2020 Volvo S60 T5 Review – 5 reasons to buy

It was a brave move for Volvo to introduce the S60 sedan when the highly competitive mid-sized luxury sedan segment is being squeezed almost into oblivion by luxury SUVs.

But while the numbers are down, there are still a significant number of anti-SUV buyers that prefer the good old fashion luxury sedan. For good reasons. And for those buyers, their choice is made just a little more difficult with the arrival of the S60 sedan.

Now in its third generation, the American-made S60 arrives from a keen $54,990 plus on-road costs in T5 Momentum guise, making it the most affordable luxury sedan of its segment, and undercutting even the Lexus IS300 Luxury by $4,350. Our T5 R-Design is priced from $64,990 without on-roads.

All are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine mated with an 8-speed automatic and driving all four wheels. The T5 Momentum and Inscription both get 187kW and 350Nm, while the T5 R-Design puts out 192kW and 400Nm. The range-topping plug-in hybrid T8 features 311kW and 670Nm, thanks to the addition of an electric motor that drives the rear wheels.

Keen pricing is of no use if there isn’t substance behind it and we are glad to report the S60 has what it takes to back up its pricing.

Here are the five reasons why it deserves your attention:

  1. Value for money

That’s not something often used to describe a luxury sedan, let alone a European one but it’s fitting for the S60. For not much more than a Volkswagen Passat R-Line, you get a premium sports sedan with all-wheel drive and at least 187kW/350Nm at your disposal.

It also comes with Volvo’s plenty of goodies inside, including a 9.0-inch touchscreen, digital instrument, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Volvo’s renown safety suite encompassing City Safety, Intellisafe Assist, front and rear Collision Warning and Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control with Pilot Assist and Lane Keeping Aid and Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert.

  1. It doesn’t drive like a Volvo

Volvos tend to have a bad rep when it comes to driving dynamics in the past but the S60 is refreshingly un-Volvo in the way it drives.

Based on the lauded scalable SPA platform shared with the XC60 and S90 sedan (now sadly departed from Australia), the S60 feels a generational change compared to the lack-lustre old model.

The larger footprint helps give the car a more compliant ride even on 19-inch wheels, while the twin-charged engine feels perky from the get go. The steering is well-weighted and natural and the all-wheel drive grip gives the car confidence inspiring handling through the bends.

Once settled on the freeway, the cabin is well insulated from the hustle and bustle of the outside world, with comfortable seats are around.

Its Adaptive Cruise Control is also one of the best in the business, without the aggressive braking seen on some rivals when a car slows down to turn off the road. Instead, the Volvo slows gently and if you point the car slightly away from the turning vehicle, it will move on smoothly.

  1. Interior presentation

Like the barrage of new vehicles from Volvo lately, the S60’s interior is refreshingly Scandinavian with less buttons than a swimsuit. The driving position is good and the 12.0-inch digital instrument is crisp and easy to read.

The 9.0-inch portrait style infotainment screen is responsive although a little fiddly to use on the move. To be fair, this is true of all touchscreens but when you have to poke at a screen to change temperature, it’s rather distracting.

Thankfully, Volvo’s solution is voice control where you just ask the computer to set the temperature to your liking. You can also use it to enter navigation address which is handy.

Most cabin materials exude quality and are pleasing to the touch. There’s plenty of storage dotted around the cabin along with a handy retractable rear window blind that helps keep interior temperature cool in summer.

  1. You’ll stand out

There’s something cool about Volvos these days.

While looks can be subjective, the Thor’s hammer-inspired headlights and prominent front grille give the S60 an imposing look from the front. Around the back, the lobster claw taillights are equally distinctive.

And if that’s not enough, you’ll standout from the crowd just by non driving a German luxury car!

  1. Running costs

The Volvo S60 comes with a 3 years/45,000km service plan. And at $1,595, it works out to be $531.67 per service, which is around $130.00 cheaper than the most popular model in the segment, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Verdict

Design & Comfort

8.5/10

Performance & Handling

8.0/10

Quality

8.0/10

Economy

7.0/10

Equipment & Features

8.5/10

OUR SCORE

4.0/5

Our Score: 4/5

+ Plus

  • Handsome styling and beautiful interior
  • Great handling
  • Smooth drivetrain
  • Comfort and refinement

Minus

  • Rear headroom limited with optional sunroof
  • Boot is smaller than some rivals

Overall

The 2020 Volvo S60 surprises with its all round capability, driving dynamics, as well as premium interior and reasonable running costs. Its keen pricing is only sweetens the deal further.

2020 Volvo S60 T5 R-Design pricing and specification

Price (Excl. on-road costs):From: $64,990
Warranty:3 years/unlimited kilometers
Warranty Customer Service:3 years roadside assist
Country of Origin:Sweden (Made in USA)
Service Intervals:12 months/15,000km
Engine:2.0-litre 4-cylinder direct-injected turbocharged petrol:

192kW @ 5,700rpm, 400Nm @ 2,500-3,500rpm

Transmission:8-speed automatic
Drivetrain:All-wheel drive
Power to Weight Ratio (W/kg):108.7
0-100km/h (seconds):6.3
Combined Fuel Consumption (L/100km):Claimed: 7.3/Tested: 8.8
RON Rating:95
Fuel Capacity (L):60
Body:4-door sedan, 5 seats
Safety:
  • 5-star ANCAP
  • 6 airbags
  • ABS, BA, EBD, ESC
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane-Keep Assist System
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Emergency Brake Assist
  • Emergency Stop Signal
  • Pilot Assist
  • Driver Attention Alert
  • Traffic Sign Recognition
  • Rear view camera
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • ISOFIX
Dimensions (L/W/H/W-B) mm:4,761/1,850/1,437/2,872
Turning Circle Between Kerbs:11.3
Ground Clearance:136
Tare Mass (kg):T5: 1,767
Boot Space (L):442
Towing Capacity (kg):T5: Braked: 1,800/Unbraked: 750
Entertainment:
  • 9-inch vertical colour touchscreen
  • 10-speaker audio system
  • Satellite navigation
  • AM/FM/DAB+
  • Bluetooth
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • 2 USB
  • AUX
  • iPod

Competitors: Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Lexus IS, Genesis G70, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Jaguar XE

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