SYNONYMOUS with class and refinement, Volvo’s range is arguably the best it’s ever been, with numerous Car of the Year awards evidence of that. The 2020 Volvo S60 in entry level T5 Momentum trim is another testament to the heritage of the brand.
The popular sedan is one of the staples of the Volvo range, itself an icon thanks to Garry Rogers Motorsport, Scott McLaughlin and the then V8 Supercars series. It’s a storeyed list that includes the 740, 850 and S40.
The latest S60 is sure to join that roll call with its impeccable safety features and dynamic styling. No family sedan has the right to look as damn good as the S60 does quite frankly. It is stunning.
Even in its base model form, the design turns heads and just makes you stare. Distinctive in its design and wearing the current generation of Volvo cars t-shaped signature LED headlights, the S60 has an unmistakable presence on the road.
Complemented by 17-inch 5-double spoke black diamond cut alloy wheels, a prominent front grille boasting a large Volvo emblem, long bonnet and deep front bumper, it looks muscular while somehow being svelte and sophisticated.
Inside, you slide into a modern, contemporary cabin that whispers luxury and class. While the dash and centre console surfaces are clean and crisp, with a mix of metal, plastic and leather, it’s the small details that really impress.
You’ll be hard pressed to find more beautiful air vents this side of a million-dollar super car. Diamond-pattern finished buttons and dials provide highlights throughout and the sneaky Swedish flags stitched into the seats are a nice touch.
While we’re on the topic, the seats in the S60 are a revelation in comfort and support. Power height adjustable with memory function, you will arrive at your destination feeling fresh and rejuvenated, even more than if you were wearing a pair of masseur sandals.
Another standout feature of the interior is the centre display, which is the command centre for the whole car. Controlling everything from climate, entertainment, navigation and safety, it had better work – and it does.
Not only does it look great, it operates smoothly and is easy to navigate. You can even use it while wearing gloves.
Once you get on the road, you’ll immediately notice how smooth and composed the S60 is. The T5 Momentum is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine producing 187kW and 350Nm, all through an automatic 8-speed adaptive Geartronic transmission.
Complemented by all-wheel drive, the result is a drive train that is smooth and torquey, but loses some puff up the top end of the rev range and can get a little noisy. The highlight of this engine is its mid-range torque.
Perfect for real world driving, where you spend most of your time. The automatic transmission shifts smoothly and adapts well, depending on which of the three drive modes you select.
Choose between a dynamic, comfortable or fuel-efficient drive with a fourth mode being for individual settings, designed to let you mix and match to your preference. Each mode offers a significant change in the characteristics of the S60.
The change is such that you’ll actually find yourself using them, unlike many other cars on the market offering drive mode selection.
One of the pillars of Volvo’s brand is its leading-edge focus on safety and the latest S60 is no different. Bundled under the Intellisafe umbrella and highlighted by the Pilot Assist system, the list of safety features is extensive. There’s more than 40 individual systems.
As we mentioned, Pilot Assist is one of those. Active up to 130km/h, it works by supplementing the adaptive cruise control by offering semi-autonomous steering inputs to keep the S60 centred in its lane, while the driver’s hand is on the steering wheel.
Take your hand off the wheel and the system is automatically switched off. As one of the better semi-autonomous systems on the market, Pilot Assist is just as effective in stop start traffic as it is on the motorway.
Intelligent and easy to use, it will become part of your everyday life by taking some of the stresses of driving in traffic and on motorways away from the driver.
Our test car was fitted with the optional technology pack, valued at $3,000. Adding a graphical head-up display, 360-degree camera, LED headlights with active bending lights and ambient interior lighting, it’s a compelling add-on.
Other option packs are also available, including the comfort pack, lifestyle pack (Momentum) and versatility pack (Momentum). Of all these, the technology pack and the Momentum’s lifestyle pack are the ones we would pay most attention to.
When you’re competing in a market that includes the Audi A4, BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C Class, you are in for one hell of a fight. While these cars are all seriously accomplished sedans, the Volvo S60 feels the most balanced of them all.
For us, the 2020 Volvo S60 is the most rounded. Priced from $54,990 plus on-roads, the 2020 Volvo S60 T5 Momentum offers excellent value for money in the medium-large sedan segment.
Stacking up well against its competitors and offering a package that is extremely well rounded, you would be mistaken in neglecting the S60 from your buying shortlist.
The S60 is the car for those who can look past a badge and appreciate a car for the sum of its parts, not school car park bragging rights.
Our test vehicle was provided by Volvo Cars Australia. To find out more about the 2020 Volvo S60 T5 Momentum, contact your local Volvo dealer.