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The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide
THOUGH A PLUG-IN HYBRID, VOLVO XC60 TOUTS AGILITY

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Nearly a decade after its introduction, Volvo redesigned its hot-seller XC60 in and out last year. We recall then the carmaker had dispatched over the T6 trim for us to test, which was equipped with a 2.0-liter inline-4 turbocharged and supercharged engine. For 2019, we received a T8 plug-in hybrid version (E-AWD), which put out a massive 400 horsepower @ 6000 rpm and 472 pounds-feet of torque @ 5400 rpm. An electric motor and a 10.4 kWh lithium-ion battery can take the midsize luxury crossover SUV nearly 20 miles before the gasoline engine kicks in. The 8-speed auto gearbox in our all-wheel-drive SUV is sprightly in any untoward situation. And the start-stop feature (auto engine stop when the vehicle halts) ensures substantial savings in fuel and weight.

After gaining plenty of length, wheelbase and rear legroom in 2018, the XC60 continues as is with passenger volume topping around 100 cubic feet. The handsome crossover portrays a centered chrome grille with the familiar Volvo iron mark, flanked by LED headlights and Thor hammer-like daytime running lights. The generous cabin conveys an upscale aura with a 12.3-inch instrument panel decked in shimmer graphite aluminum inlays. There is ample space for leg and shoulder room for three adult passengers in the rear seat. Volvo Sensus infotainment, with a distinct vertical 9-inch display touch screen, is essentially made up of four tiles: navigation, media, phone and user-defined. Activate one and watch it expand while keeping the other tiles visible for future use. Standard goodies include two-zone auto a/c, 10-way power front seats, 60/40 rear seat, steering wheel paddle shifters, aluminum cargo scuff plate and a leather-wrapped dashboard.

The Chinese-owned but Swedish-made car company is renowned for safety. Continuing the tradition, the XC60 gets dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes, three-point seatbelts for all, side impact protection system, dynamic stability and traction control, City Safety (brakes automatically to help prevent a rear-end collision) also gets steer assist, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights.

Yes, it is an SUV but do not for a minute believe that your outing will be sluggish. Sitting on 19-inch wheels, the XC60 can take off 0 to 60 mph in a mere 5.3 seconds and reach top speed of 130 mph. Apart from incredible liveliness and sharp handling, the ride boasts a well-crafted and intelligently-designed cabin. A long safety list makes it a no-brainer.

XC60 AWD (R-DESIGN)   
Wheelbase: 112.8 inches
Length: 184.6 inches
Suspension: double wishbone front, integral rear
Steering: electric power
Weight: 4,638 pounds
Fuel capacity: 18.5 gallons
Electricity+gas:  58 MPGe
Gas only: 26 mpg combined
Base price: $52,900
Price as tested: $69,640
Web site: www.volvo.com

CALLING ALL VOLVO DEALERS IN THE WEST CENTRAL AREA: if you would like to be listed here as one of the test-drive dealerships, e-mail us at motoringtampabay@gmail.com