2019 Volvo S60 T5 Might Be All-New, But It Fails To Impress

The premium compact sedan segment is a hotly contested one, and the 2019 S60 is Volvo’s current offering.

Build anew from the ground up, it is based on the Swedish manufacurer’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) and aims to compete head-on with established rivals such as the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, to name but two.

Consumer Reports bought an S60 T5, which is powered by a 250 horsepower turbo four. They specced it with heated front seats and steering wheel, an upgraded sound system and adaptive cruise control with steering assist, bumping the price to $47,100.

Also Read: How Does The New 2019 Volvo S60 Stack Up Compared To Its Predecessor?

In the U.S., the S60 comes in four different trim levels called the Momentum, Inscription, R-Design and Polestar Engineered. Pricing starts from $35,800, which undercuts the 330i Sedan by almost $4,450, and depending on how much one is willing to spend, can be had with more powerful engines or even as a plug-in hybrid, as well as with all-wheel drive.

No doubt, all the basics are there, yet it’s the little things that matter. And there are lots of things that failed to impress the reviewer, including some hard plastics, mostly on the backs of the front seats, and the infotainment system that handles everything, from the radio to the climate control, which is tricky to use.

The handling is good yet relaxed, but the ride is on the stiff side and occupants will feel that on bumpy roads. There were other niggles, too – but we’ll let the reviewer take it from here and talk you through some of them.


  • Loquacious Borborygmus

    …including some hard plastics, mostly on the backs of the front seats
    Ah, that’s a deal breaker…

    • Roland Fairwater

      You make a great point; I was going to say the same thing. Hard plastic on the back of the front seats? I think most cars have that. It seems that no car is good enough for Consumer Reports these days. I’ve heard predominently positive things about this car.

      • Justin Barnes

        I have this car and its amazing
        I have the T5 r design with polestar. They drove a T5 base momentum and gave a poor review based on that. Poor review.

  • Bo Hanan

    And it’s styling isn’t aging well.

    • Dcoronata

      This is the first year for this model,totally redesigned front and rear.

      • Bo Hanan

        And so Volvo decided to use the same design on all it’s cars and truck and that contributes to the aging.
        A variation on a theme last longer.

        • benT

          like the 240 Volvo – 1974 to 1993.
          740 to 760 – 1980 to 1998

          • Bo Hanan

            They didn’t age well either.

          • benT

            Only much better than pretty much any other car of its time and volume production and innovation and safety inbuilt.
            Still one of the longest lasting cars of all time and still has a market big enough to warrant re-manufacturing of parts by the original suppliers and so it goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on……etc.

  • david santiago

    So, they complain about the car not being premium enough, but they BOUGHT THE BASE MODEL??? consumer reports is full of inbred morons.

    • Six_Tymes

      good point

    • SteersUright

      At $47k it ought be pretty damn premium.

      • anthonymendez

        Those fools added about $10k in options on a base model (Momentum). I just bought the R-Design T5 with the Polestar tuning option, which brings the HP to 258 (from 250) but torque to 295 lb/ft (from 258)! That’s the same torque as the T6. Sticker said 46,855 MSRP, and I got it for $44,563. So, the CR reviewer is freaking clueless! All the options they said were missing in the Momentum trim are included in a higher trim for less than adding them all. Ridiculous!

  • dan mcdonald

    I have an S90 so it’s a little, okay alot bigger but they use the same infotainment, autopilot, and power plant, the T5 AWD which is what I have in the S90 gets 30mpg average and have enough get up and go to get out of it’s own shadow, the T6 is much faster with about 20% more power. The base stereo sucks, I’ve blown 2 speakers twice, get the upgrade. The infotainment is really nice but I’ve had issues with the Android auto staying connected, I thought it was the cable or the phone but in my Pacifica it works flawlessly, so it must be the car. For me the Volvos have a great look, they say if you don’t look back when you get out of it don’t buy it.

  • David Windholz

    Absolutely bogus review. The Volvo infotainment system is as user-friendly as they get! Blows away benz, bmw, audi and most others for ease of use and learning curve. CR writers just trying to mske a splash by giving a radical opinion.

  • SteersUright

    No chance in hell its anywhere near as good as the 2019 330i M-sport I just drove at a recent event. One of the most capable sport sedans in its class by far. This little S60 seems to be a near miss for Volvo and mostly it seems because of its FWD based architecture making it a nose-heavy, stiff-riding and neither soft and sumptuous nor a great performer. Like the S90, it appears to be a good rather than a great, car.

    • BMW’s seats are a total letdown. I know I own one. Most of the time I don’t race the hills, so the M-sport is just a pain. Volvo S60 on the other hand is a comfy ride, so whichever is best for you. I’d go with the Volvo.

      • SteersUright

        Agreed, seats suck in nearly every car with a “sport” in its name. Even my Lexus GS350 F-Sport had overly firm seats. Thats said, the latest from BMW is finally equipped with slightly softer seats (thank goodness!). They are nowhere near what I’d call super comfy, but better than most out there today. However, I have heard Volvo makes some of the very best which is why I have to question the reason they made the ride of this car so stiff, in contrast.

  • salamOOn

    CR? who can take them seriously?

  • Kagan

    and a steerinw wheel! Good choise! 🙂

  • Gino Molino

    I have the T6 and it is amazing. This review it totally wrong…

  • Wandering_Spirit

    Stiff suspensions are a good thing if you like driving. I haven’t tried one but it looks fine to me, from other reviews.

    • Tostik

      CR is clueless about driving dynamics. They like the mushy rides of American and Japanese cars.

      • Wandering_Spirit

        I agree! I also notice a remarkable difference between European and US standards when it comes to likings and other parameters. Still, it is one of my preferred stops for comments and quick car news.

  • Tostik

    The all-new S60 US sales are already at level of the old S60 at it’s height, and it was a good seller for Volvo in the US.

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