Volvo has always been known for making safe cars. Years back it even had a model that you just couldn’t kill. The company’s lack of interesting design, however, has always been a fault.
There have been a few good things. The hardtop convertible is cool and some of the station wagons have been so as well. Now we have a Volvo sedan that is stylish, tech laden and, dare I say, kinda fun to drive.
The 2015 Volvo S60 T6 is that car. Its styling is much sharper as is all of it’s edges. The grille is easily recognizable as a Volvo but with a few aggressive touches. LED headlights finish the look. There are many upgrades to the interior – it’s no longer frumpy. The front seats lean toward the sporty side. Covered in leather, each grips driver and passenger comfortably, but aggressively in case you want to toss the car about. The instrument panel is very modern and ergonomic. The seven-inch touch screen monitor helps bring Volvo into this century. The Volvo “floating” center stack house a variety of controls which includes climate and audio. Audio controls are duplicated on the sporty steering wheel which also has paddle shifters.
The engine is a modest 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes an impressive 302 horsepower through super and turbo charging. Toque is also impressive at 295 pounds-feet available at a low 2100 rpm. Such a lightweight unit allows the car to feel, well, lighter than if it had a six-cylinder. It also allows for good fuel economy (35 highway, 24 city with 28 overall).
The new S60 is quick, light, agile and rock solid. Fling this thing around a curve and it sticks. Blast down your favorite section of unencumbered highway (no PO-PO) and it exhibits straight-line accuracy. Stab the brakes and it stops short and straight. Yes, it could have a few more horses and sure, summer tires would give it better grip, but I quibble.
There are many safety features, some standard, some optional. City Safety can prevent you from rear-ending something. It’s a low-speed collision avoidance system that works with windshield mounted lasers and will automatically apply the brakes at speeds up to 19 miles per hour. There are copious amounts of air bags. Antilock brakes, traction and stability control are in tow as well. Choose the technology package (which I got) and you get adaptive cruise control, collision warning with full auto brake, lane departure warning and pedestrian and cyclist detection with auto brake.
My test car also featured a platinum package that included navigation and a premium sound system; 19-inch diamond cut wheels, blind spot information package; heated front seats and metallic paint. My car’s base price was $36,150. With every option the as-tested price came to $47,925.
There is much wiggle room between base and as-tested, so you can option accordingly. The price is about average for what’s in the price class but I found the S60 to be far above average in it and finish, bang for buck and even fun to drive categories. Volvo has to be happy with the finished product. I am.