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Volvo

2018 Volvo XC60: A DriveWays Review…

by Frank A. Aukofer

Sweden’s Volvo resumes its unprecedented product push with the 2018 XC60 crossover sport utility vehicle, another in  a string of solid contenders.

It endured a long drought as the company adjusted to new ownership and sought a fresh path to success as a competitor in the luxury sedan, station wagon and crossover sport utility categories.

The new Volvo XC60

In mid-2015, the onslaught started with the well-received 2016 XC90 three-row crossover, followed by the S90 sedan, V90 station wagon and the V90 Cross Country, a rugged all-wheel drive version of the V90 wagon.

Now Volvo loyalists have another choice in the new two-row XC60 crossover, a solid performer that handles competently and delivers a creamy smooth and quiet ride.

The interior is estate-level plush — the sort of place where you don’t mind spending long hours and many miles. Workmanship and materials epitomize top quality, including genuine driftwood trim finished to a silvery satin sheen.

The new Volvo XC60

Although the redesigned XC60 competes in the luxury compact class against BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, it looks and feels more like a midsize crossover. It is a bit longer than the best-selling compact Honda CR-V and weighs about 500 lbs more. However, its passenger/cargo volume is less than that of the CR-V, owing mainly to its posh surroundings and sound deadening materials.

The X60 features three different drive systems, though all use versions of the company’s efficient 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. Power is sent to all four wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode.

The new Volvo XC60

Over many years, Volvo’s vehicles were powered by engines with four, five, six and even eight cylinders. After Geely of China bought the company in 2010, its engineers and designers embarked on a mission of efficiency and cutting-edge safety innovations. Geely smartly pumped in money but left the Volvo experts to their own devices.

To that end, Volvo has abandoned all but its family of 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engines. This fits an industry trend of designing smaller engines with fewer cylinders that deliver greater power and fuel economy. Much of it is made possible by clever computer software, though the engines also were engineered to be stronger.

The new Volvo XC60

On the new XC60, three powertrains embrace the all-wheel drive and versions of the four-banger: The base T5’s 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder delivers 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Step up to the T6 and the four gets both turbocharging and supercharging for a 316-hp output with 295 lb-ft of torque.

Both turbochargers and superchargers enhance power by forcing air and fuel into the cylinders. The supercharger is engine-driven and boosts power off the line. The turbo, which runs off exhaust gases, does the same as the engine revolutions rise.

The new Volvo XC60

There’s a third XC60 choice: the T8, which is a hybrid that sends the 2.0-liter engine’s power to the front wheels while an electric motor drives the rear wheels. The total system makes 400 hp and a zero-to-60 miles an hour acceleration time of 4.9 seconds, according to Volvo’s specifications. The T6 runs to 60 in 5.6 seconds and the T5 in 6.4 seconds.

Each of the three power train choices comes with three trim levels: Momentum; R-Design; and Inscription. The base T5 Momentum starts at $42,495 and the price ranges up to $57,695 for the T8 Inscription eAWD  hybrid model. Tested for this review was the T6 Inscription, which started at $49,695.

The new Volvo XC60

Not surprisingly, there are plenty of extras. The tester, for example, came with the $1,800 air-suspension system, $3,200 Bowers and Wilkins audio system, and option packages that included adaptive cruise control; a rear surround-view camera; head-up windshield display; heated windshield wipers; headlight washers, and heated and cooled front seats with massagers and power-adjustable bolsters.

However, you don’t have to pay extra for the XC60’s panoramic sunroof, which comes standard on all versions. Yet you will not be able to totally block sunlight because the sunroof shade is made of a perforated cloth. Moreover, you will have to tolerate sun visors that do not slide on their support rods to fully block sunlight from the side — something that is standard on many less expensive vehicles.

Volvo continues its traditional emphasis on safety, working toward the goal that by 2020 nobody will be killed or severely injured in one of its vehicles. The XC60 has a full complement of features, including a new lane departure mitigation system that will steer away from an oncoming car.

The new Volvo XC60

Specifications

  • Model: 2018 Volvo XC60 T6 four-door crossover sport utility vehicle.
  • Engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder, turbocharged and supercharged, 316 hp, 295 lb-ft torque.
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic with manual shift mode and all-wheel drive.
  • Overall length: 15 feet 5 inches.
  • EPA passenger/cargo volume: 100/30 cubic feet.
  • Weight: 4,045 pounds.
  • EPA city/highway/combined fuel consumption: estimated 22/28/24 on premium fuel.
  • Base price, including destination charge: $49,695.
  • Price as tested: $60,040.

Disclaimer: This test drive was conducted at a manufacturer-sponsored press event in Barcelona, Spain. The manufacturer provided travel, accommodations, vehicles, meals and fuel.

The new Volvo XC60

Photos (c) Volvo.

 

2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country: A DriveWays Review…

by Frank A. Aukofer

Now presenting its all-new 2017 V90 Cross Country, Volvo demonstrates again that it has a way with wagons.

Going back generations, the Swedish vehicle manufacturer has persisted in developing rugged, safe and dependable station wagons, even when — as in the United States — they fell out of favor.

Now Volvo has added another element: refined luxury and off-road capability that should please its stalwart band of disciples as well as win it some converts.

Volvo V90 Cross Country

The resurgence of this venerable company arrived with its 2016 XC90 crossover sport utility vehicle, which earned it Truck of the Year Honors from an independent group of automotive journalists. It followed with the S90 luxury sedan and V90 station wagon.

Now it has taken the genre a step further with the Cross Country, which slots between the V90 station wagon and XC90 three-row crossover. It’s not a new concept; Volvo has been delivering Cross Country models for several decades.

