Crossover SUVs make up a healthy percentage of the car market today, popular for their comfort, refinement and family-friendly design. Volvo and Lexus both have high-ranking models on the market, and each is playing to win. With solid handling, pleasing designs and features galore, choosing one vehicle over the other is difficult.
Where the Volvo XC60 Shines
Volvo's take on the crossover is friendly and stylish. Each of the XC60's three trims -- 3.2, T6 and R-Design -- is available in Standard, Premier Plus and Platinum trims for the ultimate in customization. The base trim comes standard with a 3.2-liter V6 coupled to a six-speed automatic, while the top-level T6 R-Design gets a turbocharged V6 with 325 horsepower.
The XC60 has a comfortable and roomy interior, optional integrated booster seats, and enough cargo space to accommodate the whole family. New for 2014 is the optional Sensus Connected Touch -- a 7-inch screen that interfaces with Google's Android technology. The XC60 also handles well on the highway and gets excellent safety ratings.
Where the Lexus RX 350 Shines
As one might expect, Lexus's crossover SUV is both luxurious and versatile -- a winning combination for families seeking an upscale family vehicle. The RX 350 houses a 3.5-liter V6 putting out 270 horsepower and coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is optional, as are a series of upgrades that feature everything from rear-seat entertainment to a sport-tuned suspension.
Even without any upgrades, the standard features of the RX are a cut above the competition, providing luxury and entertainment aplenty. There is plenty of legroom and cargo space for kids and gear. Parents will like the RX's safety and reliability, and drivers of all ages will appreciate its smooth and quiet manners on the road.
Where That Leaves Us
On one side is the family-friendly, tech-savvy Volvo. On the other side is the luxurious, multipurpose Lexus. Both are well-designed, get high safety ratings, and have good standard features.
Our Verdict: Lexus RX 350
The RX 350 offers superior luxury, utility and dependability, all in one sleek package.