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If you have had your eyes on the small sedan segment this year, you have probably heard mention of the re-designed 2019 Volvo S60. True to its European heritage, the S60 is still strong and reliable. And it is anything but boring. The addition of the T8 plug-in hybrid makes this year's line-up all the more exciting.
What's New for 2019?
Since the 2019 Volvo S60 has been fully redesigned for the model year, you can expect to see many new things. The biggest change is the addition of the T8 Polestar Engineered plug-in hybrid model. A semi-automated Pilot Assist feature now can be equipped as an option, and a lot of tweaks have been made to the already-existing features.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2019 Volvo S60 – The Pros
1. The Addition of the T8 Plug-In Hybrid
Let's be honest. The most appealing alteration to the 2019 Volvo S60 line-up is the addition of the T8 Polestar Engineered plug-in hybrid model. This high-performance hybrid has all the features that come on the gasoline-powered trim levels, and it adds 19-inch wheels, Brembo brakes, Ohlins dampers on the sport-tuned suspension, and a gorgeous crystal shift knob. It has the T6's turbo- and super-charged engine and equips electric motors to produce a total of 400 hp and 495 lb-ft of torque. This hybrid gets up to 21 miles of electric range and comes with standard all-wheel drive. Not too shabby, right?
2. The Optional Pilot Assist Feature
Pilot Assist is one of those optional features that most drivers are going to want to tack on to their S60. It does come standard on the S90, but if you're set on the S60, this is one feature you will want to work into your budget. The Pilot Assist feature is basically a combination of lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control, and it allows for semi-autonomous driving. Speed, distance, and steering can all be controlled on well-marked roads with a speed limit of about 80 miles per hour.
3. Great Powertrain Options
With the 2019 Volvo S60 line-up, you get several powerful powertrain options. The T5 has a turbo-charged 2.0-L 4-cylinder engine that is perfectly capable of getting 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile, the turbo- and super-charged 2.0-L on the T6 easily gets 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. And, as we already mentioned, the T8's hybrid powertrain is incredibly strong. It's hard to go wrong with any of these choices.
4. Rapid Acceleration
Even on the standard 2.0-L engine, the Volvo S60 has no issue with getting up to speed on the highway. It provides more than ample power, and the average driver will likely be able to appreciate its smoothness. The T5 can get from 0 to 60 mph in roughly 6.2 seconds while the T8 hits it out of the park with a 4.4-second acceleration speed.
5. Handles Turns Well
There should be no surprise that the 2019 Volvo S60 handles turns with ease. While this vehicle is not exactly sporty, it smoothly rounds through corners without much in the way of body roll. Overall, the way the S60 handles should inspire driver confidence.
6. An Orthopedic Seat Design
Ready to be treated to some serious comfort? Volvo has packed in some amazingly comfortable orthopedic-designed seats. They are well-bolstered, power-adjustable, and provide enough lumbar support for the driver and front seat passenger to make even longer car rides enjoyable. In fact, we'd dare say these are some of the best seats out there.
7. A Quiet Ride
The S60 does an excellent job of not letting road, wind, and engine noise seep into its well-insulated cabin. The engines barely make a growl, and you will not have to crank your music up when you are speeding along on the highway. This cabin is probably one of the more peaceful ones you can find.
8. A High-Quality Interior Design
Speaking of the cabin, Volvo has given the 2019 Volvo S60 a lot of high-quality interior materials. The standard seats are crafted from some sturdy fabric, and there is the option of adding ventilated Nappa leather seats on the Inscription trims. You can also get front seats with a backrest massage function as part of a package.
9. Clear Outward Visibility
From the driver seat, visibility is clear both fore and aft. This is thanks to the 2019 Volvo S60 having slender roof pillars and wide windshields. The front door windows are also pretty wide, so it is not too hard to check your blind spots. However, the standard rearview camera (or the optional surround-view camera) and blind-spot monitoring system make checking around the vehicle even that much easier.
10. Many Advanced Safety Features are IncludedVolvo packs a lot of advanced safety features into the S60. The base Momentum trim comes with a driver alert system that detects when the driver is getting drowsy and issues a warning. It also has lane keep assist, full-speed automatic emergency braking, a forward collision warning, a reader for road signs, and remote vehicle controls. Any of the trim levels can be equipped with the optional Advanced Package, which contains a head-up display, the surround-view camera system, automatic high beams, and Pilot Assist.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2019 Volvo S60 – The Cons
1. A Steep Learning Curve On the Tech Interface
Most drivers will need to take some time to learn the tech interface on the 2019 Volvo S60. It feels a bit too over-complicated for the average driver. The layout of the controls is not that intuitive, either. There are competitors out there, like the Audi A4, that have much more user-friendly set-ups.
2. A Small Cargo Space
With just 11.6 cubic feet of cargo space available, the S60 lags behind a lot of its competitors with regard to trunk size. Sure, you can expect this from a small sedan, but this feels a bit too small even for this segment. The good thing is that Volvo is fairly skilled at making the most out of small spaces and tends to give their cargo areas some handy storage tools.
3. False Alarms From the Safety Features
The advanced safety features can definitely be helpful, but some of the features on the 2019 Volvo S60 issue false alarms. This can be downright distracting to a driver and defeats the purpose of vehicular safety. You might have to manually shut some of these features off to prevent the false alarms from sounding. Otherwise, these safety features can be nice to have going while you drive.
4. Not As Athletic As Some Competitors
Unfortunately, this segment is packed with top-notch athletes. The S60 falls short in that its handling just is not as sporty as some of its biggest rivals. While the S60 will feel competent enough to most drivers, those looking for that extra thrill will not find it with this vehicle.
How it stacks up to the competition:
2019 Volvo S60 vs. 2019 Audi A4
One of the biggest rivals for the 2019 Volvo S60 is the affordably-priced and absolutely chic 2019 Audi A4. As already mentioned, the A4 has one of the most user-friendly designs in this class, and its infotainment system is superb. The turbo-charged engine makes for a fun and efficient ride, and the back seat is roomy enough for even taller adults. However, its transmission hesitates at first launch, and the steering system does not provide ample feedback to the driver to really inspire much confidence.
2019 Volvo S60 vs. 2019 BMW 3 Series
Another top contender for the S60 is the ever-popular 2019 BMW 3 Series. With its excellent handling abilities and series of strong powertrain options, the 3 Series usually sells pretty well. While the cabin is definitely user-friendly and well-designed, it tends to lack typical standard features on the base trim. Also, there are not too many places to store your small items.
The freshly redesigned 2019 Volvo S60 is going to be an attractive choice for a lot of buyers. While it suffers from a lack of cargo space and could use a more intuitive set-up for its controls, the S60 is fun to drive. It feels safe and looks beautiful, inside and out.
• Why buy a 2018 Volvo S60? w/ pros vs cons