First Look: 2018 Volvo XC60

Volvo has modernized its XC60 for the 2018 model year, bringing the compact SUV up to speed stylistically with its latest S90, V90 and XC90 offerings and outfitting it with near-autonomous driving capabilities.

The redesigned XC60 brings long-overdue improvements to comfort, technology and, of course, styling for Volvo in this increasingly popular segment.

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The redesigned XC60 arrives on the floor of the Geneva Motor Show nine years after the previous generation launched. A lot has happened to Volvo since 2008, but perhaps the most impactful move came in 2010 when a struggling Ford sold the Swedish automaker to Geely Auto, a relatively low-profile Chinese manufacturer.

Since the sale, Volvo has used that influx of Chinese money to rebuild itself from the ground up and emerged as one of the premier luxury automakers, thanks in large part to its Scalable Product Architecture, the modular unibody platform that spawned the redesigned 90 Series.

Now, Volvo is using that same architecture to revitalize its 60 Series, and the familial resemblance is strong in its first recipient, the XC60.

Like the redesigned XC90 before it, the XC60 ditches the sloping profile of its previous generation for a more angular aesthetic. The 60 has a long, sculpted hood and two bold grille designs; one with vertical lines, the other with horizontal, both anchored by a Volvo badge accompanied by its signature diagonal support bar. The rectangular front end is flanked by two Thor’s Hammer LED headlights, one of the crowning achievements of the Scalable Product Architecture, in my opinion.

Sharp shoulders; deep accent gashes along the doors and side quarter panels; jagged taillights and available five-double-spoke wheels give the all-new XC60 a more aggressive look than its predecessor and a sportier feel than the larger XC90.

Inside, the center stack for the new XC60 looks similar to that of the S90 sedan, with tall vents flanking the touchscreen Sensus infotainment system and a drive mode selector behind the gear shifter on the center console. Front and back seats get an extra dose of padding and, in the top-tier Inscription package, ventilated leather upholstery to go with the leather-wrapped dashboard, two-tone steering wheel and real wood trim.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Volvo if safety weren’t a top priority. The all-new XC60 gets a suite of advanced driver assistance features, including Steering Assist to avoid accidents while changing lanes, Oncoming Lane Mitigation to avoid head-on collisions, a blind spot monitoring system and Pilot Assist, a semi-autonomous system that can handle braking, acceleration and steering on well-marked roads at speeds of up to 80 mph.

Volvo also will include its T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid system, which combines the power of a gasoline engine and an electric motor to crank out 400 horsepower and hit 60 mph in a little more than 5 seconds.

Volvo will begin building the all-new XC60 in its Torslanda Plant in Sweden next month and it is expected to arrive in the U.S. later this year.

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