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
Volvo has been very busy remaking its entire brand over the past few years. It started with a focus on powertrains, its various five-cylinders and V6s gradually replaced by a lineup of efficient direct-injection…

2017 Volvo S60 T6 AWD

2017 Volvo S60 T6 AWD
The 2017 Volvo S60 still looks good after all these years, especially in top-line T6 AWD trim. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
Volvo has been very busy remaking its entire brand over the past few years. It started with a focus on powertrains, 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 XC90 ushered in the second phase of Volvo’s metamorphosis, a wholesale brand-wide design 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 Cross Country/XC70).
2017 Volvo S60 T6 AWD
The design is sleek and elegant, while very aerodynamic. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
While all of this is thoroughly exciting to anyone working for Volvo or supportive of the storied Swedish marque, the new 2018 XC60, which looks like a smaller interpretation of the XC90, will certainly become Volvo’s new sales leader when it goes on sale later this year. This leaves the D-segment S60, currently in our garage, as well as its V60 and V60 Cross Country siblings, which I’ve reviewed previously, as the lone Volvo line yet to go under the surgeon’s knife, plus of course an entire line of subcompact cars and SUVs that have yet to surface.
2017 Volvo S60 T6 AWD
These wheels and some of the front fascia details are part of the T6 AWD upgrade. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
While not as new in styling or features as the updated models mentioned, the S60 is still very worthy of attention, especially those who tend to hold onto their cars longer and therefore wouldn’t suffer from as much depreciation when the updated model arrives next year on a new modular chassis architecture that Volvo will use exclusively (the current S60 reaches back seven years to when Ford sold the brand to China’s Geely, while the Volvo V3/Ford EUCD chassis it rides upon is 11 years old—coming into use with the S80—and has been shared with many Ford and Land Rover models ever since).
2017 Volvo S60 T6 AWD
S60 quality can’t be faulted. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
The design is clean, uncluttered and especially aerodynamic, and I must admit still looks smart if not the newest kid on the block. Unfortunately it sells into a premium sector that thrives on latest and greatest, hence why newer Volvo designs have mostly seen big boosts in sales (especially the XC90) and why this one has seen its once strong market share slowly and steadily erode from a high of 3,227 units in 2002 to an initial bump of 1,519 in 2011 and then a slightly higher blip to 1,525 in 2012, both after the redesigned version hit the road, to just 657 examples last year. There’s a silver lining in all of this dreariness, however; the previous low before this second-gen car arrived in 2010 was 208 deliveries, meaning they’ve got a lot more to build upon this time around.
2017 Volvo S60 T6 AWD
A fully digital gauge package, just another surprise that continues to make the S60 special. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
While it’s fair to say the exterior sheetmetal is still plenty attractive, the cabin is very high in quality and designed with one part minimalism and another button overkill, but being a fan of classic high-end audio equipment this works well for me. The majority of buttons are clustered atop the floating centre stack, still a lovely design element, and they’re positioned to make a lot of sense once acclimatized, especially the HVAC interface that’s basically a body pictograph (you don’t even need to speak Swedish to figure it out—or English). Above that is a fully featured infotainment system with good graphics and nice contrast for good depth of colour, and while not as impressive as the best-in-class tablet-style touchscreen interface found in the XC90 and S90/V90 series, it’s quite serviceable and includes a backup camera with active guidelines as well as navigation in my top-tier T6 AWD tester.
2017 Volvo S60 T6 AWD
I still love this unique and very hands-on control interface. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
Even more impressive is the S60’s fully configurable primary gauge cluster. Volvo was early to adopt a feature that’s now becoming more prevalent in competitors’ higher trims, and they did a very good job on this one, plus its resolution quality is extremely good. No matter the trim level the S60 delivers an upscale environment with superb attention to detail, very high quality padded soft synthetic surface treatments, tastefully applied satin-finished and brushed metals, and some of the best seats in the car industry.
2017 Volvo S60 T6 AWD
They’re even more comfortable than they look. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
I’ll leave my road test analysis to my upcoming review, and won’t comment too much further on the S60’s other attributes or detractors, but only add that my tester was equipped with the upgraded turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder with 302 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, plus AWD fed through an eight-speed automatic transmission with manual mode and paddle shifters. That’s a cutting edge drivetrain considering its conservative styling, and one I’ll soon tell you all about. Come join me back here in a couple of weeks for the full review…
Crossover wagons don’t get any better than Volvo’s new V90 Cross Country, and we dissect it in detail for today’s review. With a starting price of $62k it isn’t cheap, but it’s almost fully…

2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 AWD Inscription Road Test

Sport wagon fans, crossover fans, unite! Volvo has created your ultimate ride.

The new Volvo V90 Cross Country might be the spiritual successor to the XC70, but it's an altogether more advanced, more luxurious, better driving, and better looking vehicle.

Of course, any wagon fan worth their salt loved the XC70 when new too, but that was a long time ago. A very long time ago.

In fact, the first time I tested an XC70 was way back in February of 2005, on a lake in Quebec, ice racing of sorts. We weren't actually racing each other, although pride was up for grabs. The usual gaggle of auto scribes and TV correspondents were given a half dozen or so XC70s to abuse on a makeshift autocross course in the middle of a frozen lake, with orange cones outlining the track and just enough snow around its edges to act as curbs. It was brilliant fun despite the brutally cold day, my fingers feeling the chill while trying to snap photos, but the XC70s kept us warm and plenty entertained Read Full Story