For the 2016 model year, Volvo has introduced a new body style in its S60 sedan segment. The Inscription features a longer wheelbase by three inches, which affords back seat passengers an additional three inches of room to stretch their legs. The Inscription’s design was partly created in answer to the plea from Chinese professionals who often opt to be chauffeured, rather than drive to meetings and business engagements. Volvo responded with the roomier Inscription, which is already satisfying the demands of the American automotive market.
Continuing the Volvo legacy of safety, innovation, and style, the Inscription takes it place within the S60 family, known for its luxurious refinement and dependable capability. Depending on your driving preference, the 2016 Volvo S60 presents a competitive edge against its sedan class competitors like Acura, BMW, and Lexus, and at a far more affordable price.
All About that Base…Wheelbase, that is.
Although the Inscription represents the extended wheel base and roomier back seat option across four trims (T5 Inscription, T5 Inscription Platinum, T5 AWD Inscription, and T5 AWD Inscription Platinum), the standard wheel base includes six trim levels: T5 Drive-E, T5 AWD, T6 Drive-E, T6 Drive-E Platinum, T6 R-Design AWD, and T6 R-Design AWD Platinum.
Bells and Whistles, Base by Base
Choosing any of the entries from the S60 class returns a wealth of accessories, features, and options, designed to deliver the optimal driving experience consumers have come to expect from the Volvo brand. Each is unique, but equally bestowed with bells and whistles sure to delight the most discerning drivers.
- The T5 Drive-E and T5 AWD: LED running lights, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, cruise control, driver memory settings, eight-way power driver seat, leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, automatic windshield wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, headlight washers, power-folding headrests on the backseats, 60/40 split-folding back seat with pass-through for ski poles. Technology features abound in both and include: Volvo’s Sensus smartphone integration, Bluetooth phone and audio capabilities, sigh-speaker sound system and CD player, 7-inch display, satellite radio, audio jack, USB port, and in the T5 Drive-E, a stop-start system on the engine. Both of these trims can be bolstered by the available Premier Package, which offers a sunroof, navigation, auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, window trim, and instrument display configurable by the driver.
- The T5 Inscription and Inscription AWD provide that extra wheelbase and leg room, along with the Premier package from the standard T5, as well as: enhanced front seats with extra bolsters, air filtration system, more sound-proofing, additional interior accents lighting, manual sunshades on the rear doors, power sunshade on the back window, rear parking sensors, all atop 18-inch alloy wheels. Take all this and add the Platinum trim for adaptive xenon headlights and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. If you want the automatic parallel parking assistance feature, opt for the front-wheel-drive Platinum model.
- The T6 Drive-E is equipped with all the same base equipment seen in the T5 Drive-E, but also comes with a stronger engine, sport0tuned suspension, paddle shifters, keyless entry and ignition, sport seats complemented by lumbar support, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
- The T6 R-Design AWD matches the T6 Drive-E and adds 19-inch wheels, improved interior trim details, all-wheel drive, and R-Design sport seat complemented by R-Design sport steering wheel.
- The T6 R-Design AWD Polestar enjoys special-order status and takes the Platinum trim to a new level. Included in this model, drivers enjoy more robust front brakes, an exterior color available only on this trim, a stronger iteration of the six-cylinder engine, 20-inch alloy wheels, and improved aerodynamics.
Pick Your Package – Convenience, Climate, Sport, or Technology
For ultimate convenience enhancements, take advantage of the available rearview camera, keyless entry and ignition, power-folding mirrors and even a grocery bag holder from the aptly named Convenience package. A heated windshield (not on the T5 Inscription) with matching heated windshield wipers, heated steering wheel, heated front and backs seats, and cabin filter can all be found in the Climate package. Exclusive to the T5, the Sport package gets you paddle shifters, a sport-tuned suspension, poised for action on 19-inch wheels. If you’d rather enhance the tech aspects of your S60, check out the Technology package for its automatic high beams, driver-attention warning system, adaptive cruise control, and enhanced forward collision warning and mitigation, as well as lane-departure alerts for all-wheel drive models, and lane-keep assist on Drive-E trims. Extra safety is provided by the Blind Spot Information System, complete with rear cross-traffic alerts, side blind spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, all of which can be ordered alongside the automatic parallel parking assistance on the T6 R-Design series.
Individual options for all 2016 Volvo S60 sedans include: front-side parking camera, back-seat entertainment system, heated seats, and keyless entry and ignition functionality.
No Guts, No Glory – Powertrains in the 2016 Volvo S60
Inside the new S60 series, you’ll find a variety of powertrains and performances, all trim-level dependent.
- The T5 Drive-E and T5 Inscription: 2.0-L turbocharged inline four-cylinder, generating 240 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque, operated by eight-speed automatic transmission
- The T5 AWD and T5 AWD Inscription: 2.5-L turbocharged inline five-cylinder, producing 250 horsepower and 266 lb.-ft. of torque, operated by six-speed automatic transmission
- The T6 Drive-E: 2.0-L turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder engine, backed by 302 horses and 295 lb.-ft. of torque, operated by eight-speed automatic transmission
- The T6 R-Design AWD: 3.0-L turbocharged inline six-cylinder, able to get 325 horsepower and 354 lb.-ft. of torque, operated by six-speed automatic transmission (Note: All models produced post-November 2015 we revised with the same engine and eight-speed automatic transmission from the T6 Drive-E).
- The Polestar: turbocharged six-cylinder, revised in order to generate 345 horsepower, operated by six-speed transmission, equipped with paddle shifters.
Fuel Economy Figures
- The T5 Drive-E: 26 city mpg/38 highway mpg/30 mpg combined
- The T5 Inscription: 25 city mpg/37 highway mpg/29 mpg combined
- The T5 AWD and T5 AWD Inscription: 20 city mpg/29 highway mpg/23 mpg combined
- The T6 Drive-E: 23 city mpg/33 highway mpg/27 mpg combined
- The T6 R-Design AWD: 18 city mpg/27 highway mpg/21 mpg combined (Note: post-November 2015 models return 22 city mpg/31 highway mpg/25 mpg combined
- The Polestar: 21 mpg combined – even after recent engine retuning
Signature Safety Expected from the Volvo Brand
The S60 sedans support Volvo’s long-established reputation for safety. Standard equipment includes front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags with front head restraints designed to reduce whiplash, stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, automatic braking from the frontal collision and collision mitigation system, and Volvo’s On Call system, which automatically notifies emergency services of a crash or stolen vehicle situation.
Enhanced safety measures are available from the Technology package and include an improved forward collision mitigation technology, which is sensitive to bicyclists and pedestrian traffic, lane departure warning alerts, with subsequent assistance, and alerts in the event of driver inattention.
Additional features are available for every S60 as individual add-ons, like the rearview camera, rear-cross traffic notification, blind-spot warning, front-side parking camera, and parking sensors in front and back of the vehicle.
Federal crash testing resulted in a five out of five star rating for the S60, with a top rating of “Good” awarded by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for all tests, with the exception of the mitigation and forward collision warning systems, which were deemed “Superior.”
Stylish and Soft Surroundings
Volvo sedans are practically synonymous with style and interior space, rife with comfort and luxurious touches. The S60 is no exception and the high-quality materials are not restricted to any particular trim level, but rather spread equally across the S60 class.
If a blend of comfort, refinement, and dependable capability is the target of your next sedan purchase, look no further. And for the affordable starting MSRP of $34,150, it’s officially time to call off the search and make your way to your local Volvo dealer.