Crossovers are the new wagons, according to popular wisdom, but at Volvo the heritage is clearly visible. Its wagon-like crossovers in the XC line have met with great success in the U.S., together with the various wagon lines accounting for about half of the company's sales in recent years. The 2010 XC60, revealed at last year's Geneva Motor Show, adds a smaller, sportier angle to the company's repertoire. Today, the company has expanded the XC lineup in the U.S. with the addition of a new 3.2L model, which joins the existing 3.0L T6 turbocharged model.

Pricing for the 235hp (175kW) 3.2L FWD model has been set at $32,395 plus an $850 destination charge, while the AWD version will set you back $34,395 plus the destination charge. Pricing for the 281hp (209kW) 3.0L T6 remains at $37,200 plus $850 in destination charges for the base FWD model.

The XC60's new normally aspirated 3.2L is the same engine that powers the base S80 flagship sedan introduced in 2008 and comes standard with a six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is impressive, with a claimed 27mpg for highway and 18mpg for the urban cycle. Additionally, Volvo offers two version of the 3.2L engine with either ULEV-II (ultra low emissions) or PZEV (partial zero emissions) systems.

Standard equipment includes 17in alloy wheels, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, Bluetooth with hands free capability, dual zone climate control, front fog lamps, HD Radio, an eight speaker stereo, and a six month subscription to Sirius’ satellite radio network.

The XC60 is claimed to be the safest Volvo ever, featuring a host of new safety technologies including the latest ‘City Safety’ automatic braking system as standard. The City Safety feature is primarily aimed at mitigating damage in collisions at speeds at or below 19mph. Other safety features include anti-rollover stability, pretensioned seatbelts in all seating positions, an inflatable side curtain for front and rear passengers and a high-strength boron steel roof structure.

Key competitors in the premium crossover market include the BMW X3, Land Rover LR2, Mercedes Benz GLK, and Audi Q5.