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Nuts & Bolts: Volvo XC60 T6

The new 2013 Volvo XC60. (Courtesy of Volvo )

Bottom line: The 2013 XC60 T6 all-wheel-drive wagon, or “crossover utility vehicle,” if you prefer that marketing rubric, is an excellent vehicle for families willing to spend more money to actually get more safety and comfort for long-distance drives and frequent commutes. It is a counter-prestige vehicle, one designed to serve more than it is to show off.

Ride, acceleration and handling: Ride and handling are excellent, especially on poorly maintained roads. Acceleration is good, meaning that you can enter and exit express lanes quickly and safely.

Head-turning quotient: Everything about the XC60 T6 says “married with children” or heading in that direction.

Body style/layout: The Volvo XC60 is a front-engine, all-wheel-drive, midsize wagon/crossover with four side doors and a rear hatch (available with automatic option). For 2013, all XC60 models will come with automatic headlamps and wipers. There are three trim levels — 3.2, T6 and top-of-the-line T6 R-Design.

Engine/transmission: The XC60 T6 comes standard with a turbocharged, 24-valve 3-liter in-line six-cylinder gasoline engine with variable valve timing (300 horsepower, 325 foot-pounds of torque). The engine is linked to a six-speed automatic transmission (with Sports Mode) that also can be operated manually.

Capacities: Seats five people. Cargo capacity is 30.8 cubic feet with the rear seats up. With those seats folded flat, above-floor cargo capacity increases to 67.4 cubic feet. There is a sub-floor storage space for more cargo. Fuel capacity is 18.5 gallons. You can use regular, but premium grade is recommended for best performance.

Safety: Standard equipment includes front and rear ventilated disc brakes; four-wheel anti-lock brake protection; side and head air bags; pre-collision safety system; electronic stability and traction control; and an anti-whiplash system. This column recommends that you also buy Volvo’s urban safety system, which can prevent city crashes and pedestrian injuries and fatalities, for $2,100.

Price: The price for the 2013 XC60 T6 starts at $40,450. Dealer’s invoice price on that model is $38,024. Options and an $895 destination charge can boost the transaction price — what you pay to get the vehicle off the lot — to $48,000 or more.

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