Hey, this newfound idea of putting some sport into small sport-utility vehicles, or crossovers, is getting to be a trend.
Now Volvo joins the sportster market with its 2017 XC60, a compact ute crossover that handles like a sports sedan and kicks some booty with 302 horsepower. And get this, that boost of power hits quickly, no long lag as so many turbo I4s exhibit, even when they’re trying to be sporty.
First, the XC60 is crisply styled so it looks elegant, with tall Volvo taillights to distinguish its looks. But the combo supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter I4 gets your attention in a hurry. Linked up with an 8-speed automatic, it gives the Volvo instant power when you want it. I admit it was a happy surprise.
But equally surprising was how well the XC60 handled. I know this has 20-inch tires, but I fully expected some squish in the steering wheel feel and typical lazy crossover handling.
No siree! The Volvo delivers good feedback via the power-assisted rack and pinion steering and with a precise feel and handling. Put the XC60 into a turn at speed and there’s no ute-like lean. Cornering is like a sport sedan and feels much the same on winding roads.