Hey, an updated Volvo XC60. Looks niceCertainly, but this isnt a mere updated Volvo. Its the second-generation XC60 thats developed grounds-up, based on Volvos brand new modular platform first seen in 2013. It also means the new XC60 shares a lot of goodies with the carmakers top-line models, the XC90 and the S90. However, where the 90 series focuses mainly on luxury, the 60 has a slightly different agenda – to find the right balance between sporty and luxury.Does the new XC60 get it right, then?Quite well. Sharing its basis with the 90 series gives the XC60 a huge advantage – the interiors are plush and supremely comfortable for a family SUV. And while the 60 doesnt really need the added length and bulk of the 90, Volvo has altered its modular platform to bless the XC60 with added agility to fare better around the twisty stuff. In fact, despite having a larger wheelbase than before, the engineers have managed to shave a few millimetres off the XC60s overall length. So, while interior space has been optimised to the fullest, overhangs are now shorter, and it doesnt stand as tall as before, giving the SUV an added advantage in the dynamics game.Okay. Could you kindly share the inside story?Im assuming its the cabin youre referring to. And in that case, its a good place to be in. Modern, plush and relaxing, the Volvos interior has a distinct charm and with the flowing layout and the choice of materials and textures used, everything in here spells class. Our top pick are those extremely comfortable and figure-hugging front seats that can be adjusted in a zillion ways to suit your body type. The icing on the cake is the added goodness of massage function it comes with – comforting and rejuvenating. Oh wait, we also like Volvos tab-like signature touch-screen infotainment system thats brilliant to use, even while on the go. Its the same as the one in the XC90, but in here, its been tweaked and improved further to make it more intuitive.Thats good. Now lets talk about its moving parts.Well, at the launch, Volvo only plans to offer the 2.0-litre D5 variant – thats the one with 232bhp, 480Nm, AWD and 8-speed gearbox. According to the carmaker, the D5 offers the best of both worlds – performance and driveability – and is best-suited for our traffic and road conditions. Theres also the hotter T6 petrol on the cards, but Volvo is contemplating on whether to launch the 318bhp petrol or to go all guns blazing and get its Twin Engine plug-in hybrid T8. Yes, the same as the XC90 T8 and that will surely give Volvo some bragging rights.AWD. Thats more for on-road safety than off-road capability, right?Thats right. Volvo does offer the XC60 with an Off-road mode wherein the system raises the air-suspension by a few millimetres for added ground clearance. But like most all-wheel drive systems, thats to tackle broken roads rather than venture out in the wild. It will get you to places where a SUV with mere two driven wheels would struggle to get to, but you cant really get adventurous with it.Noted. So whats the mood like on the go?Pretty relaxed. At least, in the D5 variant that we sampled in Barcelona, Spain. With its twin-turbo tech, Volvo has made sure turbo-lag is kept to a minimum and it does work well in the real world. Its got linear power delivery and although the XC60 comes with drive modes, the Volvo feels calm and composed even when switched to Dynamic. It doesnt get unnecessarily hurried, not even when you prod that throttle pedal, and thats a characteristic that goes well with the gearbox, too. Its not the quickest 8-speeder weve used lately, but its also not the slowest. And we wished Volvo had also given flappy paddles for greater control over the box.Does it set benchmarks in ride and handling?Since we drove the XC60 in Barcelona, we would hold on to our final judgment as far as ride comfort goes. However, with its adaptable air-suspension, this Volvo offers decent ride comfort in varied conditions. You can select from pre-set modes wherein the suspension alters dampening suitable to a particular engine map or you can have it set individually according to your needs. But then, if you wish to drive it with some enthusiasm, you may not be entirely convinced with its ability to tackle the twisties. Theres notable lateral movement and even switching to the Dynamic mode doesnt help matters much. However, take things easy and the XC60 wont disappoint. Its quite a likeable car in that sense and just like its mechanicals, the ride and handling can be a peaceful affair.Any new gadgets the second-gen XC60 has bought along?It has. And theres a good news for Volvo aficionados in India, too. Radar – this one word has plagued Volvo for many years in India, but not anymore. Volvo India has finally got the thumbs up from our authorities to equip its cars with its globally-acclaimed radar-based technologies. And that means everything from its safety basket thats available in cars globally will now be available to Indian customers, too.So then, when the new XC60 lands in India by end-2017, it will be capable of detecting vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and large animals in front of the car and brake on its own if youre too busy doing something else. It can also avoid collisions up to speeds of 60kph, make steering corrections in case you forget to take that long sweeping bend, pull you back in your lane if that was too much to ask of you in the first place, will inform you if theres a car in your blind spot and also steer away from it if your reaction times are too slow. These and many more live-saving technologies will now be available in India on the Inscription trim – the only one to be sold in India at launch.Thats awesome. Whats the expected price tag and your final thoughts?The second-gen XC60 is leagues ahead of the current car sold in India. With better dynamics, added features and even safer than before, the new XC60 wont come cheap – were expecting a price tag of Rs 60 lakh, ex-showroom. This may not give it a huge price advantage over its immediate rivals such as the Audi Q5, the BMW X3 and the Mercedes GLC, but that doesnt deny the fact that its a great all-round product, something thats difficult to fault at. We liked what we saw in Barcelona and were told the one heading to our shores is going to be equally likeable. An intense battle between the Germans and the Swede is on the cards, then.Specs4cyl, 1969cc, twin turbo-diesel, 232bhp, 480Nm, 8-speed, AWD, 0-100kph\: 7.2s (claimed)VerdictA SUV thats not just handsome to look at, but equally comfortable, feature-rich and arguably the safest family SUV out there.