Volvo V90 Cross Country

The new one is distinguished from the V90 by a taller ride height, bigger wheels and 8.3 inches of ground clearance — about the same as a standard Jeep Wrangler, which gives the Cross Country some solid off-road chops. However, its long wheelbase — the 116-inches gap between the front and rear axles — erodes that capability somewhat.

If it can’t go everywhere, the Cross Country can certainly handle terrain that would frustrate most luxury cars. Plus, its automatic all-wheel drive system makes for confident motoring in foul weather conditions.

Volvo V90 Cross Country

Curiously, early Volvo cars and wagons came with rear-wheel drive, a challenge in wintry Sweden. Back in the middle of the 20th century, if you wanted front-wheel drive, your Swedish car of choice was a Saab. But Volvo eventually also moved to front-drive and now sophisticated all-wheel drive as well.

Unlike vintage Volvo wagons, the new V90 Cross Country is no truck. It is a luxury car with quality construction, fine materials, comfort and convenience features, and most of all, the driving experience sought by buyers who can spend north of $60,000 on a refined five-passenger car with copious cargo space.

It is quiet and controlled on the highway with minimal intrusion of mechanical, wind or road noise. The steering has the heft and feel common to expensive luxury cars. And, should you happen to encounter dirt and gravel, the Cross Country grips the terrain and easily absorbs bumps, though the ride deteriorates because of tires that were chosen for looks as well as capability.

Interior

Volvo has forsaken V6 and V8 engines in favor of four-cylinder power. But its 2.0-liter is no ordinary four-banger. It uses both a supercharger and a turbocharger, with direct fuel injection. The supercharger, driven by the engine, provides boost at lower engine revolutions and the turbo, which runs off exhaust gases, kicks on to enhance horsepower and torque.

On the V90 Cross Country, the engine delivers 316 hp with 295 lb-ft of torque, or twisting force. The power gets to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. EPA city/highway/combined fuel economy is 20/30/25 miles per gallon.

Android Auto start screen

Acceleration from zero-to-60 miles an hour happens in six seconds, with a top speed of 140 miles per hour, according to Volvo’s specifications. That’s a bit faster than the larger XC90 crossover — but the V90 Cross Country weighs 360 pounds less.

As an unabashed luxury/performance vehicle, the Cross Country starts at $56,295 with a full suite of safety, convenience and comfort features. Among them: Volvo’s Pilot Assist semi-autonomous drive system with adaptive cruise control, run-off road protection, blind-spot warning, panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, automatic climate control, navigation system, satellite radio and walnut wood inlays.

The tested Cross Country also arrived with the $1,200 optional rear air suspension system, premium Bowers & Wilkins audio, park assist, a surround view camera and metallic paint. All of the items brought the tested price to $63,545.

New Volvo V90 Cross Country Studio detail

You can spend more by tacking on the $4,500 luxury package, which includes ventilated Nappa leather upholstery, leather trim on the dash and doors, power load cover, front-seat backrest massage and rear sunshades.

With all that, however, the V90 Cross Country has several curious shortcomings. Steering wheel tilt and telescope adjustments are manual, not power; the sun visors do not slide on their support rods to fully block sun from the sides, and the sunroof shade is a perforated cloth that admits too much sunlight.

Nevertheless, for a small number of luxury wagon aficionados there are few, if any, other choices.

New Volvo V90 Cross Country Studio detail

Specifications

  • Model: 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country four-door wagon.
  • Engine:0-liter four-cylinder, turbocharged and supercharged, 316 hp, 295 lb-ft torque.
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic with all-wheel drive.
  • Overall length: 16 feet 2 inches.
  • EPA passenger/cargo volume: 98/34 cubic feet.
  • Weight: 4,221 pounds.
  • Towing capability: 3,500 pounds.
  • EPA city/highway/combined fuel consumption: 22/30/25 mpg.
  • Base price, including destination charge: $56,295.
  • Price as tested: $63,545.

Disclaimer: This test drive was conducted at a manufacturer-sponsored press event. The manufacturer provided travel, accommodations, vehicles, meals and fuel.

Volvo V90 Cross Country

Photos (c) Volvo.

 

2017 Volvo V90 Road Test and Review

by Jason Fogelson

Plenty of vehicles get labeled “iconic,” but few really deserve the term. The Volvo wagon lives up to “icon” status, and now there’s a new generation of the flagship on its way. When it arrives on US shores later this year, the 2017 Volvo V90 wagon will take its place on showroom floors next to the fantastic new S90 sedan.

Extending the roofline and adding a tailgate transforms the sedan into a very different vehicle. Curvier and more streamlined than the boxy Volvo wagons of old, the new V90 is gorgeous and elegant. The interior is a model of Scandinavian design, with natural materials and a minimum of fuss.

As soon as I drove the V90 during a launch event in Malaga, Spain, I told my friend Russell Datz, Volvo USA’s Media Relations Manager, that I’ve found the car that I’m going to buy next — in 2024, when I can afford a used 2017 V90.

You can read my full 2017 Volvo V90 Test Drive and Review at Autobytel.com.

Photo (c) Jason Fogelson

2017 Volvo S90 First Drive Review

by Jason Fogelson

Last month, I went to Malaga, Spain to drive the new Volvo S90 for Autotrader.com. I had never been to Malaga before. It’s on the Costa del Sol, splayed along the Mediterranean beach. A popular destination for European travelers, Malaga is a city with ancient roots and modern aspirations. The city has embraced tourism, and is packed with museums, historic sites, restaurants, cafes, bars and shopping opportunities. It is also close to great driving roads, with a variety of conditions that are perfect for a road test.

Read my 2017 Volvo S90 First Drive Review at Autotrader.com.

Photo (c) Volvo

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