Volvo is in the business of getting its customers from point A to point B, but not in the usual “shortest distance” sense. Volvo wants customers to relish the drive, not just the destination.
The 2019 Volvo S60 wraps its occupants in lavishness, from the driftwood trim and heated nappa leather seats to the surround view camera system and Volvo’s Sensus connectivity and infotainment system. The entire Volvo experience is directed at the humans who are inside the car.
Starting in the mid-$30s, the S60 is easier on the wallet than some of its German counterparts. The S60 comes in three trims – base Momentum, Inscription and R-Design. There are also choices when it comes to drivetrains – the T5 is front drive and the T6 is AWD. The transmission is an 8-speed automatic, and a wagon version of the S60 is available.
Engine choices in the S60 include a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder capable of 250 horsepower as well as a turbocharged version that develops 316 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. My Fusion Red Metallic test car had the turbo-4, which was extremely quick and a lot of fun to drive. Volvo estimates the 0-60 miles per hour time for the turbo in the low 5-second range, and I can buy that.
My S60 T6 AWD R-Design test car started at $40,300, but when the 1,000-watt Bowers & Wilkins premium sound system, special paint, a park assist system, 19-inch wheels and the long list of extras in the R-Design package were added, the price ballooned to $55,480 including freight. But for my money, the long list of features plus the benefits of AWD are worth the added cost, so my choice would be the T6.
I had a great week with the T6, even though I had time to run only one tank of premium unleaded through the turbocharged engine. As my wife likes to say, the car has good “pickup” (acceleration). It absorbed south Louisiana potholes without fuss and stayed flat in hard corners as well as sweeping curves. In short, the S60 was a pleasure to drive.
With the trademark logo centered on the grille and Thor’s hammer headlights on the corners, there’s no mistaking the S60s design for anything other than a Volvo. The car has Scandinavian roots, but you might be surprised to know that, according to the sticker, 20 percent of the car’s parts come from the U.S. and Canada and 40 percent come from Sweden or Belgium. The engine is Swedish, and the transmission is from Japan. The final assembly point is Ridgeville, South Carolina.
The S60 is gifted with very comfortable front seats, heated and covered in Nappa leather. Things are better in the front seats than in Row 2, however. There are three sets of seatbelts back there, but three normal-sized adults would be more comfortable if one of them was a kid. Volvo adds optional heated seats to the second row, making it more comfortable for the abovementioned adults and kid.
With a sunroof, the S60 has 37.4 inches of headroom in front and in Row 2 it’s 37.2 inches. Legroom is 35.4 inches in the back row. These number aren’t as large as some of the competition, but the cabin still feels roomy and accommodating.
Volvo’s Sensus infotainment and connectivity system is simple and intuitive to use. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported, and the car is a Wi-Fi hotspot.
And when it comes to safety, yes, Volvo is still a leader in the industry. The 2019 S60 has yet to be smashed into walls by the U.S. government, but the insurance industry has tested it and likes it a lot. The 2019 S60 scores gets the top score of “good” in every category except headlights, where it scored “marginal.”
Every S60 gets a suite of active and passive safety technologies Volvo calls City Safety. Included are automatic braking and collision avoidance systems that can detect pedestrians, cyclists and large animals like deer. Also, Volvo’s optional Pilot Assist system will steer for a short time on roads with well-painted lines and markers.
2019 Volvo S60 T6 R-Design AWD
Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder
Horsepower/Torque: 316/295 lb.-ft.
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Price: $40,300 ($55,480 with options & freight)
EPA Mileage Estimates: 21 mpg city/32 mpg highway/25 mpg combined
Estimated Highway Range: 464 miles