2019 Volvo S60: 6 Things We Like and 3 Things We Don’t

The Volvo S60 was completely redesigned for the 2019 model year, adopting the sleek exterior of its bigger siblings, the XC60 SUV and S90 sedan. While the shape is sophisticated and modern, this Volvo luxury sedan will have to get down and dirty, as it has plenty of rivals to square off against. These include perennially popular models like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 3 Series. Then there are recent arrivals that include the Genesis G70, Alfa Romeo Giulia and Kia Stinger.

Being a Volvo, you expect safety to receive top billing even when the vehicle in question happens to be a sports sedan. That’s true with the S60 — there is a long list of standard safety features and the car received strong ratings in recent crash tests. There’s more room inside, too, since the 2019 S60 is about 5 inches longer than the previous generation. And when it comes to choices of powertrain, this Volvo absolutely spoils you for choice.

There is one very important missing ingredient in this compact luxury car. To find out what it is, you can check out the full review by Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays via the related link above. But for a speedier take on this sport-tuned Volvo, keep reading to find out what impressed us most of all — along with a few areas that left us colder than a Scandinavian winter.

Here are six things we like, and three we don’t, about the 2019 Volvo S60:

Things We Like

1. Something for Everyone Under the Hood

You aren’t lacking for choices when it comes to choosing a powertrain in the 2019 Volvo S60. The entry-level S60 T5 comes in front-wheel-drive format and is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder that delivers 250 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of torque. Next, the S60 T6 features all-wheel drive and a four-cylinder engine that’s both turbocharged and supercharged; total output from this engine comes in at 316 hp and 295 pounds-feet of torque.

If that’s not enough grunt for you, there’s the S60 T8, a hybrid-powered variant that combines the T6 engine to an electric motor and battery pack. This elevates output to an even 400 hp and 472 pounds-feet of torque.

2. Strong Acceleration, Polestar in Particular

In the range-topping S60 Polestar fitted with the hybridized four-cylinder powertrain, the sprint from zero-to-60 mph takes only 4.3 seconds. In the regular T8, you’ll need only 4.4 seconds.

3. Elegant Exterior

Though overhauled for 2019, the exterior shape and design touches — such as the Thor’s hammer-style headlights — will be familiar to anyone who’s admired the XC90 SUV or S90 luxury sedan. Both have been out for several years now, and their styling remains fresh and distinctive. We think the S60 should also age gracefully thanks to Volvo’s design team.

4. Easy-to-Use Multimedia

While we wouldn’t mind some actual knobs for commonly used functions like radio tuning, the standard 9-inch multimedia screen is intuitive and responds quickly to your fingertip inputs. (It’s worth noting that for the 2020 model year, an even larger 12.3-inch screen is now standard.)

5. Backseat Better Than Before

Because of its 5-inch stretch compared to the outgoing S60, the new model is noticeably roomier inside. This is especially true for anyone seated in the rear. S60 buyers can also add heated rear outboard leather seats.

6. High Safety Standards

Standard safety features in the 2019 Volvo S60 include automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, collision mitigation and automatic high beams, to name a few. The 2019 S60 received perfect scores in all crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, as well as a top superior rating for its front crash prevention system.

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Things We Don’t

1. Driving Thrills Not Included

For a sports sedan, the Volvo S60 simply doesn’t feel that sporty. The handling doesn’t have the immediacy of rivals like the Alfa Romeo Giulia or Genesis G70. Despite power output, the response times in lesser powertrains are blunted by everything from the car’s stop-start system to the lethargic gas-pedal reaction. Once you get going, though, the Volvo is plenty quick.

2. Super-Stiff Sport Chassis

Do not — we repeat, do not — order the optional Sport Chassis. This turns the S60’s ride into a brittle mess, without any additional steering feel or suspension feedback. On perfect roads, maybe this system has merit — but when it was paired with optional 19-inch alloy wheels on our test car, the ride was jittery and nervous.

3. Cool Vs. Comfort Compromise

If you want a safe Volvo sedan with modern styling, the S60’s exterior is sufficiently alluring, but a lot depends on the model you choose. The Sport Chassis and supersize wheels fitted to our test car created a harsh ride. While the standard T5 in front-wheel-drive format would be more comfortable, it doesn’t quite have the dynamic sparkle found in other luxury sports sedans.

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