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Volvo XC60: 2018 Car of the Year Finalist

By Barry Park, 23 Jan 2018 COTY

Volvo’s previous-generation XC60 made huge inroads into suburban Australia. This generation can only expand that

Volvo XC60 2018 Wheels Car of the Year finalist

A REVOLUTION is sweeping Sweden’s last remaining car maker.

A fresh cash injection from a new owner keen to tap its potential, and new platforms on which to build its products has rebuilt Volvo from the ground up. Just like Volvo has done to the XC60.

The previous generation of the premium midsize SUV was itself a darling of suburbia, standing out from the crowd with its strong lines and wagonesque looks, even if it was largely overlooked by people coveting a German badge. The new one has taken that formula and improved on it, creating something that’s as deeply impressive to drive as it is alluring to look at, and a truly desirable alternative to the Germans.

It’s something of a techno-masterpiece, too. Downsized engines deliver impressive fuel efficiency; the top-spec T8 masters an electric supercharger, a turbocharger, and a bank of lithium-ion batteries to deliver sports car levels of performance at a flex of the right foot; and a vertical screen graces the centre console, marking an end to the random button-fest that once plagued early Volvo models. There’s a characterful turbo-diesel version as well for anyone who scores long-leggedness with a high mark.

Yes, the steering lacks meat, the ride can have a bit of a rough edge to it and the throttle response lacks some finesse, but it’s the sum of the parts that makes the Volvo XC60 a worthy contender.

If the Volvo can take home the top title, it will be the first time the Swedish brand has had some Wheels silver to display in its trophy cabinet. Are Swede dreams made of these?

The 2018 Wheels Car of the Year Awards will be announced as part of the Australian Motoring Awards on January 24.