A Reminder Of How Good It's Been: The 2017 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Inscription

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Inscription
The 2017 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Inscription.
After several years of status quo, Volvo is getting a lot of attention thanks to its newest vehicles---especially the car that sits atop the TireKicker's Best Cars list on the right of this page, the new S90.

It and the XC90 SUV are leading the way to the next generation of Volvo products, but a week in the XC60 is a great reminder that, while they've been around a while, the current-generation Volvos are pretty wonderful vehicles.

Rear 3/4 view of 2017 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Inscription
2017 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Inscription.
The XC60 is a size class down from the XC90...fitting nicely into the midsize crossover segment populated by the Acura MDX, Lexus RX 350, Lincoln MKX, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLE.

As for all that comes after the "XC60" in the name, T6 means it's equipped with a 2-liter supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 302 horsepower, AWD is all-wheel drive and Inscription is the top trim level.  There are T5s, with a 2-liter four that is simply turbocharged, with an output of 240 horsepower.  Those can be had in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive.  All T6s are all-wheel drive.

As for the trim levels, there's Dynamic and Inscription, and in the XC60 T6 AWD, both have the same base price of $46,350.  The difference is in the equipment, with Inscription models getting linear walnut wood inlays inside, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, accent lighting, front comfort seats (among the best I've ever sat in) and 20-inch Titania diamond-cut alloy wheels.

Also standard: a 160-watt high performance audio system with 8-speakers, a CD player, HDRadio, SiriusXM Satellite radio and a navigation system, Volvo's City Safety low-speed collision avoidance system, a laminated panoramic roof with power sunshade, leather seating surfaces, eight-way power front seats with lumbar support, keyless entry and drive, a power-operated liftgate, a tilting and telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, electronic parking brake, dual-zone electronic climate control, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, heated power outside rearview mirrors with memory, and 40/20/40 flat-folding rear seats.

The combination of the 2-liter super-and-turbocharged engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission results in decent fuel economy...an EPA-estimated 20 city/27 highway.  And the performance is far more than adequate. Ride and handling are excellent, and noise levels are very low.

Interior view of 2017 Volvo XC 60
2017 Volvo XC60 interior.
Unlike the iPad-like center screen found in the S90 and XC90, the XC60 is still working with buttons and knobs, designed nearly ten years ago, but updated.  And working with them is a reminder that there's nothing wrong with the old way, especially if it was done right the first time, which Volvo's interior was.

Our tester had options, as well...a preferred option package of active dual Xenon headlights with headlight washers, HomeLink, electric folding rear headrests, front park assist and a 12-volt outlet in the cargo area.  Volvo values this at $1,975, but applies an instant option package credit of $625, knocking the price down to $1,350.

We also had the climate package and child booster seats, which brings heated front seats, power child locks for the rear doors, dual outboard two-stage child booster seats with adaptive seatbelts, an interior air quality system, heated windshield washer nozzles, a heated steering wheel and a heated windshield for $1,550.

And then there was the Advanced Package...adaptive cruise control with Queue Assist, collision warning with full auto brake, pedestrian/cyclist detection with auto brake, distance alert, lane departure warning, active high beams, road sign information and an upgraded Harmon/Kardon premium sound system (which sounded very, very good) for $2,500.

But wait, there's more!  The Osmium Grey metallic paint was extra-cost at $560 and there was an upgrade to 20-inch Avior wheels for $250.  With $995 destination charge, that brings the bottom line to $53,555.  And that is pretty much ballpark for this segment.

So why go with the XC60?  It's solid, proven and manages to load itself with luxury and tech without the feeling that you're drowning in any of it.  In a way, as Volvo moves into the new era, the 2017 XC60 is the remaining product that feels like the Volvo we've known for decades.  And that's a reassuring feeling.