Geneva 2017: Volvo's Next-generation XC60 is Dressed to Impress

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
geneva 2017 volvos next generation xc60 is dressed to impress

When the Volvo XC60 first entered the premium compact CUV market, the world was still fully in the grip of a financial crisis, Twitter was relatively new, and America was transitioning from its 43rd to 44th president.

Despite enjoying remarkably stable sales from its solid entry in the wildly competitive segment, Volvo clearly felt it was time for a change. And what better strategy exists besides emulating the model’s critically acclaimed bigger brother, the XC90?

The answer: none. Fully made over, the second-generation 2018 Volvo XC60 revealed today at the Geneva Motor Show borrows some of the XC90’s best hardware and design cues, resulting in a strikingly handsome and grown-up crossover.

With utility vehicles sales on fire and the XC60 representing about 30 percent of Volvo’s worldwide volume, there’s no shortage of pressure to get this model right.

Gone is the sinking-by-the-bow, oversized-wagon appearance of its predecessor, replaced by a poised and upright structure that oozes reserved class. Thor’s Hammer headlights flank a corporate grille that eschews the XC90’s chrome-heavy look. Almost everything else, however, is ripped right out of the larger model’s playbook.

That’s not to say the XC60 doesn’t diverge in several ways. The hood features a more pronounced slope, and its upper flanks do not have the smooth, uninterrupted flow of the XC90. A pronounced crease over the rear fenders, coupled with a deep character line and a more steeply raked windshield, signals an athleticism that its stablemate prefers to keep hidden. Most importantly, the model isn’t likely be mistaken for anything other than a Volvo.

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

Now underpinned by the company’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), the model adopts every tool in Volvo’s safety kit. Steer Assist is now on tap, which works with the vehicle’s Oncoming Lane Mitigation function to steer the XC60 out of the way of oncoming vehicles. The same feature also joins forces with Volvo’s blind spot monitors to keep a wide berth from careless lane changers.

Motivating the new XC60 are three powertrains, all mated to all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic. Volvo’s turbocharged T5 2.0-liter four-cylinder makes 254 horsepower, while the T6 — which keeps the displacement and adds a supercharger — is good for 320 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Topping the XC60 range is the automaker’s T8 plug-in hybrid powertrain, offering 407 combined horsepower and a 0-62 mile per hour sprint time of 5.3 seconds.

2018 Volvo XC60s should start rolling out of Sweden in mid-April.

[Images: Volvo Cars]

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2 of 44 comments
  • SuperCarEnthusiast SuperCarEnthusiast on Mar 08, 2017

    "2018 Volvo XC60s should start rolling out of Sweden in mid-April." Does anyone know when it will be in the showrooms? Some say Spring; other say Fall?

  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Apr 19, 2017

    We'll just make umpteen models, no worries about overlap or mission. Everything is awesome!

  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.
  • ToolGuy Silhouetting yourself on a ridge like that is an excellent way to get yourself shot ( Skylining)."Don't you know there's a special military operation on?"
  • ToolGuy When Farley says “like the Millennium Falcon” he means "fully updatable" and "constantly improving" -- it's right there in the Car and Driver article (and makes perfect sense).
  • Master Baiter New slogan in the age of Ford EVs:FoundOnRoadDischarged
  • Albert Also owned a 1959 Continental Mark IV coupe for 20 years and loved every minute!