By on June 20, 2018

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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56 Comments on “2019 Volvo S60: Sharp, Swedish Styling Made in America...”


  • avatar
    Alfisti

    My daily driver is a 10 year old Saab waggon so I should be all over this and / or the v60. I. Essence I am, really like them but the price in Canada for a reasonably equipped model is eye watering. I mean really, really eye watering.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    So, what makes this better than Buick Lacrosse?

  • avatar
    Robbie

    This review is rather low on content…

    • 0 avatar

      Show us where the word “review” appears here. This is a news release about an unveiled, not-yet-available car.

      Generally reviews say “Review” in the title, and that’s always the case at TTAC.

  • avatar
    civicjohn

    I think this is a really good looking car, kudos to them for at least trying to keep sedans alive. Since it’s built in SC instead of China, I’m going to get a test drive when they start showing up. I saw other pictures where they had plaid seats, if I were to get one, it would certainly be leather, not the inside of one of my old business suits.

    Don’t really understand what the Polestar edition brings to the party.

  • avatar

    Does it look promising? Yep. Do I like the styling? Yes, very much.
    Is it priced like a German car with superior badge? Uh huh.
    Will you lose far too much money in depreciation if you buy one as new? Si.

    • 0 avatar
      Garrett

      I think if you go apples to apples, it will come out cheaper than a BMW offering.

      $40k is the entry point for RWD and just under 250hp for the 330i – more than the T5 S60 with 250hp.

      If I spec out a Volvo S60 T6 to my liking, it comes in around $48k and change. To get a comparable BMW 340i xDrive, I hit $56k before I even get to choose paint or other options and am at $60k before I get a comparable vehicle.

      The Volvo pricing is significantly better than what you get for you money with BMW which is why I would be significantly more likely to decrease the BMW content in my garage and increase the Volvo content in about 2 years or so.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Why should a FWD compact sedan look more cramped in the back than a RWD compact sedan?

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    That’s a beautifully styled car inside and out.

    FWD is not appealing for this price point and segment, though, and AWD will probably be 2-3 grand on top of the $42K minimum T6 buy-in. That’s getting ambitious compared to AWD models of the 3 series, A4, Q50, and IS. And it’ll depreciate. And longer term ownership would scare me.

    I want money to throw away on leases.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      I’m pretty sure the T6 is only AWD and T5 is only FWD.

      • 0 avatar
        IHateCars

        It’d be awesome if they did a true S60R, in the vein of the ’04-’07 Rs….’cuz this is a seriously good looking car.

        • 0 avatar
          Advance_92

          It does look like they’re offering the more or less active suspension from the old Rs as an option, but I don’t see what sets the “R design” apart from any other version.
          On the other hand, unlike the Rs there’s no manual option.

          • 0 avatar
            Garrett

            R-Design has the “sport chassis” – basically suspension is former. Also, interior bits are a bit different, like the seats.

            If you go Momentum or Inscription, you can get the 4–C system to change suspension setup on the fly.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I look forward to getting one. As an upgrade. From Hertz.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    Stylistically, it’s halfway between a Charger and an M3.

  • avatar
    ernest

    Good looking car. Very good looking, matter of fact.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Inoffensive. Side glass not resembling a gun turret. What looks like an actual trunk in the back! Almost a Swedish Camry!

      Wayyy too much $$$$, however!

  • avatar
    ajla

    Whoever styled these latest Volvos (inside and out) needs to be cloned and hired by many other automakers.

    In a world plagued by so many garbage robo-fish and gimmicky designs, these cars are a breathe of fresh air.

    It’s almost enough to make me forget about what’s under the hood. But not quite.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    It looks like thirty thousand bucks! Good luck to ya, Geely.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      1 PART stylish vehicle

      Add a new Chinese owner

      Combine a very expensive MSRP for what one gets

      Blend with a very, very unknown future reliability (or worse yet, durability) record =

      ABSOLUTELY MONSTROUS, EPIC DEPRECIATION.

      Unlike past, Swedish made Volvos, these things are going to be BHPH lot fodder all over the USA.

