2019 Volvo S60 and V60 First Test: Finding the Swede Spot

Or spend part of that money on blind-spot monitoring, which unfortunately costs extra on the compact luxury entry from the brand known for safety. Although we wish that tech (called BLIS in Volvos) were standard across the line and not just on the R-Design and Inscription models, it’s worth noting that a $36,795 S60 Momentum base model starts thousands below the Lexus IS, Alfa Romeo Giulia, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. And even at that price, the S60 gets a panoramic moonroof, a 9.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, LED headlights with slick daytime running lights that don’t announce your car as a base model, 18-inch wheels, and safety tech that includes Run-off Road Mitigation, a lane keeping assist system, and automatic emergency braking that can detect pedestrians, cyclists, and large animals.

All trims offer Pilot Assist, which combines adaptive cruise control with a lane keeping assist system. Although the latter tech only works when it can detect lane markings on the road, the adaptive cruise control works well even in stop-and-go traffic. We’re a little less positive about the infotainment system on that 9.0-inch touchscreen. When complemented by the R-Design’s metal or the Inscription’s wood trim, the screen and the handful of buttons below it give the Volvos a refreshingly modern and clean interior. But the system has a couple drawbacks. Changing the amount of air or engaging air recirculation requires three clicks, including one to remove the HVAC screen. And even though Apple CarPlay and Android Auto greatly simplify in-car audio, phone, and navigation tasks, the systems only take up about half of that vertical-oriented screen—on the bottom.

Ease your frustrations with that subpar use of screen space by activating the Inscription model’s available massaging front seats. The S60’s prime competitors don’t offer that feature at any price, though if it’s a gotta-have feature, add the Lincoln MKZ to your short list. Volvo also continues to impress with its rear-seat headrest-folding functionality. Upon pressing a touchscreen button, the two outboard rear-seat headrests automatically fold down, increasing rear visibility. One-touch convenience extends to the V60 wagon, which has buttons in the cargo area to automatically fold down the rear seats to an almost completely flat position. And if you’d prefer the SUV-like styling of the Audi A4 Allroad and Subaru Outback, Volvo will happily point you to the upcoming V60 Cross Country model. S60 production begins late this year, with the V60 following in the first quarter of 2019.

Whichever S60 or V60 model you’re eyeing, the Volvos look distinctive inside and out. Combine that with the new, longer car’s decent interior space, and suddenly you’ve got a strong contender. Just skip the T8 plug-in hybrid and any trim with 19-inch wheels, as the car excels most when it isn’t trying to out-sport the segment leaders. As a $50,000 luxury four-door, the Volvo demands attention from those willing to look beyond the 3 Series and C-Class. We can’t wait to compare it to the rest of the segment.

2019 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design 2019 Volvo S60 T8 Polestar
BASE PRICE $47,395 $1,100/mo Care by Volvo Only
PRICE AS TESTED $54,740 (est) $1,100/mo Care by Volvo Only
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
ENGINE 2.0L/316-hp/295-lb-ft turbo + s’charged DOHC 16-valve I-4 2.0L/328-hp/317-lb-ft turbo + s’charged DOHC 16-valve I-4 plus 46-hp/110-lb-ft front, 87-hp/177-lb-ft rear elec motor; 415 hp/494 lb-ft comb
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,000 lb (56/44%) 4,431 lb (55/45%)
WHEELBASE 113.1 in 113.1 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 187.4 x 72.8 x 56.6 in 187.4 x 72.8 x 56.6 in
0-60 MPH 5.9 sec 4.5 sec
QUARTER MILE 14.3 sec @ 99.2 mph 13.1 sec @ 105.9 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 114 ft 110 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.91 g (avg) 0.90 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 25.8 sec @ 0.71 g (avg) 25.4 sec @ 0.75 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 21/32/25 mpg 27/34/30 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 160/105 kW-hrs/100 miles 125/99 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.78 lb/mile 0.65 lb/mile
2019 Volvo V60 T5 (FWD) 2019 Volvo V60 T6 AWD Inscription
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door wagon Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door wagon
ENGINE 2.0L/250-hp/258-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4 2.0L/316-hp/295-lb-ft turbo + s’charged DOHC 16-valve I-4
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,774 lb (56/44%) 4,095 lb (55/45%)
WHEELBASE 113.1 in 113.1 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 187.4 x 72.8 x 56.6 in 187.4 x 72.8 x 56.6 in
0-60 MPH 6.9 sec 6.0 sec
QUARTER MILE 15.3 sec @ 92.2 mph 14.4 sec @ 97.8 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 126 ft 121 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.83 g (avg) 0.84 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 27.1 sec @ 0.66 g (avg) 26.7 sec @ 0.66 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 24/36/28 mpg 21/31/25 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 140/94 kW-hrs/100 miles 160/109 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.69 lb/mile 0.79 lb/mile

Buy, Lease, or Subscribe? Pricing Details on Care by Volvo

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Buying and leasing aren’t the only ways to get into a 2019 Volvo S60 sedan. If a three-year lease seems too long and you’d rather walk to work than negotiate with a local dealer, Care by Volvo might be worth a try. The 24-month program includes maintenance, some wear and tear coverage, insurance coverage regardless of your location, and the ability to change Volvos at the 12-month mark.

At $775/month, Volvo offers an S60 T6 AWD Momentum with matte wood trim and two packages, which include blind-spot monitoring, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and a 13-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

Splurge for the $850/month option for an S60 T6 AWD in R-Design form with 19-inch wheels, R-Design visual and dynamic updates, and the same equipment as the Momentum option. Both variants carry MSRPs between $46,000 and $49,000.

Too much? The XC40 crossover’s Care options cost $650 or $750 per month.

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Pictured here is the 2019 Volvo S60 T8 Polestar Engineered plug-in hybrid

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