S60 AWD (INSCRIPTION) - Wheelbase: 113.1 inches; length: 187.4 inches; suspension: double wishbone front, integral rear; steering: electric power; weight: 3,907 pounds; fuel capacity: 15.9 gallons; electricity + gas: 69 MPGe; gas only: 30 mpg combined; base price: $55,400; price as tested: $64,190; website: www.volvo.com.

After a major redesign last year, the S60 continues mostly as is. As it should. After all, the midsize luxury sedan has been a hot-seller for Volvo. Three engine choices are available, but we received our test drive with a 2.0-liter inline-4 turbocharged and supercharged powertrain blasting off a massive 400 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 472 pounds-feet of torque at 5,400 rpm.

An electric motor and a 11.6 kWh lithium-ion battery can take the sedan nearly 22 miles before the gasoline engine kicks in. The eight-speed auto gearbox in the all-wheel drive vehicle is sprightly in any untoward situation. And the start-stop feature (auto engine stop when the vehicle halts) ensures substantial savings in fuel and weight.

The good-looking and practical sedan portrays a centered chrome grille with a familiar Volvo iron mark, flanked by LED headlights and Thor’s hammer-like LED headlights. The lavish cabin conveys an upmarket aura with a 12.3-inch instrument panel decked in shimmer graphite aluminum inlays. There is ample space for leg/shoulder room for three adult passengers in the 60/40 rear seat.

Volvo Sensus infotainment, with a distinct, vertical, 9-inch display touch screen, is essentially made up of four tiles: navigation, media, phone and user-defined. Activate one and watch it expand while keeping the other tiles visible for future use.

Standard treats include two-zone auto a/c, 10-way power front heated seats, 60/40 rear seat, steering wheel paddle shifters, leather/aluminum shifter knob, aluminum cargo scuff plate, head-up display and a leather-wrapped dashboard.

The Chinese-owned but Swedish-made car company is renowned for safety. Continuing the tradition, the S60 gets dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, three-point seatbelts for all, side impact protection system, dynamic stability and traction control, blind spot monitor and cross traffic alert, lane departure warning/assist, City Safety (brakes automatically to help prevent a rear-end collision) also gets steer assist, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights.

Yes, it is a hybrid, but don’t for a minute believe that your jaunt to the neighborhood store or on the highway will be sluggish. Resting on 18-inch wheels, the S60 can take off from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 4.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 130 mph. Apart from remarkably quick acceleration and razor-sharp handling/balance, the ride boasts high-tech luxury goodies in the cabin. Volvo’s long safety list makes it a no-brainer.

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