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Volvo S60 Outside the Box

2013 Volvo S60 T6 R-Design

By Mike Tucker

When the Volvo S60 T6 R-Design arrived at my home I was struck most by its’ clear Caribbean Sea hue before I noticed the shape the color enveloped. The boxy s60.2Volvo of the past is history, a moment of silence please, for the Baby Boomer Volvo fans.  Volvo’s grab at a younger audience went hip on design, technology and at a feverish pace.

Volvo’s new design aggressively grabs your attention.  From the 18-inch Alloy wheels, to the aluminum accented mirrors and exhaust pipes, the new S60 R -Design caused double takes and begged the rhetorical question, “Is that a Volvo?”  It is distinctly unique, but distinctly Volvo at the same time.  Yes, it’s a Volvo.

Instead of staying in its own lane, Volvo is entering the arena to go tire to tire with the competition.  Competitors like the Volkswagen CC, BMW328i, Acura TL and Audi A4, assure the Volvo S60 doesn’t have an easy road ahead.  Still, the vehicle is up to the task and likely to entice a few new converts while giving traditional Volvo owners something for show and tell.


What’s Good?

Safety is the pillar of Volvo’s brand. Although the new design is risqué, the product underneath remains safe quarters. Based on the federal government’s 5-star safety ratings the S60 received 5 stars for frontal crash for driver and passenger, side crash for front and rear seat and an overall vehicle safety score of 5-stars.

Volvo’s Whiplash Protection system and a total of five headrests make sure everyone in the car is covered.  There is also a seatbelt reminder for all positions which shows on the gage display informing the driver when all seatbelts are fastened.  A great feature which clues in the parent when all your passengers are secured or if any child is left unbuckled.

Now that everyone is safe, let’s ride.  The vehicle handling can seem a bit stiff and controlled but that can be a good thing with what’s under the hood.  Once you open it up the mix of comfort, speed and all-wheel drive makes almost every cruise, a day in the fast lane with no cops in sight


The Sound

The sound is premium pumping 4 x 40 watts out of an amplified eight-speaker audio system.  The sound quality is good, but not earth-shattering.  But do you really need your ears ringing?

Volvo Sensus infotainment center appears in 7-inch color LCD screen and is interactive through using the steering and voice commands.  Connect through Bluetooth audio streaming or MP3 auxiliary and USB jacks. The dash is basic devoid of the many normally installed distractions and flashing lights.

There is a number pad like old school phones, that can be used to dial the numbers to some ancient ruin, I supposed or to save your preset radio stations, as I did.


The Fury

Although safety is Volvos mantra, the next priority in the R-Design had to be speed.  The S60 T6 employs a 3.0 Liter turbo charged 6-cylinder Alloy engine pumps 325 horses.  In layman’s terms, speed is at your beckoning call.  This baby flies.  It is easy to underestimate, but once you put your foot down; there is no denying what it can do.

It feels quick and not heavy.  Being light on its feet is not always a good thing, as it doesn’t handle the brutal potholes of the city with grace. Even so, the extremely comfortable seats help the driver and passengers dismiss the vibrations.


The Pump

The S60 gets 21 miles per gallon in the city, which falls short of a few competitors that use less gas. On top of that, the R-Design is such a joy to drive fast you might lose track of the fact that “eating up the road” means eating a hole in your pocket at the gas station.


The Verdict

The Volvo S60 R-Design is restricted for those who can appreciate some of the finer things in life. If you are looking for arm candy or a brand that validates your status, this is not for you. If you are looking for all the bells and whistles, many of which you don’t need or will never use, this is not for you.

But, if you are satisfied with what you need and your need does not include impressing the masses.  If you can do without having it all but enough to quench your thirst for speed, technology and luxury; step into the Volvo S60 T6 R-Design, I promise gratification.


2013 Volvo S60 T6 AWD

Price Tag: $43,900 base ($48,195 tested)

Power: 3.0L Turbo Charged 6 Cylinder 325 horsepower

Transmission: 6-speed Geartronic Automatic Sport-Mode

Drivetrain: All-Wheel Drive

Fuel Economy (mpg): 18-city/ 25-hwy

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