- Son of S90 style
- Promise of good performance
- Sedate interior
- Lots of safety gear
- Market has moved toward crossover SUVs
- Is it too much like the S90?
- Care by Volvo subscription off to a rocky start
- Polestar Engineered not on T5, T6
The 2019 Volvo S60 should give the "default" German choices a real run for the money.
The 2019 Volvo S60 is what happens when a car is left in the dryer too long. The long-awaited heir to Volvo's aging compact luxury sedan lineup that dates back to its iconic 240, the 2019 S60 rounds out Volvo's several-year effort to remake its entire range.
At first glance, the wait was worth it—even at the S60's roughly $37,000 base price.
The S60, which will be offered in Momentum, R-Design, and Inscription trim levels with a choice of powertrains, channels its bigger S90 brother almost to a fault. Up front, its take on Volvo's vertical, pedestrian impact-friendly front end varies from the S90 only in its lower fascia detailing. From the side, the shorter S60 appears more sinuous than the elongated S90. At the rear, the two are nearly indistinguishable with their C-shaped taillights—although the widely spaced Volvo badge has moved from between the taillights on the S90 to above them on the S60.
Inside, the S60 finally gets its version of what's becoming the Volvo mold for interiors. Light on buttons, the interior features a vertically arrayed touchscreen for infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that looks and acts like a tablet computer. Delicate interior details such as light driftwood trim and and perforated leather upholstery can dress up the S60, especially in Momentum trim.
The S60 R-Design that sits in the middle of the lineup features less chrome outside, a blacked-out interior, and silver mesh-like trim inside. It also gets a sport-oriented suspension and 19-inch wheels.
A trio of engines lie under the 2019 S60's hood, each with its own name: T5, T6, and T8. In the T5, a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 cranks out 250 horsepower, which is sent via an 8-speed automatic transmission to the front wheels. The T6 adds a supercharger for a total of 316 hp delivered to all four corners. Topping the line is the T8 plug-in hybrid that adds an electric motor for a combined output of 400 horsepower.
The S60 T8 will launch after its siblings and it will be available with performance upgrades such as an Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes, and a 15-hp boost from Volvo's in-house tuner Polestar.
Of course, Volvo hasn't forgotten about safety. Standard gear on all S60s includes automatic emergency braking that can detect pedestrians, cyclists, and large animals. Volvo's Pilot Assist system, which keeps the car in its lane and away from other vehicles or obstacles to let drivers take their hands off the wheel for short periods of time, is optional.
At about $37,000 to start, the S60 T5 Momentum anchors the lineup. The sporty looking S60 T5 R-Design costs about 43,000, while the dressy S60 T6 Inscription is priced at about $44,000. The T6 engine with its standard all-wheel-drive system adds $3,500 to $4,500, depending on the trim level. The plug-in hybrid T8 tops the lineup at about $55,400 in R-Design guise and $56,400 in Inscription trim.
The S60 is available as part of the Care by Volvo subscription service, which includes insurance and maintenance in a single monthly fee. Just three S60 tiers are available as part of this service, starting at $775 monthly for a T6 Momentum with the optional Premium and Multimedia packages and a choice of eight exterior and two interior hues. For $850, the T6 R-Design adds its sport-oriented suspension, partial nappa leather upholstery, and 19-inch wheels.
Volvo will eventually offer the S60 T8 Polestar Engineered via subscription in limited numbers. Pricing for that model hasn't been announced.