Volvo has fully redesigned its popular XC60 for 2018, and it’s now a stunning compact luxury SUV. What’s more, its ultra-efficient 2.0L turbo four gains 10-hp for a total of 250-hp and AWD now comes…

2018 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Inscription Road Test

Now that Volvo has rejuvenated its mid-size XC90 SUV and followed up that winning formula with the S90 luxury sedan, V90 sport wagon and V90 Cross Country crossover wagon, it's time for the all-new 2018 XC60 compact SUV to pay for it all.

Seriously. Does anyone question which new model will be Volvo's perennial bestseller? All we have to do is look at sales before Volvo initiated its brand-wide revitalization, and the XC60 was by far the automaker's top seller. In fact, it represents 30 percent of Volvo's worldwide volume. The larger XC90 is still extremely important, especially when it comes to profits, but this is the one Volvo needed to get absolutely right.

At first glance the 2018 XC60 looks like a smaller, sportier variation on the XC90 theme, with a little V90 Cross Country thrown into the mix for good measure. I really like the design, particularly its wide rectangular waterfall grille, the Thor's hammer LED headlights, chiseled lower front fascia sporting LED Read Full Story
Will tomorrow’s consumers be matching their next car purchase to their smartphones? It’s entirely possible. Some automakers have already drawn their respective lines in the sand, with Porsche choosing…

Volvo partnering with Google for new Android-based OS

Volvo partnering with Google for new Android-based OS
Volvo is partnering with Google to build Android into its next-gen connected cars, taking its award-winning Sensus infotainment system to new levels. (Photo: Volvo)
Will tomorrow’s consumers be matching their next car purchase to their smartphones? It’s entirely possible. Some automakers have already drawn their respective lines in the sand, with Porsche choosing Apple CarPlay over Android Auto due to their own market research that reportedly shows a better brand alignment with the Cupertino company, whereas Toyota and its Lexus division are opting to go their own route entirely, which might make their proprietary infotainment systems the modern-day automotive equivalent of Sony’s Beta VCR, which was a better format than VHS but not backed by the industry. It’s a fact that many more smartphones are now sold with Google’s Android operating system than Apple’s iOS, let alone Microsoft’s Windows Phone and, ahem, RIM’s Blackberry, and in certain markets, like China and the rest of Asia, the smartphone market is skewed even more towards the larger Seattle-based tech firm’s OS technology.
Volvo partnering with Google for new Android-based OS
Volvo’s latest models, like the new 2018 XC60, already feature one of the industry’s best infotainment interfaces, but Google’s Android OS will make it faster, more flexible, plus fill it with more apps and services. (Photo: Volvo)
Volvo’s latest award-winning tablet-style Sensus infotainment and connectivity system already incorporates Google’s Android Auto as well as Apple CarPlay, and has been praised for the slick way the two interfaces integrate within, but it appears the Chinese-owned Swedish brand has chosen to delve deeper into Pacific Northwest waters by contracting Google to develop the entire backend of its future Sensus system. According to Volvo, its next-generation infotainment and connectivity systems will arrive within two years, and offer access to a wide selection of apps plus connected and predictive services developed by Google, Volvo, and third parties, for use in and around the vehicle.
Volvo partnering with Google for new Android-based OS
Volvo uses a vertical tablet-style touchscreen that’s ideal for the Android OS integration. (Photo: Volvo)
“We are making an important strategic step with the Google partnership,” said Henrik Green, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Car Group. “Google’s platform and services will enhance the user experience by enabling more personalization possibilities, while Android will offer increased flexibility from a development perspective.” This is just another sign that the automotive and tech worlds are converging, something we’ve all been witnessing via newscasts of Google’s odd little self-driving prototype car tooling around city streets, plus the plethora of new ride hailing and sharing startups. Some of these newcomers have been founded by or snapped up by major automakers, so it only makes sense that Volvo also believes “smart partnerships are the future for the car industry.”
Volvo partnering with Google for new Android-based OS
Before the full Android OS arrives two years from now, Volvo will update current customers’ navigation systems with Google Local Search, shown here. (Photo: Volvo)
So how will Volvo and its legions of loyal customers benefit? The Android OS promises faster speeds and greater development flexibility, plus the ability for customer personalization. “We’re thrilled to partner with Volvo to bring Android into their next generation connected cars,” said Patrick Brady, Vice President of Android Engineering at Google. “This partnership gives us the opportunity to deliver a more seamless experience to Volvo drivers through a full-featured infotainment platform and rich ecosystem of Android applications and Google services.” “With the advent of Android we will embrace a rich ecosystem while keeping our iconic Volvo user interface,” added Green. “We will offer hundreds of popular apps and the best integrated experience in this broad, connected environment.” Rather than wait until the fully integrated system is available, Volvo and Google are already collaborating on a location based service app dubbed Google Local Search, which will be installed through a regular update to current Volvo customers who anted up for the Sensus Navigation system. To see more, check out the following video:
Nothing in the compact luxury 5-door D-segment comes close to delivering the kind of performance provided by a Volvo V60 Polestar, so we’ll try to describe just how fun this 367-hp 2.0L turbocharged…

