There is a little dog, an old guy and a Townsend’s chipmunk who would not be alive today if it weren’t for the phenomenal stopping power of the 2018 Volvo XC60 brake system.
On the same day, within a one-mile stretch on a narrow two-lane road and just minutes apart, the little dog, old guy and chipmunk dashed in front of me while I was driving the XC60. It was a crazy sequence, like a video game brought to life.
All three were spared by the instantaneous full stop triggered by my stomp on the Volvo’s brake pedal.
If, in the shaky distracted aftermath of almost killing a dog, I hadn’t reacted in time to save the old guy, it’s nice to know there was backup protection in the form of City Safety, Volvo’s collision avoidance system that is standard equipment on the 2018 XC60. City Safety, which I’d call Rural Safety in this case, detects pedestrians, cyclists, vehicles and large animals in the car’s trajectory and automatically applies emergency braking if the driver isn’t reacting.
The Volvo XC60 is completely reworked for 2018 into a midsize luxury SUV that is stylistically a scaled-down version of the XC90, with two rows of seats and seating for five. There are three trim levels: Momentum, R-Design and Inscription. All trims are available with any one of three engine offerings: T5, T6 or T8.
The T5 turbocharged gas engine delivers 250 horsepower, the T6 turbo and supercharged gas engine is good for 316 horsepower, and the T8 plug-in hybrid powertrain produces 400 horsepower.
Pricing, including destination charge, starts at $42,495 for the T5, $45,895 for the T6, and $53,595 for the T8. All models are equipped solely with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
My tester was the T6 Inscription model, optioned to the gills with added features and upgrades. That doesn’t mean the list of standard features was pitiful. The options included such indulgences as power folding second-row seats, backrest massage for the front seats, driftwood decor inlays and a refrigerated glove compartment.
However, I would consider the second-priciest option on the tester, a sublime $3,200 Bowers and Wilkins premium sound system with 15 speakers, a necessity on par with wheels and tires.
Elegance and tranquility are good descriptors of the new Volvo XC60’s interior, and sophistication encapsulates its handling and performance. It’s solid and stout, a reflection of Volvo’s emphasis on safety.
This scaled-down version of the XC90 is right-sized for those who don’t need three rows of seats but do want considerable cargo space, have a fondness for luxury, and love the look of Volvo.
The EPA rating of the XC60 T6 Inscription is 21 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, 23 mpg combined.
2018 VOLVO XC60 T6 AWD INSCRIPTION
Base price, including destination charge: $45,895
Price as driven: $63,290
Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.