2019 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design Review - One Sweet Swede
2019 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design
Mid-size luxury sports sedans are supposed to strike a balance between comfort, sportiness, and safety. Consider the 2019 Volvo S60 well-rounded.
Riding on the same platform that underpins all 60 and 90 series Volvos, the S60 T6 I tested came with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that is both turbocharged and supercharged to the tune of 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Transversely laid out, this engine connects to an eight-speed automatic transmission and the drivetrain is all-wheel drive.
Nearly 300 lb-ft of torque from a car weighing in the neighborhood of 3,700 pounds translates into a 5.3-second 0-60 mph time, according to Volvo’s testing. Having no test equipment handy, and also having a healthy desire to avoid more speeding tickets, I can’t verify that time, but I can verify that the car was swift off the line.
Straight-line performance wasn’t the only thing I liked about this stylish Swede. It proved competent in corners thanks to a double-wishbone setup up front and an integral link rear-suspension setup, and adjustable drive modes that dialed up the fun factor.
Not all was perfect — the accurate steering suffered a bit from artificial feel, although its heft was appropriate.
Ride didn’t suffer too much in the name of fun, but as one would expect from a sport sedan, it was a bit on the stiffer side. Nothing that commuters can’t live with, but just enough to annoy those who want to be coddled.
Style-wise, the S60 has a mostly no-frills look, but the headlights, lower front fascia, and grille form up to show aggression appropriate to a sedan with sporting intent. The look is quieter out back, despite swoopy taillights and large exhaust outlets that are vaguely rectangular in shape.
The star of the show inside the cabin is the 9-inch vertical touchscreen that houses all the infotainment bits, including Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and navigation. Such a tall screen makes for easy reading, but manipulating it to change menus was at times an exercise in frustration. It does become easier to use over time as one acclimates.
Acclimate one must, since Volvo has relocated many of its controls to the touchscreen. While the lack of buttons gives the lower dash a cleaner look, prepare for confusion until you get used to the various menus.
I did dig the digital gauge cluster, which had the ability to show the nav screen between the speedo and tach.
At $55K as-tested, this Swede doesn’t follow in the footsteps of a certain Swedish furniture-maker — pricing is on the premium side. True, the $40K base tag is a bit more reasonable, and it includes things like blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, the digital cluster, the tall touchscreen, nav, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, lane-keep assist, collision avoidance, moonroof, two USB ports, Bluetooth, 18-inch wheels, heated seats, and leather seats.
Opting for the R-Design package costs you over $6K and adds fog lamps, premium audio, and a plethora of unique design elements. A $2,500 Advanced Package added a head-up display, LED headlights, a 360-degree camera, a semi-autonomous driving system with adaptive cruise control, and self-cleaning headlamps.
Other options included heated rear seats and steering wheel ($750), a different premium sound system, ($3,200), the metallic paint job ($645), Park Assist Pilot ($200), and 19-inch wheels to replace the 18-inchers ($800). The destination charge was $995.
Fuel economy for the T6 R-Design car is listed at 21 mpg city/32 mpg highway/25 mpg combined.
The S60 isn’t a perfect sports sedan, but its flaws are minimal, and it strikes a nice balance between sporty, sleek/stylish, safe, and sedate.
A balance that leans just enough towards sporty while still being well-rounded, thus making this Volvo one of the stronger choices in the mid-size sport-sedan class.
[Images © 2019 Tim Healey/TTAC]
Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.
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