The XC60 is ready to take on the competition with a new look and ample engine offerings

The Volvo XC60 has been around since 2008 and was updated for the 2014 model year. Nine years after its introduction to the market, Volvo decided it was time to usher in a new generation, and usher one in they did. The new-gen model comes complete with a new design inside and out, new safety systems that include steer assist and oncoming lane mitigation, and a new “CleanZone” climate control system that is said to remove harmful pollutants from the air outside of the cabin when the ventilation system is functioning. Volvo will offer the new XC60 with its T8 hybrid powertrain, the D4 and D5 diesel powertrains, and the T5 and T6 gasoline powertrains for a power range that stretches between 190 horsepower and as much as 407 horsepower. In the right configuration, this SUV can hit 62 mph in 5.3 seconds.

“The XC60 is an SUV not designed to look down on others but to drive. The exterior has an athletic sculpture with a subtle, timeless quality. The interior is a masterful composition of well-resolved architecture, beautiful materials, and the very latest technology - all perfectly blended together. The XC60 provides a true Scandinavian experience which will make our customers feel special,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President, Design at Volvo Car Group.

So, it all sounds pretty good, right? Well, let’s take a closer look at the new XC60 to see if it really lives up to all that hype.

Update 5/17/2017: Volvo has announced that the 2018 Volvo XC60 will start out at $41,500 for the entry-level T5 trim level. Check out the prices section below for full details.

Exterior

2018 Volvo XC60 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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If you were to look at a silhouette of the outgoing XC60 and the new XC60, you would see the same general shape – the roof features the same slanted grade to the rear, and there was no real size change. But, the actual design of the body, on the other hand, is as fresh as it gets and shows a clear evolution from the first-gen model. Up front, the grille is much more prominent before, positioned right at the tip of the nose like a centerpiece as opposed to being recessed a bit between the headlights. The grille also features vertical slats as opposed to the horizontal front slats in the outgoing model. The headlights are new as well, featuring a thinner design with a new LED strip layout that is shaped like a T laid on its side. Down below, the air dam has grown taller but is the styling of the lower lip gives it a slightly recessed look. The fog lights have been moved to the lower outside corners while just above sits a recessed area with inserts, a feature that adds a bit of aggressiveness to the front profile. Finally, the hood now has a more rounded front edge while the muscular sides have been toned down a bit and accented by a second body line that runs almost the full length of the hood.

2018 Volvo XC60 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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2018 Volvo XC60 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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2018 Volvo XC60 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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2018 Volvo XC60 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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The actual design of the body, on the other hand, is as fresh as it gets and shows a clear evolution from the first-gen model.

Moving over to the side profile, and we see a few subtle hints of XC90 DNA, like the long but mild body line below the waist and the defining lines around the front and rear wheel arches. The side view mirrors are actually mounted somewhat low on the doors leading to a longer arm between the door and the mirror itself, while the window trim begins to slant upward just before the rear quarter glass, both visual improvements over the outgoing model. Down below, the doors get an excessively concave cutout that looks like a larger, mirrored version of the chrome trim on the side skirts – it’s an interesting look and provides a lot of character.

Around back, the new XC60 is as sporty as it gets with new, LED taillights that are primarily located on the corners of the rear quarter panels but do extend onto the rear hatch at their lowest point. It’s a fresh and modern taillight layout that really adds to the look of the new rear hatch. The rear fascia takes on some new body lines and thinner reflectors that are accented by chrome inserts. The same rectangular exhaust pipes are shown off on the model hear, but the insert of the lower fascia now surrounds them and is finished in the same color as the body. All told, it’s a beautiful design, but the one thing I’m not so sure about is the bubbly panel just below the rear glass that sports the “VOLVO” badge – it looks geometrically out of place in comparison to the main design cues.

