After nine years in service, Volvo is finally replacing its XC60 mid-size premium SUV with an all-new model that is, quite simply, one of the safest cars any amount of money can buy.

Featuring more than a passing resemblance to its larger sibling, the XC90, the new car continues Volvo’s two biggest vehicular aims — to develop cars that really do put a premium on exterior design and interior cossetting; and to build cars that push the boundaries in what’s possible in terms of reducing serious injuries in accidents and eventually avoiding accidents altogether.

“We have focused on building a car that can deliver pleasure to all of your senses — from a commanding view of the road ahead in a beautifully appointed and calm cabin, to a safe, inspired and confident ride,” said Henrik Green, Senior Vice President Product & Quality at Volvo Car Group.

The new car offers the complete suite of active safety and semi-autonomous drive systems that are available on the much larger Volvo XC90 and S90 sedan including run-off road mitigation, large animal, cyclist and pedestrian detection systems, autonomous braking, plus Pilot Assist. When activated this system can steer, accelerate and slow the car automatically, in line with traffic conditions, on well-marked roads at speeds of up to 130km/h.

What’s more, the car is the first ever to feature three new safety systems that take active steering to a new level. It will be able to pull back into lane if there’s the possibility that an oncoming car could collide with it. It will be able to steer around as well as brake if a person or cyclist crosses its path and slowing alone won’t mitigate a potential accident, and during overtaking moves, if there’s a vehicle in the car’s blind spot, it will take steps to pull the car back into lane

“All three of these new features represent clear steps in our work towards fully autonomous cars,” said Malin Ekholm, Senior Director, Volvo Cars’ Safety Centre. “We have all of the benefits of the safety technology we introduced in our larger 90 series cars in the new XC60. This is fully in-line with our strategic approach to develop automotive safety systems based on real-life, real-road safety.”

The car will come with a range of gasoline, diesel and hybrid powertrains, the most potent of which will be the T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid. That will give the car a 0-100km/h time of just 5.3 seconds and a maximum output of 407hp, making the car equal parts safe and fun to drive.