The 2019 Volvo S60 marks the 3rd total redesign of Volvo’s midsize sedan. The last generation made headlines with a stretched version that was the first street-able car sold here with a “Made in China” label. Fitting since Volvo is now owned by Chinese carmaker Geely.
But, in a turn of fortune, the new S60 is actually being assembled here, in Ridgeville, South Carolina. Since the S60 is now on the SPA platform that arrived with the XC90, we expect some other Volvo models to roll out of that plant as well.
Indeed, the S60’s powertrains are not unique from other vehicles on that platform, starting with a 250-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo I4 that comes in base front-wheel drive T5 models. T6 trim adds a supercharger into mix, boosting output to 316-horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque, as well as all-wheel drive. Finally, a Twin Engine PHEV T8 will be available soon.Regardless of power adders, all S60s feature an 8-speed automatic transmission.
While Momentum and Inscription trims hold down the luxury side of things quite well; Volvo is looking to push things deeper into the sport sedan category with the R-Design. Now R-Design in itself, is more of a sporty trim than a pure performance model. It can be added to either the T5 or T6 and includes unique 21-inch wheels, LED fog lights, and integrated dual exhaust tips. Inside, there’s also a sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, and upgraded leather and cloth upholstery.
In front or all-wheel drive, the S60 is a fabulous looking car. We enjoy Volvo’s modern take on their classic head and tail light shapes. Not that it’s flashy in any way. It’s aimed at buyers looking for luxury and style, that aren’t necessarily wanting to draw attention to themselves.
They’ll also get a car that’s smooth, quiet, and if you go for the turbo-supercharged T6, powerful as well. On the hi-tech side, the new S60 is available with the second generation of Volvo’s Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving system.
This S60 is significantly longer than its predecessor, and most of that added length benefits rear seat passengers. Not that front seat occupants don’t profit as well. You’ll find plenty of space here too, nestled in the modern plushness of Volvo’s Comfort seats. Trunk room is reasonable with 11.6 cu. ft. of wide, flat space.
A 9-inch Sensus touchscreen mostly dominates the dash. An updated processor for all 2019 Volvo models, means faster start-up and speedier response. A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster comes stock with R-Design; with numerous modes, including bringing up the navigation map. S60 standard equipment is quite comprehensive; including a panoramic sunroof, 10-speaker audio system, and automatic emergency braking.
So, overall, it’s not quite as over-the-top luxurious as the larger S90, yet it has the same smart Scandinavian atmosphere.
For our complete test of the 2019 Volvo S60, be sure to catch MotorWeek episode #3811, that begins airing on November 16, 2018. For a complete listing of the public television stations that broadcast MotorWeek, go to motorweek.org and click the “About The Show” tab at the top. New episodes of MotorWeek premiere on Tuesday evenings on MotorTrend Network.
The 2019 Volvo S60 is an exciting effort for Volvo; both in its technology and performance, and the fact that they have made a serious American commitment in the new plant. Both are great moves for a brand that is clearly on the rise.