Swedish carmakers in India have been using complete hibernation since the outbreak of the virus. However, we are only a few weeks away from India – a revelation of the third generation S60, which has always been a smooth choice between the popular BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class.
Low-sloping design, wide-looking body, sharp light elements, alloy trim, the third-generation S60 raises the bar on the style front. Volvo’s typical Thor Hammer badge bisects the T4 inscription grille. Excessive chrome used thoughtfully, a signed T-element in the front lamps and strong lines of the hood make the chin look wider than it actually is.
On the sides, an additional belt line surrounds the window profile. The asymmetrical 10-spoke alloy design, needless to say, blends perfectly under the subtly created wheel arches.
In appearance, if the new Jaguar XE symbolizes sportiness, the Volvo S60 strongly maintains sophistication. VOLVO badge in the middle, S60 and T4 badges on the sides are minimal use of chrome. The split taillights and twin top triggers are neat to look at.
4.7 meters long, 2 meters wide, S60 is a cut of the same cloth as the larger S90. Introduced in the year 2000, S60 is the company’s bet in the entry-level high-quality segment and its current avatar has adopted a scalable product architecture (SPA) platform, discarding the Ford-based one.
Internally, the comfort of the seat defines segments, with the right amount of reinforcement and support. The cabin is airy, thanks to large window openings. S60 has similar vertical infotainment as other Volvo. The well-lit screen lacks physical buttons while touch reaction is satisfactory. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are accessible, and a number of USB ports and a wireless charging pad are part of the front dashboard.
The front seats are as comfortable as the rear. Electrically customizable, the front seats also have a memory function. The panel design is brilliant, thanks to the multi-layered use of soft touch material. I don’t like the piano black material around the dash, however the Harman Kardon speakers, rectangular and square slots ensure a messy layout. Once you might confuse the interiors of S60 with cars segmented above.
Indian type S60 comes with a 2-liter engine, a turbocharged gasoline engine that extinguishes 190 hp., 320 Nm of peak torque. Three changeable driving modes come as standard and power is sent to the front wheels. Look for the S60 variants that Volvo sells through markets, T4 Inscription may seem like a compromise. With petrol and diesel power trains, BMW and Mercedes-Benz offer greater freedom to buyers.
Over the years, Volvo has made quite a few changes to the S60’s powerful train. T6 and T8, currently sold worldwide, also get an all-wheel drive transmission, twin chargers and a hybrid engine. T6 could be considered, that said, Volvo aims to keep S60 price competitive to compete with the Germans.
The T4 we have has an engine, lacks a sport-like feel, but is certainly practical, and the results match its rivals. The 2-liter in-line is smooth and refined, cleaning from 1,500 rpm. The turbo delay, however, is evident in the beginning. The motor is not in a hurry, and the needle rises on the accelerator against a slow step. A 0-100kmph sprit can be completed in 7.5 seconds while the top speed is electronically limited to 180 clicks per hour. Even with healthy three-digit speeds, the engine feels mostly stress-free and the cabin is silent like a grave.
The direction is beautifully rated and has weight. The feel isn’t outrageously sporty, the reactions are decent, however compared to a 3 series standard, the S60 may lose a few points on handling.
Worn with 18-inch alloy wheels, the ride quality is flexible over small waves at low speeds. Additional care is guaranteed when maneuvering over the bad roads due to a shallow ground clearance of 122 mm.
Just like comfort, safety is something you can always rely on with Volvo cars. A 5-star crash rating, Volvo believes no one should die in car crashes. Airbags and side curtains make the S60 safe as a castle but high-end driving assistants such as adaptive speed, aid for lane maintenance, support for shock mitigation show Volvo’s commitment to safety.
The performance is not as pleasing as the look, especially since S60 globally has better loaded variants in the form of T6 and T8. That said, at an expected price of 45 to 50 lacquers (ex-showroom), S60 will be a competitive purchase against the German trio.