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Refreshing or Revolting: 2019 Volvo S60

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 6/22/2018 Motor Trend Staff
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The last-generation Volvo S60 has been around since the 2011 model year and was refreshed for 2014. In today's market, that is a long time. But the Swedish automaker has been hard at work redesigning the rest of its lineup, saving the S60 for last. With the release of the V60 wagon, we had an idea of how the S60 would look, and like the rest of Volvo's redesigned lineup, it's a major improvement over the previous version. The redesigned S60 enters a highly competitive segment that includes premium rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series, and Audi A4.

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Looking at the front of the car, the new thinner and sharper-looking headlights with the ubiquitous Thor's Hammer LED daytime running lights lend a much better look than the previous rounded headlights. The larger-looking grille with a chrome surround and sleeker front bumper are also improvements over the previous S60.

The new S60's hood is longer, and the front overhang has been shortened. The trunk is also longer and with more rear overhang. All this creates a longer and sportier stance when compared to the outgoing model. The body lines are more defined, creating a sharper, less rounded look.

2019 Volvo S60 Inscription 18© Motor Trend Staff 2019 Volvo S60 Inscription 18

In the rear, the new S60 takes many cues from the S90, including the C-shaped taillights that look much more modern when compared to the former S60's taillights. Make and model badging stays in the same area, the rear bumper and lower valance appear thinner, and the bright exhaust outlets now have a more rectangular shape. Overall, the rear end looks sportier and more premium.

It's pretty remarkable how Volvo has transformed the S60's interior from "Is that from 2006?" to one of the most impressive in the segment. The standard 8.0-inch digital cluster is crisp and can be upgraded to a larger 12.3-inch unit. The former instrument panel is partially digital and not nearly as good looking. The infotainment screen on the old S60 is small, recessed, and with a dated resolution, but the new S60 has a tablet-style 9.0-inch touchscreen with swipe and pinch-to-zoom capability. The A/C vents in the outgoing S60 are bland and not much to look at. Adopting air vents from other Volvo models, the new S60's vents are simple yet stylish with a metallic center slit and knob that almost resembles the front of an airplane on its side. Thankfully, the center stack of the new S60 loses the myriad of buttons (including the old number pad) for the previously mentioned 9.0-inch touchscreen and a handful of buttons below it. The interior materials, as well as the overall design, are a huge step in the right direction for the new Volvo S60.

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