Though the Volvo XC60 remains in its second generation originally launching back in 2017, a number of key changes have taken place over the last 12 months. The luxury crossover received a facelift last spring gaining massaged front and rear fascias with updated tech inside, and this year receives the latest B6 mild hybrid engine under the hood. Read on to see what we thought of the slew of modifications taking place on the Swedish model.
Exterior: It’s amazing what a refresh can do for an aging vehicle’s looks, as some subtle touches help the sexy and well-proportioned Scandinavian SUV stay contemporary on the road. The polished vertical slats in the grille now possess a 3-D texture to them, the frame still kissed on either side by signature Thor’s Hammer LED daytime running lights. Underneath, the bumper is completely reimagined featuring much sharper styling lines around the central intake.
On the other end, designers filled in the lower diffuser and hid the dual exhaust pipes for a both a cleaner appearance, and to “showcase the company’s continued journey to all-out electrification.” There are also new alloy wheel selections, such as the snazzy 20-inch 5-Y Spoke Graphite Diamond Cut examples on the press tester we drove (+$1,000), and three additional paint colours: Platinum Grey, Thunder Grey and Silver Dawn (+$900).
Interior: Few automobiles manage to balance class, comfort and connectivity quite like Volvos, and particularly in the XC60. The raw wood, aluminum and plush Blonde perforated Nappa leather combination in our Inscription-grade loaner was stunning. The cherry on top? An Orrefors crystal gear select knob.
Infotainment: The larger 12.3-inch tablet display front and centre is Google Android-powered and operates similar to a bigger version of a smartphone, allowing the installation of various vehicle-tailored apps. Navigation is smooth and lag-free, which unfortunately still isn’t the norm across the industry. The first four years of data is complimentary, and software may be updated over the air. While the compact SUV is fairly easy to slide into spots as is, the birds-eye view reverse camera ensures no wheels will be easily curbed during parallel parking manoeuvers.
Powertrain: The B6 motor is a 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder with an electric supercharger, creating 295 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of peak torque produced at a low 2,100 rpm, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The crossover is deceptively quick and power comes on nearly instantly. One minor inconvenience is the gearbox requires an extra nudge of the shifter to go past neutral each time when putting the vehicle into drive or park. Not a huge deal but something to be aware of.
The mill is supported by the introduction of a mild hybrid system consisting of a 13-horsepower integrated starter generator (ISG) and a 48-volt battery. The electricity stored in the latter from regenerative braking is used to temporarily boost acceleration performance and smoothen out the engine start-stop transition, improving fuel economy in the process.
Drive: As always the XC60 feels more car than SUV-like, and is easily operable in the city. Adding the Active chassis “Four-C” air suspension (+$2,350) the XC60 provides additional versatility as shock dampening and ride height can be adjusted with the touch of a button to suit different surface conditions and/or driving environments. All-wheel drive is standard, and up to 50 per cent of the torque is redistributable to the rear axle in slippery scenarios maintaining stability at all times even in severely wet weather.
Conclusion: While we wait for the arrival of a third-gen EV model arriving probably in 2024, the freshened offering will do just fine for the time being. Boasting a handsome design, fun and efficient powertrain and all the modern bells and whistles the XC60 is a welcome unique addition to the cluttered and sometimes mundane segment.
Price as tested: $76,650
Configuration: front engine/all-wheel drive
Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged + supercharged four cylinder
Transmission: eight-speed automatic
Power/torque: 295 horsepower/ 310 ft-lb of torque
Combined fuel economy ratings: 13.1 L/100 km (observed)
Warranty: four years/80,000 km (basic)
Competitors: Mercedes-Benz GLC-class, Audi Q5, BMW X3