2019 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design Review - One Sweet Swede

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
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Fast Facts

2019 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design

2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder (316 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm; 295 lb-ft @ 2,200-5,400 rpm)
Eight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
21 city / 32 highway / 25 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)
11.1 city, 7.3 highway, 9.4 combined. (NRCan Rating, L/100km)
Base Price
$40,300 (U.S) / $52,400 (Canada)
As Tested
$55,490 (U.S.) / $65,765 (Canada)
Prices include $995 destination charge in the United States and $2,115 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can't be directly compared.
2019 volvo s60 t6 awd r design review one sweet swede

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
Tim Healey

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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2 of 63 comments
  • Daniel J Daniel J on Jul 19, 2019

    I guess the question is, how much better is this than the Mazda 6 Signature or Honda Accord Touring? I get neither can be had in AWD, but still...just seems too pricey for what it is.

  • Banker43 Banker43 on Jul 20, 2019

    Anyone seriously looking at this car would be making a mistake to not consider the current A4 over this, or at least give it a test drive. I’ve driven several 2019 A4s and I am extremely impressed with the powertrain, and cabin setup is beautifully done with nice controls/buttons that are a pleasure to use and easy to figure out. Audi really nailed the ride/handling balance in this latest gen, too. I’d buy one, but my current 2014 A4 manual is paid for, runs great, and is fun to drive. The A4 is still made in Germany and owed by Germans—the whole Volvo Chinese ownership thing kinda irritates me I guess,too.

  • Theflyersfan Nope. Has nothing to do with Gladiator sales falling off of a cliff and having 5-figure discounts. Or...YTD 2023 compared to last year:Compass +7%Wrangler -14%Gladiator -31%Cherokee -25%Grand Cherokee +6%Renegade -35%Wagoneer -31%Grand Wagoneer: -14%End of 3Q 2023: 490,106 Jeeps soldEnd of 3Q 2022: 541,297 Jeeps sold490K is still a decent number of expensive SUVs sold, especially Grand Cherokees, but it's still a decline. And people want the 4xe models, so that could reverse the trend if they crank more of them out. But let's blame the government for everything. It'll lead a news cycle on any red hat network.
  • VoGhost California is the reason Dodge and Chrysler were starved of new models for the past decade. OK...
  • Random1 I don't know what the "right" price for transit/tolls/driving should be. I'm currently a commuter from Westchester, and it is cheaper for me to commute by car on days my wife is working (she's part-time so 2x/week, I'm 5x/week). Those costs, if you care, are $18/park and a somewhat optional $6.94 toll (pay or spend about 10min to take a free bridge) vs 23.50 round-trip each on Metro-North. That's absurd, either a)transit is too expensive(and we don't need to add subway/bus like many do) or b)driving/parking is too cheap, or c) bothFWIW, the congestion charge means I'll more or less never drive in again, so I guess it'll work?
  • SCE to AUX I'm not understanding the linkage between the old State v Federal domain debate, and layoffs at Stellantis.Stellantis has serious portfolio issues, so I'm inclined to blame layoffs on them.
  • Analoggrotto Meanwhile, we can't build enough Tellurides, Sorentos, Souls and are driving ATPs that only highstreet can get close to.