No-Nonsense Swedish Perfection

2013 Volvo S60 T5 Review

2013 Volvo S60 T5 Review
Sometimes subtlety is best. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Wallflowers are often the winners when it comes to automobiles. While Volvo may not appreciate me calling their 2013 S60 T5 a wallflower, I do it with the best intentions and the utmost respect. This near-$40,000 vehicle is probably one of the nicest family sedans I've driven in quite some time.

2013 Volvo S60 T5

Surefooted with AWD, affordable for something so well-built and fashionable in an understated kind of way, there's very little to dislike about the 2013 Volvo S60 T5 and lots to love.

Swedish style
The Swedes are known for their to-the-point, no-nonsense designs. Theirs is a structured, B.S.-free culture and it clearly translates into their vehicles. The 2013 Volvo S60 T5's exterior design is all business from nose to tail. The fat nose, oversized headlights and ginormous Volvo crest are purposefully built for presence on the road. The front fascia is sporty enough without being “too much” -- just what the Swedes intended.

Head round the back and the business of classy, sportiness continues. Modern, IKEA-like taillights hug the rounded outer corners of the trunk. Dual exhaust pipes and body lines that flow from the rear spoiler down towards the rear wheels give the impression that the 2013 Volvo S60 T5 crouching and ready to take off.

Inside that to-the-point look continues, and I love it. Comfortable front bucket- seats mean long and short drives are equally comfortable. While not overly sporty, they hug in all the right places. And I have to say, all joking aside: I think the 2013 Volvo S60 T5 has the most comfortable headrests in the entire automotive industry.

While I wasn't overly thrilled with the onboard computer system, it's not difficult to figure out. Pairing my iPhone was a breeze and changing the radio station while driving was simple enough as well. I did, however, note that the steering wheel got quite hot where the mounted controls reside, nice for the winter but strange otherwise.

I also found the shift knob design a strange choice. Cheap, backlit plastic just didn't fit with the rest of the grown-up interior design. Everything serves a purpose in a Volvo, and the overtly design-y feel of the shifter just seemed a bit out of the place.

2013 Volvo S60 T5
Comfortable front seats hug in all the right places. (Photo: Sébastien D'Amour)

A matter-of-fact driving experience
Piloting the 2013 Volvo S60 T5 is as straightforward as the exterior and interior design. Equipped with a 2.5L 5-cylinder engine, it pushes out 250 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. With a well-sorted chassis and suspension, the Volvo S60 T5 is especially comfortable to drive.

While I'm wont to complain about an automatic transmission, I was pleased to control the 2013 Volvo S60 T5 with its 6-speed Geartronic Driver-Adaptive autobox. In fact, I rarely popped it into Sport Mode, and even let the S60 shift for itself. Shocking, I know.

Thanks to Volvo's Haldex All-Wheel Drive with Instant Traction, the S60 T5 feels surefooted and solid no matter what the road surface or speed. It's this planted feel that makes the Volvo most pleasant to drive, in my opinion.

Because fuel consumption seems to be on everyone's mind, the Swedes were sure to touch on that as well with the 2013 Volvo S60 T5. With ratings in the “average” range at 9.9L/100km city and 6.5L/100km on the highway, the Volvo is sitting pretty in that respect as well. It's not overtly fuel conscious, but it's also not a gas-guzzler by any means, despite its AWD nature.

And that's where the Swedish, no-nonsense-flair comes into the drive experience: It's there to do a job, and it does it without a plume and without fanfare, but it does it. This is more than I can say for some vehicles.

2013 Volvo S60 T5
The 2013 Volvo S60 T5 is a viable option for those in the market for a safe and reliable family sedan. (Photo: Sébastien D'Amour)

Volvo is often overlooked

I think Volvos are often left in the shadows when consumers are considering a new car, and that's a bit of a shame. They have a great product on offer, one that's well-crafted and puts forward a bevy of safety features (from blind sport warners -- of which they were the first to implement -- to pedestrian crash systems and laser-guided cruise to name a few), as well as an enjoyable ride. With updated looks for 2013 and some of the most comfortable interiors around, I'm surprised I don't see more on the road.

With pricing that's well in the range of the average buyer, the 2013 Volvo S60 T5 is a viable option for those in the market for a safe, reliable family sedan that will see them through any season and for many years to come.

By Miranda Lightstone,

No comments