10:30 AM | October 27 2019
Volvo S60: The experts’ view on All-New sports sedan
Australian motoring experts have delivered their first impressions on Volvo’s All-New S60 sports sedan. We find out what they think.
A drive through lush South Australian countryside from Adelaide to the Barossa Valley has provided Australian motoring experts with their first local experience of the All-New Volvo S60.
And the consistent verdict is a high rating for the company’s latest-generation mid-sized sports sedan.
Before we cover the more objective views of the motoring media, subjectively it’s clear the testers were enamoured with the S60 R-Design’s handsomely athletic design that is marked by gloss-black exterior trim elements and bold 19-inch alloy wheels.
“The two subjects at hand [T5 R-Design and T8 R-Design] are handsome roosters in the metal, with lovely New Volvo sweeping lines and seductive details … nicely organic with its subtle R-Design enhancement and 19-inch rolling stock,” wrote Curt Dupriez for CarAdvice. “It’s a dignified, upmarket look…”
CarsGuide took the styling compliments further.
“It’s one of the best-looking cars in the segment, and that largely comes down to the fact that it appears more resolved and luxurious-looking than its rivals,” said CarsGuide’s senior editor Matt Campbell.
Reviewers were widely impressed with the S60’s interior that brings distinctive Scandinavian design and craftsmanship to the luxury sedan segment. The R-Design models tested adopt a sportier look with Metal Mesh décor panels, contrast stitching for the seats, centre console, doors and gearshift lever gaiter, and leather-accented R-Design Contour seats that combine legendary Volvo comfort with additional support for dynamic driving.
“If you’re not taken by what’s outside, jump inside and the S60 is sure to surprise and delight,” said GoAuto. “Simply put, there isn’t another model in this segment that feels this luxurious without boxes being ticked.”
CarAdvice again: “Cabins … are minted in that Swedish Renaissance design that’s worked so successfully in Volvo’s other contemporary S, V and XC lines.
“Materials, fit and finish, presentation: from the 360-degree camera display to the evenness of the double-row trim stitching, there’s nothing about the S60’s interior that looks or feels cut-priced.”
Wheels magazine said it was hard to pick fault with the sedan’s interior finish, while noting rear cabin space had also been greatly improved.
“Materials quality is excellent and the cabin feels an almost direct port from XC60, with the same soft-touch materials, portrait infotainment screen, digital dials and knurled starter knob. CarPlay, Android Auto and high-quality leather – it’s all there from the most affordable model.”
Media experienced both drivetrains available with the All-New Volvo S60. These comprise the turbocharged T5 engine, which produces 192kW of power and 400Nm of torque in R-Design models courtesy of Polestar optimisation, and the T8 Twin Engine that delivers exceptional performance and efficiency with its combination of 246kW turbocharged/supercharged petrol engine and 65kW electric motor.
Both drivetrains incorporate an eight-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive.
CarsGuide said it spent most of its time in the “sporty” T5 R-Design, enjoying the performance regardless of which engine mode they had selected.
“[The T5] is impressively quick when you engage Polestar mode, but never leaves you feeling like you’re at the ragged edge. In normal driving, with Normal mode engaged, the engine response is more measured, yet still sprightly.”
GoAuto said: “Like the T8, the T5 is matched to a smooth-shifting eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission and a reassuring all-wheel-drive system…”
CarAdvice and News.com.au shared their appreciation for the T8 drivetrain.
“Jump on the loud pedal and thrust is instant, solid and satisfying … complete with a nice tuneful engine note. It’s the sort of thrust perfectly aligned with the robust and dignified premium vibe the rest of the S60 package promises,” said CarAdvice.
News.com.au’s Craig Duff also noted the T8’s ability to provide emissions-free motoring for shorter journeys via its 65kW electric motor.
“Acceleration is impressive but you can switch to Pure electric mode for the daily commute. Volvo says the T8 will cover 40km on battery power and a brief test shows it regenerates quickly under brakes.”
Experts were also unified in acknowledging the S60’s extensive safety equipment, as well as a generous equipment line-up and sharp pricing. GoAuto, for example, said:
“If value for money is your only consideration, then we should end this review here. The S60 is the undisputed champion when it comes to mid-size premium sedans.”
In summary, News.com.au succinctly wrote: “Brilliantly built and smartly priced, the S60 is a stylish alternative to the usual Europeans.”
CarsGuide concluded that the new-generation Volvo S60 “follows the brand’s recent form in offering impressive, luxurious and comfortable models that also happen to offer extensive equipment and strong safety levels.”