Competing Designs

2015 - 2017 Lincoln MKC High Resolution Exterior
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2015 - 2017 Lincoln MKC
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There are tons of SUVs out there that compete in this segment, but two of the more prominent and non-German models include the Lincoln MKC (above) and the Acura RDX (Below.) The Lincoln MKC is a baby on the market, being introduced for the 2015 model year as part of its continued effort to reinvent itself and attract a younger customer base. As such, it features a sporty and mildly aggressive look that includes a dual-wing grille, sleek body lines along the sides and on the hood, and a fairly rounded overall look. It’s based on the MKC concept that Lincoln showed off in 2013 and features things like an all-glass panoramic roof, approach lighting, and glowing door handles to help welcome the driver at night. HID headlights are standard equipment, but come with LED accents. The side-view mirrors have an auto-folding function and integrated turn signals for better visibility to others on the road, and you can choose between six different types of wheels that range between 18 and 20 inches in size.

2016 Acura RDX High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Acura RDX High Resolution Exterior
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Stop by your local Acura dealer and you’ll want to direct your attention to the Acura MDX. It’s currently in its second generation and was updated for 2016, so it’s likely to soldier on unchanged for at least a couple more years. As part of the update, Acura gave the RDX a refreshed look with updated Jewel Eye headlights, and a new front fascia that is significantly more aggressive and attractive than before. It does have the traditional “Acura beak” but the 3D grille helps distract from such a prominent nose. The side profile is graced with an even waistline and two mild bodylines that give it more of a refined look compared to some models in this segment. Around back, the Acura takes a more traditional approach with the taillights in comparison to the XC60, but still looks so fresh and so clean thanks to the angular and well defined lower fascia that mimics the front in all the right ways.

If it comes down to which model to choose based solely on looks, you, my friend, have a tough decision as all three models are attractive. The XC60 is obviously the freshest on the market, so if you’re looking for the absolute newest look, then the XC60 is probably for you. But, if you prefer a more refined model you may want to go with something like the RDX. Meanwhile, the Lincoln sits right in between the two and is just a bit more aggressive than the RDX but is due for a facelift in the next couple of years.

Lincoln MKC Acura RDX Volvo XC60
Wheelbase (Inches) 105.9 105.7 109.2
Length (Inches) 179.2 184.4 182.8
Width (Inches) 73.4 73.7 74.4
Height (Inches) 65.2 65.0 67.4
Track width front/rear (Inches) 62.4/62.5 63.1/63.4 64.25/62.44

Note: 2017 Volvo XC60’s specifications listed here

Interior

2018 Volvo XC60 High Resolution Interior AutoShow
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The inside of the new XC60 is a huge departure from the outgoing model. The dash has been redesigned to have a small overhang on top and a flatter surface, while the passenger area has been recessed a bit between the two vents. A new infotainment display and central vent layout have been added to the center stack. The screen is still oriented vertically, but the vents on the XC60 are the same length of the screen, creating a cleaner interior look for the XC60 compared to the outgoing model and the new XC90. With the infotainment screen taking up most of the center stack, there are far fewer controls, with only a single knob and a few buttons between the center stack and the center console. But, that center console now slots up underneath the dash for a more modern look compared to the look of the outgoing model.

2018 Volvo XC60 High Resolution Interior
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2018 Volvo XC60 High Resolution Interior
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2018 Volvo XC60 High Resolution Interior
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2018 Volvo XC60 High Resolution Interior
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The dash has been redesigned to have a small overhang on top and a flatter surface, while the passenger area has been recessed a bit between the two vents.

The door trim panels on the new XC60 now feature a less-boxy design that still provides ample storage space in the cubby below while providing a wider armrest on the doors. The rear console now sits higher while the seats get a new layout that makes them look like multi-piece units that are sure to be comfortable. The model shown here features perforated seats for heating and ventilation, and beefier side bolsters for extra support up front. The rear of the seat backs are composed of what looks like plastic but feature a recessed area with a net for storage of random paperwork. Moving further back, the rear, second row of seats features the same perforated materials and those beefy side bolsters for the outside seats. The center seat is recessed just a bit to allow for center passenger support but is not perforated, so make sure you stick to the outside seats if you get stuck in the rear. The seatback of the center seat features a fold-down armrest of sorts with a little hole for storage, while a second pull-down center section provides a pair of cup holders for rear seat passengers.

