Volvo, true to its Scandinavian roots, has always taken an approach that is a little different. Take the 2015 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E, a car that the Swedish automaker says is a 2015.5 model. But beyond that, the S60 T6 is a study in contrasts, it's compact and efficient, yet luxurious and sporty, and above all it prides itself on safety. There's simplicity to the design, but scratching beneath the surface, you'll find a vehicle that possesses a tremendous amount of high technology. 

Bottom line, it all works together beautifully

The 2015 Volvo S60 T6 is a handsome compact car-the days of boxy design a long distant memory. The flowing shape of this sedan gives it an understated elegance, a look enhanced by Volvo's signature rectangular grille that is much more restrained than the gaping maws that seem de rigeuer on luxury cars.

High level of luxury

The $39,000 base price of this model includes a premium interior that again contrasts the clean linear Scandinavian design elements with warm, supple brown leather on the comfy sport bucket seats and high-tech aluminum graphite trim. While there is an LCD information screen in the center of the dash, Volvo uses real buttons and switches to interact with the various systems instead of a touchscreen or haptic controls. These buttons are well marked and intuitive in their operation.

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One of the great features of this car is a backup camera that has no fewer than three different views, including wide angle and downward looking which allows you to customize your view out the rear. Our test car was equipped with a $900 blind spot information system that not only alerts you to cars on either side, but also has cross traffic alerts when backing and front and rear parking assist. As part of the Platinum luxury package, which adds $3,750, you also get collision warning with automatic full-stop protection. A proximity sensor lights up in the dash when it senses the car closing in on traffic ahead, glowing like coal embers and changing to red with a warning before applying the brakes if you get too close.

Spirited performance

Besides all the luxury trappings and high tech driver assists, the 2015 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E is just flat out fun to drive. Its 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine pumps out 302 horsepower and 295 lb ft of torque. Delivered to the front wheels, it will twitch the leather-wrapped wheel with torque steer, but it's a small price to pay for a car that is quick off the line and precise in its handling.

For all the power the engine puts out, it is fairly efficient, posting EPA numbers of 24 mpg city/35 mpg highway for a combined average of 28. Part of these savings comes from a truly unobtrusive stop/start system. 

Loaded with features including a premium sound system included in the aforementioned Platinum package, heated front seats, metallic paint, power moonroof and more, our test car has an MSRP of $46,525 including destination. While Volvo may not be the first name to come to mind when shopping compact luxury sedans, the 2015 Volvo S60 T6 merits consideration with the best of them. 

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