As an XT, this car is great not just as a town runabout, but also as a highway cruiser. It has great takeoff from stoplights and tons of power on the highway. Just make sure to keep an eye on the speedometer because it is easy to not realize just how fast you are going. No one expects this wagon to go as fast as it does, so you will get some dumbfounded looks when you pull away in your "granola-mobile" faster than the teen in his 3 series next to you. Lots of fun, but when you want to just take it easy the car is just as usable.
I have yet to be in an accident, but there are airbags everywhere in this car, safety is not an issue. Snow driving is great. It is hard to get this car to lose its grip on snowy roads. Braking is great. I know this from personal experience, have come from extra-legal speeds on interstates to full stops with no issues.