This premium sedan with the Ford-based underpinnings has been in the Volvo stable for eons, yet it still cuts an elegant profile and benefits from the decidedly un-German ethos of this Swedish automaker. Safety, of course, is a given, with standard City Safe with automatic collision-mitigation braking. There’s also a laundry list of optional safety systems and driver’s aids.
The S60’s interior is refreshingly simple, reflecting a Scandinavian aesthetic with pleasing textures and use of colour. Backlit gauges with three “modes” are clear and classy, however the aging centre stack suffers from a small screen and crowded, small buttons.
On the road, the S60 in all its guises feels solid and secure. With the exception of the Polestar model, its demeanor is more cruiser than handler. Back seat room trails other sedans in this category.
The S60 may be an aging product, but Volvo is still putting this five-seat sedan to work. For 2016, there are nine S60 models to choose from, front and AWD spanning four-, five- and six-cylinder power plants at six horsepower ratings: 250 hp (turbo 2.5L 5-cyl), 240 hp, 302 hp and 367 hp (turbo or turbo/supercharged 2.0L), 300-hp, 325-hp (turbo 3.0L straight-six).
Don’t look for any rationale in the naming structure. T5 can mean either the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder or 2.5L turbo inline-five, and T6 refers to either the 2.0L with turbocharger and supercharger or the 3.0L turbo inline-six. All these engines run on regular grade gasoline.
Opening at $38,800, the S60 T5 Drive-E FWD is the most fuel efficient (8.3 L/100 combined) with its 240-hp, 258 lb-ft 2.0L turbo and smooth eight-speed auto. This is an excellent drivetrain.
The T6 Drive-E FWD ($44,050) ups the 2.0L’s power to 302 horses and 295 lb-ft with the addition of supercharging (9.9 L/100 km combined). Add $3000 for the T6 Drive-E AWD.
Those looking for more flair will gravitate to the S60 T6 Drive-E AWD R-Design that, at $52,000, bestows a number stylish upgrades both inside and out along with paddle shifters for the eight-speed auto and bi-xenon headlights.
Stepping back to older drivetrain technology, Volvo offers the $51,400 S60 T5 AWD Special Edition with a 2.5L inline-five that makes 250 hp and 266 lb-ft (10.1 L/100 km combined). It is hooked to a six-speed automatic. Old or otherwise, this is a smooth and torquey engine that imparts the sedan with effortless urge. Making this a “Special Edition” is its full complement of safety systems, driver’s aids and convenience features – stuff that is optional on other models. Consider this a value proposition.
The least expensive S60 with AWD is the T6 AWD at $46,350. This gets the old transversely-mounted 3.0L turbo straight-six (300 hp, 325 lb-ft) hooked to a six-speed auto, another strong drivetrain that will soon be history due to its relative thirst (11.2 L/100 km combined). If you want faster and flashier, the T6 R-Design AWD ($51,250) boosts the six’s output to 325 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque and adds all the R trimmings plus upgraded audio, digital TFT display and 18-inch “Ixion” alloys.
The $49,950 S60 CC sedan plays on the rugged Cross Country treatment traditionally bestowed upon Volvo wagons. Think of it as a Sport Utility Sedan. Only available in one premium trim level, it runs the tried-and-true 250-hp, 266 lb-ft turbocharged five-cylinder with a six-speed auto, gets butch body cladding, front and rear skid plates, a honey-comb grill and a 66 mm lift in ride height.
The limited edition S60 Polestar is a highly tuned model with over 70 specific modifications pertaining to handling, braking, visuals and power. While the previous Polestar had a 345 hp turbo 3.0L straight-six, this latest evolution of the AWD stormer uses a heightened version of the 2.0L Drive-E, boosted to 367 horsepower and 347 lb-ft. It will sprint to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds.