2017 Volvo XC60 T6 Inscription review: Just one more…

2017 Volvo XC60 T6 Inscription

2017 Volvo XC60 T6 Inscription

There’s no secret that the 2017 Volvo XC60 crossover/SUV represents the final model year of the current generation, which harks back to 2008. Old? Methuselah stands up to give the XC60 his seat on the bus. Well, not quite that bad. But as Volvo winds up the XC60’s, it reduces the number of engine choices to two and trim levels to three.

Engine choices are limited to a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (called “T5” by Volvo) and an optional turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter engine (designated “T6”). The 3.0-liter V-6 found in earlier XC60 models has gone away as part of Volvo’s drive to become an all-four cylinder carmaker. The new fours go by “Drive-E” in Volvo parlance. We’re not sure why.

The turbo 2.0 is fairly conventional as turbo engines go. The T6, on the other hand, defines “unique” by truly being one of a kind. Volvo claims the turbo/supercharger engine is the only production engine so configured, and no doubt they’ve looked it up, but we can’t think of another one like it.

2017 Volvo XC60 T6 Inscription interior

The 2017 Volvo XC60 T6 Inscription has the Volvo-trademark floating center stack.

Volvo was able to simplify its engine lineup as the T6 turbo/supercharged engine production ramped up enough to handle the need. The turbo and turbo/super four, despite the added bits and pieces, weighs less than the five-cylinder and six-cylinder engines that Volvo had put in the Volvo XC60 before. The two-liter engine is definitely adequate for the XC60. It rated at 240 horsepower, The V-6 made 300 horses, and the turbo/supercharged edges it out at 302 horsepower.

Those two ponies no doubt signed on to make the four ostensibly more than the six the four replaces, but the four’s 290 lb-ft of torque punches the time clock down at 2100 rpm. The low end grunt provides easy acceleration around town, but the sock of horsepower—remember, 302 hp from a mere two liters—gives the mid-size crossover/SUV the ability to merge, as well as leave most vehicles in its class looking at its distinctive S-shaped LED taillights flanking the liftgate. Volvo claims 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds.

2017 Volvo XC60 T6 Inscription instrument panel

The 2017 Volvo XC60 T6 Inscription instrument panel, in Eco mode, has green accents and a special economy gauge.

We’ve addressed the Volvo Drive-E engines at length, but the purpose of the combination turbo/supercharger setup it to provide boost via the engine-driven supercharger at low rpm, and therefore the strong bottom end. The exhaust-driven supercharger takes over when the revs come up.