Volvo XC60

The XC60 is available with a standard 3.2L inline 6-cylinder engine or 3.0L turbocharged inline 6-cylinder. A moonroof and all-wheel drive are both optional.

The 3.2L is rated at 240 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. A sport-oriented R-Design model gets a 3.0L turbocharged engine that is a bit more powerful, making 300 horses and 325 pound-feet or torque that starts at a low 1500 rpm.

Power for both engines is routed through a Geartronic 6-speed automatic transmission, which also features a manual mode. All-wheel drive XC60s get a Haldex transaxle with Instant Traction, which constantly monitors the speed of the wheels, driver's throttle input, engine torque, engine speed and brakes to automatically direct power away from slipping wheels to those with traction.

Standard equipment throughout the lineup includes front and rear fog lamps, heated mirrors, satellite radio, power front seats, dual-zone climate control and keyless entry. Safety enhancements include 4-wheel antilock brakes, a host of airbags, tire pressure monitoring, day-time running lights and integrated turn signal mirrors. Standard safety equipment includes Dynamic Stability and Traction Control, Ready Alert Braking systems and Volvo's City Safety system, which utilizes an infrared sensor to automatically apply the brakes at slow speeds when an imminent collision is detected.

The standard Roll Stability Control uses a gyroscope to determine the vehicle's leaning angle and automatically activates pre-tensioners on all seatbelts and inflates a protective curtain when a rollover is detected. Hill descent control is also standard, utilizing the XC60's brake system to automatically control wheel speed while descending steep grades. An optional Collision Avoidance Package adds Volvo's lane departure warning system and a blind spot warning system.

Another significant Volvo safety system, City Safety uses radar sensors to detect imminent collisions and applies the brakes if necessary to avoid or mitigate a potential crash.

Popular options include a 650-watt Dolby surround audio system includes a navigation system and a rear-parking assist camera. The Technology package comes with adaptive cruise control with lane departure warning. Climate package includes heated front seats, headlamp cleaners and an interior air quality system. Blind spot information system, which Volvo calls BLIS and xenon HID headlamps are also optional.

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Editors' First Take

More than maybe any other automaker, Volvo is impatiently ready for an all-electric future. Go to the brand's website and its EVs are prominently featured on the homepage and other sections. Plug-in hybrids get some nice billing, too, while traditional gas-only models are relegated to an "other cars" section. But Volvo won't have a fully electric lineup until 2030, so in the meantime the brand upgraded its T5 and T6 four-cylinder engines with a new 48-volt mild-hybrid system and an integrated starter-generator, dubbing the new powertrains B5 and B6.

The B5 makes 247 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, slightly less power and the same amount of torque as before, while the B6 puts out 295 hp and 310 lb-ft, 15 hp fewer but 15 more lb-ft. The ISG provides a boost of 13 hp and 30 lb-ft in both engines, filling in power gaps at lower speeds. Fuel economy slightly improves, too, with the XC60 B6 seeing 1-mpg increases in the combined and city cycles and the B5 getting a 1-mpg city increase.

Most of my drive time with the new B6 powertrain is in a loaded XC60 R-Design. As with other engines that feature an integrated starter-generator, the biggest benefit is the seamless start-stop system. In the Volvos it's nearly imperceptible, with no rough restarts or jerky movements when setting off from a light or stop sign. You can't turn the system off, but I don't know why you would.

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