2020 Volvo S60 T5 R-Design review: A lovely little thing

2020 Volvo S60 T5 FWD R-Design

This Volvo competes with other luxury sedans like the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Volvos are tastefully built, carefully crafted and normally hotter and a lot more inviting than rival motor vehicles from Germany or Japan. Just like the automaker’s greater designs, the S60 sedan possesses a selected Swedish ambiance that can make it truly feel special in a way that, say, an Acura does not. From its interior style and design to the driving expertise, this auto is a beautiful little thing.


  • Roomy, quality interior
  • Total refinement
  • Magnificent style and design
  • Engaging travel

Don’t Like

  • Why no extendable sunshine visors?
  • Slight off-the-line turbo lag
  • Sensus Connect… yet again

The last Volvo I examined was an XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid. A seriously hefty vehicle, this design is just one loved ones-measurement acquire-out order shy of two-and-a-50 % tons. By comparison, the S60 T5 is a whopping one,336 pounds lighter. Since these two motor vehicles have equivalent cabins, seats and tech, my brain immediately assumes this 4-door will carry by itself like a most important fight tank, but this expectation is fully unfounded.

The S60’s steering is crisp and immediate with zero discernible torque steer. Confident, supplemental street truly feel would be terrific, but the refinement and solidity this thick-established tiller displays are tricky to argue with. Certainly, the experience is business, but it truly is also vastly superior to the XC90’s. Impacts are felt but they’re in no way stabbing, in addition the chassis appears to be as effectively-lubricated as a wheel bearing packed with fresh grease, with no grittiness or vibration, even when pushed in excess of crumbling surfaces. When you consider my tester’s massive, 19-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli 235/40 P-Zero all-period tires, the chassis tuning turns into all the a lot more extraordinary. Cars with rollers this significant normally experience quite harshly, as do quite a few of this Swedish automaker’s products and solutions. 

As in other Volvos, a two.-liter 4-cylinder is the beast of burden tasked with hauling this S60 close to. It’s an nearly unbelievably quiet powertrain with turbine-like smoothness from idle to redline. But compared with other flavors of this motor, the model utilized in T5 designs only has a turbocharger huffing air into its lungs. As a result, it lacks the speedy punch that turbocharged-and-supercharged variants give.

Certainly, this S60 can lag a little bit off the line, but the moment some air is flowing via that blower it has no problems relocating with authority and can scamper to sixty mph in close to 6.3 seconds if you retain the accelerator buried. An eight-speed computerized transmission operates with this car’s 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque to produce that a lot more-than-suitable functionality. This gearbox is nearly constantly on stage, quick to change ratios and approximately seamless, however, I detect a handful of clunky upshifts, however these are unusual.

Sound functionality and partaking dynamics are two feathers in this car’s proverbial cap, but so is gas financial system. My T5 tester is EPA-pegged at 23 miles for every gallon in town driving and 34 on the freeway. Combined, it should really return 27 mpg, but in mainly rural motoring I realized a claimed 33.5, which is, frankly, quite outstanding for a luxury sedan.

2020 Volvo S60 T5 FWD R-Design

Swedish class and a good deal of tech determine the S60’s cabin.

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But what is even a lot more extraordinary than this car’s authentic-earth use is its interior. Accurate to variety, the S60’s cabin is wonderfully crafted, with hundreds of leather-based, distinction stitching and upscale components. The dashboard is strongly horizontal but also packs visual pizzazz. It’s embellished with textured aluminum, a trim that’s utilized to terrific impact on the center console’s roll-top rated-desk-design address as effectively.

R-Design designs element Nappa leather-based-coated seats that are dressed up with fabric accents. The entrance buckets are all-day supportive, and the aft bench is approximately as snug, currently being commendably spacious, even for taller individuals.

The S60’s trunk is a good deal massive as effectively, with a claimed thirteen.eight cubic feet of room when equipped with a spare tire. Which is a lot more than you get in rivals like the Audi A4, Genesis G70 or Mercedes-Benz C-Course. A vast-opening lid and low lift-in excess of height should really make it as effortless as pie to load cargo into this sedan.

There is certainly little to complain about in this auto, so I am forced to nitpick. As in the XC90, sliding sunshine visors are a curious omission. Fundamentally, they won’t lengthen to address the comprehensive width of the entrance side windows to battle glare. This is so peculiar for a company that crafted its reputation on boxy station wagons, I indicate, on protection. Why, Volvo? Why?

2020 Volvo S60 T5 FWD R-Design

Sensus is strong, but it truly is also a little bit complicated to use and occasionally it lags. 

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The Sensus Connect infotainment method with navigation and its involved nine-inch portrait touchscreen are a outstanding element of this car’s cabin. As multimedia answers go, it truly is wonderful, currently being neither my favorite providing nor just one of the industry’s worst. Even after dealing with it in quite a few diverse automobiles and utility motor vehicles in excess of the years, I nonetheless come across its user interface a little confounding and the functionality once in a while laggardly. Ameliorating this predicament, Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile are the two common devices. A Wi-Fi hotspot is also integrated.

The S60’s obtainable Bowers & Wilkins quality audio method is an outstanding choice, furnished you don’t head paying an supplemental $3,200. With 15 speakers and one,one hundred watts of power, it truly is loud, it truly is clear and it can even make satellite radio audio respectable. Piped via lesser systems, SiriusXM has all the fidelity of a wax-cylinder phonograph. 

As for other tech, R-Design designs arrive common with blind-location monitoring and rear cross-targeted traffic inform, they also have lane-keeping guide, computerized high beams, street-departure mitigation and a smattering of other beneficial aids. The optional $two,five hundred Highly developed Deal brings options like a clear and crisp head-up screen, an ever-beneficial 360-degree camera method and Pilot Assist, Volvo’s identify for adaptive cruise handle with lane centering, to the table. That last item operates Okay: At better speeds this fingers-on-the-wheel help appears to be a lot more stable, but oddly, on two-lane roadways it will occasionally tug at the steering wheel a little bit, bouncing the auto from just one line to the other. Normally, I believe Honda Sensing and Nissan’s ProPilot Assist are a little a lot more dependable than what Volvo provides.

2020 Volvo S60 T5 FWD R-Design

This auto is wonderful from all instructions.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

An entry-stage, entrance-travel, S60 T5 Momentum design can be had for correct close to $37,000, which includes $995 in shipping and delivery fees. With solutions like 19-inch wheels, metallic paint, an computerized-parking element and a couple of other points in addition to the add-ons stated higher than, this R-Design instance checks out for ten bucks shy of 52 grand, a not-unreasonable determine, at minimum by 21st-century expectations. I indicate, you could expend a lot more than that on a Lincoln MKZ, which would totally not be well worth it. Of training course, if you are browsing in this phase, you would be intelligent to consider the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series, two ubiquitous rivals. Yeah, they’re about as frequent as inexperienced lawns in suburbia, but you can find a reason they’re so common: It’s simply because they’re genuinely great.

With handsome appears to be, a luxurious interior and decently partaking dynamics, you can find little to gripe about right here. Volvo has managed to distill the fundamental excellence of its greater motor vehicles down into a a lot more manageably sized, affordably priced, and potentially most importantly of all, lighter deal.