New car review: Volvo S60 T5 R-Design

The Volvo S60 T5 R-Design is a very likeable all-rounder.

The latest version of Volvo’s S60 prestige sedan and V60 wagon have arrived in Australian showrooms. And with an entry point to the range of $54,990 (MLP) for the 2.0-litre petrol S60 Momentum, the Swedish sedan is well equipped and very attractively priced compared to competitor German offerings such as Audi A4, Mercedes C Class and BMW 3-Series.

Even in more expensive T5 R-Design specification as tested here, it remains more than competitively priced. Its unique ‘additions’ include a higher performance engine, R-Design styling (interior and exterior), 19” triple spoke matt-black diamond cut alloys, gearshift paddles, metal mesh interior inlays, R-Design leather seats, Four-C active chassis with air suspension, Polestar optimisation, and a 230volt/150W three-pin outlet in the console.

Safety and Volvo go naturally together like bacon and egg, and the new S60 boasts a five-star ANCAP safety rating to the latest, more stringent, 2018 test standards. Our test car’s  standard  safety and assistance features include: seven airbags, adaptive cruise control with pilot assist, distance alert and lane-keeping aid, head-up display, collision mitigation support front, rear cross-traffic alert with auto brake, run-off road mitigation/protection, park-assist pilot (a self-parking system), and 360⁰ camera.

Powering the good-looking Swede is a responsive turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine with increased outputs of 192kW and 400Nm. It drives to all wheels via a smooth shifting eight speed auto and dispatches the 0-100km/h sprint in a claimed 6.3 seconds, half a second longer than rival 330i.

Official combined consumption of 95 RON premium fuel at 7.3lites/100km is close to a litre higher than either its A4 or 3-series equivalent.

All-wheel-drive gives the S60 good traction and there’s solid grip from the 40-series Continental rubber. It feels very capable and solidly planted through the corners though ultimately a little less engaging than a 3-series. Steering is consistent and accurate but wants for a little more road-feel. The suspension feels taut but mostly delivers an acceptable ride quality.

The interior has a pleasing design and is well finished with plenty of soft-touch trims, plus comfortable seating. The tablet-style 9” central touch screen is intuitive to use but can be a little fiddly and distracting when adjusting climate settings etc on the run, compared to ‘normal’ controls.

We enjoyed our time in the S60 T5 R-Design, finding it a very likeable all-rounder and, at the price, prestige buyers should be taking a closer look.


  • MLP: $64,990 (plus on-road costs)
  • ENGINE: 2.0-litre, turbo petrol 4-cyl
  • TAILPIPE CO2 (g/km): 167


Pricing and equipment, safety, stylish looks, quality finish, enjoyable to drive.


Space-saver spare, rear head space for taller adults.