Cars Games Volvo S60

The 2019 Volvo S60 is Swedish style at a surprisingly good price

The 2019 Volvo S60 is Swedish style at a surprisingly good price

They are saying the sedan is lifeless and that the general public solely needs crossovers and SUVs now. If true, that is actually too dangerous, as a result of I feel we’re in one thing of a golden period for the four-door. On the cheaper finish of the market, you’ll be able to’t beat the brand new Honda Accord. Improve the MSRP a little—automobiles beginning within the mid 30s, say—and it is onerous to seek out a clear winner as a result of we’re spoiled for selection. And now that selection is a little more durable because of this: the brand new Volvo S60.

This is Volvo’s first American-made automotive, constructed at a new plant in Charleston, South Carolina. And it is the newest automotive to make use of Volvo’s Scalable Product Structure, the toolkit that additionally gave us the XC60 SUV, plus the larger S90 sedan, V90 wagon, and XC90 SUV. We have been fairly taken with every of the earlier SPA Volvos we have examined; they’ve appeared good, felt well-screwed collectively, and the Sensus infotainment system is higher than most. (Should you comply with these hyperlinks you’ll be able to examine all that in larger depth.) As a rule, I choose smaller automobiles to bigger ones and automobiles to SUVs, so the S60 (and the brand new V60 wagon which you’ll be able to examine tomorrow) have been the SPA automobiles I have been ready for.

Right here within the US the S60 is available in a number of variants, and the primary choice includes powertrains. The front-wheel drive T5 begins at $35,800 and is powered by a 2.0L four-cylinder gasoline engine. This modular design is widespread throughout the Swedish automaker’s lineup, and the T5 sports activities a turbocharger, 250hp (186kW), and 258lb-ft (350Nm). Equally, there’s additionally just one transmission throughout the vary: an eight-speed automated from Aisin.

Subsequent is the T6. It begins at $40,300 and provides all-wheel drive, in addition to an engine that is now turbo- and supercharged and good for 316hp (236kW) and 295lb-ft (400Nm). Underneath regular circumstances, the Borg-Warner system will ship all that “umph!” to its entrance wheels, however the automotive can ship as much as half its torque to the rear wheels if mandatory.

There’s an alternative choice if you need AWD: the T8 plug-in hybrid. It begins at $54,400 earlier than any tax credit, which have not been introduced however must be $5,002 if this web page is any information. The 2.0L retains each its pressured induction methods, nevertheless it does lose 3hp (2.2kW).

It additionally loses all of the mechanical bits aft of the engine: as an alternative of a driveshaft or torque tube, the transmission tunnel homes a 10.4kWh lithium-ion battery, which powers an 87hp (65kW) electrical motor between the rear wheels. Add that up and also you get 400hp (298kW) and 472lb-ft (640Nm), which is not dangerous when you think about what number of fewer horses and Newton-meters you get in your cash at different manufacturers.

Enlarge / This is the S60 T8 powertrain. The 2.0L engine is above the entrance axle (to the left of the picture), with the battery pack operating the size of the wheelbase.

Volvo

Volvo was eager to emphasize that the S60 is probably the most driver-oriented SPA car. Which will have been implied by the S60’s styling, which shares a lot with an electrical, 600hp, SPA-based) automotive referred to as the Polestar 1. It was apparent once we have been introduced with a stronger S80 T8, one which borrows each Polestar’s identify and its subscription-only mannequin.

The hybrid aspect of the powertrain stays the identical, however the gasoline engine has been persuaded to offer a little extra energy (328hp, so 415hp complete) and torque (317ft-lbs, 494ft-lbs complete). Behind the Polestar-specific alloy wheels (which do look good), you possibly can see greater brakes, and the gold calipers virtually shout their presence.

Much less seen however nonetheless current and simply as gold are the Öhlins adjustable dampers. Adjustable within the sense of “I’m at the track, I’ll just pop the hood and twist the valve” versus pushing a button to interact sport mode, which I feel is each refreshingly trustworthy and in addition a good excuse to admire the strut brace that is additionally distinctive to the Polestar Engineered S60.

