That won't matter to most XC60 owners, of course, who'll use it to do battle in the daily commute and for frequent two-couple Saturday nights from the suburban jungle to that hot new restaurant downtown. Looking like it was designed to be the illustration for the dictionary definition of "small premium crossover," the XC60 and others of its ilk seem perfectly suited to replace the compact European sport sedan as the segment of choice for well-heeled couples young enough to consider an SUV's ride height business as usual. The rear seat is comfortable enough for those restaurant outings, but here, this Volvo doesn't sacrifice style for substance.

"Back seat is awfully tight in kneeroom and is much too narrow," Reynolds complains. "My elbow is jammed against my sides. Get me outta here."

Rear hiproom is 53.8 inches, and rear legroom is 36.4 inches. Cargo space is 30.8 cubic feet with the rear seat up, 67.4 with it down.

We find the interior as stark and dark as an Ingmar Bergman film, though. The Volvo XC60 is more about exterior appearance and fairly rewarding on-road driving dynamics. That's a new, unusual thing for a Volvo, performance that matches the promise of its handsome post-boxy styling. With the XC60, Volvo may have found its calling, building right-sized crossovers packaged with modern Swedish design, and performance and handling that's more impressive here than in its sedans.

2010 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD
Base price range $38,050
Price as tested $42,250
Vehicle layout Front engine, AWD 5-passenger 4-door SUV
Engine 3.0L/281-hp/295-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve turbocharged I-6
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Curb weight (dist f/r) 4344 lbs (58/42%)
Wheelbase 109.2 in
Length x width x height 182.2 x 74.4 x 65.8 in
0-60 mph 6.8 sec
Quarter mile 15.3 @ 93.1 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph 125 ft
Lateral acceleration 0.81 g (avg)
MT figure eight 27.7 sec @ 0.62 g (avg)
EPA city/hwy econ 16-18/22-27 mpg
MT observed fuel econ 15.3 mpg
CO2 emissions 0.92 - 1.06 lb/mile