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2011 Volvo XC60 Performance

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The XC60 looks tall, but overall it drives like a much lower vehicle, with a secure, planted feel in tight corners. The automatic transmission comes with a sport mode, and steering is definitely weighted better than that in many previous Volvo models, but the XC60 is still by no means a sporty vehicle when the road turns twisty.

In its base form, with a 3.2-liter in-line six-cylinder engine, the XC60 feels responsive but not as downright perky as its 240 horsepower (up 5 this year) should feel. Part of that's due to the fact that the XC60 is surprisingly hefty (more than 4,200 pounds in AWD guise); but the engine seems to come into its own on the highway and with the responsive six-speed automatic can pull off very rapid passes. Sporty T6 models get a turbocharged 3.0-liter in-line six, now making 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet. As such, the XC60 is very quick, and capable of getting to 60 mph in seven seconds, or a little less. T6 models corner a bit better, and steering feel can be adjusted through screen-based settings.

The XC60 shares some mechanical and structural pieces with the Volvo S80—the crossover's turbocharged V-6 engine and Haldex all-wheel drive will be familiar to fans of the big four-door. That, however, means that under some slippery surfaces you'll have to feel a little wheelspin before the Haldex system sends power to the rear wheels. Its 9.1 inches of ground clearance can come in mighty handy for those needing to get through deep snow, though.

While not inspiring, the 2011 Volvo XC60 T6 is quick, handles relatively well, and with all-wheel drive is a good fit for those in the Snow Belt.

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