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  • Writer's pictureAlain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld

2019 Volvo S60 R-Design

Updated: Apr 21, 2020

This week we present to you the 2019 Volvo S60 T6 in R-Design trim. Our vehicle was assembled at the Ridgeville plant in South Carolina. Our test vehicle has an MSRP of $63250 CAD.

Fun Factor: 8

Can it Family: 7

Fuel-Friendly: 7

HWY-warrior: 8

Karaoke Friendly: 10

Baby friendly: 7

City Cruising: 6

The new S60 is one of the best new redesigns in the luxury segment. Volvo has really nailed it with this model when it comes to looks. Now is it as fun as it used to be? It might not be as fun as previous models. However, it has become more comfortable and more civilized. Earlier versions of the S60 may have felt like they were attempting to copy the Germans, this is no longer the case with the new S60, Volvo has now found their own way in refining vehicles. Since Volvo has been purchased by Geely in 2010, Volvo has been given its own identity which was somewhat diluted under Ford. Since then they have brought us one winning design after another. Most of the 3 German manufacturer's & Volvo enthusiasts will ask us to compare all 4 brands and to choose which one is faster, which one is more luxurious and which one is more comfortable? To all those, we'll say that in our own opinion BMW still makes the sportier sedans in this segment. As for Mercedes-Benz, they are attempting to juggle between raw sportiness and luxury and Audi is trying to defend itself on all fronts. Then you have Volvo Cars who have found a personality of their own, mixing refined materials with easy to understand trims and straightforward engine combinations all that without disappointing their loyal following. In our opinion, the S60 is made for the knowledgeable family that doesn't need to show off to the world they can afford a luxury car.

Our T6 R-Design model is equipped with a 2.0L in-line 4 banger that is both turbo and Supercharged. This engine block which is now used in a variety of Volvo vehicles has proven the whole industry wrong in that they could make an efficient & reliable engine that could be used for a variety of cars, Volvo simply tweaks them along the way for each vehicle class. The T6 engine our vehicle was equipped with produced 316hp and 295 lb-ft of torque all this power is transferred to an 8 speed automatic. Now the question on everyone's mind how quick does it go to 100km/h in our real-life test. The result we achieved was a respectable 6.95 seconds to 100km/h in the most elegant way this test is possible staying steady and locked into position only Swedes could produce such a precise machine. Volvo announces 0-100km in 5.6 seconds. Unfortunately, our car was still equipped with winter tires which probably explains the difference in acceleration, the result is actually the same exact result we achieved during the winter with the V60 with the same exact tires.

Volvo has lent us the S60 for a full week to see how it would be to live with a family of five. For starters, when I saw the new S60 and compared to my neighbours 2012 S80, I realized quickly that the S60 was no small car as it's just a little over 3 inches shorter. Cabin space is definitely not an issue, starting with the back row which allows seating for 3 adults without being squeezed. Even the middle seat is an actual seat, often this one is too narrow to sit anyone older than a 10 year old child. In this case, it may not be as comfortable as the 2 other seats by the windows but is very well bolstered for long rides. They are also equipped with heated seats and their own climate controls. In our opinion, the look of the rear console could have been more polished. Especially if you consider the chic look of the inside, it seems out of place. Otherwise, the rear climate control console works well. Now, for the front seats, for a taller person like myself, these seats are simply splendid, they offer great support from the torso down to the thighs. On the other hand, smaller drivers may have a harder time to find a perfect position as the steering wheel will be so close to them that a well-balanced seating position will be challenging to find. Our S60 R-Design came with exciting features such as cooled seats and heated seats and a heated steering wheel. We certainly appreciate this with our biting winters, the steering wheel heats up very quickly and stays nice and toasty. Now on to the trunk, the S60 is very large for a sedan, you'll be able to fit tons of items, even a large stroller for your nature adventures. We were also able to put 2 large suitcases without any issues. You can also electronically lower the seats to have more space, they split 60/40, it will create a little hump between the trunk and the cabin, which will result in making it more challenging to enter longer items. Volvo, however, does have an alternative option for people that regularly bring large items and that is the V60.

