2019 Volvo S60: Sharp, Swedish Styling Made in America
Volvo unveiled its third-generation, 2019 Volvo S60 today and I keep having the same thought — this is what the Buick Century could have evolved into if General Motors played its cards right. That’s not a dig on the tri-shield brand, the Regal is a fine automobile, but the S60 is a car worth getting excited about.
Strange, as the car isn’t really all that new. The XC60 and V60 have been around for a little while and Volvo’s sedan seems to be more of the same. But there are some key differences to go with the welcome similarities (the wagon obviously has the most in common with the S60), and there’s more to the automobile than just good looks and desirable specifications. The S60 represents Volvo’s first American-made car, built at its new $1.1 billion plant near Charleston, South Carolina. It’s also the first Volvo model to forego a diesel option.
For the most part, the sedan’s styling is on par with the very handsome wagon. There is an understated elegance with a hint of menace, helped largely by the “Thor’s hammer” LEDs bisecting the headlamps. The bodywork is a well thought-out series of muscular bulges and some carefully chosen hard edges — none of which appear overdone. There’s not much to fault here.
The interior is also very similar to the V60, which also uses the brand’s Scalable Product Architecture. It’s basically the S90, only more compact, with fewer fancy trim pieces and a different center armrest. Volvo’s 9-inch Sensus Connect touchscreen infotainment system is standard equipment and can be mated to either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. It can also serve as a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and runs a number of apps from go.
Tech spills over into driving aides with automatic braking coming standard. Volvo’s Pilot Assist package can be optioned if you want the vehicle to move through traffic (even stop-and-go) while maintaining its lane. Just remember to stay awake, as it’s definitely not self-driving.
A 250-horsepower T5 engine serves as the base powerplant. Front-wheel drive comes standard, but buyers can option all-wheel drive with the 316-horsepower S60 T6. There’ll also be Twin Engine plug-in hybrid variants. While it’s unclear if the hybrid T6 is destined for North America (there’s no pricing information on it), the 400-horsepower T8 definitely will be.
There’s also a Polestar Engineered S60 that tacks on an additional 15 horsepower to the T8 while tightening up the suspension and brakes. It boasts gold calipers, matching seat belts, and unique wheels.
Pricing for the Volvo S60 (T5 Momentum) begins at $36,795, including the $995 destination fee. The T6 Momentum starts at $41,295 whereas the T8 doesn’t bother itself with such a pedestrian trim. R-Design models will run $42,895 with the T5 engine, $46,395 with the T6, and $55,395 with the T8 Twin Engine plug-in. Luxury focused Inscription trims costs $43,895 with the T5, $48,395 with the T6 option, and $56,395 with the T8.
Volvo continues doing the Care by Volvo thing for the 2019 S60. While the program has been a bit of a mess, some might find it a superior alternative to leasing. Care by Volvo nets you the car, insurance, and basic maintenance for a flat monthly rate. It will only be available on three models of the S60: The S60 T6 AWD with Momentum ($775 per month), the S60 T6 AWD R-Design ($850 per month) and the Polestar Engineered T8, which Volvo plans to release pricing info for later.
Orders begin this month, but deliveries won’t start until later this year.
[Images: Volvo Cars]
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