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2015 Volvo S60 T6 [REVIEW]

The S60 competes in one of the most hotly contested segments, the near-luxury class that contains some formidable players such as the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and the king of the class, BMW 3-Series. So how does the Volvo S60 compare?

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Volvo’s S60 has been in it’s second generation since 2010. Having received a slight facelift last year, this year Volvo has imbued the S60 with its new range of impressive Drive-E powertrains. The S60 competes in one of the most hotly contested segments, the near-luxury class that contains some formidable players such as the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and the king of the class, BMW 3-Series. So how does the Volvo S60 compare?

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Let’s start with the S60’s exterior where clean taunt lines lines give a modern if somewhat feminine appearance. The nice thing about a simple design is that it ages well. Volvo updated the exterior last year with new front and rear ends which keeps the S60 looking fresh. Compared to the competition it’s one of the smallest in it’s class while many others have grown in size.

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Related: 2016 Volvo XC90 [REVIEW]

Volvo’s simple Scandinavian design continues on the interior where form follows function. The feeling is definitely minimalistic but ergonomics are top-notch with all the controls following readily at hand. Plus everything your hand touches are high quality materials. Being one of the smallest in it’s class also translates to the interior where the back seat room is tight. While it might not be best for long road trips with linebackers, it is a great size for empty nesters.

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On the road is where the S60 really shines however. With a smaller footprint the Volvo is easy to place on the road with great sight lines and easy to maneuver or park in the city. Engine, road, and wind noise are all well muted making the S60 one of the quietest in it’s class. Meanwhile the Volvo has done a great job of tuning the steering and suspension to provide decent feedback without being to mushy. Overall it’s a great balance between luxury and sporty.

The best balance of Volvo’s S60 is actually under the hood. The new Drive-E powertrains come in two versions of the 2.0L 4-cylinder. The first version called T5 is turbocharged with 240-hp and 258 lb-ft. of torque. The second version, which was my test vehicle, is called the T6. It combines a supercharger AND turbocharger to produces 302-hp and 295 lb-ft. of torque with the supercharger basically eliminating any turbo lag.

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What makes those numbers even more impressive is the fuel economy. The T6 version is rated at 24 MPG city and 35 MPG highway. During my week I averaged 31 MPG in mixed driving but often saw the low 40’s on the highway. These are astounding numbers considering the power and giving diesels/hybrids a run for their money. I’d even wager T5 fuel economy is even higher.

Speaking of money, the Volvo S60 is once at the forefront of it’s competitors. The T6 Drive-E FWD version I tested starts at $39,250. While that’s a healthy sum, it comes with a healthy dose of standard equipment. The T5 also costs less with even better fuel economy. Volvo also offers a few packages with all the latest electronic safety aids should you feel inclined. With last year’s styling revisions and this year’s new Drive-E powertrains, the Volvo S60 can more than hold it’s own among it’s competitors.