SEATTLE — To say that the Volvo 2019 S60 T6 R-Design is cut from its own cloth does not only understate things, it’s a testament to Volvo’s unique design language. There’s always something refreshing when an automaker carves its own path when it comes to design, powertrain as well as look and feel. While many of its competitors may vary a bit when it comes to styling, there are a lot of borrowed cues from each other. For example, you’ll see German-like influence in non-German cars etc.
Under the hood:
Not only does the S60 look unique, both inside and out — it’s ambitious 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine has both a supercharger and turbocharger in-tow. This combination helps minimize, if not altogether eliminate turbo-lag (the time it takes for a turbocharger to spool-up) while helping achieve a lot of gains to horsepower and torque. In this configuration, it puts out 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, allowing this vehicle to go from 0-60 in around 5.2 seconds.
What’s great about this powertrain is that it still achieves an EPA rating of up to 32 miles per gallon on the highway, however, drops to a rather disappointing 21mpg around town.
Aesthetically, the S60 has a distinctive look that helps it stand out from the pack. From the “Thor’s hammer’ headlamps, and front fascia that offers a very aggressive look, to the wide stance the car appears to have. It’s easily our favorite Volvo, ever, in regards to the way it looks.
The 19-inch wheels, outfitted with 235/40R-19 Michelin tires provide plenty of grip. Combined with the all-wheel-drive our test mode had, it’s good for a 0.94g on the skidpad. While corning, the S60 remains very flat. It’s as if the car simply begs you to push it harder and faster. The exhaust, exhibits a highly-welcomed growl throughout the power band and it’s a lot of fun to slam through gears with the paddle shifters.
With what appears to be the touch of a magician, you’ll find the interior build quality is among the finest anywhere for a car in this class and price range. Extensive use of stitched leather, carbon fiber and soft-to-the-touch plastic areas, all lend to a very upscale experience.
Additionally, the B&W infotainment system provides one of the better-sounding systems you’ll find. Volvo combined the B&W speakers in a very classy way. Metal grills, all around, cover the speakers, providing a very expensive look while providing minimal coloration of the sound quality. Bass response is excellent, the midrange and high frequencies are delivered smoothly, effortlessly and never add to listener fatigue.
The only downside to the infotainment center is that its vertically-based layout, isn’t quite as nice as vehicles using widescreens. Drivers may also find a bit of a learning curve involved with learning its menu system to learn how to get to all the various settings.
There are three different drive-modes offered, which are easily selectable using a little toggle-wheel on the center column. You have comfort, eco and dynamic. We can think of little reason to ever take it out of dynamic mode.
In a market of so few cars stand out in their respective category, the Volvo S60 T6 R-Design is a breath of fresh air and doesn’t follow anybody. The design, while purely Volvo, has beautifully evolved into something for others to take note of.
Our test model has a starting price of $47,395 and as tested, topped out at around $55k. At those prices, it’s squarely aiming at the Audi A4, Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3-series. There’s no doubt that anyone considering any of those other cars, should make it a point to test-drive the S60 R-Design.
Volvo’s work and attention to detail in this car haven’t gone unnoticed and it’s easily one of the best cars for the money. It offers excellent styling, great performance and an interior build-quality that’s second to none.
For more information, check out: www.volvocars.com