the corners. There are a couple of rather clever things that it does. For one, if you’re traveling at about 75 mph, it automatically lowers the ride height by 0.4 inches for better aero performance. And when selected through the 9-inch touchscreen on the center of the instrument panel, there ingress and egress are facilitated as when the engine is turned off, the vehicle lowers by 1.6 inches.

Finally, there is $595 for Metallic Paint.

A couple more things about how good the XC60 is:

1. It is a finalist in the “Utility” category for the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) award.

2. It was the winner of the 2018 Utility of the Year by the Detroit Free Press (and know that there are a few automakers that are a whole lot closer to the Free Press offices than Gothenburg is).

The new Volvo XC60