2013 Volvo S60 T5 AWD - front three-quarter view, white

The Volvo S60 T5 with all-wheel drive struck us as a whole 'lotta Euro sedan for the money the first time we tried out this new-for-2013 powertrain combination. There are several fans of the offbeat and Swedish on the Autoblog team, me among them, and this $38,170-as-tested (including $895 destination) S60 has a fjord-load of style and comfort that you'll pay a lot more for in some other Euro-brand showroom.

Driving Notes
  • The T5 AWD is the sweet-spot for the S60. It's not underpowered, yet it's still efficient, and it comes well-equipped with all-wheel drive for a price that's way lower than you'll catch a leather-seated AWD German.
  • Subjectively, the styling is distinctive and still clearly Volvo, even beautifully detailed, but it's a bit more bland than the original. That's me being biased.
  • Pleasantly surprised at fill-up time to find that the T5 only requires regular fuel, even with the turbo mill. Both my turbo S60s (first-gen models) drink high-test.
  • The 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine has 250 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque and a temporary overboost function that delivers 295 lb-ft for brief bursts. In spite of this, it never really blows your hair back like the 300-hp T6 or even the older, less refined high-pressure turbo five. The older engine was much less linear in its power delivery, which likely explains the different feel, but this significantly revised powerplant is a really refined runner.
  • Interior is both beautifully designed and thoughtfully finished, the front seats are crazy-comfortable. Not really bolstered for truly spirited driving, but these are 1,000-mile-a-day seats.
  • Steering is decently weighted, but sort of rubbery just off-center and generally numb.
  • The ride is very comfortable, well controlled and compliant without float. Even without the higher-tech chassis of the T6 model, this is one of the best Volvo tuning jobs ever.
  • Like every other Volvo sedan for the last decade, the trunk itself is a decently sized box with a horrific access hatch. The latest S60s back glass extends far to the rear and chews up most of the space that was once trunklid. That leaves a small slot for trunk access, and the hinges take a slight bite out of the width of the opening, too, but they're trimmed in so you won't run any risk of crushing your cargo.
  • The rear seat is comfortable, though the bottom cushion may be a little bit lower than is preferable for some passengers. Legroom is also probably tight for anyone much over six-foot-two.
  • Overall, this car is a really great value, and it gives buyers a just-out-of-the-mainstream choice that doesn't force unreasonable compromises or cost obscene money.