Volvo’s have always been known for their cutting-edge safety features and structural rigidity. And despite being sold to a Chinese investment company, their 2013 S60 T5 AWD sedan is not only handsome, but also well balanced.
Powered by a 250-hp, 2.5L inline turbocharged 5-cylinder (T5 for turbo and five cylinder) that generates 266 lb/ft of torque at a low 1,800 rpm, this inline five is coupled to a 6-speed automatic trans with Sport mode that has been 0-60 timed at 7.2 seconds. Quite spirited but not head-snapping. If you want that effect, Volvo will gladly sell you their T6 version that comes with a 300-hp turbocharged V6. I previously tested an earlier T6 and is has exhilaratingly exciting performance for a midsize sedan.
Gas mileage for the 250-hp powerplant is EPA rated at 20 city, 29-highway mpg. And it doesn’t require premium fuel as some comparable luxury sedans.
The T5s interior is chic with two-tone, stitched seam leather seats, which in my test car were saddle tan and brown that contrasted nicely with the white exterior. The heated front buckets are supportive and comfy over the long haul however the backs are a bit tight with limited headroom due to the sloping roofline. But ingress/egress is easy thanks to wide opening doors.
The cockpit offers some interesting design features like the “Mode Man” buttons that direct air to the head, torso or legs when selecting that part of the chromed HVAC figurine.
While the console box is deep, it’s not very large but the glove box makes up for it with a two-tier compartment. There’s also a 7-inch color LCD screen that displays audio information that can double for the GPS nav and rearview camera option, which the test car had neither.
I really liked the palm-size transmission shifter that doubles as a hand rest of sorts on long rides. I also liked the keyless (push button) ignition in that you can also use the keyfob until transitioning to this new/old feature. After 51 years of using keyed ignitions, I’m so conditioned to reaching for keys in these test cars.
Trunk space is sparse at 12 cubic feet but when pulling two handles in the trunk, the seatbacks flip down (instead of having to walk around the car and pull tabs to fold) and space doubles. With the seats up, two large roll-a-longs or one hoofer golf bag with the long clubs stacked atop the bag, can fit. There is, however, no spare tire under the trunk floor, merely an inflator kit.
Although Volvo touts the T5 as a sports sedan, handling is good, on 17-inch Continental tires, but with less sharp handling then you’d experience, for example, in a BMW 3-Series.
Unless you take sharp turns at speed, you won’t notice any body roll or lean. It’s relatively taut but more importantly, its turning radius is not tight making parallel parking in tight spots a chore. T5s suspension absorbs road imperfections nicely and only severe hazards reverberate into the quiet cabin.
And for what it’s worth, I was surprised that the parking lights don’t flash when locking/unlocking the car. It’s a nice feature in finding your car in a crowded mall lot or parking garage.
When speaking of safety features, Volvo offers several. Their Driver Alert Control senses when you wander out of your lane and when you come upon a person or animal that is all least 31 inches tall. At that instant, it will apply full brake force if you don’t.
Then there’s adaptive cruise control that automatically slows the car when coming up on a slower car in front. The system adjusts your speed to the car in front of you, alleviating the need to cancel and reset your cruise speed.
And for all this phenomenal technology, the T5 is modestly priced. With three long paragraphs of no cost options, the $2,200 Premier Price goes for a moonroof, auto dimming rearview mirror, Keyless Drive and power passenger seat to which was added the Climate Package ($700) for heated front seats, windshield washers, and another $2,000 for AWD, $375 for trunk spoiler, $250 for NJORD alloy wheels, and a destination charge of $895, which brings the $31,750 base price to $38,170.
With this price comes a 5/50K new car warranty, 5/50K complimentary scheduled maintenance, 5/50K wear and tear coverage and 5/Unlimited Volvo On Call roadside assistance.
Volvo proudly points out that the S60 is the only luxury sedan with an across the board (frontal, side and rollover) 5-star safety rating from NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick from IIHS.
To check out a T5 stop by Scott Volvo on Lehigh Street in Allentown. And to automatically receive auto news and reviews from Nick Hromiak, click on the “Subscribe” notation on this page.