2019 Volvo S60: Sharp, Swedish Styling Made in America

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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  • George B George B on Jun 21, 2018

    I like the looks of the new Volvo S60. Not so sure I'd like it more than other choices at that price point. Probably comes down to how well Volvo has suppressed NVH from the 4 cylinder engine and how comfortable the seats are.

  • Asphaltcowboy Asphaltcowboy on Jun 21, 2018

    Decent looking car, but still a 4 door family sedan (relic of the last century). I hope this model helps Volvo catch up in sales to the Alfa Romeo Giulia! Also I hope that Volvo sorts out its quality issues with this new factory. Although the industry is now at an all time low for initial manufacturing defects (picked up by warranty repairs usually in the first few months after delivery) - Volvo is below the industry average at the bottom of the pack between Land Rover and Subaru! It doesn't fare much better in long term reliability/durability either - ranked as POOR by CR and below average by JDP.

    • See 1 previous
    • Garrett Garrett on Jun 21, 2018

      @cimarron typeR Guess that makes me crazy. So far, so good.

  • Snickel Fritz I just bought a '97 JX 4WD 4AT, and though it's not quite roadworthy yet I am already in awe of it's simplicity and apparent ruggedness. What I am equally in awe of, is the scarcity of not only parts but correct information regarding anything on this platform. I'm going to do my best to get this little donkey back on it's feet, but I wouldn't suggest this as a project vehicle for anyone who doesn't already have several... and a big impressive shop with a full suite of fabrication/machining/welding equipment, and friends with complimentary skillsets, and extra money, and... you get the idea. If you don't, I urge you to read up on the options for replacing anything on these rigs. I didn't read enough before buying, and I have zero of the above suggested prerequisites... so I'm an idiot, don't listen to me. Go buy all of 'em!
  • Bryan Raab Davis I actually did use the P of D trope, but it was only gentle chiding, for I love old British cars of every sort.
  • ScarecrowRepair The 1907 Panic had several causes of increased demand for money:[list][*]The semi-annual shift of money between farms and cities (to buy for planting and selling harvests)[/*][*]Britain and Germany borrowing for their naval arms race[/*][*]San Francisco reconstruction borrowing after the 1906 earthquake and fire[/*][/list]Two things made it worse:[list][*]Idiotic bans on branch banking, which prevented urban, rural, and other state branches from shifting funds to match demands. This same problem made the Great Depression far worse. Canada, which allowed branch banking, had no bank failures; the US had 9000 failures.[/*][*]Idiotic reserve requirements left over from the Civil War which prevented banks from loaning money; they eventually started honoring IOUs illegally and started the recovery.[/*][/list]Been a while since I read up on it, so I may have some of the details wrong. But it was an amazing clusterfart which could have been avoided or at least tamed sooner if states and the feds hadn't been so ham handed.
  • FreedMike Maybe this explains all the “Idiots wrecking exotic cars” YouTube videos.
  • FreedMike Good article! And I salute the author for not using the classic “Lucas - prince of darkness” trope, well earned as it may be. We all know the rap on BL cars, but on the flip side, they’re apparently pretty easy to work on (at least that’s the impression I’ve picked up). On the other hand, check the panel fits on the driver’s and passenger’s doors. Clearly, BL wasn’t much concerned with things like structural integrity when it chopped the roof off a car designed as a coupe.