VOLVO S60 B5 INSCRIPTION


It’s not quite the 374kW beast that we drove in Sweden a few years ago, but it’s a Volvo
S60 nevertheless. These days that means a rather sedate 183kW executive sedan that
doesn’t use much fuel because it’s a hybrid.

The S60 remains a practical alternative to the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz
C-Class, for those not keen on German fare — and interestingly, it’s now built in the United
States.

Inscription is Volvo’s mid-spec grade in terms of equipment, sitting between the
Momentum and sporty R-Design grades.

It features a unique radiator grille, chrome themed exterior detailing, follow the road LED
headlights with high pressure cleaners plus colour-coordinated door handles that are
illuminated and provide puddle lights at night.

There’s just the one model, the S60 B5 Inscription, priced from $62,490.Standard
equipment includes 19-inch alloys, four-zone climate air, with humidity sensor and
CleanZone air quality system, plus Driftwood inlays, light-coloured headlining, leather-
accented upholstery, with front seats that are heated, have power adjustment, position
memory, four-way lumbar support and power cushion extension.

There’s also keyless entry and start, head-up display, auto lights and wipers, auto dimming
inside and outside mirrors, 360-degree camera, auto parking, and front and rear park
sensors.

There are eight colours to choose from, all a no cost option.

Our test vehicle was optioned with Lifestyle Pack: Panoramic Sunroof, Tinted Rear
Windows, Bowers and Wilkins Premium Sound ($5700), Perforated Nappa Leather
Accented Charcoal/Charcoal Interior ($3000); Advanced Air Cleaner ($500) and Metallic
Paint (no cost option).

It brings the total price to $74,190 before on-road costs.

STYLING
Volvo S60 is a standout design with clean, athletic lines, a short rear deck and longish
bonnet.
It manages to be understated while retaining a personality.

Inside it’s classic Scandinavian, a mix of charcoal, lighter shades, metal finishes and the
aforementioned grey driftwood inlays.

INFOTAINMENT
Standard infotainment consists of 10-speaker ‘High Performance’ audio, 9.0-inch vertically
mounted touchscreen, Bluetooth (including audio streaming), DAB digital radio, Apple
CarPlay and Android Auto

Android, wireless device charging and two USB ports. There is satellite navigation with
road sign recognition.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The S60 is powered by a 2.0-litre mild hybrid, four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine. The
combination delivers a handy 183kW of power and 350Nm of torque, with power to all-four
wheels via an eight-speed conventional automatic.

SAFETY
Safety comprises dual front, side and curtain airbags, along with Autonomous emergency
braking (City, Interurban & Vulnerable Road User) as well as lane keep assist with lane
departure warning.

Adaptive cruise control including Pilot Assist, Driver Alert, Lane Keeping Aid, Adjustable
Speed Limiter function, Oncoming Lane Mitigation, Blind Spot Information with Cross
Traffic Alert, Front and Rear Collision Warning with mitigation support and run-off road
Mitigation.

Pilot Assist supports the driver with steering, acceleration and braking on well-marked
roads at speeds up to 130km/h.

DRIVING
Dynamic, Eco, and Comfort drive modes are accessed via the touchscreen and you can
adjust the level of steering assistance to suit your taste.

The dash from 0 to 100km/h takes 6.5 seconds while top speed is limited to 180km/h (it’s a
Volvo safety thing).

Suspension is double wishbones at front and integral axle rear suspension at the rear, with
what Volvo describes as Dynamic Chassis.

Switching to Dynamic mode definitely sharpens the way the car responds and handles, but
to be frank it was a little too busy for our liking — so we reverted to normal.

There’s no gear change paddles on the steering wheel but you can change gears using
the transmission shifter. The thing is it’s a little stiff and awkward to use. In fact, the
positioning in relation to the seating position and fall of your hand feels all wrong.

In a stint hustling across the countryside along some backroads, we spent the majority of
time shifting between 3rd, 4th and 5th gears — which keeps engine revs in the desired
zone.

The ride feels crisp and sporty and there’s plenty of grip thanks to all-wheel drive and
Michelin Sport Pilot tyres.

However, the suspension is a little soft to really get into it. At one point the seatbelt
suddenly cinched tight when the car bounced over an undulation and the suspension
unloaded. At the same time, it’s satisfying to drive.

Cleverly the rear seat back fold down to accommodate longer loads, with a hidden storage
compartment under the floor of the boot and space saver spare.

Volvo S60 doesn’t get the latest Google operating system yet. It does have iPhone support
as well as speed camera warnings.

The Lifestyle pack if you can afford it includes the impressive Bowers & Wilkins audio
system.
With 15 speakers and 1100 Watts of power it features brushed metal speaker grilles as
well as a cute tweeter which sits snugly atop the dash.

Four room modes including ‘Concert hall’ and ‘Jazz club’ allow you to recreate the
acoustics of a specific room inside the car.

If you spend most of your time listening to music in the car, it’s well worth the investment.

Private locking allows you to keep the luggage and glove compartment locked when you
lend out your remote key. This stops both compartments from being unlocked with the
remote, but the central locking and ignition can be used as normal.
Additionally, the boot lid overlaps the hidden storage compartment under the load floor –
making it impossible to open from the inside.

Fuel consumption from the 60-litre tank is a claimed 7.2L/100km. We were getting
8.4L/100km during our test period of just over 400km.

SUMMING UP
Sedans are a dying breed as buyers gravitate towards pickups and SUVs. Hats off to
Volvo for keeping the faith, even if there’s just the one S60 model. It’s a stylish, practical
package at a relatively affordable price (but unless it chalks up some sales, we feel it won’t
stick around for long).

AT A GLANCE

MODEL RANGE
Volvo S60 B5 Inscription, $62,490
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Volvo dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Volvo S60 B5 Inscription, 2.0L four-cylinder petrol turbo, 48-volt mild
hybrid, 8sp automatic, AWD)

ENGINE:
Capacity: 2.0 litres
Configuration: 4-cylinders in-line, turbo-petrol, 48-volt mild hybrid
Battery size: 0.4kWh
Maximum Power: 183kW @ 5400-5700rpm
Maximum Torque: 350Nm @ 1800-4800rpm
Fuel Type: Petrol 95 RON
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.2L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 165 g/km

DRIVELINE: Eight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4761 mm
Wheelbase: 2872 mm
Width: 1850 mm
Height: 1431 mm
Turning Circle: 11.0 metres
Kerb Mass: 1849 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 60 litres

BRAKES:
Front: 322 x 28 mm ventilated disc
Rear: 302 x 12 mm ventilated disc

STANDARD WARRANTY:
Five years/unlimited kilometres (8 years battery)

RATINGS:
Looks: 8/10
Performance: 7.5/10
Safety: 8/10
Thirst: 7.5/10
Practicality: 7.5/10
Comfort: 7.5/10
Tech: 8/10
Value: 8/10
Overall: 7.8/10

 

About Chris Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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