I have to admit, when I first heard which Volvo we’d be getting as this year’s Autoblog long-term test vehicle, I was a bit disappointed. I'm admittedly a wagon guy, and the 2020 Volvo S60 is the most milquetoast thing Volvo makes. A V90 Cross Country or XC90 would've been more interesting, but at least our S60 is the T8.
After driving the S60 for a week in January and February, taking our time to make our way from the Detroit office to the Chicago Auto Show (the only auto show that I may go to this year), I’m not sure I’ve changed my mind about the S60 being the least exciting of the Volvo lineup. That said, it's still a member of that lineup, which may be one of its best ever.
The standout to me is the design. The current Volvo lineup originated for 2015 with the flagship XC90. While the previous generation’s design still holds up in my opinion, Volvo doubled down on minimalism on the interior and the exterior. This allows the more detailed design elements to properly stand out, like the Thor’s hammer headlights, and makes the interior feel much more elegant than any vehicle at this $60,000 price point.
Now that doesn’t mean the S60 is perfect. There’s something to be said about compromising function for form, and though minimalism may look the part, it doesn’t mean it performs that well outside of the showroom in a real world scenario. Getting rid of almost all of the buttons and knobs, and requiring the driver to use the touchscreen, looks and performs well while parked, but requires the driver to keep their eyes off the road a bit longer, especially at highway speeds. Surprising for a company that touts “your safety is our number one priority” on the first page of their website. Plus, any semblance of simplicity was not brought over when designing the infotainment system.
Sit down, pour yourself a large cup of coffee and click play. If you have the option to watch this on your 4K TV, go for it. It’s worth it to see every grain of wood, every stitch in the brown leather.
If this Volvo doesn’t make you a fan of Scandinavian design nothing will. Except for maybe every other vehicle Volvo makes.