2017 Volvo XC60 T6 Inscription: Safety and Size without Savings

It's priced a notch above smaller SUVs of similar size, but the 2017 Volvo XC60 T6 Inscription offers top-rated safety.

John Scott Lewinskiby John Scott Lewinski

You’ll pay a proper price to get into the 2017 Volvo XC60 T6 Inscription. But, a suite of top-shelf safety technology and build quality worthy of the machine’s Swedish ancestors. It’s an urban SUV that’s capable, if not eager, to do heavier work.

Larger than a crossover, this small SUV seats five comfortably with enough space for any reasonable payload. Mounted standard with an in-line four cylinder engine, the XC60 puts down 295 lb-ft of torque for a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. That’s adequate for the class.

Also: 2017 Volvo S90 Sedan Redefines Swedish Luxury

With an MSRP starting at a proud $46,350, this Volvo (like the rest of its family) justifies the price by packing in the safety and comfort features. There are tanks out there that say they’re built like Volvos because of a list like this:

  • Blind spot and lane departure warnings accident avoidance system
  • Child seat anchors
  • Daytime running lights
  • Dual front side-mounted airbags
  • Dusk sensing headlamps
  • Emergency braking preparation
  • Engine immobilizer
  • Front and rear head airbags
  • Pre-collision safety system
  • Remote anti-theft alarm system
  • Stability control
  • Tire pressure monitoring
  • Traction control
  • 4-wheel ABS
  • Emergency braking assist
  • Front and rear ventilated disc brakes
  • Passenger airbag occupant sensing deactivation
  • Rear center 3-point belt
  • Rear door child safety locks
  • Turn signal mirrors
  • Airbag Deployment Notification
  • Emergency Service
  • Stolen Vehicle Tracking/Assistance

The Inscription tag refers to Volvo’s special trim level featuring multiple artisan hewn elements. In any Inscription model, the seats are air-ventilated leather, and the leather extends to the dashboard. The steering wheel is hand-stitched. The wheels are an extended 20 inches. The grille is unique to the trim, and it wears a badge to prove it.

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The driving experience is not thrilling, but this a Volvo – and a Volvo SUV to boot. There hasn’t really been a Volvo built for adrenaline since The Saint threw Sir Roger Moore around in a white Volvo P1800. That’s not what the brand does. It’s a luxury automaker. Their cars are safe, comfortable, safe, conservative and safe. Did I mention they’re safe? You get the idea.

As a result, the ride is smooth, centered and grounded. It even feels a little heavy in the nose, but that no doubt lends confidence to some drivers. Regardless, the XC60 Inscription will deliver its contents to any destination intact and settled.

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One unusual side point on the XC60 – and an element that should have absolutely no impact on whether a mid-range luxury SUV buyer chooses to get hold of this Volvo – is the vehicle’s tailgate. Of course, it’s fully automatic, opening from the cabin or via the key fob and closing from a touch button in the gate’s frame. But, no automatic rear hatch on any car this reporter reviewed ever closed as quickly as this Volvo. Load, lock and get clear because this Swedish door isn’t playing around. Hide the kids and animals.

That piece of trivia aside, the 2017 Volvo XC60 T6 Inscription offers all the tech features the buyer will demand, along with the traditional safe as a tank analogies. It edges up higher than its competitors in price, but it delivers in all the areas a Volvo must.