WITH the practicality of an estate car, the robustness of an SUV and all the driving dynamics of a family saloon, it's pretty clear why we can't get enough of crossover vehicles and the Volvo XC60 is one of the leaders in the field.
Boasting athletic styling, a host of on-board techno treats and all the safety innovations that we have come to expect from the Volvo marque, the XC60 looks great, drives beautifully and won't let you down if Mother Nature has a bad day.
This car was priced at £38,390 but an array of optional extras bumped up the asking price to £44,340.
And whilst the XC60 may not be the cheapest model in its class, it is one of the best all-round packages.
Eye-catching design cues include a black grille, boomerang shaped tail lights, a powered panoramic sunroof, dark tinted windows, twin tailpipes and smart alloys.
Move inside and the level of luxury that greets you is difficult to ignore.
There is R-Design leather sports seats that can be heated and adjusted every which way to find the ideal driving position, a pitch perfect Harmon Kardon sound system, a heated steering wheel, a seven-inch colour display screen, Sensus Navigation with full European mapping and Sensus Connect which allows access to a range of web apps and the internet - it also enables the car to book itself in for a convenient service appointment at your chosen Volvo dealership.
As well as all the standard safety features the test car was supplied with a Driver Support Pack which adds the likes of pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure warning, active high beam, blind spot information system with cross traffic alert, driver alert control, queue assist and distance alert.
It also featured City Safety which adds fully automatic emergency braking up to 31mph - the speed band where most accidents occur on UK roads.
So the front-wheel drive XC60 looks the business, is packed with technology and offers class-leading safety features. But how does it cope when put to the test? The answer is exceptionally well.
I clocked up almost 800 miles and at no time did I get tired of driving the car. It was very easy to handle with its smooth eight-speed automatic transmission and ample power from the 2.0-litre 245bhp petrol-driven engine.
The car can reach 62mph from a standing start in 7.2 seconds and tops out at 130mph. According to official figures it can deliver combined fuel economy of 42.2mpg with carbon emissions of 157g/km.
But it's the refined manner in which the car behaves that cannot fail to impress. The highly effective suspension irons out the bumpy surfaces, the road holding is super grippy, the steering nice and precise and any engine or road surface noise is kept at bay thanks to the excellent insulation.
The high-seated driving position offers great all-round visibility which is a real bonus in busy town centres with cars and pedestrians darting out from all angles and the rear-view camera along with sensors help to make light work of any parking issues.
On faster roads, the XC60 really bursts into life with ample power and acceleration from the punchy engine. Steering wheel-mounted paddles can be used if you fancy taking more control over the gear changes.
Comfort levels are exceptionally high and the XC60 can accommodate five adults with ease. Storage is catered for thanks to the 495-litre capacity boot - a limit that can be increased to 1,455 litres with the split-folding rear seats dropped flat.