Volvo S60 — With the capability of the Cross Country

By David Finkelstein

For 2016, Volvo charts a new course with the introduction of the S60 four door sedan. Designed for those who tend to think outside the box, this "segment first" model is the only premium sedan with the same levels of capability and crossover design cues found in Volvo’s renowned Cross Country station wagons.

Worth bringing to your attention is the fact that Volvo was the first premium automotive brand to introduce a successful all-road capable type of wagon nearly 20 years ago. It helped to spawn what has led to the creation of the “crossover” category that's so popular today.

Building on its strong heritage of lifestyle vehicles, the new S60 is a completely unique entry in this market place. For instance, the S60 Cross Country T5 AWD Platinum model for 2016 is well equipped with the factory creature comforts you would expect and welcome. The car delivers the luxury, sophistication, safety and all-road driving capabilities that a modern Volvo is known for.

Volvo's marketing team suggests that the new S60 is the only truly proficient and stylish all-road sedan on the market. The S60 has an attractive modern-style grille and sparkling headlamps. Continuous creases in the hood stampings continue forward in the cars front fascia.The side is accentuated with both 90-degree angles as well as smooth contours giving a special look to the car.

At the rear, the modern silhouette and attractive tail lamps plus large exhaust outlets provide the finishing touches.

With its unique sense of styling, the Volvo S60 will appeal to new car shoppers searching for an exciting and versatile sedan, while enjoying the clear benefits of a crossover. The S60 T5 is powered by Volvo’s signature 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbocharged engine. It produces 250 horsepower. The engine is mated to an efficient six-speed “Geartronic” automatic transmission.

Volvo’s esteemed electronically controlled All-Wheel-Drive with Instant Traction is offered of which provides the best possible grip with just about any road surfaces. The seamless and advanced AWD system automatically delivers power where necessary. When wheel spin is detected (coupled with a tire losing traction), engine power is reduced to that wheel and instantly transferred to the more sure-footed wheels below.

Hill descent control makes it possible for the driver to focus completely on driving when descending steep inclines. The driver can control the speed with the brake pedal or the accelerator with the Hill Descent Control system activated.

One of Volvo's leading-edge safety features is referred to as IntelliSafe. It's Volvo’s presentation of giving its customers everyday convenience and peace of mind. If an accident is unavoidable, there are a number of safety enhancements built-in including a ”City Safety” system. City Safety is a driver support system aimed at preventing or mitigating collisions with other vehicles. Its designed to activate at speeds of 31 mph or less. It utilizes sensors to help determine whether a collision is likely or not. City Safety will either pre-charge the brakes or automatically apply them.

Dynamic Stability and Traction Control is also part of a suite of electronic systems to help optimize handling. Stability Control detects and reacts accordingly to “oversteer” and “understeer” situations. It also improves handling in evasive maneuvers. The cyclist and pedestrian detection system is a ground-breaking technological solution that actively helps the driver avoid accidents. This radar and camera based system warns the driver if anyone walks into their path. Advanced software will alert the driver and if necessary, apply full breaking.

Adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, recognizing road sign information as well as automatic high beam activation is also part of the car's breakthroughs. This helps raise the bar when it comes to motoring safety.

The S60 is fitted with contour seats that provide excellent comfort and support. The passenger cabin is enhanced with an assortment of optional and unique material inlay's to choose from. Included is a standard 60/40-split rear seat that increases versatility for transporting long or oversize items.

Other features standard (depending on the trim level) include keyless drive, rear park assist camera, HomeLink integrated garage door opener, grocery bag holder and power retractable outside mirrors.

The seven- inch dash mounted color monitor displays the easy-to-use navigation system and other features. Also on the S60 options list is a premium Harmon Kardon sound system. HD Radio, AUX and USB inputs, MP3 capability, Bluetooth hands-free phone interface with audio streaming and Sirius Satellite Radio with a complimentary six-month subscription are also included if you elect to choose the Cross Country version.

The Sensus Connect system comes with a wide range of free apps and internet plus cloud based access. With a smartphone, owners can check the status of the car, lock and unlock the doors and even start the engine to "warm up" or "cool down" the interior before driving.

The entry level 2016 Volvo S60 T5 front-wheel-drive edition pricing starts out at $33,950. The upper trim level R-Design model starts at  $44,200.