Probably as close as you can get to a "do anything" car.
Capable of blowing away most things off the lights thanks to 250 bhp and 0-60 in around the 6.5 second mark. The 5 cylinder engine sounds gorgeous and has power to spare at all engine speeds. Lovely chuffing and whistling noises from the turbo plumbing and exhaust which makes a nice change from today's sanitised turbo installations.
There are some torque steer and traction issues, but you learn to drive around them. Being progressive with the throttle allows power to be put down cleanly and smoothly in most scenarios. It's too big to really chuck about on B-roads, but it's capable enough to keep up with most things. Handling is actually surprisingly good given careful use of the throttle. All this is especially satisfying considering my 17 year old nephew called it "an old farts car". Until I took him up the road of course. Now he wants one!
Like most Volvos it has a beautifully finished interior with a light maple trim and good quality leather. Totally squeak free at 119,000 miles. Everything works, and has always worked apart from one seat heater which turned out to be a loose connection rather than a component failure.
With all this performance and ability you get the usual Volvo estate practicality, meaning a huge load area, low loading sill and good enough build to shrug off the occasional rough treatment.
The car is mechanically bulletproof. The engine has never been apart yet still uses very little oil. I'm still on the original turbo and original clutch (although the latter is getting tired now). If anything the engine feels quicker and freer revving now than when I got it at 47,000 miles.
Downsides? It can be dreadful on fuel. 25 mpg average is OK for 250 bhp, but 14 is my worst on a tankful. Ouch! Insurance is heavy too. Other than that, I cannot seriously fault it.
It has main dealer services at the recommended schedules and that's it - it just keeps on going. No sign of any problems yet beyond the forthcoming clutch replacement. At 117,000 miles on a 250 bhp car, this is not something to gripe about in my opinion.
Fabulous car. I'd have another tomorrow, although possibly the AWD version.