Volvo has set a record for acronyms with the new XC60. There’s RSC, ROPS, WHIPS, DSC and a whole alphabet of safety aids, enough for Volvo to conclude its new 4×4 is the safest car yet built.

But the most interesting feature goes without a long list of initials – City Safe.

This system uses a laser sensor mounted at the top of the windscreen to keep an eye on traffic. If the driver’s attention wanders and City Safe concludes a collision is about to take place, it will automatically apply the brakes, although it only stops the car completely when travelling at speeds of less than 9mph. It’s standard fit on all trims.

You expect Volvo to lead the way on safety. What’s more surprising is that the new XC60 is ahead of the pack for style, too. The car looks aggressive and purposeful, and the cabin’s finish is every bit as good as the Volvo’s key premium rivals, like the BMW X3.

Despite identical CPM scores the Volvo also scores over the X3, and Jeep Cherokee, with a much more comfortable ride. It’s firm enough for good body control at speed, but supple enough to be comfortable around town. By Volvo’s sensible standards, the XC60 is agile and fun to drive.

The engines aren’t quite so impressive…