Like all manufacturers, Volvo is trying to increase their market share and sell more vehicles. The best way to do that is provide terrific cars, offer a lot of safety features, raise the performance level, increase the mileage, have a great design, put in a lot of technology that is innovative, and provide tremendous driving dynamics.
Recently, Judy and I had a new S60 T6-R All-wheel-drive Volvo for a week’s test drive. We took it up and down the Interstate Highways. We drove it over back roads through East Texas. We took it over rocky and sandy roads. This is a terrific vehicle that will almost go anywhere and do anything. Not only that, it is a quiet, comfortable ride and gets quite a bit of attention from others.
Perhaps the attention from others was because of the bright blue color. Perhaps some thought we were an unmarked taxi. I certainly never had a problem locating the car in a large parking lot. That bright blue stood out like a beacon. Some consumers like their vehicles to have their cars very colorful, but for those who would prefer more sedate colors, Volvo offers a wide range of colors including white and black. Our weekly test drive mode T6-R was a new color for this year and was called ‘Rebel Blue.’
Volvo offered the new AWD model T5 for an extended test drive to a select group of automotive journalists back in August and I was part of that group. The venue was Park City, Utah and included driving on Interstate Highways, mountainous twists and turns, steep climbs and descents, slow switchbacks, and a brief leg into Wyoming. Not only does Volvo’s award-winning S60 continue to win praise from critics, it won over-whelming praise from the journalists who were present for this special event.
The S60 has been considered almost an entry-level sedan by many, but this 2013 T5 AWD is premium and only a few steps from luxury. The driving dynamics are outstanding as were proven on the mountainous course laid out by the Volvo fleet personnel. It held the road as if it were tackling the uppermost reaches of the Swedish homeland. The S60 is considered the most dynamic and sportiest Volvo ever produced. This is due to not only the five-cylinder engine, but the Torque Vectoring, fast steering gears, and the AWD Instant Traction. Volvo has also introduced new trim levels and a wide variety of enhancements.
All-Wheel-Drive with Instant Traction is not new to Volvo and has been offered on some of their more advanced models. But for the first time, AWD is available on the S60 T5. That is important because the S60 is the value leader of the Volvo brand. Now, whether the road is wet, dry, sandy, or otherwise slippery, he Instant Traction AWD is available on the popular S60 T5.
I enjoyed the Volvo S60 T6-R model. It had a few noticeable differences from the T5 – most notably the engine was a 3.0 liter turbo-charged 6 cylinder that provides 300 horsepower. The T6-R is bumped up slightly to 325 horsepower. The down side of that engine is that it gets less mileage than the T5 trim level model. The EPA rating for the T6-R is 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 21 mpg average.
The design of the S60 makes a good first impression. The grille is flanked by V-shaped headlights. The turn signals mounted in the outside mirrors and in the taillights all use LED’s, as well as the front side marker lights and the front positioning lights. This all helps increase visibility.
Driving the Volvo S60 is exciting. Well, as exciting as a standard sedan can be without being in a race car or a high end luxury vehicle. The emphasis on driving is focused on the agility of the car as well as the ease of maintaining control. The T5 and T6 trim levels are slightly different in the smoothness of the ride. My test model T6-R had what is referred to as a Dynamic Chassis. The T5 uses a Touring Chassis. The difference is the front and rear sub-frames. The T6-R has slightly better control but the T5 offers a slightly smoother ride, especially on rougher roads.
The 2013 Volvo S60 is the fifth generation of this popular car and a number of improvements have been made that should attract many more buyers to the Volvo brand. The T5’s engine is the same basic 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder that was introduced in the 2012 model. However, there is increased compression ratio and a reduction of internal friction that combine for faster gear changes and quicker acceleration. The 2.5-liter five-cylinder provides 250 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque.
There is a long list of standard features on the 2013 Volvo S60 and is even longer than last year’s model. These include headlight washers, rain sensing windshield wipers, dual polished exhaust pipes, powered driver and passenger seat, powered glass moon roof, and a new Tunnel Detection that automatically turns on the headlights when the car enters a tunnel.
The 2013 S60 models also come with Volvo’s ‘Safe & Secure’ warranty coverage. Volvo has offered this unique and unprecedented Best-In-Class plan at no additional cost on their 2011, 2012, and 2013 models. This is a tremendous value that can save owners thousands of dollars in maintenance and repairs. The warranty is for five years but goes beyond the standard coverage of the drive train. This is a four-point program that includes the basic warranty, all factory scheduled maintenance, normal wear and tear replacement, and roadside assistance. The promotion says ‘you should feel as secure purchasing a new Volvo as you do driving one.’ The Safe & Secure plan is United States specific and includes all warranty repairs, wear and tear items such as brakes, rotors, and windshield wiper blades, complimentary factory scheduled maintenance, and unlimited mileage roadside assistance. All of this is for a five-year warranty coverage offered at no additional cost.
My test-drive Volvo S60 T6-R model for the week had a MSRP of $43,900. The S60 Platinum Packages were added as well as the delivery/destination charges. Bottom sticker price: $48,195. The beginning base level S60 models have a starting price about $32,000.
This new 2013 Volvo S60 T6-R AWD does not have to be driven in the mountains or along the beach fronts to be truly appreciated. You do not have to schedule a trip to the backwoods to try out the all-wheel-drive feature. Visit a Volvo dealership yourself and test-drive this special vehicle to discover the wonder and enjoyment of this premium sedan.