2019 Volvo XC60 Inscription – Overtly Refined & Elegant, Subtly Swedish

Back in 2002, Volvo build their first SUV, the XC90. It drew on design elements from the wagons. From that point, Volvo’s aesthetic evolved from its boxy beginnings to what must be some of the best looking, most refined cars on the road.

EXTERIOR 

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The XC60’s looks have a subtle nod to some all-weather performance but it doesn’t look bulky or overtly off-roady. Instead, it looks sophisticated and capable.

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Black and silver 19-inch alloy wheels complement the Pine Grey metallic paint. The vertical taillights are a holdover design elements from old Volvo wagons. I’m a sucker for dual outlet exhaust and the Volvo checks this box.

INTERIOR 

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As pleasant as the exterior is, the real story of the XC60 is told inside. I’d question the motives of anyone buying a car with white upholstery. And you’d have to be nuts to buy one as a family car. But good lord it is gorgeous inside. Set in the dash is the nine inch touch screen that controls everything from the seat massage, to navigation to the optional Bowers and Wilkins premium sound system.

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Every surface is sumptuous. The materials are all exceptional and the craftsmanship is something you can appreciate for the life of the car. For example, the airconditioning vents controls are not just silver-colored plastic. They’re aluminum. That means they were machined to fit and function, not squirted into a mold. It also means you’ll feel the quality each time you reach to adjust the vent. It’s cold or hot to the touch rather than the dead feeling plastic offers. There’s room in the back for adults and there’s ample cargo space behind the second row.

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There’s an evident pride taken design and execution here. I especially like the subtle nods to this car’s nationality throughout the cabin.

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THE DRIVE

The ride and drive are as refined as the interior accommodations. Air ride at all four corners ensures the ride is buttery smooth. I love that the ride height can be adjusted on the go by fiddling with the drive mode settings. Volvo’s 2.0 liter four-banger takes advantage of a super charger and a turbo. This double puffer set up means the XC60 has 316 horsepower to play with.

Using a super charger and a turbo allows the engine to get the benefits of both. The super lends it’s linear, predictable power and the turbo gives you the punch in the higher revs. It makes for above-average performance. The Volvo is whisper quiet on the freeway. And Volvo claims it’ll get 27 mpg on the highway and 19 around town.

THE DIRT

I love the direction Volvo is going. They’re truly special. You feel it when you’re seated behind the wheel. They’re not setting the world on fire with outrageous designs that will be dated next year. The sense of pride and craftsmanship on the part of Volvo designers is evident throughout the car, especially inside.

This XC60 with these features has a price point just shy of $65k. That’s a lot of money, especially considering it’s not even Volvo’s biggest SUV. However, it’s dead nice to drive and to behold. Now, if you must have a new XC60 but you don’t have that kind of dough don’t despair. If you’re willing to suffer the indignity of a non-heated steering wheel, or perhaps you could drag yourself into a car without Nappa leather you can save $750 and $2,200 respectively. Continue with the austerity measures and you can whittle to price down to a paltry $45 grand.

 

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