2015.5 S60 New Car Test Drive
The 2014 Volvo S60 features fresh styling and an upgraded interior. Launched as a 2011 model, the S60 is a premium compact sedan that fits in the same class as the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Cadillac ATS, Lexus IS, Infiniti G, Buick Regal, and Hyundai Sonata.
Volvo S60 comes in a broad range of models. The 2014 S60 lineup starts with the Volvo S60 T5, which uses a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5 making 250 horsepower, 6-speed automatic, front-wheel drive standard, all-wheel drive optional. The midlevel S60 T6 AWD, the most popular model, comes with a 300-horsepower turbocharged and intercooled inline-6. Topping the line is the S60 R-Design, which raises the power to 325 horsepower and 354 foot-pounds of torque, a lot of power; R-Design features a sleeker nose, firmer suspension, 18-inch wheels, more seat bolstering, a unique steering wheel and racier instrumentation.
Styling revisions for 2014 begin with new body panels from the windshield pillars forward. A new hood and front fenders surround a widened grille on the 2014 Volvo S60. Headlights have been reshaped for 2014, and a new lower front spoiler has bright trim. Horizontal LED daytime running lights are new for 2014. Also, 17-inch Pandora alloy wheels are standard on the 2014 S60 T5. A new instrument cluster is installed for 2014, with white-illuminated buttons. The tire-pressure monitoring system now lets the driver know which axle has the problem.
Many optional packages have been upgraded for 2014. Among them: Premier trim gets new 17-inch Sadia alloy wheels for 2014, while Premier Plus gains a rear park assist camera, grocery bag holders, and quick-fold front passenger seat. Platinum trim gets auto-dimming, power retractable outside mirrors. The optional Climate Package adds a heated windshield and steering wheel, while the Technology Package adds Cyclist Detection to its Pedestrian Detection system. A new Sport Package for 2014 includes sport seats, paddle shifters, 18-inch Titania alloy wheels, and Volvo's Dynamic Chassis. A new Blind Spot Information System Package includes cross traffic alert, lane-change merge aid, and front/rear park assist. The 2014 S60 T6 now comes standard with paddle shifters (optional for T5), a first for Volvo. New Advanced Quick Shift shortens gear-change speed by 20-30 percent for third to sixth gears, and up to 50 percent from first to second. New 18-inch Titania alloy wheels go on the S60 T6 AWD sedan, which gains Keyless Drive. T6 options now include 17-inch Sadia alloy wheels, or 19-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels with a lowered sport chassis. The S60 T6 R-Design AWD gains a digital compass, plus a Homelink remote garage door opener.
The Volvo S60 is stylish, clean and sophisticated. Same with the interior.
The S60 T6 uses Volvo's Dynamic Chassis, while the S60 T5 uses the Touring Chassis. Differences lie in the stiffness of bushings, springs and dampers. Each chassis delivers excellent handling. The all-wheel-drive T6 offers secure cornering. Even the front-wheel-drive T5 features Corner Traction Control by Torque Vectoring, which moves torque to the outside wheel/wheels to help steer the car around a turn.
The T5 engine is a 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder turbo, making an impressive 250 horsepower with 266 foot-pounds of torque. The EPA estimates the front-drive T5 will get 21/30 mpg City/Highway. We think the T5 offers good value, considering its power, safety engineering, comfort and style.
The T6 engine is a 3.0-liter turbocharged intercooled inline six-cylinder, making 300 horsepower, and 325 pound-feet of torque at a low 2100 rpm. Wonderfully smooth and quick when passing on two-lanes, it gets an EPA-estimated 18/25 mpg City/Highway. The pumped-up S60 R-Design gets the same fuel economy rating.
The S60 R-Design makes 25 more horsepower and 29 more foot-pounds of torque than the 300-hp T6, thanks to ECM programming for more boost, fuel, and sharper throttle response. It's quite noticeable in track driving, where it's a good thing the suspension is stiffer. Despite Torque Vectoring, it still understeers when cornered at the limit.
The 2014 Volvo S60 T5 ($32,400) uses a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine making 250 hp, 6-speed automatic, front-wheel drive, and 17-inch alloy wheels. All-wheel drive adds $2000. Standard equipment includes sport seats front and rear, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power driver's seat, 7-inch color display, dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, 160-watt 8-speaker CD/DVD/MP3 sound system, and Bluetooth. The T5 Premier ($34,900) upgrades with leather seating surfaces, a moonroof, auto-dimming mirror, power passenger seat and other features. The Premier Plus ($35,500) adds active dual xenon headlights, front/rear park assist, a rear-view camera, an adaptive digital display with three selectable themes, grocery bag holders, quick-fold front passenger seat, and Keyless Drive. The S60 T5 Platinum ($38,250) includes auto-dimming, power-retractable mirrors as well as a navigation system and premium sound.
Volvo S60 T6 AWD ($39,250) uses a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine making 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, a 6-speed Geartronic automatic transmission (now with paddle shifters), and all-wheel drive. Leather is standard, along with a moonroof, Keyless Drive, a power passenger seat, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The T6 Premier Plus ($39,900) includes high-intensity xenon headlamps, a rear-view camera, and grocery bag holders. The S60 T6 AWD Platinum ($42,600) adds auto-dimming, power-retractable mirrors, navigation and premium sound.
The S60 T6 AWD R-Design ($42,700) has the same powertrain as the S60, but output is raised to 325 hp and 354 pound-feet, and the suspension is considerably firmer. The inlays, instrumentation, leather, pedals, steering wheel and shift lever are unique to the R. The nose is sleeker with a different grille. A digital compass and Homelink remote garage door opener are included. R-Design Platinum trim ($45,700) adds grocery bag holders and auto-dimming, power-retractable mirrors, along with navigation, premium sound, and a rear-view camera.
A new Sport Package ($1200) for the T5 includes sport seats, paddle shifters, 18-inch Titania alloy wheels, and Volvo's Dynamic Chassis. The Climate Package ($1550) includes heated front seats and steering wheel, heated windshield washer nozzles, rain-sensor wipers, headlight washers and interior air quality system. The Technology Package ($1500) includes pedestrian/cyclist detection with full auto brake, adaptive cruise control, collision warning with full auto brake, distance alert, alert driver control, lane departure warning. A Blind Spot Information System Package ($900) is available, including cross-traffic alert, lane-change merge aid, and front/rear park assist. Stand-alone options include metallic paint, interior wood inlays ($400), dual-screen rear entertainment ($1800), and active dual xenon headlights ($800).
Safety equipment, standard on all models, includes Dynamic Stability and Traction Control, Side Impact Protection System (SIPS), Whiplash Protection Seating System (WHIPS), dual stage front airbags, side curtain airbags, side impact airbags, tire pressure monitoring system, and anti-lock braking system with hydraulic brake assist, optimized hydraulic brakes, ready alert brakes and fading brake support. Optional safety features include all-wheel drive, Collision Warning with full Auto Brake, Pedestrian Warning with full Auto Brake, Distance Alert, Driver Alert Control, Lane Departure Warning, and the blind spot warning system.