On the within every little thing is clad in a mixture of technical materials and black leather-based. The entrance seats are segmented and offset by brilliant gold seatbelts. I feel it appears superb, however then I am a sucker for that sort of factor. The inside normally exhibits simply how far Volvo has come since we drove the previous-generation S60. “How far Volvo has come” was truly that evaluate’s subtitle, and it is a good filter by way of which to look if you wish to see the modifications in ergonomics, UI/UX, and so forth.

Even with its all-black inside, the Polestar by no means feels gloomy. A part of that is the large panoramic roof, and a part of that non-gloominess is the helpful improve in measurement over the earlier era automotive. That is all within the size (187.four inches/four,760mm, up four.9 inches) and principally within the wheelbase (113.1 inches/2,873mm, a rise of three.eight inches), which in flip principally advantages passengers sitting within the again. The new S60 is truly even a bit narrower (72.eight inches/1,849mm, -Zero.7 inches) and significantly shorter (56.6 inches/1,437mm, -1.eight inches), but it feels extra spacious partially on account of new designs for the seats and door playing cards.

Driving the brand new Polestar automotive made clear that Volvo had solved my chief complaints about its predecessor. The suspension is fairly nicely damped, though our drive route did not function a lot of the worst that Southern California has to supply. The automotive feels a lot lighter, which it virtually definitely is not, as a result of the steering is now a lot lighter.

Sadly the steering is not notably communicative, and even on a twisty canyon, you will have extra enjoyable with one thing rear-wheel drive like an Alfa Romeo Giulia or a Kia Stinger. So long as it is dry and sunny, that is. Overcast skies have been the perfect that LA might do, so I’ve but to seek out out whether or not the S60’s all-weather capacity is as good as I anticipate. For lengthy drives in dangerous climate (or amidst heavy visitors) the Volvo can be the one I might decide.

The S60 is nonetheless ready for the EPA’s ultimate ruling on gasoline financial system, however the Volvo is estimating metropolis/freeway/mixed mpg for the totally different powertrains as 24/36/28 for the T5, 21/32/25 for the T6, and 27/34/30 for the T8 hybrid. Volvo additionally estimates the T8 at 72mpge and says it ought to have an EV-only vary of 21 miles. In case you are on the lookout for a automotive which shall be pushed by electrical energy extra (or all) of the time, look elsewhere (or come again in 2020). The Chevrolet Volt is a positive plug-in hybrid that want by no means go to a fuel station, and the Tesla Mannequin three is incredible to drive (by all accounts) and clearly utterly electrical.

Volvo

However Volvo is not on the prowl for the sportiest drivers or greenest drivers for the S60. The carmaker is on the lookout for anybody who would in any other case contemplate a three Collection or an A4 or a C-Class. The BMW is about to get replaced, and I have never pushed a present C-Class, however it’s very evenly matched with the Audi. Each have broadly comparable driver aids that are extra succesful than most, though the Volvo provides extra security alerts (e.g. large-animal detection) and extra of them as commonplace.

The infotainment methods depart little to select from, aside from private preferences in relation to UI design. Audi’s digital dashboard is a little extra superior, and the simulated needles on its speedometer and rev counter by no means stutter or flicker like they do within the Volvo. However Volvo’s tile-based touchscreen UI is extra intuitive, and operating CarPlay or Android Auto inside a tab is a higher implementation than anybody else within the business. And Sensus has had an improve in comparison with the final time we encountered it; Volvo says an up to date chipset has minimize the time it takes to start out up, change to the backup digital camera, or recalculate instructions for instance.

The S60’s Swedish design definitely provides the phase one thing recent, and the intently associated XC60 has proved fairly a hit within the mid-sized luxurious SUV phase. Its additionally priced aggressively towards the Germans, though it might even get a fair greater edge because of that manufacturing unit in South Carolina, ought to the commerce struggle escalate…

Itemizing picture by Jonathan Gitlin