Finally, we make it to the rear cargo area, the one place we haven’t gotten a clear look at quite yet. And, we haven’t seen full specs yet, so we can only guess how much cargo room there actually is, but I wouldn’t expect total space to change much with the second-gen model. A third row of seats should be available on some trim levels or, at the very least, as an option. The second row does feature a 60/40-split, so those equipped with just two rows of seats can easily manifest nearly double the cargo room by simply laying down the second row. Models equipped with a third row of seats should feature room for two more passengers in the rear and should follow the same design as the outgoing model, which means thinner seat cushions but fairly beefy seatbacks. With any luck, the third row will lay flat as well to allow for easily expandable cargo room.

Competing Designs

2015 - 2017 Lincoln MKC
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Not all SUVs are created equally, but if you sit down and compare the Lincoln MKC (above) or the Acura RDX (below) to the XC60, you’ll see that both are fairly on par in most areas. Then again, the XC60 is brand new, and the fresh design really shows through. When you look inside the MKC, you’ll see lots of American design – the infotainment display is mounted in the center stack and surrounded by more buttons than you’ll care to count. The dash has a two-piece look to it, but does feature some wooden trim inserts in the right places. Like all of the other models in this segment, the MKC gets a two-tone interior with a dark top end and a brighter lower end that matches the seats in the front and rear. The seats of the MKC do offer decent support, but they aren’t quite as supportive as those in the XC60. The rear seats do fold down, though, offering up a total of 78.3 cubic feet of cargo room if you’re someone who really hauls lots of goods. For 2017, Lincoln did add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, so phone connectivity should be a breeze.

2016 Acura RDX Interior
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Moving onto the Acura RDX, it’s interior offers up its fair share of stylistic design that includes a few character lines on the dash and door panels to keep things interesting. Like the MKC, though, it doesn’t look quite as well as that of the new XC60, but it does offer two display screens – one on top of the center stack and one positioned in the middle. The top screen is used primarily to display navigation and other information while the lower screen is used to control the infotainment display. If you’re into more of a refined look, you might like the RDX because it has significantly fewer physical buttons in comparison to the Lincoln MKC. Heated seats come standard as do second-row AC vents. The driver’s seat is an eight-way powered unit. The technology package for the RDX includes HD Radio, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot information. The Advance package includes rain-sensing wipers, front and rear parking sensor, ventilated front seats, auto-dimming side view mirrors, and bi-directional keyless engine start.

All told, the XC60 is probably your best bet considering it has all of the updated technology, and a completely fresh design. Plus, that vertically oriented display looks quite sexy in the center stack. But, you really can’t go wrong with the RDX or MKC either, assuming the most up-to-date technology isn’t that important to you.

Lincoln MKC Acura RDX Volvo XC60
Headroom front/rear (Inches) 39.6/38.7 38.7/38.1 39.1/39.1
Legroom front/rear (Inches) 42.8/36.8 42.0/38.3 41.2/36.4
Shoulder room front/rear (Inches) 56.0/55.3 58.7/57.2 56.7/55.2
Hip room front/rear (Inches) 54.4/52.8 55.7/53.8 54.2/53.8
Cargo volume seats up/down (cu ft) 25.2/53.1 26.1/61.3 38.3/70.4
Passenger volume (cu ft) 97.9 103.5 98.6

