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2018 Volvo S60 Inscription T5 AWD

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2018 Volvo S60 Inscription T5 AWD

What It Is: The long-wheelbase variant of the Volvo S60 entry-luxury sedan. Imported from China, the S60 Inscription has a wheelbase that’s 3.1 inches greater than that of the standard car. The additional space is gifted entirely to rear-seat passengers, where legroom grows from 33.5 inches to 36.9.

Only the S60’s entry-level turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four is offered in the Inscription. Christened T5 in Volvo parlance, the engine produces 240 horsepower and mates to an eight-speed automatic transmission (the standard S60 that Volvo builds in Sweden also is available with either a 302- or a 362-hp turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter in T6 or Polestar models). Priced from $37,945, the S60 Inscription comes standard with front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is a $2000 option.


Among the included features are navigation, power front seats, leather upholstery, a sunroof, and low-speed automated front braking. The Platinum model, tested for this review, is a $4200 upgrade and also includes a premium audio system, HID low-beams and automatic high-beam headlights, a proximity key with push-button start, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and a forward-collision-warning system with automated front braking that can also identify pedestrians and bicyclists. To that, our test car added metallic paint ($595), 19-inch wheels ($750), the $925 Blind Spot Information System package (blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors), and the $1300 Climate package (heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, heated windshield-washer nozzles). All in, this S60 Inscription wore an as-tested price of $47,715.

Why We Tested It and How It Performed: This marks the first opportunity we’ve had to get behind the wheel of an all-wheel-drive S60 Inscription. We previously tested a front-wheel-drive model.

Despite weighing 135 pounds more than its front-wheel-drive counterpart, this S60 Inscription managed to scoot to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds—0.2 second ahead of the front-drive model, likely due to its greater traction off the line. Once the car was on the move, though, the all-wheel-drive system’s extra weight took its toll, and this car’s 30-to-50-mph and 50-to-70-mph passing times of 3.5 and 4.7 seconds were 0.3 and 0.2 second behind the front-drive Inscription.


Rolling on 19-inch Pirelli Cinturato P7 all-season tires, the S60 Inscription moderately understeered around our 300-foot skidpad to the tune of 0.89 g and stopped from 70 mph in 173 feet.

What We Like: At seven years old, the mechanical components of the S60 still feel refined. Its chassis offers a sturdy assuredness worthy of the Volvo badge, and the T5 powertrain is fully class competitive. Additionally, the S60 benefits from top-notch interior materials, solid build quality, and some of the most comfortable front seats available in any new car today.

What We Don’t Like: Unlike its mechanical bits, the S60’s infotainment system and switchgear are constant reminders that this entry-level luxury sedan is no spring chicken. Its screen is a relatively small 7.0 inches and can only be manipulated via the center console’s confusing array of tightly spaced buttons. We also were disappointed by the fuel economy, which averaged a middling 21 mpg over 825 miles—a far cry from the EPA’s 26-mpg combined estimate.

Verdict: Comfortable but an elder statesman among newer and technologically superior competitors.

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