Volvo has built a lot of its reputation on station wagons, but the company has decided to move away from this traditional image in favour of bigger and more rugged XC crossover models such as the 2012 XC60.
On the outside the car's design is rakish and organic and the inside is more fashionable than what we came to expect from previous models. The design team was the same one that worked on the more aggressively styled S60, yet the XC60 is a little more formal and reined-in.
The XC60 looks decidedly better than many other crossovers that often look like station wagons on stilts. It is a more graceful vehicle, with neatly flowing shoulders between the headlights and the tail lamps.
On the inside the "floating" centre stack has been preserved, but the dashboard is more upright than before.
A high end look is achieved by contrasting two-tone upholstery and a choice of metallic-finish or wood trim.
Once behind the wheel, the car exhibits many of the best attributes one finds in crossover vehicles. It is, and looks, tall, yet the driving experience is that of a much lower car, with a planted, secure feel in tight corners.
The automatic gearbox has a sport mode, which does not quite turn the car into a performance mode, but the steering is at least much better weighted than in many Volvos of the past.
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