2018 Volvo XC60 First Drive: The best Swedish all-rounder since ABBA

Volvo’s reinvention has been a bright star in the auto industry, and with the 2018 XC60 SUV it’s set to bring that thoroughly Swedish thinking into the mainstream. First of the new 60 Series models, it’s a vital car for Volvo to get right. The old XC60 was Volvo‘s best-seller after all, not to mention the most popular premium SUV in Europe, even in its final year of production.

Indeed, in the US alone and despite its age, Volvo sold 20,000 of the old cars last year. In short, while the S90, V90 Cross Country, and XC90 are important for Volvo, the XC60 hits that broader market sweet-spot. It’s a segment in which the automaker currently has around 5-percent share, affluent buyers putting strong design and well-crafted interiors near the top of their priorities.

It’s also a segment ripe for conquest sales. Volvo expects 60-percent of 2018 XC60 buyers to be converts from competitors like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi, who might ordinarily find themselves behind the wheel of a GLC300 4MATIC, X3 xDrive28i, or Q5 2.0T Premium Quattro. Unlike with the XC90, which some felt could’ve been a little more aggressive on pricing, the XC60 starts at a highly competitive $41,500 (plus $995 destination).

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