2018 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD First Drive Review: Do Good Things Come in Smaller Packages? (Video)

2018 volvo xc60 t6 awd inscription
2018 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD. [photo: Volvo]
The 2018 Volvo XC60 is all-new. It’s just slightly larger than its predecessor. It shares its platform and power train options with the larger XC90, S90, and V90 cars. Was Volvo able to pack all of its recent success into this smaller package? Check out this first drive review of the XC60 T6 AWD Inscription.

Volvo takes its recently successful recipe of design and engineering and applies it to the most popular vehicle in the lineup, the XC60. You can think of the new XC60 as a shrunken down XC90. Both of them are built on Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). Naturally, the XC60 is smaller and offers two rows of seating, instead of three rows in XC90.

[photo: Volvo]

Power Options

The all-new XC60 uses the same selection of powertrains: 2.0-liter turbocharged four with 250 horsepower in the T5 model, 2.0-liter supercharged/turbocharged four-cylinder with 316 horsepower in the T6, and an upgraded plug-in hybrid power plant with a combined 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque in the T8. No matter which engine you choose, all 2018 XC60s are sold with AWD only. If there is customer demand for a front-wheel-drive version, Volvo will consider it at a later date.

This review is focused on the T6 model with the top-of-the-line Inscription trim level. To begin, the T6 is one quick crossover. The 8-speed automatic offers quick and smooth shifts. The optional air suspension soaks up the bumps with ease, and lowers the XC60 at highway speeds for more efficiency and better cornering performance.


Volvo is continuing with a distinctive and elegant design strategy. The XC60 is instantly recognizable as a Volvo, yet it looks premium and sporty. The interior is a pleasant and relatively spacious place to be. The new crossover offers 63.3 cu-ft of total cargo volume. Material quality, fit, and finish are near the top of the class, and there is a lot of tough competition.


The XC60 has to compete against the likes of the Acura RDXAudi Q5, BMW X3, Jaguar F-Pace, Lexus NX/RX, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Porsche Macan, and others. Still, Volvo interior design and infotainment system are near the top of the class. That is no easy feat.


The 2018 XC60 T5 AWD starts at $41,500 before destination charges. This is right on par with the Audi and the BMW. It’s a few hundred dollars more than the Mercedes, and it’s an impressive accomplishment, considering that the XC60 is manufactured across the Atlantic.

Spending a few hours with the car at a first drive event is not enough time to find all of the quirks or thoroughly evaluate the car. I came away very pleased with the 2018 XC60. I give it a confident “Buy It” initial rating, and I look forward to spending more time with the XC60 in the future.

If you are willing to wait a little longer for the high-performance plug-in hybrid, the 2018 XC60 T8 is launching in September 2017. How does 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque sound?  Get all the details in the video below.