Volvo S60: Small in size, but big on progress

Trish Whelan


Trish Whelan


Volvo S60:  Small in size, but big on progress

The new Volvo S60 is a beautiful mid-sized sport saloon that rewards its owner with effortless performance, intuitive technology and great comfort for all onboard.

After a lengthy time with the car, I can say this S60 is a car that I would appreciate owning.

For me, it excels in almost every way. Furthermore, it instills the urge to get behind the wheel and keep on driving for the sheer joy of it all.

S60 is built on the brand’s Scalable Product Architecture platform which also underpins their new 90 series and 60 series cars.

This is a car with presence but one with quite an understated look which is down to its Scandinavian design.

S60 has been designed with lovely sculpted sides, a sleek profile and muscular shoulders above the rear wheels, which all highlight its sporty character. Some distinctive details identify it as one of the new generation of Volvo cars like the prominent front grille with the Volvo emblem, while the long bonnet and deep front bumper hint at the power on tap. The full LED headlights have the brand’s unique T-shaped light signature and at the rear, the boot edge kicks upwards for a sportier look while also improving the car’s aerodynamics at speed.

My car also came with privacy glass, and high gloss black surrounds to side windows as well as a large sunroof with blind.

The interior is tailored around the owner’s needs - a place where connected, easy-to-use technology combines with the wellbeing that Scandinavian design is famous for, but with that sporty edge also to it. Five people can sit in luxurious comfort. Up front we enjoyed contour sports seats which had a mix of Nappa Leather and cloth upholstery and integrated headrests.

My driver’s seat had power adjustments and two memory functions to suit two drivers if the car is shared. Both front ones have lumbar adjustments.

There’s very generous knee and headroom in the rear with indents on the front seat backs for more knee room.

The S60 has a large luggage compartment of 442 litres there is a spare below the boot floor.

Inside, the split level dash is not only beautiful in design but also practical. It’s dominated by a tablet-like Centre Display you used to control many of the car’s main functions like media, navigation, climate control, driver support systems and in-car apps. You swipe right to reach the function you require. It has three main views views; home view, function view and app view.

Volvo Car’s excellent Blind Spot Information System alerts you to vehicles in your blind spot and quickly approaching vehicles in an adjacent lane. A bright red/orange arc lights up on the side mirror to provide a timely warning.

There are two trims, R-Design and Inscription.

My car was the R-Design T5 petrol unit with 250 horse power on tap which made for fast and responsive acceleration through a slick eight-speed automatic transmission. Annual Road Tax is €390 per annum. This is the first Volvo to be produced without a diesel engine.

Three drive modes are Comfort, Eco, Dynamic, and Individual.

Buyers can opt for the Four-C active chassis which give you even great control over how the car responds, accessing the current road conditions and your driving style. So the car balances between comfort and control. Steering is quite precise but not overly so, and the steering wheel gives you a connected feeling to the road. Handling is good and sharp and the suspension glides over poor roads.

Safety features include City Safety with Autobrake technology that assists the driver in avoiding potential collisions and recognises pedestrians, cyclists and large animals.

As standard you get Cruise Control, Hill Start Assist, a power parking brake, Auto Hold Function, LED headlights with Active High Beam, Day Running lights, twin exhaust pipes, front and rear parking sensors, two-zone Climate Control with a Pollen Filter, the huge 12.3-inch TFT Driver’s Information Display, and heated front seats.

The R-Design adds the contour sports seats and the metal mesh inlays sports pedal and head-up display. Options fitted were the Intellisafe Pro at €2,559 of Pilot Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control, the Blind Spot Info, Cross Traffic Alert and rear collision mitigation. A special Xenium pack includes the Panoramic Sunroof, Parking Camera with 360deg surround view, and Park Assist Pilot and 90deg parking; the Sensus Harmon Kardon audio system (€1,123) of Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Sensus Connect.

Prices do not include delivery and related charges. Volvo’s warranty covers the first 3 years or 100,000kms, whichever comes first.

While Volvo dealerships are currently closed due to the Coronavirus, any potential customers can view each of the brand’s car models online and build their own at: