2019 Volvo S60 Review

2019 Volvo S60 - The 2019 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design sports/luxury sedan is redesigned.


The 2019 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design sports/luxury sedan is redesigned.

2019 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design

Price: $46,400

Pros-Stylish. Posh interior. Roomy. Fast. Good ride. Sharp handling. Safety features.

Cons-So-So city fuel economy. Awkward engine starter. Stiff rear seat center.

Bottom Line: Deftly redesigned very capable Swedish upscale sports/luxury sedan.

Volvo's redesigned 2019 S60 T6 AWD sports/luxury sedan is among the top contenders in its class.

The $46,400 T6 AWD R-Design is the sportiest of the redesigned 2019 S60 line of sedans, which cost from approximately $35,800 to $55,400 and include a plug-in hybrid model.

The S60 T6 AWD R-Design looks especially sleek from its special high gloss piano black mesh grille to its dual integrated tailpipes, with unique high glass black exterior details. Get this car in Fusion Red Metallic paint and it will really turn heads.

"That's really a pretty car," said a neighbor, who seldom looks twice at my test cars from various automakers. He may never guess The S60 is built in South Carolina.
The minimalist upscale interior has especially supportive power front seats covered in Nappa leather or special textiles. No cost-cutting here. The interior has unique trim such as metal mesh textured aluminum decor inlays. Definite Swedish design touches include the interior door handles, which look tastefully sculptured, but not flashy. There wasn't a stitch out of place my test car. Even the metal on the console cupholders sliding cover looked classy.

However, those with long legs many have to use the power adjustable steering wheel to get truly comfortable. This is really a comfortable four-seater-not a five-seater, as Volvo claims-because the center of the rear seat is stiff. The S60 doesn't provide lots of shoulder room and such, although I never felt squeezed. However, rear door openings are rather narrow. And I found the console engine-start toggle switch to be a bit of a pain, causing one to use an uncomfortable wrist motion to use it.

The trunk is large, but it takes a long reach to shove cargo to its far end. However, rear setbacks flip forward and sit flat to enlarge the cargo area. There's a good amount of cabin cargo room, with a large covered console bin and storage pockets in all doors.  

It's roomy up front in the quiet interior, where gauges can be easily read. Four inches of a sudden mid-spring Chicago area snowfall and the accompanying traffic snarls gave me little time to check out the dashboard touchscreen, but it didn't seem overly complicated to use. The all-wheel drive invisibly helped out on slippery suburban side roads.

The precise steering was a little firm but nicely weighted, and handling was sharp. The S60 T6 AWD R-Design has a stiffer suspension which helps lower the car and gives it sharper handling. But the ride remained good, although a bit on the stiff side on certain roads. A driver can selected various driving modes that range from "Eco" and "Comfort" to "Dynamic High-Performance." But the car feels as if glued to the road even in "Comfort" mode. Powerful anti-lock disc brakes controlled by a linear-acting pedal stop the car quickly.

Giving this S60 model fast, linear power delivery is a turbocharged and supercharged 2-liter four-cylinder that generates 316 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The turbocharger gets the car moving from a stop with no lag and the turbo seamlessly helps acceleration at higher speeds. This engine only comes in the S60 model line in the T6 AWD R-Design.

The engine is virtually silent when idling and works with a responsive 8-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift feature. Figure on a 0-60 m.p.h. time of 5-6 seconds.seconds. Estimated city fuel economy is just so-so at 21 miles per gallon partly because the car is rather heavy at 3,907 pounds. However, estimated highway economy is 32 miles per gallon. Premium fuel is recommended.

There are plenty of safety features, including automatic energy braking and rear cross-traffic warning. A $2,500 package provides such things as adaptive cruise control and a 360-degree monitor.

I found that my test S60 T6 AWD R-Design's hand brake automatically activated if I didn't fastened my seat belt after a few blocks of initial driving.. The car would jerk and refuse to move move than a few inches until I fasted the belt. I later noticed after starting that a super-quick warning in tiny red letters flashed on a dashboard gauge to alert me fasten my seatbelt before sliding the car into "Drive."

It may be time for those looking for an upscale sports/luxury sedan to bypass familiar-name rivals such as the Audi A4, BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-class and examine this new Volvo.

Dan Jedlicka

Dan Jedlicka's Website

Dan Jedlicka joined the Chicago Sun-Times in February 1968 as a business news reporter and was named auto editor later that year. He has reviewed more than 4,000 new vehicles for the Sun-Times--far more than any newspaper auto writer in the country. Jedlicka also reviewed vehicles for Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Autos Internet site from January, 1996, to June, 2008.

Jedlicka remained auto editor at the Sun-Times until October, 2008, and continued writing for the newspaper's AutoTimes section, which he started in 1992, until February, 2009. While continuing his auto writings at the Sun-Times, he served as assistant financial editor of that newspaper from 1970 to 1973, when he began his automotive column.

He has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including NBC's "Today," ABC's "20/20" and "The CBS Evening News." He was a host, consultant and writer for Fox-TV Channel 32's 1991 New Car Preview show and that Chicago-based station's 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995 Chicago Auto Show Previews.

Jedlicka's auto articles have been printed in national magazines, including Esquire and Harper's. His auto columns have been reprinted in U.S. government publications and economic textbooks and he is profiled in the "World's Greatest Auto Show" history book about the Chicago Auto Show. In late 1975, Jedlicka was host and technical advisor for three one-hour television specials, "Auto Test 76," which aired nationally on PBS and were the first nationally televised auto road test shows.

In 1995, Jedlicka was the recipient of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois Inc.'s Consumer Education Award, given annually to a person who has gained distinction in the field of consumer education. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Media category and inducted into the Legends of Motorsports Guild at the Carquest World of wheels custom car show in Chicago in January, 2006.

Jedlicka was a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year jury, composed of a select number of auto journalists from throughout the country, from 1995 until 2009. From 2010 to 2012, he was a member of Consumer Digest magazine's auto experts panel that gave Best Buy new vehicle recommendations.

He is a 1987 graduate of the Bob Bondurant Race Drivers School and later of the BMW "M" and Skip Barber Advanced Driving schools. He was a member of the U.S. team that participated in the 1987 1,000-mile Mille Miglia race/rally in Italy and has been a race winner at the Chicago area's Santa Fe Speedway.

Jedlicka has owned 25 classic cars, including 1950s and 1960s Ferraris and 1950s and 1960s Porsches, a 1965 Corvette, a 1967 Maserati and a 1957 Studebaker supercharged Golden Hawk. Jedlicka resides with his wife, Suzanne, in the Frank Lloyd Wright historic district of Oak Park. They have two children, James and Michele.

For more reviews from Dan, visit Facebook.