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Deja Vu All Over Again: the 2018 Volvo XC60

The next wave of Swedish metal hits the street.

by on Mar.09, 2017

At a glance, the new XC60 is almost indistinguishable from its bigger sibling, the XC90.

Plenty of folks visiting this year’s Geneva Motor Show are likely to get a sense of déjà vu when they swing by the Volvo stand. No surprise: at first blush, one could readily confuse the all-new Volvo XC60 with the maker’s only slightly older XC90.

And that’s not a bad thing, considering the design of the bigger crossover remains fresh and, since the two models share the same, flexible SPA architecture, we’re expecting the Volvo XC60 will also boast many of the same dynamic attributes that helped the XC90 win honors as North American Truck of the Year in 2016.

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Smaller, yes, but still, from first blush, more than roomy enough for five passengers. And it has many of the XC90’s most important features – which for Volvo buyers, starts with an assortment of the latest safety technology. Meanwhile, the new XC60 will be easier on the pocketbook, with the price expected to start at around $40,000 once it reaches U.S. showrooms later this year.

Volvo had to hit a home run with the XC60. It replaces what has been the brand’s best-seller, and it goes up against an expanding list of near and full luxury products, including the Porsche Macan, the Mercedes-Benz GLC, the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and the other relatively new kid on the block, the Jaguar F-Pace.

As these pics reveal, the 2018 Volvo XC60 really does look like a slightly downsized XC90, with the familiar grille and the now-signature Thor’s Hammer headlamps, as well as those classic, vertical taillamps.

The all-new XC60 features a roomy cargo area in the back as well as comfortable seating for five.

The interior is a major step up from the old XC60, with significantly upgraded materials and true Scandinavian detailing. Anchoring the center stack is the Sensus infotainment system.

(Volvo stepping up the pace of product makeover. Click Here for the story.)

It’s taller than what you find in most automobiles today, allowing for far more information to be displayed without appearing cluttered. You can, in fact, show several different things simultaneously, such as audio and navigation. We’ve had long debates with Volvo engineers over their decision to go with a totally touch-based system. (Okay, you can also operate many features by face or from steering wheel controls.) We’d prefer to also have a control knob, as with the BMW iDrive, for functions like zooming in on maps, but Sensus may be the best fully touchscreen system we’ve yet used.

Like the XC90, Volvo is often an array of powertrain options for the XC60, including two diesels that likely won’t make it Stateside. But it’s hard to complain about the gas-powered alternatives.

They start with the 254 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged T5, and move up to the T6, with its unusual pairing of turbo and supercharging that bumps the 2.0-liter package to 320 hp.

But Volvo likes to do things its own way, and with the 2018 XC60, that means turning the brand’s plug-in hybrid into its best-performing engine option. The T8 takes you all the way up to 400 hp, which is a nice number for this sized ute, and will launch you from 0 to 100 kmh, or 62 mph, in just 5.3 seconds.

Volvo is looking to make sure it has enough production capacity to meet demand for the new XC60.

(Click Here for more about Volvo tailoring its City Safety System for rural roads.)

It also gets you a distinctive crystal shifter knob.

With Volvo, all roads ultimately lead you back to safety, of course. And the 2018 XC60 offers some of the latest in technology. Including City Safety with Pedestrian Detection. It will not only help prevent collisions with other vehicles, but pedestrians and bicyclists, as well.

Add Oncoming Lane Mitigation, a new feature, and the semi-autonomous Pilot Assist, which can handle most driving duties, including steering, as well as accelerating and braking, at speeds up to 80 mph. Like some other new systems, however, it is limited in where it can operate, Volvo suggesting those are “well-marked roads.” We’ll have more to say about Pilot Assist when we get our first ride.

(Volvo exec reveals that an IPO is an “option.” Click Here for the story.)

Until then, we’ll have to go by first impressions – which strongly suggest that Volvo has delivered another winner. It may be a downsized XC90, but the 2018 Volvo XC60 appears to be more than able to stand up to its big brother.

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