2019 Volvo S60 R-Design Sports Out America

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If it’s a Volvo, it’s safe. That’s a given, but Volvos often looked like the cargo containers in which they crossed over from Sweden. Well, Volvos no longer look like boring boxes…and not all come from Sweden. Want proof? Check out the 2019 S60 T6 R-Design with its sporty style. You won’t believe where it’s built.

Take a look. The big grille with Volvo logo hung on the cross slash is recognizable, but the squinty headlamps and “Thor’s Hammer” driving lights take it forward. R-Design front splitter and ground effects add spice. Moving to the side, 19” wheels fill muscular fenders topped by Volvo’s traditional strong shoulderlines that are more dynamic and precisely stamped. A semi-formal rear windowline, C-shaped taillamps, twin exhaust outlets, and integrated decklid spoiler ramp up the drama.

Keep in mind this car has up-level R-Design trim, but the interior is pretty sweet. Nothing feels cheap. Aluminum trim on the dash and console feels exquisite, as do stitched materials on the dash and doors. The only hard plastic you’ll find is finished in piano black. Deeply bolstered leather sport seats are as comfy as traditional Volvo thrones, but hold you centered and are heated front/rear. A heated steering wheel adjusts from smokin’ hands to comfy warmth. Automatic climate control and dual-pane moonroof delight everyone.

The touchscreen infotainment system confused me terribly the first time I caressed it, but given a quick education, it’s easier than getting fat. The main screen controls audio, navigation, and phone. Swipe left and you can select audio source and apps, including Spotify. You can also adjust the Bowers & Wilkins audio system, which will change your life (I bought my own B&W earphones after driving the S60). Choose the Gothenburg Concert Hall mode for the most encompassing live experience you’ve ever had while rolling.

As a Volvo, the S60 comes equipped with all of the latest safety gear. It has and easy-to-read flatscreen instrument cluster and head-up display, but this goes further. Swipe right to select on one menu the systems you want to use. There’s lane keep assist, blind spot warning, auto parallel parking, and parking sensors. Back to the steering wheel are buttons for adaptive cruise control. The car also has forward collision warning with auto braking. It’s all very impressive.

The S60 T6 is no rocket ship, but there’s plenty packed under the hood. Our car has a 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder engine connected to the all-wheel-drive system through an 8-speed automatic transmission. Unlike an engine that is just turbocharged or supercharged, this engine produces smooth power across the rev and speed range without some of the dead spots that are typical in other engines. Step into it around town, or hauling down the Interstate, and almost everybody will be satisfied. They’ll also appreciate fuel economy ratings of 21/32-MPG city/highway.

There’s nothing soft about how the S60 rides or handles, but being a Volvo, it’s never harsh either. Drive modes can be adjusted for Eco, Comfort Dynamic, or Individual – all of which adjust steering, throttle sensitivity, and shift points to finesse the car’s personality. Eco conserves fuel, Comfort is the tame mode for daily driving and long trips, while Dynamic is the sport mode with more spirited reflexes. Individual lets owners customize their experience. Any way you tune it, the S60 is ready to play.

If you’re driving a Volvo, safety is a given. But athletic style, a sumptuous interior featuring God’s own Bowers & Wilkins audio, the latest infotainment system, and powerful engine are beyond. This one happens to be built in South Carolina! A base price of $35,800, or $54,890 as tested, put it against the Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3-Series, Lexus IS, and Genesis G70.

Storm Forward!

Send comments to Casey at AutoCasey@aol.com; follow him on YouTube @AutoCasey.

  

2019 Volvo S60 T6 R-Design

Five-passenger, AWD Sedan

Powertrain: 2.0-liter T/SC I4, 8-spd auto trans

Output: 316hp/295 lb.-ft. torque

Suspension f/r: Ind/Ind

Wheels f/r: 19”/19” alloy

Brakes f/r: disc/disc

Must-have features: Safety, Interior

Fuel economy: 21/32 mpg city/hwy

Assembly: Ridgeville, SC

Base/As-tested price: $35,800/$54,890

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