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If you have been in the market for a new luxury sedan for a while, you should know by now that they are a dime a dozen. Finding the right luxury sedan for you tends to mean having to sift through a few dozen makes and models, hoping that you will find something that meets your needs. And, to be quite frank, a lot of new luxury sedans just are not worth the time to read about.
The 2019 Volvo S60 is not one of those vehicles you should skip over while doing your research. There are so many good things about the S60 that it is actually hard to find serious flaws with this sedan. If anything could use some improvements on it, it would be simply making the controls inside of the cabin a little bit more user-friendly. Other than that, Volvo has clearly put a lot of effort into making the S60 stand out in a crowded segment.
There is a massive amount of standard features on each of the S60's four trim levels. Whether you opt for the base Momentum trim, the R-Design, or something in-between, you are bound to get a lot for the price you will pay. Oh, and there is a T8 Polestar Engineered model that has been limited to a production of only 20 units in the United States. Unfortunately, they are all spoken for, but if you are ever able to get your hands on one, know that they are seriously cool vehicles. (For that reason, we have to include them in this trim level comparison.)
Since it was totally redesigned for the 2019 model year, you can expect to find some intriguing changes to the Volvo S60. For example, the semi-automated Pilot Assist feature is new, and there is now a T8 plug-in hybrid that can get up to 21 miles of electric range.
You can choose from a few different powertrains as well as the trim levels themselves. The powertrains are as follows: the T5 (a turbo-charged 2.0-L 4-cylinder engine that produces 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque), the T6 (a turb- and super-charged 2.0-L 4-cylinder that gets 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque), and the T8 (a hybrid that mates the T6 with electric motors that work together to generate 400 hp and 495 lb-ft of torque). Also, you can choose between front- and all-wheel drive on any of the S60's trims. For the purpose of this review, we will mainly be looking at the front-wheel drive versions of each trim, although we do recommend that you check out the all-wheel drive variants too.
With that being said, let us take a look at the four 2019 Volvo S60 trim levels and see what each one gives you. By the end of this comparison review, you should have a good idea of which trim level is the best fit for you.
Compare the 2019 Volvo S60 Momentum vs Inscription - What is the difference?
The 2019 Volvo S60's base Momentum trim is certainly going to be an attractive purchase. With a starting MSRP of $35,800, the price tag alone is enough to reel potential buyers in. For the price, you get a pretty good deal with all of the features that get packed in. When you buy the Momentum with FWD, you get a decent return on fuel - 28 mpg combined (24 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway), to be more specific. This is the best you can get on any of the gasoline-powered trims, and only the T8 hybrid surpasses it, of course.
In terms of mechanical features, aside from the selected powertrain and drivetrain, the Momentum and Inscription are fairly similar. Both have capless fuel filling, personalization of the electric power steering system, an 8-speed automatic transmission, hill start assist, and an engine stop-start function. A Four-C active chassis is optional on both trim levels.
On their exteriors, you will also find quite a few similarities between the Momentum and the Inscription. They both have rearview mirror caps that are matching in color, illuminated door handles, windshield washer nozzles that are heated, a laminated panoramic moonroof with a power sunshade, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. However, the Inscription trim adds dual integrated tailpipes (whereas the Momentum has standard round tailpipes) and power folding side view mirrors. Both trim levels can get a high-pressure headlight cleaning system as part of a package option.
The cabins of these two trim levels are even more different than their bodies. They do share quite a few standard features, including 4-zone electronic climate control, a clean zone air quality system, a cabin filter, 60/40 split folding rear seats, a blond headliner, illuminated vanity mirrors in the sun visors, front and rear power windows, power-adjustable front seats (with memory settings for the driver's seat), and controls mounted onto the steering wheel. The Inscription trim adds a front net pocket, a storage bin in the center arm rest, leather wrapping around the steering wheel, and a dashboard that is tailored. Available options for only the Inscription include ventilated Nappa leather upholstery, seat cushion extensions for the front seats, and a massaging function for the back rests of the front seats.
These two trim levels do share quite a lot of infotainment features, such as two 12-volt power outlets, smartphone app integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an automatically-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, Sensus Connect, a three-month trial subscription to SiriusXM Satellite Radio, voice control functions, Volvo On Call, and several USB ports. However, the Inscription upgrades you to a 12.3-inch driver display screen from the standard 8-inch driver display on the Momentum. Also, you get auto-dimming outer mirrors, a compass embedded in the rearview mirror, a 13-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system, keyless entry, and Sensus Navigation on the Inscription trim level.
The Inscription also gives you a few extra safety features that you cannot get as standard on the Momentum trim level. Both trim levels have a city safety collision avoidance system, collapsible steering column, daytime running lights, an emergency brake light, an energy-absorbing interior, lane keep assist, an inflatable curtain, LED headlights with automatic high beams, oncoming lane mitigation, run-off road mitigation, road sign recognition, a tire pressure monitoring system, and a whiplash protection system. The Inscription trim adds a blind spot monitoring system, the HomeLink universal garage door opener, LED front fog lights, and cornering lights. Available options on both trim levels include Volvo service contracts, prepaid maintenance plans, Pilot Assist, and active bending lights.
Compare the 2019 S60 Inscription vs R-Design Trims. What is the difference?
Stepping it up to the top of the line, Volvo's R-Design trim level is jam-packed with all sorts of goodies. It adds a ton of unique design elements, including R-Design mirror caps, black door mirror covers, front grille, gear shift knob, steering wheel, tailpipes, textile mats, and tread plates. And, for just $200 extra, you can opt to get a sport chassis on the R-Design.
Inside of the R-Design's cabin, you will find quite a few additional changes. There is a standard dual-zone climate control system, a charcoal headliner, an R-Design steering wheel (which has a three-spoke design and is wrapped in gorgeous Nappa leather), and brushed aluminum and rubber-finished sport pedals. The R-Design's infotainment features are essentially the same as those found on the Inscription trim level, and the safety features are pretty similar as well. ALl in all, the R-Design's major differences reside in the aesthetic design realm. The R-Design is meant to look a lot sportier than the other trim levels, and, to an extent, it does.
Compare the S60 R-Design vs T8 Polestar Engineered. What is the difference?
We cannot neglect to mention this model year's very limited edition 2019 Volvo S60, the T8 Polestar Engineered trim. There are only 20 of these units hitting the United States, so you probably will not be able to get your hands on one. However, they are pretty neat and deserve their own slot in this review.
The T8 Polestar Engineered trim has everything that you can get on the other trim levels. It adds a beautiful Orrefors crystal shift knob, Ohlins dampers and a sport-tuned suspension, Brembo brakes, and 19-inch wheels.
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Which One Should You Choose?
The 2019 Volvo S60 has a solid line-up of trim levels, so choosing the right one for you will largely depend on how much you are willing to spend to get a few neat upgrades. The R-Design definitely looks sporty and has its own signature style that sets it apart from the other trim levels. If you are interested in a hybrid powertrain, getting the T8 on either the Inscription or R-Design is a good way to go.
For most drivers, the base Momentum trim should suffice. Just slap an additional package or two on, and you will have a very well-rounded luxury sedan. With the base T5 engine equipped, you will reap the reward of a good fuel economy.