S60 T5 models come with a newly developed 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque; while S60 T6 models have a special version of this engine employing both a turbocharged and supercharger, bringing output up to 302 hp and 295 lb-ft. These engines get extraordinarily good mileage--up to an EPA-rated 25 mpg city, 37 highway for the T5.
Stepping up to all-wheel drive, which is available on the entire model line, means a whole lineup of different and well-proven (although not as economical) engines. In T5 AWD models, a 2.5L turbocharged in-line 5-cylinder engine makes 250 horsepower and 268 pound-feet, while the top T6 R-Design gets a turbo 3.0L in-line six making 325 hp and 354 lb-ft.
The new Drive-E models also get a new 8-speed automatic transmission, which further helps with fuel-efficiency. So does an engine stop-start system that smartly shuts off the engine during periods of idling (at a stoplight, for instance) and starts it up seamlessly when you lift off the brake.
As for those all-wheel-drive versions, they have a Haldex system that sends most power to the front wheels during ordinary driving but can very quickly send more to the rear wheels as soon as a tire loses traction.
At the top of the 2016 S60 performance lineup is the T6 R-Design, which gets the 325-hp six, all-wheel drive, paddle-shifters, and various performance upgrades, plus a Sport Mode that makes transmission shifts more aggressive.
On T5 models you can add a Sport Package that brings sport seats, paddle shifters, a sport suspension, and 19-inch 'Bor' alloy wheels.
Throughout the S60 line, you'll find cabin appointments that are refreshingly different compared to most luxury cars, with contrasting trims, soft leather upholstery and woodgrain in places. The front seats are some of the most supportive in the S60's class, and even though the swoopy roofline doesn't suggest a lot of back-seat space, the seats are contoured so that even taller adults can sit back there comfortably.
V60 sport-wagon models offer essentially the same package as the S60 ahead of the back seats, but with its flip-forward seats and continuous cargo floor, it offers up far more versatility to active types and families--and it's going to appear even sportier than the sedan to some.
Major option groups include the Climate Package (heated front and rear outboard seats, heated windshield, heated steering wheel, heated washer nozzles), a Technology Package (Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake, Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake, Distance Alert, Driver Alert Control, Lane Departure Warning, Road Sign Information, Active High Beam and Lane Keeping Aid).
Standalone options include heated front seats, active dual xenon headlamps with washers, Park Assist Pilot, a dual-screen rear entertainment system, Urbane Wood inlays and a new Nubuck textile/leather upholstery--as well as several styles and sizes of wheels, ranging up to 19-inch 'Bor' diamond-cut alloys on the T6 or 'Ixion' II alloys with summer tires on the R-Design.
All S60 models come with the Sensus interface, which allows a screen interface for audio, optional navigation, apps, and Internet music streaming. Even the base audio system includes HD Radio tuning, satellite radio compatibility, Bluetooth audio streaming and USB inputs.
Taking a deep breath, I steeled myself and whispered, "OK, Hall...trust the car."
And then I took my hands off the steering wheel.
Using the 2016 Volvo S60's parallel-parking-assist feature, the car had already found a suitable spot on the crowded city street. Following the prompts on the gauge cluster to apply the brakes and shift gears, the Volvo neatly wedged itself between a scooter and a Chevy Aveo.
The Good The 2016 Volvo S60 T5 Inscription adds more room for rear seat passengers, while a set of driver assistance features, such as adaptive cruise control, takes some of the stress out of parking and traffic.
The Bad The infotainment system is difficult to navigate and often demands that you take your eyes off the road. Bland exterior styling will not appeal to those who want a character-driven car.
The Bottom Line The cushy ride and adaptive cruise control make the Volvo S60 T5 best for those that have long commutes in heavy traffic.
As long as you have Volvo On Call subscription, Amazon can leave your goods inside your car.
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It's strange how nobody's thought about running this test before, even Volvo itself.