Even though the second-gen S60 didn’t go around winning comparison tests left and right, the general consensus has been that it’s a well-built, safe and good-looking car.
Of course, these types of realizations came nearly a full decade ago, as the predecessor to the all-new 2019 S60 was unveiled in late 2009 and entered production at the beginning of 2010. Those were different times, as this particular segment was all about the A4/C-Class/3-Series trio.
By the time Volvo upgraded the S60 in 2014, BMW and Mercedes had already introduced all-new generations of the 3-Series (F30) and C-Class (W205), so it was about time Volvo treated us to an all-new compact executive saloon.
To be fair, the 2014 update was quite substantial, as the S60 received a new hood, new front fenders, larger grille, new headlights, new LED DRLs, a new infotainment display and quite a lot of new safety gear, like the new radar-based Blind Spot Information System.
Out with the old
Even with its upgraded exterior, the old S60 struggles to look as elegant or as imposing as the all-new model. The latter, of course, adheres to the Swedish automaker’s latest design language, previously applied to the flagship S90 saloon as well as the rest of the range.
The new S60’s front end is sharp and elegant, whereas the older car looked a bit bland, almost as if it was trying not to get noticed. Things do get better for the old S60 as you move along its profile and realize that it all builds up to those muscular rear arches and dynamic-looking rear. The top-heavy reverse L-shaped taillights still look good to this day, whereas the new model’s rear end with the ‘lobster’ tail-lamps is a little controversial.
Still, let’s not forget that the all-new S60 is longer and has a bigger wheelbase, which most of the times allows the designers to pen a shape with nicely balanced proportions.
Interior comparison ends in a TKO
Anyone who’s ever driven the old S60 should know that it had a pretty well-built cabin, with sufficiently premium materials. It was comfortable and robust, and aside from a driving position that wasn’t as good as the one in a 3-Series or an Audi A4, you probably didn’t have much else to complain about.
The new S60 is of course a different beast, following the lead of the S90 and its V60 sister car. Unlike the S90, the S60/V60 combo does feature a little more plastic in places such as the center console, but other than that, it represents a leap in quality compared to the older model.
Higher-quality materials aside, the new S60 also has a more elegant dashboard design with fewer buttons (the old one was too reminiscent of previous-gen Volvos) and a modern infotainment system, whereas the old one looked slightly better than something straight out of a 2005 Opel Astra.
Overall, while its predecessor remains a highly-competent and reasonably handsome car, the 2019 S60 looks exactly like what Volvo needed in order to go head to head with BMW’s upcoming new 3-Series, Mercedes‘ facelifted C-Class and Audi’s tech-savvy A4 saloon.
So, if you were in the market for a premium compact saloon, would you go for the sharp, all-new S60 or choose one of the German three? Voice your opinion in the comments section right below!