Volvo XC60 18

The mid-size crossover section is red-hot and has been for years. And it’s particularly important for luxury automakers, as they’ve seen their stalwart sedan lineups fade in the face of the ute assault.

Volvo has never been a proper luxury brand, like BMW or Mercedes, and it’s also traditionally occupied a less snazzy sub-luxury niche than Land Rover or Jaguar. Volvos used to be unpretentious cars unpretentious people who would drive their cars until the wheels fell off and then they’d put some new wheels on them and drive some more.

But after the financial crisis, the Swedish legend so beloved by thrifty Northeastern college professors was acquired by China’s Geely and out on a more overtly luxurious path. Initial results have been more than encouraging: the large XC90 SUV was Business Insider’s Car of the Year for 2015

Since then, we’ve sampled a few additional new Volvos, and we’ve been impressed. But with the mid-size, five-passenger XC60, Volvo really has something to prove. Competition in the heart of the SUV segment for these versatile neo-wagons, favored chariots of affluent suburbanites, is intense.

We borrowed a 2018 XC60 T8 E-AWD Inscription — nicely optioned, stickering at $71,590 — and spent a few days driving around the New Jersey suburbs, and we also made a weekend jaunt into New York City. How did the most important vehicle in Volvo’s lineup perform? Read on to find out.

Photos by Hollis Johnson.

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The Volvo XC60 is a pretty nice-looking SUV. Scandinavian values of restraint govern the aesthetic, for the most part. And the XC60 looks very good in “Crystal White.”

The front fascia is, in classic Volvo fashion, subdued, but it isn’t boxy. It is a tad more svelte than the first-generation XC60 that the 2018 model year it replaces.

This is the first XC60 built under the watchful eyes of Geely, and it makes use of an engineering platform shared with the XC90.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider