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Safety first; BRUCE BOOTH says if you want to protect yourself on the road - you can't beat a Volvo.

Byline: BRUCE BOOTH

ONE thing is certain - when it comes to on-board safety equipment in cars, you can't get much better than a Volvo.

If you were ever unlucky enough to be in an accident, you'd want to be strapped into one of the top Swedish marque's offerings, which include sleek saloons, versatile estate cars and chunky all-wheel-drive models, too.

Active cruise control - which keeps you a safe distance from the vehicle in front - lane assist, dynamic stability, traction control, side impact protection system, trailer stability assist and Volvo's unique whiplash protection systems are just a few of the on-board safety goodies available in these Swedish superstars.

intended Around five years ago, Volvo truly upped the ante by a huge distance when they decided to introduce a "City Safety" system to all their models across the XC60 cross-country range.

The system uses very clever triple laser-beam technology to detect when you are at risk of running into a vehicle ahead.

For example, if a car in front stalls or brakes suddenly while heading on to a roundabout, the system will automatically apply the brakes, bringing the car to a halt if need be.

With statistics showing that more than 75 per cent of all road collisions take place at under 20mph, any system that can effectively eliminate or lower the risk of an accident in slow-moving traffic was always going to be a winner.

But it's not just the fact that the XC60 became the safest vehicle Volvo had produced until then, it could be argued that it was also one of the most stylish.

High-grade fittings and fixtures matched with smart brushed aluminium trim to give the cabin a classy look and feel.

There was bags of space - the XC60 is not a small car - and the floating central instrument panel added to the snazzy ambiance.

Thanks to the model's impressive all-wheel-drive characteristics, the coupestyled crossover XC60 also offered superb driving characteristics, although because of its high stance - it actually offers more ground clearance than its much larger XC90 sibling - it does produce a little roll when pushed along over more demanding back roads with lots of twists and turns.

At launch, three power units were reserved for the stylish machine, consisting of two fuel-sipping five-cylinder diesels producing 161bhp and 183bhp and a 282bhp six-cylinder petrol.

And it's the oil-burning versions that have become firm favourites within the used car market.

Six-speed manual transmission came as standard on both the diesel powerplants, while the powerful T6 petrol variant was fitted with Volvo's speed Geartronic automatic gearbox.

six-spee automat Both 2 units re 40mp cycl of 2.4-litre oil-burning returned just under 40mpg on the combined cycle with CO2 emissions 199g/km.

h1tbi The entry level 2.4D had a top speed of 121mph while the zero to 60mph dash could be completed in an impressive 10 seconds.

Equally impressive was the amount of grunt the crossover pumped out.

w gru pum Wit availab 2750 rev make th impress With 250lb/ft of torque available between 1750 and revs, it also helped the XC60 a truly impressive tow car.

Expect to pay between PS12,000 to PS13,000 for a 2008, 58-plate 2.4 SE or D5 model with around 50,000 miles on the clock, moving up to PS19,000 for a 2010 10-plate D5 205bhp with around 30,000 miles covered.

A 10-plate 2.0D3 SE 163bhp DRIVe model with similar mileage is slightly cheaper, priced between PS16,000 and PS18,000, depending on the car's overall condition.

in dynamic Clark KEVAN Swindell, six-spee automat Both 2 units re 40mp cycl of Arnold manager is one of Volvo franchise speed automatic 2.4-returned 40mpg on cycle 199g/The had 121mph to be said, "The VolvoXC60 versatile innovative, Volvo's The body is vehicles. all-rounder, crossover h1tbi to be a strong on this. From intended to and it has delivered to on-road performer, being a strong gadgets all of the desired the driver is as safe as having have ensure possible, Volvo couldn't done much more to ensure this model ticked all the w gru pum Wit availab 2750 rev make th impress boxes." was grunt pumped With available revs, the impressive range.

KEVAN Swindell, Clark Arnold manager Volvo franchise is one of said, "The VolvoXC60 versatile innovative, Volvo's The body is vehicles. all-rounder, crossover to be a strong on this. From intended to and it has delivered to on-road performer, being a strong gadgets all of the desired the driver is as safe as having have ensure possible, Volvo couldn't done much more to ensure this model ticked all the boxes."

2750 STYLISH n The XC60 is one of Volvo's more attractive models and a superb drive
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 12, 2013
Words:788
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