2017 Volvo V60 Polestar Road Test

Euro performance fans should prepare themselves for a lot more Polestar in coming years. If not yet introduced, consider Polestar Volvo's AMG, M, RS, F or V. The latter designations are performance sub-brands for Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Lexus and Cadillac respectively, and while Polestar isn't exactly new, it's about to become a much more prominent fixture within the Swedish brand's concurrently metamorphosing lineup.

Like some of the sub-brands just mentioned, Polestar has its roots in motorsport. It began as Flash Engineering in 1996 under the leadership of Swedish Touring Car Championship (STCC) winner Jan 'Flash' Nilsson, with the purpose of contesting Volvos in the same series, initiated by a Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) built 850 Super Touring sedan. A TWR-constructed S40 Super Touring was entered in 1998, whereas a Prodrive-sourced S60 S2000 hit the track in 2003.

After more than 100 STCC wins spanning nearly a decade, Christian Dahl, who originally joined Flash Read Full Story
Anyone who follows the car industry wouldn’t have been shocked to see the new 2018 XC60 when Volvo unveiled it at the Geneva auto show on March 7th of this year. It looked much like we all expected…

Redesigned 2018 XC60 arriving at Canadian Volvo dealers this month

2018 Volvo XC60 R-Design
The new 2018 XC60 promises to be a game-changer for Volvo. (Photo: Volvo)
Anyone who follows the car industry wouldn’t have been shocked to see the new 2018 XC60 when Volvo unveiled it at the Geneva auto show on March 7th of this year. It looked much like we all expected it to, a smaller, sportier variation on the XC90 theme with a little V90 thrown in, a good thing as the former SUV is mostly responsible for returning the Swedish brand to the forefront of the luxury industry. The XC60 is a critically important model for Volvo, representing 30 percent of its worldwide automotive sales. What’s more, the outgoing first-generation XC60 is now nine years into its lifecycle, resulting in slowing sales despite a growing compact luxury SUV market segment, so this totally new 2018 redesign couldn’t come soon enough.
2018 Volvo XC60 Inscription
Volvo Canada will offer three trims, the base Momentum, sporty R-Design (in white), and this classy Inscription model. (Photo: Volvo)
Fortunately we won’t have to wait much longer, as the new 2018 XC60 will start arriving at Canadian Volvo dealers later this month. Pricing starts at just $45,900 plus freight and fees for the T5 engine, eight-speed automatic transmission, standard AWD, and base Momentum trim. The T5 engine is Volvo’s direct-injection turbocharged 2.0-litre “Drive-E” four-cylinder, making 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Two optional engines will join the XC60 lineup at launch, including a 316 horsepower (and 295 lb-ft of torque) version of the same four-cylinder in the T6, boosted by a supercharger as well, plus a 400 horsepower T8 variant with 472 lb-ft of torque that includes assistance from the same Twin Power plug-in hybrid technology found in the current XC90 T8. The XC60 T8 is claimed to sprint from zero to 100km/h in just 5.3 seconds.
2018 Volvo XC60 R-Design
With stylish new sheetmetal and attractive design details, the XC60 is sure to be a hit. (Photo: Volvo)
All powertrains are assisted by automated engine start/stop functionality to reduce emissions and save fuel, the technology helping the new 2018 XC60 achieve a five-cycle Transport Canada claimed rating of 10.6 L/100km city and 7.6 highway for the XC60 T5 AWD powertrain, or 11.4 L/100km city and 8.7 highway for the XC60 T6 AWD, albeit no estimate yet for the XC60 T8 eAWD. We can guess, however, that the smaller, lighter SUV will be a bit thriftier on fuel than mid-size XC90 T8 eAWD, and that model is rated at 10.1 L/100km in the city, 8.8 on the highway and 9.5 combined. This said, when factoring in regular charging an owner could potentially drive the XC90 T8 eAWD every day without ever needing to fill the gas tank, although its official Le/100km (gasoline litres equivalent per 100 kilometres) rating is more conservatively estimated at 4.7 combined city/highway. A slightly better rating should be achievable with the new XC60 T8 eAWD.
2018 Volvo XC60 R-Design
All models get unique exterior detailing, this R-Design being the sportiest in the range. (Photo: Volvo)
