By Nitish Rele

Introduced in 2010, the XC60 hit record sales of over 26,000 units last year. And that should continue for a host of reasons laid down. The small luxury crossover SUV was equipped with a T6 Drive-E 2.0-liter inline-4 turbocharged and supercharged engine pumping out 302 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm and 295 lbs.-ft. of torque @ 4,500 rpm. Add an 8-speed auto gearbox and the start-stop feature (automatic engine stop when the vehicle halts) to the mix and you have substantial savings in fuel as well as weight to produce an exceptional ride.

A front MacPherson strut and a multilink rear suspension handles the bumps of road surfaces with little sacrifice to your back side. Conveying a direct and communicative feel is the electric power-assist rack-and-pinion steering.

The good-looking crossover displays an average-size grille hosting the familiar Volvo iron mark, and is surrounded by dual xenon headlights and a lower front spoiler with bright trim. With materials of high quality and superb fit and finish, the roomy cabin sports an adaptive digital instrument panel with elegance, eco and performance themes, and decked in shimmer graphite aluminum inlays. Cargo capacity is a notable 67.4 cubic feet of space with the 40/20/40 rear seat up and 30.8 with the seat down. Other standard amenities include eight-way power front seats, dual-zone auto climate control, Volvo Sensus infotainment with 7-inch display screen, Harman Kardon sound system and a tilt/telescopic steering column.

The Chinese-owned but Swedish-made car company is renowned for its safety features. Continuing the tradition, the XC60 gets dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes, three-point seatbelts for all, side impact protection system, dynamic stability and traction control, City Safety (brakes automatically to help prevent a rear-end collision), tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights.

Yes, it’s an SUV but don’t for a minute believe that your ride will be slow. The front-wheel or all-wheel-drive vehicle can take off 0 to 60 mph in a mere 6.5 seconds and reach top speed of 118 mph. Apart from incredible agility, the ride boasts an obliging cabin and no-frills capabilities. Volvo’s long safety list makes it a no-brainer. Test drive one at 6008 N. Dale Mabry Hwy. in Tampa.


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