Going way back to Fall of 2017, we were banging the drum that the new – second generation – 2018 Volvo XC60 Luxury Mid-Size SUV was going to be a winner.  Following a first drive, we reported that the Swedes had once again demonstrated their skill in combining luxury and simplicity with design and engineering to deliver performance, comfort, convenience and technology for discriminating drivers.

Wiinning TAWA SUV of Texas

Entering the 2018 XC60 Luxury Mid-Size SUV in the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) prestigious Texas Truck Rodeo in the Fall of 2017, they raced off with the SUV of Texas honor.

Not resting one moment, the XC60 went up to Detroit and collected the coveted NACTOY 2018 North American Utility of the Year award in January.   Over the course of 2018, it went on to garner more honors while becoming the fastest selling Volvo for the year.

For 2019, with few changes, the XC60 continues its popularity. Volvo attributes that to the XC60’s understated yet confident poise, uncluttered styling with power, leading technology and luxury.  We agree fully.

The 2019 Volvo XC60 stands out at a glance with its simple lines and a refined shape.  Key elements include its subtle ‘boxy’ body, classic grille shape and badging, distinctive LED headlights with ‘Thor’s Hammer’ Daytime Running Lights and distinctive rear hatch tail light assemblies.

 

 

But it is what’s underneath and inside that makes the Volvo XC60 SUV a winner on the road.

 

Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Inscription – as tested

A few weeks back, Volvo sent us a 2019 XC60 T6 AWD SUV for a weeklong road test. The XC60 T6 came in a Pine Gray Metallic finish with Blonde interior running on 19-inch Black alloy 10-spoke wheels.

We spent the following week trekking around town, up and down hills and along back roads of Central Texas.  Built on a different platform and powered by a larger engine than the smaller, nimble XC40 compact – that we raved about a few weeks back – we found XC60 similarly powerful and agile proportionate to its larger size.

This XC60 T6 AWD had a base MSRP of $44,900 before adding Inscription trim level features and optional items.

 

Powertrain

The Volvo XC60 T6 AWD is powered by an inline 4-cylinder GDI supercharged and turbocharged engine delivering 316 horsepower with 295 lb.-ft. of torque.

It is mated to their Geartronic Eight Speed Automatic transmission with Manual Mode, Auto Stop/Start and Hill Start Assist.  There are four Drive Mode choices, Economy, Comfort, Dynamic and Off-Road that adjust throttle, transmission and suspension (when four corner air suspension equipped) to suit driver preferences.  Off-Road adds Hill Descent Control when selected.

The XC60 T6 is equipped with the Volvo Instant Traction AWD system. It continuously manages drive power electronically – based on road condition feedback – to each axle/wheel pair proportionately to the traction available at each wheel.  

Even with AWD, the XC60 T6 is reasonably fuel efficient – rated at 19/27 mpg city/highway and 22 mpg combined.  It is pretty darn quick too, able to hit 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds and topping out at 130 mph.

For those wanting to run in the ‘rough’ a bit or ford a stream or two – note that the ground clearance with air suspension is a decent 8.2-inches with a ‘wading’ capability max of 15.7-inches. 

We noted in the specs – when properly equipped – the Volvo XC60 T6 AWD can tow just over 5,000 pounds.  Not sure we have ever seen one towing, but it can.

Interior

The interior of the XC60 T6 is just what you expect of Volvo, uncluttered, functionally efficient, high quality and Nordic beautiful with touches of elegance only Scandinavians understand. 

 

One such touch is the pair of precision machined Engine Start and Drive Mode selection dial units on the console behind the shifter.  Nordic simplicity and efficient elegance at its best.

 

A notable feature of our XC60 T6 was the Laminated Panoramic Moonroof with Power Sunshade that made a very roomy cabin seem much bigger.  Seating five, we found the headroom very adequate with shoulder and legroom even better both front and rear.  And yes, the views were terrific.

Some other items of note included Volvo’s well known supportive 10-way power front seating with memory, Heated and Ventilated seating, Keyless Entry, Push Button Start, illuminated Door Handles, Aluminum Sill Plates and lots of USB connectivity.

