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This week’s arrival of Winter Solstice marks the official start of "snow season."

And standing ready for duty is the all-wheel drive 2018 Volvo XC60 crossover utility vehicle.

I tested the Swedish brand’s top-tier XC60 T6 AWD Inscription model and drove away impressed with its pep, stellar looks, and creature comfort.

Volvo’s T6 engine is infused with a 2.0-liter supercharged turbo-boosted 4-cylinder engine that builds a spirited 316 horsepower for exceptional off-line performance and passing power.

Fuel economy yields 21 miles per gallon in town and 27 mpg on the open road.

The base Volvo XC60 Momentum version comes with a turbocharged 2.0L T5 engine for 250-hp.

Both engines are paired to a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission.

For 2018, Volvo’s compact XC60 crossover mirrors a scaled down version of the brand’s mid-size XC90 sport utility in its design and functionality.

The most notable difference is passenger capacity, as XC60 carries five occupants while the XC90 holds seven riders in a three row setting.

Volvo XC60 Inscription is positioned in the Premium Compact Crossover segment delivering an opulent cabin that is nothing short of first class with glove soft leather upholstery, driftwood inlays, panoramic moonroof and a tailored dashboard with jewel-like controls.

Interior space is inviting and offers real-world knee, hip and legroom comfort for four adults. Front and back seat headroom is excellent with easy-access wide door openings.

Fit and finish is masterful inside and out lead by Scandinavian design that reflects its Swedish lineage with distinctive “Thor’s Hammer” front running lights and curvaceous taillamps that are among the tallest in the industry.

The XC60 Inscription also comes with 20-inch alloy wheels and All-Season tires that when combined with standard AWD brings an extra level of traction for drivers that travel through our region's Lake Effect snow during their daily commute.

Ride quality regardless of road surface conditions is exceptional with select Comfort, Dynamic and Eco drive modes that customize XC60’s handling and performance.

Optional packages beyond the XC60 Inscription Features deliver and extensive list of convenience, vision, seat, audio and surrounding awareness technologies that quickly ramp up the $44,900 base price to $63,290 as tested plus $995 destination.

The 2018 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Inscription is built in Gothenburg, Sweden.

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