The NamasteCar review:
₹ 40,00,00 (Estimated Price)
Volvo’s newest luxury sedan takes aim at the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes C-Class.
OVERALL POINTS: 88/100
WE LOVE: ⇑ Looks stunning with its sharp styling and also looks bigger than its rivals. The interior looks and feels brilliant along with having space too. It also has the best feature list and the longest safety equipment on offer
WE DON’T LOVE: ⇓ The petrol engine is not the most powerful in its class and nor is it as engaging to drive as rivals. The central-hump limits space at the back to two-passengers while it also misses out on a diesel engine option
Volvo has changed a lot over the years and now has become a strong rival to the likes of BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar. The new platform, new styling direction plus a different approach to luxury from others has made Volvo a lot more successful now. In India, Volvo is also seeing a change with new products while worldwide it is leaving diesel along with focusing on electrification for the future. In India for now Volvo is offering petrol engines and the new generation S60 is going to be a crucial model along with the XC40. So how good is the car? Here is our review.
2. Looks from outside
Compared to the previous generation S60, the new model is bigger and also features the new design language from Volvo. Also just like other cars, the new S60 is based on the Volvo Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) while that has also helped it become one of the largest cars in its class. From the side and front, the new S60 also looks bigger than rivals while having a strong resemblance to the bigger S90. Just like the S90, the focus has been on simpler styling with straight lines though it looks very stylish. One of the best design details on the new S60 happens to be its “Thor’s Hammer” LED headlights while it also gets the signature Volvo grille with the chrome slats.
The side does not have too much sculpting but it has strong lines along with a proper sedan three-box shape. For the version sold in India, we get a stylish set of 10-spoke 18-inch wheels which complement the design well. The rear styling is also distinctive with the bold tail-lamps which stretches well into the bumper while matching with the square like theme of the whole design. The paint finish is spectacular too.
3. Driving feel
As we have mentioned earlier, the S60 sticks to a petrol engine and that is a four-cylinder turbo petrol unit. This engine makes 190 bhp and 320Nm. Its rivals make more power so in that sense the S60 might have a disadvantage but in the real-world conditions, the S60 is smooth and as fast as you want a luxury car to be. In traffic the engine is quiet and the suspension is also good enough to swallow bad roads with no noise at all. It is also smooth with the standard 8-speed automatic making driving very easy. Also the S60 concentrates on making your drive relaxed with a light steering which is very easy to use.
It is a car which is best enjoyed at a cruising pace and is tuned for a comfortable luxury car experience. It is not a BMW or a Jaguar with a typical real wheel drive set-up or a fast power delivery as it tries to be a full-size E-Class rival at a lesser price. That said it is not slow as it will easily cover large distances and cruise at big speeds all day.
4. Interior features and feel
Volvo changed the way car interiors are done when it first launched the XC90 in India especially with the simple design which is without a lot of buttons. It is the same thought process which is there on the new S60 too. Volvo has cleaned up the look and all of the functions of the car are actually put together in the central screen which is a 9-inch vertical touch-screen. Hence the interior looks luxurious but also un-complicated.
We must mention the quality and the overall fit and finish as here Volvo has perhaps done even better than its rivals. The interiors in all honesty look and feel like they belong to a car costing Rs. 1crore and not half of that. The all-black lay-out may look a touch bland but the quality is what impresses you. There is leather everywhere along with soft-touch materials plus metal/chrome. Worth mentioning is the finish on the drive selector or even the start/stop button which is high-quality to touch as well as feel.
The dials are fully digital but simple to read and understand while the steering has controls for the safety features and audio controls on both sides.
The vertical touch screen is now also on MG cars but Volvo started it with the XC90 and all of its cars. The 9-inch unit is big and the touch-screen is responsive along with screen graphics/visibility being amongst the best. That is crucial as due to lack of buttons you need to use the touch screen constantly for features like the climate control or the audio. There are a lot of functions there with of course Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, navigation, the radar safety features, the sound system modes or even using the wipers is via the touch screen!
The new S60 has the longest wheelbase in its class at 2872mm and that means it has the most space in its class. Being also a front-wheel-drive car helps it in terms of space. The rear-seat has good amount of head room and legroom plus the seats are also quite comfortable along with having a large rear-ac vent with a digital read-out for the temperature. The front passenger seat can also moved via the touch-screen for further space. Three cannot sit at the rear-seat though as the central-hump spoils that but for two, it is more comfortable than rivals.
As you might expect the S60 comes with a lot of features and some of them you take for granted in a car of this price (like powered seats) hence we will highlight the main ones. We like the big panoramic sunroof which is normally not seen on sedans at this price while there is wireless charging, four-zone climate control and a premium Harman Kardon audio system plus park-assist, sensors all-around, separate keys for the Valet or even Activity keys etc.
We must talk about the audio system which like all the more expensive Volvo cars, has the sound changing mode where you can change the music to suit either when it is occupied full or when just the driver is there while having a ‘concert’ mode too. The sound quality is fantastic.
In a Volvo review we have to dedicate a different paragraph to safety because it is so linked to the brand. Volvo invented the 3-point safety seat belt after all. You have lots of safety equipment including multiple airbags and more but the real deal is the radar based safety features. The car has cameras and sensors which monitor and keep your car safe via different features.
It tells you if something is there in your blind-spot to giving a bird’s eye view with the 360 degree camera plus also parking itself!
The impressive bits are the Adaptive cruise control, Pilot assist, lane keeping and oncoming mitigation by braking. Here you can set the speed and the distance which you want to maintain to the car in front while the car will do the rest. It basically drives itself on motorways or highways with clear marked roads with maintaining speed.
However you have to put your hands on the steering and not putting your hands for sometimes stops this process. While many won’t try that, the more helpful feature is that it monitors pedestrians, on-coming traffic plus also applying brakes if it senses a collision and if the driver has not responded fast enough.
Volvo cars have less dealerships/service centres than Mercedes or BMW but they are expanding. In terms of maintenance cost they are comparable to its rivals in this sector also. The S60 averaged 12/13 kmpl in fuel efficiency.
6. Our opinion
Prices will be out in March while bookings would start from January though we are expecting a competitive pricing in-line with other cars in this segment. There is plenty to like about the S60 as it separates itself from the crowd and manages to create its own USP. The styling is a talking point while the size along with interior is another one. It is more for those who are both driven around and also those who drive themselves occasionally. It basically puts its focus on the luxury bit and that is something many will like.
Length (mm): 4761mm
Width (mm): 2040mm
Height (mm): 1431mm
Wheelbase (mm): 2872mm
Engine: 4cylinder turbo-petrol, 190hp, 300Nm
Gearbox: 8-speed automatic
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