 

Cargo space behind the rear seating is just under 18 cubic feet. With rear seats down, cargo capacity is 63.3 cubic feet.

Technology

We have told you before about how some folks struggle with the Volvo Sensus suite of entertainment and driver support applications..  

We have learned that one needs to think ‘tablet’ when using the dynamic 9-inch color touch screen on the center stack.  The operating interface – a bit confusing at first – is actually very intuitive and one gets control of the system pretty quickly.

Simply, it displays four main tiles stacked vertically – Navigation, Media, Phone & Third-Party Apps. Each expands with more detail when touched. Climate Settings are always displayed at the base of the screen.  There are two hidden screens left and right – Car Settings and Entertainment Apps. Swiping left or right (like a tablet) opens them. 

Simple – even for us.

Lastly you will love how the Volvo screen stays pretty clean of fingerprints. Unlike traditional capacitive touch screens – it uses ‘radar-like’ sensors that react to your touch and intended action before you touch it.  We are big on that.

Other vehicle technology includes a customizable 12.3-inch High Resolution Color Digital Driver Display, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Smartphone Integration, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth Handsfree and Streaming, SiriusXM and HD radio, USB ports and a 12v power port.

 

Making our XC60 T6 an Inscription

Adding the Inscription Package ($7,550) upgraded our XC60 T6 AWD with: LED Fog Lights, 19-inch Inscription Alloy Wheels, Heated Wiper Blades w/Integrated Washers, Perforated Leather Seating, Four-Zone Climate Control, Power Folding Rear Seats, Handsfree Power Tailgate, Park Assist Pilot w/Front and Rear Assist, Blind Spot Warning w/Steering Assist and Sensus Navigation PRO and more.

Notable are the super luxe  Driftwood Deco Inlay accents all around the cabin.  With the Blonde interior, just stunning.

 

 

 

 

Also notable are the Power Adjustable Front Seat Cushion Extenders.  For those of us bigger or taller, long drives become easier when that cushion can be adjusted.

 

Other optional features included:   

Nappa Leather with Massage ($2,200) further upgraded the seating surfaces to perforated Nappa Leather and added massaging backrests and power adjustable side support bolsters to the front seats.  

Advanced Package ($2,500) added Volvo’s Pilot Assist Semi-Autonomous Drive System w/Adaptive Cruise Control, Full LED Headlights w/Active Bending Lights, High Pressure Headlight Washer, 360-degree Surround View Camera and Graphical Headup Display.

Four Corner Air Suspension ($1,800) for managing handling and ride in varying conditions.  Mode choices are Comfort, ECO, Dynamic and Off-road. Depending on the choice, it electronically adjusts the ‘active’ shock absorbers to respond to terrain and maintain ride comfort.

Bowers and Wilkins Premium Sound ($3,200) delivers concert hall sound featuring a 10-channel amp, 1100-watts of power, 18-speakers and air ventilated subwoofer with three cabin sound choices to select from.

Also included were Heated Rear Seats and Steering Wheel ($995) and the Metallic Paint ($645).

The fully-loaded delivered priced of our 2019 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Inscription was $64,340.

 

Safety

Rated an IIHS Top Safety Pick for 2019, the Volvo XC60 Inscription is fully featured for safety and includes their City Safety Collision Avoidance, Vehicle/Pedestrian/Cyclist/Large Animal Detection, Run Off Road Mitigation, Lane Keeping Assistance and Mitigation, Oncoming Lane Mitigation, LED Headlights and DRL’s w/Automatic High Beams, Road Sign Recognition and more.   

Volvo XC60 Lineup

The 2019 Volvo XC lineup is available in three trim levels.  They are the Momentum (FWD & AWD) and AWD only – the R-Design and Inscription.  Review the complete lineup of 2019 Volvo XC60 SUV’s here:  https://www.volvocars.com/us/cars/new-models/xc60

Read our ‘One Rodeo One Volvo’ story about the 2018 Volvo XC60  win at the TAWA Texas Truck Rodeo  Fall of 2017. 

Here is our story on the new 2019 Volvo XC40 compact SUV  Designed and delivered with everything in mind-the 2019 Volvo XC40