Note: 2017 Volvo XC60’s specifications listed here

Drivetrain

2018 Volvo XC60 High Resolution Drivetrain
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Volvo has yet to elaborate too much on the engines that will motivate the new XC60, but it has said it will be offered at launch with the DR and D5 diesel engines, the T5 and T6 gasoline engines, and the T8 hybrid drivetrain. According to Volvo, the D4 will come with 190 horsepower, which means it should get the same 309 pound-feet of torque as the outgoing model with the D4. The D5 is rated at 235 horsepower, representing an increase of 15 horsepower. The current model with the D5 comes with 324 pound-feet so that figure could climb to as high as 335 pound-feet. The T5 will be offered with 254 horsepower – an increase of 14 horsepower here in the U.S. and 9 horsepower over in the U.K. Toque could increase marginally, but don’t expect much more than the current 258 pound-feet. The T6 will come with 320 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, an increase of 18 horsepower here in the states. Finally, the T8 Twin Engine, plug-in hybrid model with sit at the top of the range and offer a combined power output of 407 horsepower – enough to get the XC60 to 62 mph in as little as 5.3 seconds under favorable conditions and load.

2018 Volvo XC60 High Resolution Drivetrain
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Volvo has yet to elaborate too much on the engines that will motivate the new XC60, but it has said it will be offered at launch with the DR and D5 diesel engines, the T5 and T6 gasoline engines, and the T8 hybrid drivetrain.

There is no official word on transmission offerings, but we’ll likely see an updated version of the current eight-speed Geartronic automatic here in the U.S. Iver in the U.K., a six-speed manual should be the standard offering, while a six-speed automatic will also be offered. The eight-speed auto will likely be reserved for models higher in the range, but we’ll just have to wait for the XC60’s official launch later this year to find out for sure.

Volvo XC60 D4 Volvo XC60 D5 Volvo XC60 T5 Volvo XC60 T6 Volvo XC60 T8
Engine 2.4-liter In-line five-cylinder turbodiesel 2.4-liter In-line four-cylinder twin turbo diesel 2.0-liter In-line four-cylinder 2.0-liter In-line four-cylinder T8 Twin Engine, plug-in hybrid
Horsepower 190 HP 220 HP 254 HP 320 HP 407 HP
Torque 309 LB-FT 335 LB-FT (est) 258 LB-FT 295 Lb-FT TBA
0 to 62 mph TBA TBA TBA TBA 5.3 seconds

Competing Power

The Lincoln MKC and the Acura RDX both offer their fair share of power output, but engine offerings are scarce for each model. The Lincoln MKC for example is only offered with two engines. A 2.0-liter, EcoBoost, four-banger with 240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque or a slightly larger 2.3-liter EcoBoost with 285 horsepower and 205 pound-feet of torque. The 2.0-liter offers 20 mph in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 23 mpg combined while the 2.3-liter offers 18, 26, and 21, respectively. The MKC comes standard in a front-wheel-drive configuration while higher trim levels, including those with the 2.3-liter, get an all-wheel-drive system. Shifting duties for both engines are handled by a six-speed automatic transmission. Towing capacity is limited to just 2,000 pounds, regardless of configuration.

Moving over to the Acura RDX, you don’t even have the ability to choose what engine you get. That’s right; the RDX can only be had with Acura’s 3.5-liter i-Vtec that delivers 279 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. You do get to choose between two-wheel and all-wheel drive models. Those equipped with FWD manages to pull 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway while the AWD models manage the same highway mpg, but drop down to 19 mpg in the city. For 2016, Acura revised the AWD system to make it more biased to the rear wheels to help enhance the SUVs driving dynamics. Towing capacity for the RDX is a bit lower than that of the MKC at 1,500 pounds, but you don’t buy an SUV this size if you’re planning to tow much anyway, so no big deal there.

