Jan
06
2016 Volvo S60

Volvo’s midsize S60 sedan adds a “raised” version for 2016. Carrying the make’s long-standing Cross Country moniker, it comes with all-wheel drive and a turbocharged 5-cylinder engine at its starting price of $44,440 with destination. 

2016 Volvo S60 Cross Country T5 AWD  2015 Audi Q5

Class: Premium Midsize Car

Dates tested: 12/7/2015 – 12/15/2015

Miles Driven: 154

Fuel Used: 8.7 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 17.7 mpg

Driving mix:80% city, 20% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 20/28/23 (city, highway, combined)

CG Report Card
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
Room and ComfortC+
Power and PerformanceB+
Fit and FinishA-
Fuel EconomyC+
ValueC+

Base price: $43,500 (not including $940 destination charge)

Options on test car: Climate package ($1550), Blind-spot Information System package ($925), Speed-sensitive steering ($325), Urbane wood inlays ($400), 19-inch black wheels ($750)

Price as tested: $48,390

 

Quick Hits

The great: Interior materials, control layout, responsive powertrain

The good: Visibility, quiet ride, ease of entry/exit

The not so good: Mediocre fuel economy, limited rear-seat room, subpar trunk space

Check out Consumer Guide’s Premium Midsize Car Best Buys

 

John Biel

For 2016, Volvo is using its S60 sedan as the basis for a vehicle that sounds somewhat like the classic definition of a crossover. It’s got a car platform, with the ease of use that implies, combined with features like raised ride height, all-wheel drive, and hill-descent control that promise a modicum of sport-utility-vehicle capability on occasions when that would be helpful.

2016 Volvo S60

The Cross Country’s added ride height not only affords more ground clearance in snow, but it also improves driver visibility over traffic. An added benefit is that it can make entry and exit easier due to a raised seat height and door opening.

Usually, crossovers are wagon-type vehicles, and Volvo has built some in the past with the Cross Country name. Here, though, the Cross Country label is newly being applied to a premium midsize sedan.

The S60 Cross Country T5 starts at $43,500. In addition to the driveline and chassis features mentioned above, it comes with a 2.5-liter turbocharged 250-horsepower 5-cylinder engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. Other standard features include 3D navigation, 3G Wi-Fi hotspot with built-in apps (such as Yelp and Pandora), 7-inch in-dash color monitor, power driver’s seat with memory, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, adaptive cruise control, upgraded leather upholstery, Harman Kardon audio system, power moonroof, dual-zone electronic climate control, and more. Key built-in safety features include a rearview camera, rear obstacle detection, forward-collision warning and mitigation, lane-departure warning, and Volvo On Call that provides roadside assistance plus remote starting and door unlocking through your cell phone.

First Spin: Volvo S60 Inscription

When Consumer Guide® editors had the chance to drive a sample of the S60 Cross Country, here’s what this driver liked about the car:      

  • Nicely appointed upscale interior.
  • Good front-seat room.
  • Generally good outward vision.
  • Good organization of numerous control buttons. Radio presets store on a centrally located keypad, the edges of which also group auxiliary control buttons together by function. (Lane-departure and parking warning are together at the lower right, audio is near the top, etc.)
  • Ease of entry and exit.
  • A fine powerteam. The test car got away from stops eagerly and cruised quietly with good reserve power on the expressway; the transmission worked smoothly and kicked down quickly.
  • Fairly quiet ride that’s a little firm but not annoyingly so.
  • Responsive handling and sure braking.
2016 Volvo S60

Touches of wood and brushed metal brighten what is otherwise a rather subdued but nicely trimmed interior. As opposed to some newer Volvo designs — in which a large touchscreen absorbs most infotainment and climate controls — the S60 retains the “old” layout that’s dominated by gen-u-ine buttons and knobs.

Some other aspects of the S60 Cross Country didn’t come off as well in this tester’s estimation. They included:

  • Cramped rear-seat leg room, and head room that isn’t as good as in front.
  • Ease of use of controls. For instance, it takes a little more work than it should to find and save radio stations; the trip-odometer reset is a game of hide-and-seek through scrolling menus.
  • Interior storage. While the glove box is decently sized, the console box with auxiliary and USB ports is small. So are pockets in all four doors. There are two covered cup holders in console, and two more in the rear pull-down center arm rest. (To the good, rear passengers are presented with pouches attached to the backs of the front seats and with a shallow covered storage bin in the armrest.)
  • Trunk space. A strange cargo arrangement has a high center floor with big drop-offs to the sides of this platform, and a drop-off to the folded rear seats. Overall, cargo space isn’t all that generous.
  • Fuel mileage. After a 107-mile trip, 70 percent of it in city-type driving, this tester recorded just 19.9 mpg, which was just shy of the S60 Cross Country’s EPA rating of 20 mpg for city driving.

Test Drive: Volvo XC90

CG’s test Volvo turned out to be nicely equipped, albeit at some extra cost. There was a $1550 Climate Package (heated seats, heated washer nozzles, heated steering wheel, heated windshield, and interior air filter), and a $925 Blind Spot Information System Package (blind-spot alert, cross-traffic alert, parking assist, and lane-change-merge aid). With stand-alone options (speed-sensitive steering, wood interior inlays, and 19-inch wheels) and delivery, it topped out at $48,390. For its SUV-like qualities, the S60 Cross Country is unlike most any sedan on the market, and that might be a lure to certain buyers. But as a midsize luxury sedan (note that Volvo considers it more akin to a compact), its shortages of rear-passenger and cargo space leave it at a disadvantage.

Test Drive: Lexus GS 350 F Sport AWD

 

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