Volvo’s hassle-free drive could be what you’re after if you like straightforward yet sophisticated car designs.
By motoring journalist Tim Barnes-Clay – Instagram @tbarnesclay and Twitter @carwriteups.
The latest Volvo S60 is a looker – and a handler. It’s also got loads of refinement with road and wind noise subdued at motorway pace. Engine din is nicely quelled in the petrol-powered automatic, too. Interestingly, Volvo says it doesn’t plan to make any diesels of this model – and there’s only a single trim to choose from: the R-Design Edition.
Economy-wise, the 250ps 2.0-litre T5 S60, as driven here at its media launch in Scotland, isn’t a bad motor. I managed to get towards the higher end of the 35.3-39.8mpg claimed range. However, even with 250 horses under the hood, the Swedish car doesn’t feel athletic. Push hard, and there’s a bit of a grumble and a wave of torque from the nethermost regions of the S60’s rev range – but it begins to sound coarse at the other end of the spectrum.
The gears are good, though; if you let the eight-speed automatic transmission work like a dog, it’ll enable the powerplant to build velocity. Mind you, if you control the gears by activating the shift paddles on the Volvo’s steering wheel, you’ll discover the cogs are sluggish off the mark.
But there’s no argument that the all-new S60 R-Design Edition is tasty. It has 19-inch alloys fitted as standard, and its cabin is almost certainly the best in its class. It has a straightforward yet sophisticated design, and fine materials are fitted everywhere. Furthermore, the infotainment system is user-friendly, due to an on-the-ball touchscreen display. The all-digital dials are easy-on-the-eyes as well.
The new S60’s light steering means it’s hassle-free to drive, and the tremendously comfortable seats alleviate any unevenness in the ride. There’s a lot of headroom – and legroom in the front and back is plentiful as well.
So, 2019’s S60 isn’t sure if it’s a sumptuous cruiser or a sporty four-door saloon with a burly petrol engine. It’s attempting to be both at present, and it doesn’t quite work. Fortuitously, the Volvo has lots going for it, due to its choice cabin and top-notch refinement. But this launch version is not as stirring as it has the capacity to be.
Fast Facts: All-new Volvo S60 T5 R-Design Edition
- Max speed: 145mph
- 0-62 mph: 6.5 sec
- Combined mpg: 35.3
- Engine layout: 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol turbo
- Max. power (PS): 250
- CO2: 155g/km
- Price: £37,935