Volvo S60 — Numerous engine options

By David Finkelstein

Volvo's compact S60 sedan enters the 2017 model year instantly recognizable as a Volvo with its brand DNA very much in evidence the moment it comes into sight. While it is a bit cutesy, it's overall size makes a statement suggesting that it's a perfect city-type commuter car, thus serving as a nice daily driver. It's also well engineered for interstate usage as well.

The S60's exterior has a smooth and modern design, a departure of Volvo's past. Even the rear outer assembly is nicely designed, including the car's dual large exhaust outlets and its attractive rear tail lamp assembly. The S60's side profile has somewhat large window glass and attractive sculptured doors.

Hinging on “near luxury” and imported from Belgium (with a number of additional components coming from Sweden), the S60 is positioned in a class of other contenders such as the Acura TLX, BMW 3-Series, Lincoln MKZ, Genesis G80 and perhaps the Audi A3. The product mix is fairly extensive as S60 is offered in a T5 version, T5 Inscription and the T6 and T6 AWD R-Design. Additionally, Volvo shows the Premier and Platinum trims as well.

A number of optional packages are available. This is includes the Climate Package, Convenience Package, Technology and Sport Package plus from the factory, the Blind Spot Information System Package. If you tend to gravitate towards a sporty looking four door automobile and an energetic somewhat taunt ride, the optional S60 Dynamic model was designed with you in mind.

With a fairly bold exterior including bright Xenon headlights as well as a power glass moonroof and comfortable leather sport seats, this sedan further has what appears to be equipped with almost a countless list of additional standard features. With the combination of the Xenon headlights and Active Bending Lights, you’ll further experience heightened vision while driving at night when negotiating curves and obstacles.

With this advanced system (depending on a number of factors), the headlights also self-adjust to maintain the correct angle to the road. This even operates seamlessly during hard acceleration or during braking maneuvers.

Depending on the model, the S60 is offered with a number of engine options as well. For instance, available is the 2.0-liter 4-cyl turbo rated at 240 horsepower. Moving forward is a 2.5-liter turbo 5-cyl engine, rated at 250-horsepower. A 2.0-liter turbo with a supercharger is offered rated at 302-horsepower. Also available on the S60 is a 3.0-liter 6-cylinder turbo that has a horsepower output rating of 325.

Depending on the engine, the car is built with either a 6 or-8-speed automatic transmission and either front-wheel or all-wheel-drive. With effortless acceleration, most of the powertrain systems deliver notable fuel consumption EPA numbers. The version I drove with the 2.0-liter turbo/supercharger and AWD is rated at 23-mpg city and 31-mpg highway.

After options, the final sticker price was $44,195.

The powertrain setup combines the supercharger and turbocharger working together to bring in unison high performance and the perfect balance of power. A number of vehicles on the road today with just a turbochargers might suffer from turbo lag. This mechanical condition results from the time between pressing the accelerator pedal all the way down and feeling the rush of power or engine torque to the underside drive wheels.

With the vehicle's supercharged/turbocharged engine set-up, the result is superb power without sacrificing responsiveness. Additionally, this sedan also has an ECO+ function. It can quickly be activated with the press of a button in order to reduce fuel consumption by up to 5%, depending on your driving style and the climate conditions. It's also tied to the start/stop capability, which will stop the engine when the vehicle comes to a standstill to conserve fuel. When the engine re-starts, it's a bit jerky but it's a small price to pay for the savings at the pump.

With the downloaded Volvo On Call app, you can remotely start your engine, check the fuel level, pre-heat the car in the winter, cool it down in the summer and lock or unlock your car. The Volvo On Call app is standard with a 6-month trial subscription.

The IntelliSafe Safety System includes innovations like Blind Spot Information and radar based auto-breaking technology. The car's Adaptive Cruise Control can automatically maintain a set speed while keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Distance Alert activates a red warning light if you aren't keeping a safe and proper distance.

The S60's interior also reflects rolling in-car technology that helps with driver information, entertainment and safety features as well as the car's built in WiFi hotspot plus apps such as Yelp and Pandora. The center dash mounted optional navigation system offers up 3D imaging, voice recognition, routing options and built-in apps like Find Parking, integrated right into the display. However, I did discover that the street names and some landmarks were displayed in very tiny font.

The warranty reflects four years or 50,000 miles with complimentary factory scheduled maintenance for 3 years or 36,000 miles.