Room at the Bottom: Volvo Crafts a New Entry-level XC60

room at the bottom volvo crafts a new entry level xc60

Few will disagree that the second-generation Volvo XC60 crossover, which debuted for the 2018 model year, is a handsome vehicle. The midsizer adopts many of the styling decisions bestowed upon its larger XC90 brother, and that’s a good thing. Still, despite its smaller footprint, the XC60 remains a premium vehicle with a premium price.

For 2019, however, the entry-level XC60 sheds both content and price.

According to an order guide seen by CarsDirect, the base XC60 grows even more bare bones for the coming model year, not that anyone ever referred to its T5 Momentum predecessor as a stripper. By dispensing with all-wheel drive, Volvo has created a vehicle that dives below the $40k barrier — strengthening its appeal in areas seldom touched by Mother Nature’s icy wrath.

The 2019 XC60 T5 Momentum shaves $2,300 from the price of a current AWD base model, stickering for $40,195 after factoring in the destination charge. To get into a 2018 or 2019 AWD T5, you’ll need to part with $42,495.

There’s hardship afoot in the T5 Momentum, however. In exchange for a lower price, buyers give up leather upholstery in favor of leatherette. Bringing that cow hide back into the cabin carries a $1,600 price tag for 2019.

Even as it carves out a new sub-basement in the XC60 range, Volvo’s also pushing prices higher at the top of the range, the order guide reveals. High-zoot R-Design and Inscription models gain new standard equipment — the product of Volvo’s desire to reduce ordering complexity, apparently. Buyers of 2019 models can expect a 12.3-inch infotainment screen with navigation, upgraded audio, blind spot warning, hands-free power liftgate, power folding mirrors, and other such creature comforts.

For 2019, the XC60 T6 Inscription’s MSRP rises from $49,695 to $53,245.

The XC60 just barely trails the XC90 on Volvo’s U.S. sales charts, racking up 11,245 sales over the first five months of 2018 (to the XC90’s 12,745). Last month, some 2,924 XC60s rolled off Volvo lots, compared to the previous generation’s 1,595 units sold in May of 2017.

May also happened to be the model’s best U.S. sales month to date.

[Images: Volvo Cars]

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Jun 27, 2018

    Although I'd consider a FWD XC60 for practical purposes, I have to wonder if saving 5% on the purchase price would actually backfire into a 10%+ loss on trade-in, since everybody wants AWD.

    • Krhodes1 Krhodes1 on Jun 27, 2018

      I suspect that is entirely dependent on where you live. Down South, nobody will care. Up North, well, you had best trade it in down South.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Jul 01, 2018

    This just brings the model in line with its traditional positioning. There's always been a FWD XC60 for Sunbelt buyers who prefer MPG to AWD, and a base model with non-leather upholstery (though it used to be T-Tec wetsuit material for SUV buyers that actually do S activities). The previous model makes a good buy, BTW. We picked up an aging but low-mileage previous-gen XC60 from a Volvo dealer, and while the price was a bit eye-watering for its age, our local mechanic pronounced it a good value, with everything looking and operating exactly as new (with the exception of the rear seat latches, which are of notoriously defective design and promptly broke). Inside, the seats, upholstery, controls, and stereo are all top-notch. There are a couple of misfires on perceived quality--mostly just the front door panels, which don't have padding on the inside of the handle and creak when pressed. The non-turbo 3.2 liter straight six behaves more like an EV than an ICE: there's an enormous wallop of low-end torque for the Stoplight Grand Prix, but it quickly runs out of steam on the highway, reaching down a couple of ratios for acceleration. While I wouldn't trade the woofle and whomp of the six, I can see why they went the turbo-four route later in the model's life. While the six returns admirable highway MPG comparable to smaller 4-cylinder crossovers (guess which I'd rather drive!), it returns city MPG comparable to, uh, a Tahoe. So it's our road trip car.

  • Snickel Fritz I just bought a '97 JX 4WD 4AT, and though it's not quite roadworthy yet I am already in awe of it's simplicity and apparent ruggedness. What I am equally in awe of, is the scarcity of not only parts but correct information regarding anything on this platform. I'm going to do my best to get this little donkey back on it's feet, but I wouldn't suggest this as a project vehicle for anyone who doesn't already have several... and a big impressive shop with a full suite of fabrication/machining/welding equipment, and friends with complimentary skillsets, and extra money, and... you get the idea. If you don't, I urge you to read up on the options for replacing anything on these rigs. I didn't read enough before buying, and I have zero of the above suggested prerequisites... so I'm an idiot, don't listen to me. Go buy all of 'em!
  • Bryan Raab Davis I actually did use the P of D trope, but it was only gentle chiding, for I love old British cars of every sort.
  • ScarecrowRepair The 1907 Panic had several causes of increased demand for money:[list][*]The semi-annual shift of money between farms and cities (to buy for planting and selling harvests)[/*][*]Britain and Germany borrowing for their naval arms race[/*][*]San Francisco reconstruction borrowing after the 1906 earthquake and fire[/*][/list]Two things made it worse:[list][*]Idiotic bans on branch banking, which prevented urban, rural, and other state branches from shifting funds to match demands. This same problem made the Great Depression far worse. Canada, which allowed branch banking, had no bank failures; the US had 9000 failures.[/*][*]Idiotic reserve requirements left over from the Civil War which prevented banks from loaning money; they eventually started honoring IOUs illegally and started the recovery.[/*][/list]Been a while since I read up on it, so I may have some of the details wrong. But it was an amazing clusterfart which could have been avoided or at least tamed sooner if states and the feds hadn't been so ham handed.
  • FreedMike Maybe this explains all the “Idiots wrecking exotic cars” YouTube videos.
  • FreedMike Good article! And I salute the author for not using the classic “Lucas - prince of darkness” trope, well earned as it may be. We all know the rap on BL cars, but on the flip side, they’re apparently pretty easy to work on (at least that’s the impression I’ve picked up). On the other hand, check the panel fits on the driver’s and passenger’s doors. Clearly, BL wasn’t much concerned with things like structural integrity when it chopped the roof off a car designed as a coupe.