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Volvo’s S60 has always been an attractive compact sedan with spunk. And the all-new 2019 Volvo S60 T6 fitted with the athletic R-Design package turns heads and eats pavement for breakfast. The $40k S60 now has a low-slung profile, aerodynamic design cues like aero sharp auto-dimming side mirrors, muscular lower sides and dual exhausts, plus loads of new safety technology accessible via the big 9-inch center tablet.
The 2019 Volvo S60 is available in T4, T5, T6 and T8 engine variants and AWD and FWD configurations. All feature an in-line 4-cylinder turbo engine.
We took the 2019 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design to a few hip spots for fun and R&R around Chicago. The new S60 R-Design caught the eyes of dozens of people from different backgrounds. Many of which hadn’t been impressed by a sporty Volvo sedan like this before.
Stuntastic Eye-Catching Design with Sporty Cues
The sportier 2019 Volvo S60 is a cool looking vehicle with a new chiseled frame and brawny fascia. The wheels are also set off nicely with chrome and different spoke designs. Without the R-design package new fans would probably look past new S60. The R-design Package ($6,500) adds a unique athletic look with extensions to the side body, a high gloss mesh grille and big 18 inch wheels with all season tires. The R-Design also has robust resilient all-wheel drive that adds another level of refinement.
An older gentleman in an older model Jaguar coupe complimented the S60 R-design’s low profile and striking front fascia with Thors hammer daytime running lights and chrome trimming. Front LED headlights have auto high beam and auto bending features. Along with the whips low-slung planted stance, side mirrors are arrow sharp and the interior rearview mirror is rimless.
LED welcome lighting illuminates the door handles, license plates, interior ceiling lights, foot well lighting and trunk cargo lighting as the driver approaches.
A panoramic sunroof, power sunshade, LED ambient lighting and an aluminum pedal are lux features that give the cabin fresh style. Otherwise, the interior is simplistic with just subtle metal mesh aluminum inlays, but tech-advanced with a 12.3 inch driver instrument cluster and 9 inch center touch tablet.
The new 12.3 inch digital dash can be customized to three themes. And the center 9-inch digital display shows a ton of new infotainment and comfort features including navigation, media, phone, climate, and MyCar settings. Drivers can utilize voice command, access apps and customize safety features via the center touchscreen.
Driver and front passenger have a 10-way power front seats heated with memory and power cushion extenders plus 4-way lumbar. Two-zone climate control, Bluetooth, 2 USB ports, Sensus Navigation Pro with Road Sign Information, and a WiFi hotspot are all standard on the Volvo S60 along with a 14-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system. Homelink, keyless entry, remote start app, and a Hands-Free power trunk lid.
Then there are the sporty-lux perks the R-design boasts like sexy R-design Nappa leather upholstery with charcoal headliner, R-design leather-wrapped steering wheel, paddle shifters and a leather shift knob.
Motorsports Correspondent Daryl fell in love with the cabin’s high-tech, high-comfort enhanced with design features like the sloped windshield and flat dash and the auto-dimming rearview mirrors that auto illuminate when reversing. He also like the smooth steering wheel with R-Design, super comfy seats, aluminum pedals and soft interior dome and lighting at the foot well center console and the side driver pockets. Ambient lighting and mood lighting can be adjusted to high and low brightness and intensity.
Heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel are available for $750.
With about 37 in. of front and rear head room the whip isn’t the most comfortable for drivers over 6-feet tall. Even 6”6’ Editor Sommer bumped her head on the roof when sitting up.
The climate control in the Volvo S60 always seems to not function well as the two large vents don’t seem to actually blow heat until above 80 degrees. And still there is no button for adjusting the fan speed without using the center tablet. That means when driver’s turn on the defrost they have to adjust it from defaulted on high fan, and above 80-degrees. Moreover, if “max defrost” is on, hot air comes out strong if the fan speed is set past the 2nd position.
The standard stereo system in the new S60 is pristine with the speakers intricately placed at the top of the doors and a bigger woofer at the legs so the front passengers can feel the bass knocking.
