At first blush, it is easy to jot down off the 2019 S60 as yet one more tackle Volvo’s acquainted formulation. However look nearer, spend some extra time with this svelte Swedish sedan, and you will see that, in some ways, it represents the most effective of what Volvo has to supply.
Volvo launched its Scalable Product Structure (SPA) in 2014 with the launch of its XC90 SUV, and this modular platform now underpins each 60- and 90-series mannequin within the firm’s portfolio. The S60 is the brand new child, however incorporates all of the tweaks Volvo has made to its SPA rubric over time. It is even bought a couple of efficiency tips up its sleeve.
The 2019 S60 is instantly recognizable as a contemporary Volvo. “Thor’s Hammer” LED working lights reduce by way of the headlamp housings and prolong inward towards the sedan’s grille, whereas squared-off corners on the decrease entrance fascia give the S60 a extra assertive look than its bigger S90 sibling. An extended dash-to-axle ratio — particularly for a front-wheel drive chassis, and curiously, the one fixed-length a part of the complete SPA structure — and brief rear deck give the S60 correct sport sedan proportions, whereas a chiseled rump prominently wears a daring taillight signature.
Inside, it is a comparable story of familial resemblance. Each S60 will get Volvo’s 9-inch Sensus infotainment touchscreen entrance and heart, with a easy row of redundant controls under. Tender leathers, lovely steel brightwork and open-pore wooden line the sprint, doorways and heart console. The entrance seats are a number of the most supple and supportive I’ve ever had the privilege of sitting in, and a low beltline and expansive windscreen supply a commanding view of the world exterior.
Rear passengers get pleasure from ample lodging, the brand new S60’s three.Eight-inch longer wheelbase affording improved again seat legroom. With 13.Eight cubic ft of cargo house, the S60’s trunk is completely enough for swallowing every week’s price of bags, and the again seats fold for much more storage. But when frequent Ikea runs are your factor (see what I did there?), you will clearly be higher off with a V60 wagon or XC60 SUV.
Properly appointed, tremendous trendy and fitted with the most effective seats within the enterprise. The S60’s cabin is pure Volvo.
Sensus, now with much less frustration
If there’s one space through which Volvo’s interiors have tended to wrestle, it is infotainment. Which is why I am comfortable to report that the S60 — and, the truth is, all autos produced from right here on out — get improved Sensus Join .
Each new Sensus system will get an upgraded chipset, which Volvo says improves processing energy by 50 %. Key areas of enchancment embrace a discount in system startup time (traditionally an enormous drawback), navigation processing and readiness to show the backup digital camera (ditto). And certainly, the whole lot works as marketed. Sensus fires up immediately, and shortly responds to inputs. Beforehand, Sensus was sort of like a youngster — sluggish to get up, and when you requested it to do an excessive amount of immediately, it’d freak out and shut down. That ought to now be a factor of the previous.
Sensus nonetheless is not good, in fact. The house display screen itself is simple to navigate and exquisite to behold, however numerous automobile settings are scattered all through menus positioned on totally different screens, or in drop-down menus. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are each included as normal tools, nevertheless, and I like that the smartphone mirroring tech does not take over the complete Sensus show — it is housed within the backside quadrant on the house display screen, so that you can increase and collapse as you want.
Sensus Join would possibly look the identical, however because of a sooner processor, it is means higher to make use of.
Turbocharged and supercharged, with non-compulsory electrical increase
You should buy the S60 with the identical T5, T6 and T8 Twin-Engine powertrains present in Volvo’s different SPA fashions, which all focus on a 2.Zero-liter gasoline I4 engine and an eight-speed automated transmission. The T5 completely makes use of front-wheel drive, whereas the T6 and T8 ship energy to all 4 wheels.
The T5 solely provides a turbocharger to the two.Zero-liter engine, leading to a wonderfully enough 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Go for the T6 and Volvo throws a supercharger into the combination, as nicely, for elevated output of 316 horsepower and 295 pound-feet — numbers that greatest its 2.Zero-liter-equipped Audi A4, BMW three Collection and Mercedes-Benz C-Class rivals. Volvo says an S60 T5 will speed up to 60 miles per hour in 6.three seconds, whereas the T6 AWD shaves a full second off that point.
In T6 R-Design spec, I discover that the S60 eagerly hustles alongside the canyon roads north of Malibu, California. There’s an instantaneous of hesitation earlier than the total torque thrust arrives at 2,200 rpm, however energy stays robust all through the remainder of the rev vary in every gear. The automated transmission shifts easily and does not require pointless coaxing to downshift for instant energy supply. Steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters are a pleasant contact, however do little to actually improve the drive.
