The wait for the new Volvo S60 has been a little too long for India. Well, it is a new car only in the Indian context. Globally, the car has been on sale for almost a couple of years now! The S60 is a new model ground-up and completes the 60-series family of Volvo in India along-side the XC60 and it will be positioned below Volvo‘s flagship sedan, the S90! We finally get behind the wheel of the newest luxury sedan in the market and see what it has to offer. I remember driving the Volvo S60 a couple of years ago in the beautiful Californian countryside. And yes I was impressed with what the car had to offer! But now, the setting has changed. And even though the S60 remains an impressive car, I was keen to see how it fared in and around the NCR.
The overall design of the S60 is typically Volvo. Classy and understated! Yes, it does bear resemblance to the bigger S90 and that is honestly not a bad thing at all. Up ahead you get a beautiful hood with a downward curve which joins into the familial Volvo grille and the sleek LED headlights with Volvo’s signature Thor’s hammer LED daytime running lights.
View the car in profile and you see a racy, sports-sedan like silhouette. Clean character lines and the slight flare above the rear wheels make the car look proportionate and pleasing to the eye. The rear is accentuated by the C-shaped LED taillights and the clean, somewhat sedate design gels well with the overall sporty look of the car. Overall, the S60 continues to be a handsome-looking car. Dare I say, the best-looking car in the segment!
Dynamics and Drive Performance
In terms of drivetrain, the S60 will get a 2.0-litre petrol engine couple with an 8-speed automatic gearbox for now. Globally, the car gets the 2.0-litre engine in more powerful state of tune and then there’s a hybrid model on offer as well. But there’s no diesel and that may dissuade potential customers in India. Volvo cars are usually stately and focus more on offering a comfortable drive experience rather than being sporty. The 2.0-litre engine makes 187 bhp and 300 Nm of peak torque, which are reasonable numbers. Although we hope Volvo brings in a sportier engine option for the S60 in the future.
|Specifications||Volvo S60 T4 Inscription|
|Max Output||187 bhp at 5,000 rpm|
|Peak Torque||300 Nm at 1,600-4,000 rpm|
The first thing that you notice when you sit inside the cabin is the refinement. The NVH levels are really good and there is hardly any noise seeping inside the cabin. The other thing, that the engine is more tuned for relaxed, comfort cruising rather than spirited driving. Yes! The car will go fast if you give it the beans, but it is best left in the mid-range where you will have enough torque to play around with whether you are driving in the city or on the highway. There are three drive modes on offer, which are Comfort, Eco and Dynamic. In the dynamic mode, the steering firms up and makes for tauter handling. The engine and throttle become more responsive as well. The other two modes are more or less similar in terms of driving dynamics.
The S60 isn’t the sharpest handling car in its segment. The feedback from the steering is a little lazy and as you throw the car into a corner, the 1.5 tonne plus weight is apparent. The ride quality is a little firm but yes! As you increase the speed, the bumps are soaked up better. In terms of dynamics, the S60 is more comfort oriented than enthusiast oriented. The brakes on the S60 do a good job of scrubbing off speed. The bite and progression of the brakes is spot on.
Tech and Interior
Get inside the cabin and you see that the elegant affair continues. The white and beige interior of the S60 is nicely done, makes use of premium materials and the fit and finish is top-notch as well. The two things which stand out are the 9-inch Sensus touchscreen which houses all the controls of features inside the cabin and the knurled finish on the start-stop button, adding to that premium feel. The S60 is likely to come in a single T4 Inscription trim, which will be fully loaded in terms of features.
The cabin of the Volvo S60 sure makes you feel special. It is done beautifully and Volvo sticks to the minimalist theme rather elegantly. Our test car had elegant white Nappa Leather upholstery and while it looked beautiful, we suspect it will be difficult to maintain over a longer period of time. The interior can also be specified in all black and a brown colour. In typical Volvo fashion, the S60 gets a 9-inch vertically mounted Sensus touchscreen, which can be used to operate all functions of the car. The touchscreen itself is capacitive and feels good to use but it may not be the most convenient to use while driving, because the menu itself is exhaustive.
The Volvo S60 is built on the company’s scalable product architecture (SPA) platform and needless to say, it already has a 5-star safety rating in global NCAP crash tests. Safety has always been of paramount importance in Volvo’s scheme of things and the S60 is no different. The car gets seven airbags along with a host of safety systems which include city safety assist, lane-keeping assist and so on. Plus, the front seats are built in a way that they mitigate whiplash in case the car gets hit from behind. They are energy absorbent too, which protects your spine in case of hard jolts.
Prices and Rivals
Now, Volvo is going to operate in a segment which already has the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi will soon launch the new A4 in India next year, which is going to increase the competition as well. We estimate that the pricing of the Volvo S60 will be kept between ₹ 40 lakh to ₹ 45 lakh, considering there is likely to be just one variant on sale.
Like all other Volvos, the S60 epitomises safety and elegance. It is a handsome looking car and is decently specced in terms of features too. The S60 offers good performance. Volvo will launch the S60 in March 2021 and bookings for the car will begin in Jan 2021. Now, if Volvo is able to price the S60 aggressively, this car has the potential to shake things up in its segment.