In the luxury segment, compact sedans abound, but only one comes from a company based in Sweden, the Volvo S60. For 2016, Volvo adds two new models to the S60 lineup, the Inscription, for those who’d like even more rear legroom and the Cross Country, for more adventurous drivers. At the recent launch in Sausalito, the two sedans demonstrated what Volvo does best, design and safety.
The test drive began with the all-new Inscription Platinum (there’s also a Premier trim), a model that will sit near the top of the line for the S60, setting itself apart with three additional inches of legroom in the back seat, the most of any luxury class sedan.
The Inscription comes with a choice of two engines—a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 240 horsepower and 258 lb.–ft. of torque or a 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbocharged engine with 250 horses and 266 lb.–ft. or torque. Each engine is matched to a specific Geartronic automatic transmission with Sport Mode—an eight-speed with the 2.0-liter or a six-speed with the 2.5-liter. We drove both at the launch.
The best fuel economy will come from the 2.0-liter, which should achieve an EPA estimated 25 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.
The S60 Cross Country will be offered in one version, Platinum, with the 2.5-liter and all-wheel-drive with Instant Traction that gives it an EPA estimated city/highway fuel economy of 20/28 mpg.
Drive–E technology on both engines utilizes a turbocharger and direct-injection to deliver power and improved fuel economy. When engaged, the ECO+ system stretches gasoline further (up to five percent), with Start/Stop, Eco-coast, and Eco-climate functions.
All S60s include a leather steering wheel and gearshift knob, a 60/40-split rear seat, Bluetooth, Sirius Satellite Radio, and Volvo Sensus Connect infotainment with a seven-inch high-definition color monitor that manages information from the audio unit, navigation and other functions. Besides the extra rear legroom, the Inscription adds contour seats, linear walnut inlays, a power rear window sunshade, rear side sunshades, and a rear park assist camera. The Cross Country adds the Harman Kardon premium sound system.
With a reputation for safety, it’s no surprise that the City Safety system that helps prevent or mitigate collisions at speeds of 31 mph or less is also standard on all models. However, technology, like Volvo’s blind spot information system (BLIS) and cross traffic alert, remain optional, even on the Inscription Platinum and Cross County trims.
With distinct design cues, like a honeycomb grille, and capability, like a lower skid plate, side scuff plates, and black fender extensions, the segment-first Cross Country sedan emulates Volvo’s Cross Country wagons. It will offer better off-road capability, starting with 7.9-inches of ground clearance and standard Hill Descent Control.
All S60s come with Dynamic Stability and Traction Control, Advanced Stability Control, and Corner Traction Control by Torque Vectoring. At the launch, these technologies were put to the test by accelerating in a tight circle, i.e. donuts, to show how they managed to keep the sedan under control.
Roomy and versatile, these two new S60s maximize the appeal of Volvo’s entry-level sedan.
Pricing for the 2016 S60 Inscription and Cross Country starts at $39,640 and $44,400, respectively.