If you spend a lot of time driving, you probably won’t find a more comfortable vehicle than any created by Volvo.
My husband and I recently took a long road trip in the all-new 2019 Volvo S60 R-Design, and even after 6-hour stints sitting, we both exited the vehicle without stiffness and fatigue.
For a manufacturer to manage that for both of us is no mean feat since I’m 5 feet tall and weigh less than 100 pounds and my husband is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs almost 200 pounds.
The S60 is all-new for the 2019 model year, and upgrades have been made all around to the design, technology and creature comforts in this midsize sedan.
Both the interior and exterior of the S60 are an exercise in simplicity with clean lines and intuitive gauges and controls.
I’m especially fond of the large 9-inch vertical tablet-sized Sensus touchscreen on the center stack. There is a lot of information to disseminate here, but the primary functionality you need – navigation, phone, climate and audio – are immediately accessible on the home screen.
If you’re paging through anything, you shouldn’t be doing it while you’re driving.
I like the larger buttons on the main screen, which make it easy for fingers of all sizes to hit the right action item. Additionally, the screen itself seemed impervious to cold, and even when my fingers were freezing, they were still able to tap buttons and have them function.
This isn’t always the case – sometimes I must wait until the screen or my fingers warm up to access menu items.
One of the trademarks I’ve always liked about Volvo is it has always put safety first, and in fact, Volvo was one of the first automakers to commit to making automatic emergency braking standard on all of its models.
Thus, another great thing about the Volvo S60 is it’s chockfull of standard safety features, including automatic emergency braking, road sign information, rear collision mitigation support and lane keep assist.
Available safety features include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, active bending lights and adaptive cruise control.
It’s also worth noting that even though the boxy shape is gone, the safety cage remains, and the S60 is reinforced with ultrahigh-strength boron steel.
At the time of posting this article, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hadn’t rated the 2019 S60, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives it top marks pretty much across the board – with one exception. It rates the headlights as “marginal” because of inadequate visibility in some instances.
The S60 R-Design is equipped with a 2.0, 4-cylinder turbocharged and supercharged engine, and is another shining example of why you don’t really need a V-6 when you have an engine that operates this smoothly and efficiently.
This engine delivers 316 horsepower and 296 pound-feet of torque, providing plenty of spirited driving. No matter whether I was passing on the highway or trying to make quick turns into traffic from a stop, the S60 always delivered.
There are two other powertrains available, both of which are also based on a 4-cylinder engine.
The base engine, offered in the T5, is a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that delivers 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.
The up-level engine, available in the T8, is also a 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged engine that is also mated to an 87-horsepower electric motor.
Combined output is 313 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
The S60 is available in X trims, with the pricing as follows:
- T5 Momentum FWD: $36,795
- T6 Momentum AWD: $41,295
- T5 R-Design FWD: $43,540
- T6 R-Design AWD: $48,040
- T8 R-Design eAWD Plug-in Hybrid: $56,040
- T5 Inscription FWD: $43,895
- T6 Inscription AWD: $48,395
- T8 Inscription eAWD Plug-in Hybrid: $56,395
One more thing that should be noted is the S60 is the first Volvo built at the company’s first US manufacturing plant in Charleston, South Carolina.
The Bottom Line:
It’s taken a while, but Volvo has finally managed to transform from quirky to elegant. The previously boxy designs are gone, with echoes lingering in the strong lines and c-shaped taillights.
But from Thor’s hammer in the headlights to the graceful wheel designs, the Volvo S60 maintains some individuality without sacrificing good looks.
But what sells this vehicle more than any design upgrade is the standard safety and sheer driving pleasure.