Since the launch of the XC60 during the 2010 model year, the compact luxury crossover received a cosmetic refresh for 2014 and during 2015 Volvo integrated the 2.0 four-cylinder Drive-E engines and eight-speed transmission. While the XC60 is the oldest model in the fleet, it remains Volvo’s second best-selling vehicle behind the all-new XC90. The 2017 XC60 T6 AWD Inscription remains a compelling alternative to the Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Mercedes GLK.
There is a lot to like about the XC60 and even though its design was first introduced in 2010. Missing is the new elegant, face of the 90-series vehicles and recently announced all-new 2018 XC60. However, the SPA-platform exterior and interior design may not be for everyone. The 2017 XC60 remains distinctively Volvo in a classic way. It is a good value, especially with sales incentives during this last model year. If you enjoy using buttons on an infotainment device, this XC60 has plenty. The infotainment and center stack design gets the job done but the layout and technology is dated. This is the last Volvo with the waterfall center stack with a small storage cubby behind the lower dash. This was interesting when first introduced but today the feel is cumbersome when attempting to place sunglasses or a small item into the area.
My week with the XC60 T6 AWD Inscription included a trip to IKEA to pick up a new bed. With the seats folded down, the 67.4 cubic feet was more than enough cargo. I resisted the urge to go back in and buy more. The long drive to IKEA reminded me how this generation XC60, like my personal V60, has incredibly comfortable seats. Seat comfort has been a hallmark of modern Volvo vehicles and for those with lower back challenges will appreciate these seats.
For 2017, Volvo removed the five-cylinder and six-cylinder engines and standardized with the 2.0 liter, four-cylinder across all trims. The XC60 comes standard with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive is available as an option. The only powertrain change available not available in the 2017 XC60 is the 400hp hybrid T8 but the mainstream engines remain the same as the next generation. The T5 delivers good power at 240hp while the T6 produces a strong 302hp. The T6 is one of the most powerful motors in the compact SUV segment and during my test drive I had no concerns merging into fast moving Washington D.C. metro rush-hour traffic – yes, there are days when the traffic moves at the posted speed limit.
Fuel economy is decent at 23/30 mpg city/highway for the T5 front-wheel drive model and 20/29 mpg when adding all-wheel drive. The T6 all-wheel drive model delivers fuel economy of 20/27 mpg. I achieved 28 miles per gallon (mpg) on the highway with the Inscription T6 AWD. The 8-speed automatic transmission shifts are smooth and when Sport mode is activated the performance character of the XC60 becomes much more enthusiast friendly. For those seeking greater performance, Volvo’s Polestar division offers a software update to improve the engine’s mid-range powerband. Volvo dealers can add this update in about an hour to many of the Volvo’s latest Drive-E models.
The XC60 is positioned between Volvo’s smaller V60 wagon and the larger, seven-seat XC90. It is an excellent choice for those seeking a taller ride height and increased cargo capacity over a wagon. The XC60 is ideal for a family of four or a group of friends taking a weekend trip in or out of the city. I was happy to find the XC60 comes with a compact spare tire, rare with newer vehicles.
The XC60 delivers good driving dynamics and modern technologies such as an available adaptive cruise control, City Safe forward collision warning with emergency braking and lane departure warning. I especially like the active bending, HID headlights which cast an excellent beam pattern on dark, country backroads. Front-wheel drive models may experience a bit or torque steer, especially on wet road surfaces. I would recommend going with the all-wheel drive configuration if you experience slick surfaces throughout the year. With 9.1-inches of ground clearance and up to a 4,400lb towing capacity, the XC60 is a solid four-seasons, over-land vehicle for owners who live off the pavement.
Seven years after its debut the XC60 retains strong safety credentials. NHTSA awarded the 2017 XC60 five-out-of-five stars for overall safety and an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ evaluation. These are excellent ratings, especially considering the XC60 is essentially structurally the same as it was in 2010. Volvo builds safe vehicles and the 2017 XC60 remains one of the safest crossovers on the market.
The XC60 T5 Inscription starts at $40,950. The T6 AWD Inscription starts at $46,350. The Inscription trim package includes:
• Blind Spot Information System
• 18″ Diamond Cut Leda Alloy Wheels
• Linear Walnut Wood Inlays
• Rear Park Assist Camera
The Inscription is available in ten different exterior colors and two interior upholstery leathers. Our test model was equipped with the attractive combination of Osmium Grey Metallic and the Soft Beige leather comfort seats with second-row, integrated booster seats.
For owners that want to enhance the performance and appearance of his or her XC60, Polestar offers accessories specifically designed for the XC60. A Chassis Package includes Polestar developed shock absorbers and coil springs. The Intake and Exhaust package includes a Polestar air filter and stainless exhaust system, providing improved engine air intake and a more distinctive exhaust note. The Polestar 21-inch Polestar lightweight alloy wheels with high-performance tires transform the visual profile of any XC60 while improving grip and handling.
The XC60 delivers Scandinavian design elements, the safety technologies and passenger comfort we have come to expect from Volvo. The XC60 provides the right formula for an active lifestyle vacationing to the ski slopes, weekend trips to Home Depot, hauling the drum set for an aspiring band member or tailgating at a hometown sporting event. While I look forward to the 2018 XC60, I really like this generation XC60. It has a unique character and even though the infotainment system is dated, it offers the essential technologies in a familiar package. Using Google Maps on your mobile device might be more efficient than this generation’s factory navigation but that’s about my only major gripe with the infotainment system. The XC60 has been a very good seller for Volvo and as a total package, it remains a competitive alternative in the five-seat, compact-luxury, crossover marketplace.