THE BUZZ: This is not only the fastest SUV Volvo's ever made; it's also the safest. Automatic systems stop the car before hitting obstacles (at up to 18 mph), and alarms go off if you drift out of your lane or when a car enters your blind spot.
THE TEST: While sophisticated, those alarms seemed like a bit of overkill. Turning them off let me focus on the taut handling and turbocharged, 281-horsepower six-cylinder engine. A very high-performance ride for an SUV.
THE VERDICT: The all-wheel-drive XC60 shines in the city and in winter, but it's better on pavement than dirt, and the gas mileage left me feeling empty: I barely cracked 18 mpg around town. From $37,200; mpg, 18 city/20 hwy; volvo.com