2019 Volvo S60 luxury sedan first look: Carolina on its mind

June 20, 2018

The 2019 Volvo S60 sedan that finally rolled across production floors Wednesday is significant for the automaker for several reasons.

First, the automaker's newest sedan also ushers in its newest production plant, based in Charleston, South Carolina, and the first car in Volvo's more than 90-year history to be produced entirely on American soil. The new facility will eventually build the XC90 crossover and will produce up to 150,000 cars each year.

Second, the S60 rounds out Volvo's 60-Series vehicles, which launched a year ago with the XC60 (one of our Best Car to Buy 2018 finalists), added the V60 wagon this year, and now mostly finishes with the S60 four-door sedan.

When it goes on sale this year, the S60 will be available in Inscription, Momentum, and R-Design trims with a choice among three engines in the U.S.: a front-wheel-drive T5 gas-only engine; an all-wheel-drive T6; or, a high-performance, plug-in hybrid-only T8. A plug-in hybrid T6 will be available in other parts of the world, but not initially in the U.S., and performance upgrades by in-house tuner Polestar is available for the T8 version.

The 2019 S60 will cost $36,795 in base configuration for a T5 Momentum version and can run up past $56,000 for a T8 plug-in hybrid in the spendy Inscription trim. Subscription prices start a $775/month for a T6 all-wheel-drive Momentum model or $850/month for a T6 R-Design trim. The top package, a T8 plug-in hybrid with performance upgrades, hasn't yet been detailed, but will only be available through subscription.

Volvo says sign-ups for subscription versions will be available immediately, but didn't say when those cars would be available. Dealers will be able to sell the S60 sometime after October.

DON'T MISS: 2019 Volvo XC40 first drive: a subscription worth renewing

Like the two 60-Series vehicles before it, the 2019 S60 sports a profile that's scaled down from the bigger S90, and offers powertrains from the V60 and XC60.

The signature "Thor's hammer" headlights figure prominently into the S60's nose and wrap forward into the upright beak that skips the trendy, luxury gaping maw for a more puckered kisser. At least, according to our eyes.

Also like the V60 before it, the S60 has deep scallops and a low crease along the body sides that visually lowers the car's weight, and rises toward a taller tail. The S60 skips the S90's long trunk for a blunter look, and the wide "Volvo" badging has been moved from between the taillights to underneath the rear decklid.

The S60's rear taillights aren't as upright as the S90's either; although both bookend the rear with C-shaped light arrangements, the smaller sedan's lights pinch toward the top for a racier look.

Volvo didn't detail the S60's dimensions, but it should largely follow the V60 with two additional inches of rear leg room, and ride atop a base with roughly 113 inches between the wheels.

Inside, the S60 sports a raft of technology that's now commonplace on new Volvos, including active safety features and a large, tablet-style touchscreen for infotainment.

MUST SEE: Care By Volvo plans Netflix-style subscriptions for cars; here are the details

The S60 includes City Safety technology that can automatically brake to avoid oncoming collisions with cars, pedestrians, bicyclists, or large animals. Optional is Volvo's Pilot Assist program that can help keep the S60 in its lane during highway driving with limited hands-off driving time, or guide the car through stop-and-go city traffic on cramped interstates.

Volvo's Sensus touchscreen is included as well, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Like most Volvos, the tech-heavy look is moderated with Swedish-style simplicity—think IKEA meets iPad.

Volvo said the S60 will be available through its Care by Volvo subscription plan that lets owners skip a down payment and pay a flat monthly fee for up to two years with the option of trading up after one year. Care by Volvo launched with the automaker's XC40 crossover and added the V60 this year.

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