A turbocharged in-line six making 281 horsepower should generate some driving excitement. But wrapped in a heavy Volvo body, the result is smooth but not speedy acceleration and a huge turn circle (caused by mounting the engine sideways between the front wheels). Turn-in is crisp, but aggressive cornering produces a nervous tippy-toe feeling because of the tall build and relatively narrow track. I do give the new XC60 style points, because there isn't a Volvoesque square corner to be found and the interior is elegantly finished in leather, aluminum, stainless steel, and deeply grained plastics. I'd spend my $40,000 elsewhere, but dog owners who rate their safety as the over-riding priority will appreciate the XC60.
Don Sherman, Technical Editor