My previous encounter with a Volvo of any kind was with the flagship XC90: an amazingly well-sorted car which Volvo used to shift the goal posts for large SUV standards by a mile. It’s a previous winner of the South African Car of the year gong in 2016. So with a full-plate of eagerness and curiosity to jump in, I pointed the square key to open our Volvo XC60 long-term test car — the current holder of the 2018 World Car of the year title. The introduction was genuinely much like that of any potential first-timer. It’s a surprisingly handsome vehicle, with strong aesthetic links to the larger XC90 but a tad smaller in form. As motoring media we hardly pay much attention to entry and egress. Thankfully Volvo has thought of this bit extensively and slipping into or out of the XC60 is about one of its lesser celebrated hallmarks. Aside from the beautifully shaped and cream leather-bound chairs crafted with input from chiropractors, the XC60’s cabin is a homely environment. Having recent...

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