A brand that is well-known for putting safety first, Volvo has done an admirable job over the years in keeping up with (and ahead of) some of the newest technology. Comfort and style run a close second and third, couching passengers in sumptuous materials inside and out. Volvo might not be the standard in luxury, but the Swedish company does have quite a lot to offer their customers.

Powered by the same engines found in the XC90, the 2018 Volvo XC60 is packaged as a smaller SUV. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t do some of the same things the larger XC90 can. With a variety of powertrain options, interior features, and safety standards, the 2018 XC60 is a contender among its peers.

Here are the key features of the 2018 XC60, gathered together so that any prospective buyer can make an informed decision before signing any paperwork. We won’t tell you which vehicle to buy, but we can offer you advice and comparisons to help you make a better decision. Happy test-driving!


The 2018 XC60 is powered by three versions of a 2.0-liter inline-4-cylinder engine. The first variant is turbocharged to put out 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. If you’re looking for a bit more power, choose the turbo and supercharged inline-4 capable of 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Finally, Volvo also offers a turbo and supercharged plug-in hybrid boasting 400 horsepower and 472 lb-ft of torque.

Each of these three engines are paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission that is all-wheel drive capable. Towing capacity on the 2018 Volvo XC60 totals up to 3,500 pounds (when properly equipped).

Safety Features

The Insurance Institute of High Safety scored the 2018 XC60 “Good” in all of their crashworthiness tests, meaning this vehicle will do a great job of protecting you in the unfortunate event of a collision. Their only gripe was certain trim levels have headlines that don’t provide as much visibility as they could.

Oddly enough, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hasn’t rated the 2018 XC60. For what it’s worth, the 2017 version received top marks — 5 out of 5 stars — in all categories, and Volvo hasn’t made any drastic changes tot he 2018 version that would ruin those scores. All Volvo models have a reputation for stellar safety, and the XC60 is no different.

Trimlines and Entertainment Features

Understanding the many trim levels available on the 2018 Volvo XC60 isn’t hard once you break it down. Take the three powertrains, known as T5, T6, and T8, and pair them with one of the Momentum, R-Design, or Inscription trims. Engines marked T5 are the base turbocharged inline-4-cylinder, with T6 models carrying the turbocharged and supercharged variant. Models with the badging “T8” are powered by the plug-in hybrid engine.

Kelley Blue Book defines the Momentum, R-Design, and Inscription trim levels as moving from a “nicely equipped version” to “the level where you’ll find Nappa leather seats with ventilation and massage, the Bowers & Wilkins premium sound, and air suspension.” The R-Design trim performs best when paired with those who enjoy driving a sporty SUV but choosing any of the three is a great decision any way you slice it.

All of Volvo’s 2018 XC60 models come standard with a panoramic moonroof, leather seats, LED headlights, a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment center, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Base models begin around $41,000 and premium packages cap out around $53,000.

Fuel Efficiency

Kelley Blue Book ranks the 2018 Volvo XC60 13th in its lineup for fuel efficiency. Toyota’s Highlander hybrid, the Cadillac XT4, BMW’s X3, and the Infiniti QX50 are front-runners in this segment. Volvo XC60 2.0-liter engines with just the turbocharger achieve a 22 city and 28 highway EPA-estimated MPG rating. Slap a supercharger on the powerplant and you only lose 1 mile per gallon in both city and highway. If you opt for the hybrid version, you’ll get 59 MPGe and a 370 mile total range on a full tank of gas plus the battery help.

How the 2018 Volvo XC60 Compares

Consumer Reports describes the 2018 XC60 as “a model that has addressed many of its predecessor’s shortcomings.” Evidence of this improvement can be found in the many awards the model has received. U.S. News selected it as a finalist for the 2018 Best Luxury Compact SUV for the Money, as well as the 2018 Best Luxury Compact SUV for Families. As one of Edmunds’ Best Hybrid Cars and Best Luxury SUVs for 2018, the 2018 Volvo XC60 also received the “2018 World Car of the Year” award at the New York Auto Show.

Take a test drive in the 2018 Volvo XC60 and you’ll soon find the many reasons why this model has received so many awards. The XC60 is spacious enough to fit five grown adults in the car, backseat included. The many safety aids include Oncoming Lane Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, Driver Alert Control, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic warning. While some features are excluded to the upper trim levels, the 2018 XC60 is well-fitted even in the base variant.

Competitors for the 2018 Volvo XC60 include the Lexus NX, BMW’s X3 and X5, Audi’s Q5 and Q7 twins, and the Mercedes-Benz GLC, to name a few. If you’re looking to place the Volvo XC60 among the competition, take into account the following: there are many affordable SUVs priced below this model, but plenty above it as well.

For example, Honda, Toyota, and Ford cover the entry-level SUV options, from the Pilot and CR-V to the Highlander, Edge, and Explorer. These models aren’t necessarily the bottom of the pile, but they don’t focus on luxury as much as Volvo does. Brands that do qualify as luxury include Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Infiniti, Cadillac, GMC, and Range Rover. Higher-end SUVs include the Jaguar F-Pace, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Maserati’s Levante, among others. Prices vary as much as the options that you’d find within this list.

The Good

  • Variety of available options and features
  • New plug-in hybrid engine
  • Standard features abound

The Not-So-Good

  • Small cargo area
  • Infotainment system requires a learning curve
  • Not as sporty as other competitors

The Last Word

Volvo has kept a strong hold over the “safe” and “luxurious” territory, even amongst the red-hot competition seen in the crossover/SUV segment. The 2018 XC60 is a prime example of the brand’s ability to blend lavish features with plenty of standard safety aids. Check out the 2018 Volvo XC60 if you’re in the market for a top-of-the-line luxury SUV that won’t quite break your bank.


Rebecca Henderson has a Master's in German and a Bachelor's in Creative Writing. She alternates her time between writing and working on a variety of motorized projects. Most recently, she and her boyfriend have been building a custom drift trike. Rebecca believes that language, love, and a life worth living are only the first ingredients to happiness.