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Volvo s clever 2WDs
Volvo's City Safety technology can bring the XC60 to a complete halt before hitting the car in front. Picture: Wieck

If you're looking for a swish SUV but not planning to rough it, check out the 2WD versions. You'd save plenty, including $4000 on the latest diesel Volvo XC60.

The facelifted 2013 line-up, which is available now, adds a city-focused D4 diesel, which drives two wheels instead of four.

The $58,490 D4 slips in below the $62,490 D5 diesel, an all-wheel- drive model.

For some people, though, the D5's $4000 premium would be worth it. As well as the D5's off-road edge, it has a 158kW 2.4-litre engine compared with the D4's 120kW 2.0-litre plant.

Each uses 6.9L/100km.

The cheapest 2WD is the $55,490 T5, a turbo-petrol model.

The complete XC60 line-up has available some super-snazzy driving aids.

Here's a sample:

Brilliant beams


Light years ahead of driver- activated high beams, this system makes its own decisions.

So how's it so smart?

A camera checks out the vehicle movements. The beams then adjust automatically to maximise visibility while minimising glare for other drivers.

Speed reader


This great gizmo also uses a camera, to read speed signs.

An image of the sign appears in the instrument panel and stays there until the limit changes.

If you're speeding, the image flashes three times. If you don't take any notice, you're on your own.

Go with the flow


Adaptive cruise control allows your car's radar to lock on to the speed of the car ahead.

You set a speed limit, of course, in case the other driver goes for broke. The radar stays locked on the car ahead even when it stops.

When that vehicle takes off, yours will follow. It makes for relaxing driving when speeds are waxing and waning.

Back-up driver


If you haven't reacted quickly to a likely collision, a co-pilot kicks in.

The radar-based system alerts the driver, primes the brakes and even applies them.

You might not stop in time but the impact speed will be lower.

That should lessen injuries, repair bills and the time you'd be without your beloved SUV.

Crosswalk attendant


This system uses ingenious radar and camera technology to watch out for pedestrians. Designed for built-up areas, it does its best work at speeds up to 35km/h, warning the driver, then applying the stoppers if necessary.

The braking is forceful and last moment. Otherwise, driving in cities would be jerky, with the brakes reacting unnecessarily.

Rear-end defender


While the above features are part of the Driver Alert System (a $4175 option), all variants come with the accident-preventing City Safety technology.

This groundbreaker differs from the collision-avoidance technology, described above.

That system is a warning device relevant to cruising speeds while City Safety is about preventing low-speed rear-enders.

City Safety doesn't issue warnings but can stop the car short of the one ahead while travelling at up to 50km/h. It pre-charges the brakes so that, if the driver notices the risk, the brakes are ready to respond more quickly.

If a collision becomes imminent, the brakes apply very hard and very late.

The harsh intervention deters drivers from becoming too reliant on City Safety to avoid accidents.

Petrol-powered


T5 $55,490
3.2 $59,990
T6 $68,490
T6 R-Design $78,490

Diesel-powered


D4 $58,490
D5 $62,490
D5 R-Design $72,490