A few years ago, I drove a 2015 Volvo XC60 for a week. It was comfortable, stylish, and an all-around excellent SUV. About the only thing I didn’t like about it was the infotainment system, which had changed little from when the XC60 was first introduced at the end of the Bush administration.
It certainly got the job done and, considering that the interior of the XC60 hadn’t changed much for a few years, it was a testament to how good the car was when it was first designed.
A Volvo rep once told me that sales of the XC60 “kept the lights on” at Volvo, keeping the company in business long enough to develop and release the excellent XC90 SUV, S90 sedan, and V90 wagon over the past few years.
The XC60 is Volvo’s volume seller. The XC60 hasn’t seen a top-to-bottom redesign since its debut nearly 10 years ago. But in 2016, Volvo sold 161,000 XC60s, a rise of 0.9 percent from the year before and nearly double the company’s XC90 sales over the same period. And now, finally, there’s a new XC60 for 2018. And for Volvo fans, it looks like it was worth the wait.
The XC60 competes with luxury SUVs like the BMW X3 and the Audi Q5, and, though it doesn’t have the volume numbers of some of those competitors, I think the new XC60 stands out. It has a Swedishness to it — clean, sharp lines, but with a warm interior that makes you feel at home. There’s even a little Swedish flag stitched on the edge of the seat, just so you don’t forget where this car came from.
It has the same Thor’s Hammer headlights as Volvo’s 90-series, the same terrific iPad-esque infotainment setup, and basically the same exterior design. In almost every way, the XC60 is a slightly smaller version of the XC90. That’s a good thing.
I’ll withhold final judgement on the XC60 until I can spend some time with it, but if Volvo’s recent history is any indication, they’re going to sell a ton of ‘em to some very happy customers.