Lincoln MKC 2.0 Lincoln MKC 2.3 Acura MDX
Engine 2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder 2.3-liter in-line four-cylinder 3.5-liter V-6
Horsepower 240 HP @ 5,500 RPM 285 HP @ 5,500 RPM 279 HP @ 6,200 RPM
Torque 270 LB-FT @ 3,000 RPM 305 LB-FT @ 2,750 RPM 252 LB-FT @ 4,900 RPM
Transmission six-speed automatic six-speed automatic six-speed automatic
Fuel economy city/highway/combined 21/28/23 18/25/21 20/28/23
Curb weight 3,823 Lbs 3,989 Lbs 3,737 Lbs
Towing Capacity 3,000 Lbs 3,000 Lbs 3,500 Lbs
0 to 60 mph 6.8 seconds 6.6 seconds 6.0 seconds
Top Speed 130 mph 130 mph 113 mph

Safety

2018 Volvo XC60 High Resolution Crash Test
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So, as you would expect, the new XC60 gets Volvo’s City Safety suite of driver assistance features, but this time around, Volvo has upped the ante a bit. Now, in addition to the auto brake function at speeds of 30 mph and lower, the new XC60 will also get oncoming lane mitigation and steer assist, the latter of which is used to correct your trajectory path if you cross into oncoming traffic and don’t react when a collision is imminent. And, Volvo’s blind spot system uses the same function to help pull you back into your lane if you don’t notice that there’s a car in your blind spot. One option safety feature is Volvo’s Pilot Assist which is basically a semi-autonomous assistance system that will take car of steering, acceleration, and braking on well-marked roads as long as you’re going 80 mph or less – think of this as something similar to active cruise control or early iterations of Tesla AutoPilot system.

Pricing

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The Volvo XC60 is set to go on sale later this year as an all-new 2018 model. When it hits showrooms, it will be offered in three trim levels: The 250-horsepower AWD T5, the 316-horsepower AWD T6, and the 400-horsepower, Plug-in T8. The entry-level T5 will set you back a minimum of $41,500 while the T6 will have a sticker price of $44,900. If you want that plug-in hybrid, you’ll have to pony out at least $52,900 before options, taxes, and destination charges.

Volvo XC60 T5 $41,500
Volvo XC60 T6 $44,900
Volvo XC60 T8 $52,900

Other Options to Consider

BMW X3

2018 BMW X3 Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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As a smaller crossover/SUV, the XC60 competes head to head with the BMW X3. The X3 brings together utility and comfort to create a rather popular all-purpose vehicle that experiences decent sales in an overcrowded market. The X3 was refreshed for the 2015 model year, but we’re expecting an updated model to hit showrooms for the 2017 model year. The next-gen model is expected to boast a number of gasoline and diesel powertrains that will range between 240 and 300 horsepower. In current form, the X3 starts out at $38,950 and increases to as much as $46,800 for the range-topping xDrive35i trim level.

Read our full review on the upcoming BMW X3 here.

Audi Q5

2017 Audi Q5 High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Audi Q5 High Resolution Exterior
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The Audi Q5 was originally developed to compete directly with the BMW X3, but as it usually goes, it finds competition from other models, including the XC60. It has been around since 2008 but is still in its first generation with a mild update back in 2012. Rumors about a replacement have been floating around for years, but it wasn’t until just recently that we finally caught the next-gen model testing in the wild. The new model, like the BMW X3, should make its debut for the 2017 model year with an array of four- and six-cylinder engine that range in output from 230 horsepower and 290 horsepower. Pricing for the next-gen model is unknown at this point, but the current model starts out at $40,900 for the Premium trim level, $42,750 for the Premium Plus trim, and $53,500 for the range-topping Prestige trim.

Read our full review on the Audi Q5 here.

Conclusion

2018 Volvo XC60 High Resolution Exterior
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“We have focused on building a car that can deliver pleasure to all of your senses – from a commanding view of the road ahead in a beautifully appointed and calm cabin, to a safe, inspired and confident ride,” said Henrik Green, Senior Vice President Product & Quality at Volvo Car Group. “We’ve paid particular attention to making life easier for our customers by providing them with the creature comforts and services that take the hassle out of everyday life.”