      I can’t wait to see the % of Chinese made parts/components that show up on the window sticker of this car.

      • 0 avatar

        Ah, good to see this old argument come around. Always some new, fresh point to make, eh DW?

        The tech in this car started back in 2012 or so, and has been in popular use since the intro of the XC90. There’s a fair bit of data on it at this point, for better or for worse.

        Regarding content, I really can’t wait for you to fall over when you read the content on some Chevy or Chrysler and realize that it, too, is 8532% Chinese because, well, that’s how globalization works.

        But sure, carry on with your assumptions. People were saying the same thing about Japan in the 60s and South Korea in the 90s but I’m sure this time you’re totally right.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          So what have the Geely-owned Volvos reliability/durability record looked like thus far, from all credible data points?

          And if that record is fair or better, are you claiming that this new S60 uses the same engines, auxiliary engine components, transmissions, and major drivetrain components?

        • 0 avatar
          TwoBelugas

          “People were saying the same thing about Japan in the 60s and South Korea in the 90s but I’m sure this time you’re totally right.”

          It took the Japanese and Koreans decades to grind their way to the front of quality arena(get back in line Nissan), they didn’t buy AMC and start charging Cadillac prices for Korean built Eagles.

        • 0 avatar
          Asdf

          “that’s how globalization works”

          Such pathetic defeatism.

      • 0 avatar
        RSF

        100% Agree here.

  • avatar
    spookiness

    That car sure is purdy.

  • avatar
    b534202

    New factory, new car, new workers. I don’t like the odds.

  • avatar
    V16

    The new S60 may take the prize for ‘most stylish midsize sedan.’
    Congratulations to both Volvo and South Carolina on their partnership.

  • avatar

    I’ll take the V60 over the sedan via European delivery thank you very much.

    • 0 avatar
      Garrett

      I would be more inclined to go that route as well, unless the wagon tax ends up making it not worth it.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Garrett, serious question…

        …you a fanbois and/or homer for Volvo, and if so do you work for Volvo or any supplier thereto and/or reside in South Carolina?

        (Yes, I went there. Why not? This is, IMO, a very stylish vehicle, but, and you can call me cynical, jaded, unreasonably skeptical, or worse for it, ABSOLUTELY AND INHERENTLY AND DEEPLY, FUNDAMENTALLY, LEERY of the long term reliability and durability of anything produced by a Geely-owned enterprise, particularly given the powertrain specs).

    • 0 avatar
      Advance_92

      Decisions, decisions. With European delivery you could also spec it just as you want it.The care by volvo is not a bad idea, but at this price I wish there was more focus on custom builds, too.

  • avatar
    tombalas

    The same day the new S60 was unveiled, the JD Power Initial Quality Survey hammered Volvo by placing the brand 29th out of 31 – only besting Jaguar and Land Rover.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I love the look, but I think that’s about where I have to limit this relationship.

  • avatar
    jfk-usaf

    Jeep Cherokee comment… Its not a FCA product so its not made of spray cheese and tin foil…

  • avatar
    mechimike

    My understanding of the Geely- Volvo relationship is that while the Chinese do, in fact, nominally own Volvo, they pretty much let the folks in Goteborg do their own thing. Which is to say, churn out sedans the likes of which no other automaker produces.

    Good for them.

    I seem to be seeing more and more of the newer Volvo’s on the roads around here. They’re great-looking cars.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Conflicted on this one. I love the fact that my former (and future retirement) home of Charleston, SC has the ability to provide more jobs, but am no fan of Chinese ownership. For what it’s worth, it is a decent-looking car…

  • avatar
    George B

    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.

  • avatar
    asphaltcowboy

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      cimarron typeR

      Handsome, but I’m afraid its going to be another Lincoln MKZ. Much prettier to look and suspect build quality/hum drum dynamics. I mean seriously, who’d be crazy enough to buy a car that has a supercharger and a turbocharger.If you’re going to throw caution into the wind go with an Alfa.
      If I were shopping in this segment it would be Genesis 1st, upcoming 3 2nd.Giulia 3rd.


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