Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design
Base Price: $44,995
Output: 325 hp, 354 lb-ft
Why It Made the List: Gorgeous design, high-quality materials, advanced safety technology, and good performance credentials.
The Volvo S60 is a Q-ship: its design is stunning but not head turning; its power is impressive but not overwhelming; and its utility is admirable but not as good as it could be (we wish Volvo would sell the V60 wagon in the U.S.). We named the S60 a 2011 All-Star and discovered after a Four Seasons test that it was “a sleeper hit.” However, that was before Volvo introduced the R-Design model with 25 extra horsepower and 29 more lb-ft of torque, which turns this svelte Swede into a BMW-beater.
It’s not surprising that a Volvo is a good choice for those who want to keep their family safe. City Safety automatic braking is standard, and options include blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and collision warning with pedestrian detection. The S60 has also been rated a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and earned a five-star overall crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Talk about playing safe.