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After the tepid C70 convertible and lumbering Cross Country wagon, it’s nice to drive a Volvo that’s attractive and fun. Volvo’s S60 sport sedan is the automaker’s midpriced entry — and a worthy competitor to the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Lexus IS 300, and Saab 9-3. The S60′s lines are sweeping and fluid, but abbreviated in a way that gives it an aggressive profile. Stylistically, it’s a welcome departure from the boxiness of BMW and Lexus and the staleness of the Saab 9-3. Under the hood, you’ll find a 2.4-liter, 197-horsepower, turbocharged, five-cylinder engine with 210 ft. lbs. of torque. A five-speed automatic with adaptive shift logic directs power to the front wheels, and the back end benefits from fully independent multilink suspension. The standard V-rated Michelins are smooth and quiet, grip the road well, and contribute to handling that is tightly precise. Inside, the car is well appointed and ergonomically correct. The automatic temperature control is easy to use, and the stereo is acceptable if not brilliant. Rear seating is typically cramped, but the front seats are a revelation. Hip, thigh, and lumbar support is significantly better than in the all-too-narrow BMW or the strangely proportioned Audi A4. Indeed, the S60′s seats can be ranked in the same category as those of the big Saab 9-5 and Mercedes S Class for all-around comfort and support. Pack the cavernous trunk, and you’ll be ready for one of the smoothest highway rides in this class. Acceleration could be livelier, and wind noise could be quieter, but overall, the S60 offers a relaxing driving experience characterized by steadiness and control. Instrumentation is easy to read, the turbo kicks in smoothly without much lag, and forward visibility is all but panoramic. The verdict: What you get with the S60 is a sporty, safe, and roomy package wrapped in some very sexy sheet metal. It also happens to be the best Volvo I’ve ever driven. M.S.R.P. — $31,050 Price as tested: $36,260 Mileage — 21 city/28 highway Warranty — 4 years/50,000 miles, with 8 years’ corrosion protection

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