As for fuel consumption, we observed an average consumption of 11.9 per 100km/h. The break down of the gas consumption is 6.7L per 100km on the HWY and 12.9L per 100km in the city. The average fuel consumption is higher since 80% of our testing was done in the city. The test included 200km on the HWY, half of this was done using adaptive cruise control at speeds of 110km/h. Consumption using cruise control would even lower this figure to 6.1L per 100km with light traffic. The fuel used for our test was 91 octane premium fuel. This is the fuel recommended by Volvo. The fuel efficiency announced by Volvo are the following 11.1L in the city, 7.3L on the HWY and a combined efficiency of 9.4L per 100km.

The S60 is great on the HWY, starting with the adaptive cruise control that nicely hugs the road, it also decelerates nice and softly when traffic slows down in front of the car and in no instance did we feel that the vehicle was not attentive to the traffic around us. Recently we tested other vehicles with adaptive cruise control and had to intervene as the SUV would not slow down fast enough to have a feeling of security. The low consumption and the stable handling makes the Volvo S60 one of the more exciting sedans we've driven on the HWY. The suspension is a little bit on the stiffer side, but this is compensated by the sportier feel of the car around corners. Visibility around the cabin is good except for the "B" pillar that limits the viewing angle of your blind spot when overtaking, as a result when checking your blind spot you may have to reply on the BLIS system to make sure you don't crash into the car in the left lane. This can be forgiven because Volvo offers a fantastic system it's called "BLIS" (Blind spot information system) which works quickly and efficiently. Overall, we would recommend the S60 for anyone that needs to commute on the highway or needs to sit in traffic. During our commute several drivers gave us a thumbs up, the Fusion Red colour sure helped get people's attention.

Similar to the V60 we recently tested we just had to give the S60 a 10 out of 10 on the sound system. In certain instances, we even noticed a slight enhancement versus the V60, this may be due to the shape of the car. The sound coming out of the Bowers & Wilkins sound system is so crisp and clear that the $3250 option is worth every penny, it's a must for any music lover or car karaoke party. Yes, it is a lot of money. However, any high-end speaker will easily cost you $1500 and upwards, now in the Volvo, you get a whopping 15 speakers with a total output of 1100 Watts. This option should be ticked if you're an audiophile and find the need always to have the best sound experience in your car. Now going to the Infotainment, the Sensus connect from Volvo system is loved by some and dislike by others. In our opinion, those journalists that hate it may find that the initial learning curve to be longer than your standard system. As we mentioned in the V60 and in the XC40 we tested, once you've set up all your favourite icons in their spot, the systems will actually make a lot of sense and will operate quickly without any lag.

Installation of car seats is effortless as the ISOFIX ports are hidden behind a latch door, that can be operated by lifting up the latch. The ISOFIX ports themselves are easily accessible and actually attaching the car seat is straight forward. The only item we wish would be different, if you do want to connect your child seat using the anchor hook, it will need to be put over the headrest as the hole in between the headrest is too small. As for smaller kids getting into the back seats, they will not have any issues opening the door handle. What could be challenging for them is getting into the car, the door frame is profoundly shaped on the silhouette/rear wheel arch of the vehicle giving a narrower access point that is quite high as well. Assisting smaller children will be necessary to help then get into their seat.

Now how does the Volvo S60 handle in the city? The S60 comes standard with many security features such as Blind spot information system, cross traffic alert, 360-degree surround camera and it also comes with park assist pilot with front and rear park assist that will make parking effortless in any situation. We would love to see a mild-hybrid or even get the T6 variant of the twin-engine hybrid that is available to Europeans to lower the gas consumption in the city.

Why would we buy the S60 and what we liked about it; all the standard security features from the cross traffic alert to the option to have the park assist alert and the luxurious & comfortable seats. Spacious cabin compared to its rivals especially to the front cabin of the Mercedes C-Class. The car is well put together, there are no rattling noises. Made in North America. All & all we here at Driving Fun & Family feel that Volvo has outdone themselves again building a great product.

Why would we not buy the S60 and what didn't we like. The slow responding transmission. Little less engaging than its rivals. High gas consumption in the city.

Volvo S60 R-Design

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