XC60 trims will include Momentum, R-Design and Inscription. Base Momentum trim is also available with the T6 powertrain for $52,200, whereas the T6 in R-Design and Inscription trims will be priced at $55,450 and $57,050 respectively. Lastly, the top-tier XC60 T8 will only be available in R-Design and Inscription trims, with MSRPs of $69,550 and $71,150 respectively. Standard Momentum features include 18-inch 5-Y-Spoke silver alloys on 235/60 all-season tires, LED headlights with integrated “Thor’s Hammer” DRLs, LED taillights, bright metal for the side window surrounds and roof rails, dual chromed tailpipes, metal doorsills with “Volvo” branding, a three-spoke leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, a leather-wrapped gear knob, powered and heated front seats with four-way powered lumbar support and driver’s memory, Charcoal black leather upholstery, Iron Ore aluminum inlays, and dual-zone auto climate control with CleanZone that monitors incoming air and closes the intakes if harmful substances are detected, incorporates a multi-filter to reduce dust, pollen, particles and chemical odours, and automatically ventilates the cabin upon unlocking.
2018 Volvo XC60 Inscription
The new XC60 promises an opulent cabin in upper trims, in similar fashion to its larger XC90 sibling. (Photo: Volvo)
Tech fans will appreciate the new standard 8.0-inch colour TFT instrument cluster, while additional standard features include rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, voice activation, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, Sensus touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, a rear parking camera, 224-watt audio, satellite radio, one auxiliary and two USB connections, Volvo On-Call, illuminated vanity mirrors, a powered panoramic sunroof, a powered tailgate, a cargo cover, a metal scuff plate on the cargo sill, and much more. Volvos are renowned for the highest standards of safety, and the XC60 appears to be no different from models’ past with its standard safety equipment including front collision mitigation support (between 60 and 140 km/h), lane keeping assist (between 65 km/h and 200 km/h), front seat whiplash protection, seatbelt pretensioners on all positions, all the usual airbags including one for the driver’s knees, hill start assist, hill descent control, tire pressure monitoring, and more.
2018 Volvo XC60 R-Design
The upgraded R-Design interior includes some aggressively bolstered sport seats. (Photo: Volvo)
Building on base Momentum models is a multitude of option groups including the $3,100 Momentum Plus package that adds full-LED headlights with auto high beams, dynamic corning ability and high-pressure cleaning, proximity-sensing keyless entry with hands-free tailgate opening, “High-Level” cabin illumination, a 12.3-inch configurable TFT gauge cluster, and four-zone auto HVAC with a cooled glove box; a $1,400 Sport package featuring a performance-tuned suspension, a sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, sport seats with manual cushion extensions, and a black roofliner; $1,350 Climate package with heatable wiper blades, windshield, steering wheel and rear outboard seats; a $2,300 Climate package with HUD, that includes everything from the just noted Climate package plus a head-up display; an $1,800 Vision package with power-folding and auto-dimming side mirrors, a 360-degree Surround View parking camera, blindspot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, plus Park Assist Pilot with front and rear parking sensors; and a $2,200 Convenience package with Volvo’s Pilot Assist semi-autonomous Drive System that has the ability to steer, accelerate and brake on well-marked roads up to 130 km/h, adaptive cruise control, a HomeLink universal garage door opener, an integrated compass in the rearview mirror, power-folding rear headrests, and power-folding rear seatbacks.
2018 Volvo XC60 R-Design
This powered panoramic sunroof is standard kit. (Photo: Volvo)
Standalone Momentum options include $900 for metallic paint, $1,000 for 19-inch twinned spoke diamond cut alloys on 235/55 all-season tires (which are standard if opting for the T6 drivetrain), 20-inch twinned five-spoke diamond cut alloys on 255/45 tires (with T6 trim only), no-cost Charcoal black, Amber tan, or Blonde interior colour schemes including upholstery (or Charcoal and Blonde with the Sport package in T6 guise), $1,150 for the aforementioned head-up display (without the package), $3,250 for a 1,100-watt 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system, and exclusively for T6 models a $2,350 4-Corner Air Suspension with a Four-C Active Chassis to improve comfort, handling and off-road capability. R-Design trim includes unique exterior details such as a horizontal mesh patterned grille insert, brushed aluminum-like silk metal trim around that grille and the side windows, matte silver side mirror housings, sportier looking front and rear lower fascias, and 19-inch twinned five-spoke diamond cut alloys with matte black pockets on 235/55 tires, while the interior gets R-Design doorsill plates, R-Design floor mats, a special perforated leather-wrapped R-Design sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, perforated leather on the shift knob, metal pedals, unique Metal Mesh inlays, a black headliner, Nubuck R-Design Charcoal black leather upholstery with contrast stitching, special sport seats with manual front cushion extensions, and more.
