We're another month into our yearlong test of the 2012 Volvo S60 and, while there are still a few gripes from staff members about the operation of the various electronic interfaces, there has been almost nothing but universal praise for the Volvo's dynamic performance and build quality. In fact, we like the vehicle so much that it's been difficult to get much seat time in it.
"Need more proof that our editorial staff loves this car? This S60 has been under our stewardship for almost three months now, and there are still some of us who've never had a chance to slip behind the wheel. Until the other night, I thought I'd be resigned to that list for the foreseeable future," kvetched associate web editor Evan McCausland.
Once in the car, however, McCausland was able to see what all the fuss was about.
"I love quite a bit about this car, including the powerful turbo-six, the seamless power delivery, and the well-tuned transmission, but I can't quite get over just how good this interior is. Everything inside feels solidly built and substantial, and every plastic -- even those that look as if they'll feel hard and cheap -- is blessed with a soft touch and pleasant texture."
McCausland isn't the only one impressed with the interior. Editor in chief Jean Jennings waxed poetic about the leather upholstery: "It is ruggedly spectacular, with a hefty pebbled grain. Every seam is doubled stitched, making it look like fine luggage, or a saddle, or something really crafted and not just decorated. The color is also like a fine saddle or a well-oiled baseball glove. Sitting in our Four Seasons Volvo is supremely satisfying to me. You should go to a Volvo dealer just to run your hands over one of these fine hides." In fact, the leather used in the interior is "beechwood brown," a color that the company used in the 1960s on the P1800 and in the 1970s on the 164. It was resurrected for the 2011 S60.
As for the car's dynamic performance, associate editor Eric Tingwall spoke for many of us when he wrote the following: "The S60 is a perfect example of how mastering the fundamentals creates a car that feels like so much more. Because of how well it steers, handles, accelerates, and brakes, the S60 can quickly trick you into thinking it is the perfect every day sedan. Of course it does have faults hiding behind that facade of driver enlightenment, but the Volvo hardly gives the driver a moment to discover them. Every time you climb into this car, you can look forward to a drive that's sharper, quicker, and more enjoyable than anybody else you're sharing the road with. It is very much in the vein of a BMW 3-series in that it's a car for those who love to drive."
At Automobile Magazine, we love to drive and, so far at least, we really love driving the Volvo S60. Look for another update next month.
|Base price (with dest.):||$38,575|
|Body style:||4-door sedan|
|Engine:||24-valve DOHC turbocharged in-line 6|
|Displacement:||3.0 liters (2953 cu in)|
|Power:||300 hp @ 5600 rpm|
|Torque:||325 lb-ft @ 2100-4200 rpm|
|Transmission type:||6-speed automatic|
|EPA Fuel Economy:||18/26/21 (city/hwy/combined)|
|Steering:||Variable power assisted|
|Turning circle:||39.0 ft|
|Suspension, front:||Strut-type, coil springs|
|Suspension, rear:||Multilink, coil springs|
|Brakes f/r:||Power-assisted ventilated disc brakes; ABS|
|Tire size:||235/40R-18 95V|
|Headroom f/r:||37.6/37.4 in|
|Legroom f/r:||41.9/33.5 in|
|Shoulder room f/r:||57.0/55.2 in|
|Track f/r:||62.1/62.0 in|
|L x W x H:||182.2 x 73.4 x 58.4 in|
|Passenger volume:||92.0 cu ft|
|Cargo capacity:||12.0 cu ft|
|Fuel capacity:||17.8 gal|
|Est. fuel range:||N/A miles|
|Fuel grade:||87 octane (regular unleaded)|
|STANDARD EQUIPMENT||Turbocharged 3.0L DOHC I-6 engine 6-speed automatic transmission All-wheel drive Dynamic chassis Advanced stability control Corner traction control w/ torque vectoring Dynamic Stability Traction Control (DSTC) w/ sport mode Electronic brake force distribution (EBD) 4-wheel Antilock Braking (ABS) City Safety Front, side, and side curtain air bags Whiplash protection system (WHIPS) Dual ISO-FIX attachment system Intelligent driver information system (IDIS) Child safety locks Emergency trunk release Rear foglight Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Leather seating surfaces Sport seats, front and rear Eight-way power driver's seat Leather sport tilt and telescoping steering wheel Dual-zone electronic climate control Bluetooth 60/40 folding rear seat w/ center pass-thru Auto-dimming rearview mirror w/ compass Keyless entry Power folding rear-seat headrests Electric parking brake Electronic ignition w/ pushbutton start and stop Cruise control Heated power sideview mirrors w/ remote memory Illuminated steering wheel controls Sirius satellite radio with 6-month complimentary subscription HD radio USB and Aux inputs|
|Premium Pacakge and Climate Package||$2,300|
|Electic silver metallic paint||$675|
|Personal car communicator w/keyless drive||NA|