Based on my initial review, I would have to say that Mr. Green has hit the nail right on the head – especially when you compared the first-gen model to the second-gen model. The infotainment display is easier to reach and use, the seats are more comfortable and supportive, the interior and exterior are both aesthetically pleasing, and all of the available drivetrains in each market should be available with Volvo’s AWD system. Volvo has made huge strides in recent years to really improve overall quality, and the new XC60 is a clear example of this. Of course, we’re still waiting to get our hands on one to put it through the paces, but something tells be it won’t disappoint. But, until that happens, tell us what you think about it in the comments section below.

  • Leave it
    • * Way too much padding
    • * 2017 debut

Press Release

Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, today revealed the long-awaited new XC60 premium SUV at the Geneva Motor Show.

The new car replaces Volvo’s highly-successful original XC60, which in the nine years since its launch became the bestselling premium mid-sized SUV in Europe with nearly a million units sold globally. The XC60 today represents around 30 per cent of Volvo’s total global sales.

“We have a strong heritage in designing stylish and dynamic SUVs that offer the latest in technology. The new XC60 will be no exception. It’s the perfect car for an active lifestyle, and it represents the next step in our transformation plan,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive, Volvo Car Group.

2018 Volvo XC60 High Resolution Exterior
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New comfort and safety technology

The new XC60, one of the safest cars ever made, is fully-loaded with new technology. Steer Assist has been added to the ground-breaking City Safety system. A new safety system called Oncoming Lane Mitigation uses steer assist to help mitigate head-on collisions, while Volvo’s Blind Spot Indication System (BLIS) now uses Steer Assist functionality to reduce the risk of lane-changing collisions.

“We have focused on building a car that can deliver pleasure to all of your senses – from a commanding view of the road ahead in a beautifully appointed and calm cabin, to a safe, inspired and confident ride,” said Henrik Green, Senior Vice President Product & Quality at Volvo Car Group. “We’ve paid particular attention to making life easier for our customers by providing them with the creature comforts and services that take the hassle out of everyday life.”

2018 Volvo XC60 High Resolution Exterior
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Pilot Assist, Volvo’s advanced semi-autonomous driver assistance system, which takes care of steering, acceleration and braking on well-marked roads up to 130 km/h, is available in the new XC60 as an option.

Performance

The new XC60 offers Volvo’s award-winning T8 Twin Engine petrol plug-in hybrid at the top of the powertrain range, delivering 407 hp and acceleration from 0-100 Km in just 5.3 seconds.

2018 Volvo XC60 High Resolution Drivetrain
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“We have a wide range of powertrains. The new XC60 will launch with the diesel D4 engine at 190 hp and the D5 with PowerPulse technology delivering 235 hp. We also have the petrol-powered T5 delivering 254 hp and the T6, which with both turbo and superchargers attached, delivers 320 hp and 400 Nm of torque,” added Henrik Green.

But it is not just under the hood that the new XC60 delivers healthy performance. The new CleanZone four-zone climate system removes harmful pollutants and particles from outside the cabin to deliver Scandinavian-fresh air on the inside.

Volvo Cars’ driver infotainment and connected services offer, Sensus, and the Volvo On Call app both receive a graphical update with improved usability. As in the 90 Series cars, smartphone integration with CarPlay and Android Auto is also available.

2018 Volvo XC60 High Resolution Interior
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Sculpted feel

“The XC60 is an SUV not designed to look down on others but to drive. The exterior has an athletic sculpture with a subtle, timeless quality. The interior is a masterful composition of well-resolved architecture, beautiful materials and the very latest technology - all perfectly blended together. The XC60 provides a true Scandinavian experience which will make our customers feel special,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President, Design at Volvo Car Group.

Volvo Cars’ new XC60 is set to go into production in mid-April at the Torslanda Plant in Sweden.

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