Assignment Now!: Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum

By Stan Washington (@StanWashington) | 7/18/2014, 12:11 p.m.
If you want a mid-size sedan that is powerful, well-built and has the ability to crash through huge wooden doors ...
Volvo S60 T6 Drive E. (c) Volvo Cars of North America

If you want a mid-size sedan that is powerful, well-built and has the ability to crash through huge wooden doors in order to escape the bad guys – The 2015 S60 T6 Drive is the car for you.

Before you crank up the 302hp, 2 liter turbo charged and supercharged direct inject engine, you get a sense that you are sitting in a well-built vehicle. Naturally, you feel like you are in one of the safest vehicles on the road because Volvo has conditioned the public over the decades to equate the brand with safety. And that is no false propaganda.

The test model came with a low speed collision avoidance system, 3-point safety belts with pretensioners , front safety belts with height adjust, inflatable curtain head impact protection, side impact protection system with driver and front passenger dual chamber side-impacted airbags, whiplash protection system for driver and front passenger seats, five padded head restraints, lane keeping aid, pedestrian and cyclist detection with full auto brake, driver alert park assist camera, park assist front and rear and the tire pressure monitoring system which is now standard on most luxury cars.

The knowledgeable auto enthusiasts knows that Volvo is not going to skimp on the safety features or become the second best safety auto brand in the world. The question of course is how does it feels to drive it.

The S60 feels slightly heavy, but nimble. To make a sports analogy, it moves like a quick footed offensive guard pulling out on a sweep play. When it’s time to get up and go. The 302hp, turbo engine with 295 lb feet of torque gets up and go.

If you are a long daily commuter or if you do a lot of driving, the S60 T6 should be on your list for consideration. My one week commute in S60 T6 was a pleasure. The leather sport seats can fit a variety of sizes comfortably. The eight-way power front seat with lumbar support will keep you from seat weariness in Atlanta’s worst traffic. Your front seat passenger won’t get fatigue, either because they will also be able to make several adjustments which is not common in that segment of cars.

The 2015 model gets an improved more fuel efficient four cylinder engine than the turbocharged in-line six cylinder from the previous year. The new model is also equipped with an eight-speed Geartronic automatic transmission with front wheel drive. At 150 pounds lighter than the previous edition, S60 has an EPA rating of 24 mpg city, 35 highway and 28 mpg combine.

Volvo’s start-stop engine system reminds me of a hybrid where the gasoline engine stops running when the vehicle is idle at a stop light and the electric motor takes over. After the engine is warmed, it will shut off if you are park or at a stoplight. Once you reduce your pressure on the brake the engine starts right up and you are on your way without a hitch.

It’s been reported that Volvo’s infotainment system is due for an upgrade which was not in the model that I tested.

The fully-loaded model, I tested which included the Platinum Package topped out at $47,925. Despite the infotainment system that could use some minor improvements and not excellent driver’s vision out of the side and rear windows, the Volvo S60 T6 should be one of the main vehicles that you use to measure the other vehicles in this segment.

Tale of the Tape: S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum

Starting price: $38,150; fully loaded: $47,925.

Key features:

302 hp &295 lbs-feet torque: 8-speed automatic transmission (stop-start); lowered sport chassis, sunroof, heated front seats; paddle shifters, premium sound system; 19” Bor Diamond Cut wheels; collision warning with full auto brake; driver alert; park assist front and rear.

Other Competitors in this segment:

The Kia Cadenza, Nissan Maxima, Buick Regal, Hyundai Genesis, Lincoln MKZ