MyKey allows driver profiles to be saved and preset with features like the front seats, navigation, audio and media plus voice controls.
Advanced Infotainment Tech Steps Sedan Game Up
The 9-inch center touchscreen in the 2019 Volvo S60 R-Design now has even more accessible features for climate, entertainment, comfort, and safety tech. Sensus navigation is also accessible via the center touch screen. Now even more safety features are customizable like Pilot Assist and City Safety, Driver Alert Control and Park Assist.
Sensus provides intelligent access to navigation and infotainment via the center tablet. The navigation in the 2019 Volvo S60 is more detailed showing more icons and predicative traffic.
Outstanding Performance – Versatile and Deeply Athletic
The S60’s best feature is its outstanding performance, not so much versatile but smooth, sexy. The launch is smooth as a baby’s skin, but with a gentle tap of the gas the S60 jets out like a leopard. Acceleration, steering, braking and cornering is fluid and responsive. And cruising in the whip keeps it low and smooth delivering over 2,000 rpm with little effort from the driver.
Even better, each of the available powertrains offers a deeper level of versatility and balanced power. And the S60 T6 offers a drive mode selector that fine-tunes throttle, steering and suspension. Dynamic mode opens up the exhaust, tightens suspension and launches the S60 forward like a long barrel shotgun. Daryl likes feeling all the power and the bumps in dynamic mode. He and Editor Sommer disagree on how quiet the cabin is in each drive mode with Sommer hearing more noise than Daryl.
Eco mode doesn’t have the aggression, but cruise power is clean and efficient enhancing the 32 mpg highway fuel economy.
At all speeds and in all drive modes the S60 has a planted stance and grips the road firm even cornering. Damping from double wishbone front and integral rear link suspension, even in comfort mode is on a lux sports car level.
Because of is versatility from sport to lux on the road, the S60 is ideal for long distance travel, especially with top-notch infotainment and comfort features inside.
Volvo engineers have long needed to upgrade the Start/Stop technology to be more seamless, and in the new S60 it’s the most comfortable that it’s ever been. Instead of the usual rumble, the engine powers down when stopped and back up when hitting the gas quietly.
The park braking is another feature that needs to be fine-tuned. For some reason, when the child lock is turned on, the park brake activates when the driver attempts to shift- from any gear. For example, when driving in the car wash, with no one in the back seats, the S60 couldn’t be put into neutral without the vehicle flipping the park brake on. Not only is it dangerous for the park brake to enact with shifting to reverse, but it’s startling and dangerous in a high-traffic situation.
Working the paddle shifters gives drivers even more power on-demand. Straight line stability is on a sports car level with the S60 planted low and steady at super high speeds.
Safety Technology includes City Safety tech, that uses sensors to detect an impending collision and auto-brake the S60 if needed to prevent a collision with a pedestrian, cyclist or animal. Pilot Assist, similar to autonomous driving, can regulate speed and distance and even be set to time intervals. Other standard safety tech includes the Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert and autobrake, a very gentle Lane Keeping Aid and Oncoming Mitigation Braking, Run-off road Protection and Run-on Road Protection.
The Advanced Package ($2,500) adds Pilot Assist with the 360-degree surround view camera, adaptive cruise control and Heads-up-Display. The dope Heads-up-Display in the S60 R-Design projects vital info like speed limit, road signs, phone controls and navigation on the windshield and in a concise layout. Road Sign Information will detect speed and speed zone cameras and warn drivers in the instrument cluster and in the Heads-up-Display.
Available Driver Alert Control uses sensors inside and out to detect fatigued or distracted behavior and alert the driver of the need to pull over by way of Sensus Navigation. Rest Stop Guidance can even suggest an ideal spot to take a break. Park Assist Pilot ($200) will help guide the S60 in and out of tight parking spaces. Another cool feature in the S60’s safety arsenal is Safety Mode that will alert the driver of which car functions are/ aren’t working properly after an accident.