That is high quality, as a result of the T6 goes about its enterprise with refined confidence. Not too sizzling, not too chilly — the S60 drives with a demeanor that feels extremely well-rounded for this sedan’s meant objective. It is splendidly compliant and cozy on lengthy stretches of the 101 Freeway, however affords taut reflexes when pushed round bends. I would like a bit extra weight to the steering effort within the automobile’s normal mode (switching into Dynamic fixes that), however usually talking, the S60 is completely nice in all conditions. It is simply as pleasing as an Audi A4 or Mercedes C300.
Three totally different powertrain choices, together with a plug-in hybrid with 400 horsepower, can be found.
If you’d like a bit extra energy, you will get it through electrical help. The S60 T8 Twin Engine combines the two.Zero-liter turbocharged and supercharged engine with a 10.Four-kilowatt-hour battery that drives a rear-axle-mounted electrical motor, for whole system output of 400 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque.
The T8 is a plug-in hybrid system, that means you may drive the S60 on pure electrical energy, albeit just for about 20 miles. Volvo estimates T8 gasoline economic system of 27 miles per gallon metropolis, 34 mpg freeway and 30 mpg mixed, in comparison with 21, 32 and 25, respectively, from the much less highly effective T6. That mentioned, count on the T8 to price about $Eight,000 greater than a equally geared up S60 T6.
A number of fortunate patrons — nicely, subscribers — will get an much more potent hybrid system. The S60 is Volvo’s first automobile to get its Polestar Engineered remedy, which provides go-fast goodies from the corporate’s efficiency arm. The powertrain will get model-specific tuning that ups output to 415 horsepower and 494 pound-feet of torque — wholesome numbers, although this model weighs almost Four,000 kilos. Polestar Engineered vehicles additionally get a entrance strut bar, gold-painted Brembo brakes, Öhlins adjustable dampers, 19-inch wheels and some distinctive styling components, like black chrome tailpipes and gold seat belts.
Reality be advised, I’ve a love/hate relationship with the S60 Polestar Engineered remedy, although actually it has nothing to do with the Polestar components themselves. These Öhlins dampers are a pleasure of joys, permitting for an excellent journey and dealing with steadiness on freeways, whereas nonetheless permitting the S60 to dig in and hold on whereas cornering on participating roads.
The most effective half concerning the Polestar Engineered remedy? Öhlins dampers. They’re improbable.
As a substitute, it is the T8 Twin Engine powertrain that makes this mannequin exhausting to actually get pleasure from. Throttle response is twitchy, energy supply is wonky and peaky, and the brakes are terrible. Not the Brembo brakes — these work simply high quality. I am speaking concerning the jarring sensation that happens if you change from heavy regenerative braking to mechanical stopping energy. Placing the automobile in Energy mode or individually deciding on Dynamic mode for the brakes ups the regen issue, and I suppose improves linearity and smoothness of braking power, however after a couple of hours of driving, I could not fairly get the hold of it.
Pushed similarly on the identical roads, I actually discovered the T6 R-Design to be a way more cohesive expertise. Give me these Öhlins dampers on a non-hybrid model — that is the Polestar Engineered S60 (or V60) I would like.
Not that it actually issues for you, my buddy, since all 20 US-bound S60 Polestar Engineered vehicles are already spoken for. However Volvo assures me this remedy will make its solution to different fashions within the not-too-distant future.
I like gooooold. And Brembo brakes.
Purchase, lease or subscribe
As a substitute, you can choose from Momentum, R-Design and Inscription trims, beginning at $35,800. Volvo is packing the bottom Momentum with plenty of normal tools, too, together with LED lights, 18-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof and the corporate’s Metropolis Security suite of driving aids, which incorporates collision warning with full auto brake, in addition to pedestrian, bicycle owner and enormous animal detection.
“We do not do silly issues [like] decrease choices or trims,” says Volvo North America CEO Anders Gustafsson. “This automobile will completely not be a rental automobile. These are very well-spec’d vehicles.”
The S60 R-Design begins at $41,900, whereas the extra luxurious Inscription is available in at $42,900.
You can even go the Care by Volvo subscription route, which bundles the price of your automobile, insurance coverage and upkeep into one month-to-month fee. Volvo will supply the S60 Momentum for $775/month or the R-Design for $850/month. And the corporate says it will not have any hassle assembly subscription demand this time round, both.
The US is barely getting 20 Polestar Engineered S60s to begin, they usually’re already spoken for. Womp womp.
Swedish excellence, made in America
Search for the S60 to begin trickling into showrooms proper as we substitute our 2018 wall calendars with 2019’s. They will not should journey far, both — each S60 might be made at Volvo’s brand-new manufacturing facility in South Carolina. This plant at the moment has the capability to construct 150,000 vehicles per 12 months, and can finally tackle manufacturing of the next-generation XC90, due in 2021.
For now, the 2019 S60 completes the transformation of Volvo’s lineup. It is as stable, trendy and simple to love as each different new Volvo, and higher positions the S60 inside the extremely aggressive class of compact luxurious sedans.
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