2018 Volvo XC60 R-Design
A crystal shift knob? This option adds to the XC90’s upscale ambience. (Photo: Volvo)
Additional standard R-Design kit includes everything from the previous Momentum package plus fog lamps, illuminated door handles with puddle lights, proximity-sensing keyless entry with hands-free tailgate opening, road sign info, personal steering settings with low, medium or high assistance, four-zone auto HVAC with a cooled glove box, Sensus Navigation with real time traffic info, rear parking assist, netted pockets on the transmission tunnel, active noise control with engine/exhaust sound enhancement, and more. Due to the R-Design model’s increased standard content, available option groups are limited to the Climate package, Climate package with HUD, Vision package, Convenience package, plus a new $1,500 Tailored Dashboard package featuring a full leather covered instrument panel with contrast stitching and a 12-volt charger in the cargo area, while standalone options include the same $900 for metallic paint, $1,000 for unique 21-inch triple-spoke diamond cut alloys with black painted pockets on 255/40 performance tires, and the previously noted 4-Corner Air Suspension.
2018 Volvo XC60
Inscription trim adds a two-tone leather-wrapped steering wheel and a fully configurable TFT gauge cluster. (Photo: Volvo)
Lastly, Inscription trim takes a more traditional luxury approach to the XC60’s look and feel and therefore does away with the R-Design’s sportier styling and performance enhancements, but it keeps all the other upgrades while adding a unique grille insert with bright metal vertical slats, 20-inch eight-spoke diamond cut alloys with black painted pockets on 255/45 tires, driver-selectable Comfort, Eco, Dynamic, Off-Road and Individual “Drive-Mode” settings for adjusting powertrain and steering characteristics, perforated Nappa Leather upholstery in all the colours noted previously as well as Maroon Brown, powered front seat bolsters and extensions, ventilated front seats, front passenger seat memory, Driftwood grey hardwood inlays, the Tailored Dashboard instrument panel upgrade, and more. Inscription trim gets the same four packages and three standalone options as the R-Design, while adding available $425 Linear Lime hardwood inlays to the latter list.
2018 Volvo XC60 Inscription
The XC90’s tablet-style Sensus infotainment system has won awards, and this XC60 system appears identical. (Photo: Volvo)
The new XC60 appears to incorporate the same elevated attention to detail and excellent materials quality inside as the XC90, its two-tone leather-wrapped steering wheel, metal and open pore hardwood inlays, finely crafted metal-adorned switchgear, and superb digital interfaces of particular note. The XC90 won almost every award it possibly could have in its first two years, which certainly bodes well for the new 2018 XC60. Expect Canadian XC60 sales to improve dramatically starting this fall, likely on a similar trajectory to the XC90 that only found 427 buyers in 2014, the final full year of its old body style, yet improved to 957 customers during 2015 when the new XC90 was introduced partway through the year, and finally 2,951 after its first full year of 2016. In comparison, Volvo Canada sold 1,526 XC60s last year, which is more than three times the XC90’s pre-makeover unit sales, so therefore deliveries could potentially grow to the 4,000–5,000 unit range, which would still find it below its Audi Q5, Acura RDX, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC competitors, but result in a massive turnaround for the previously embattled Swedish brand.
Volvo has been busy redesigning its entire lineup, but the S60/V60 line is the solitary holdout, not due for an update until next year. Rather than wait around we review the current 2017 S60 with its…

2017 Volvo S60 T6 AWD Premier Road Test

Volvo has been very busy remaking its entire brand over the past few years. It started with a focus on powertrains, which saw its various five-cylinders and V6s gradually replaced by a lineup of efficient direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinders. Pricier trims went a step further by integrating both turbocharging and supercharging into the same 2.0-litre four, while the all-new award-winning XC90 SUV even has a plug-in hybrid version of the latter that's good for a soul-stirring 400 horsepower.

That XC90 ushered in the second phase of Volvo's metamorphosis, a wholesale brand-wide redesign that included an entirely new level of opulent luxury and future-tech feature sets. The XC90 was quickly followed by an entirely new mid-size luxury sedan dubbed S90 (replacing the S80), this model including a wagon variant named V90 (replacing the V70), plus an immediately more popular raised crossover model that-in Volvo tradition-goes by the name of V90 Cross Country (replacing the V70 Read Full Story