2019 Volvo S60 T6 R-Design: a true driver’s sedan

It’s a crazy mixed up world we’re living in.

For the first time, Volvo is exporting cars to Europe. I know that because my latest test drive was the 2019 Volvo S60 T6 R-Design mid-size, four-door sedan, built in Ridgeville, S.C.

It is anticipated that more than 50,000 S60 units will be built this year, with approximately half being shipped overseas – to places like Sweden, Romania, Turkey and Australia.

I wonder if the EU slaps tariffs on them?

“The new S60 is one of the most exciting Volvo cars we’ve ever made,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars. “It is a true driver’s car that gives us a strong position in the U.S. and China sedan markets, creating more growth opportunities for Volvo Cars.”

Anywho. After my head stopped spinning, I simply enjoyed the heck out of this “American made” vehicle. What’s not to like?

The S60 and the new V60 feature luxurious interiors, increased levels of space, advanced connectivity and the latest Volvo advanced driver-assistance systems and other safety technology that make it one of the safest cars on the road.

S60 comes in three trim levels: The base level Momentum, the T6 R-Design and the top-of-the-line Inscription.

My tester was powered by a T6 (turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter, six-cylinder engine) mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with an all-wheel drive configuration. The duo generates 316 horsepower and with a little goosing, watch out.

Of course there’s a T8 version available if you need more.

Remember when Volvo’s were boxes on wheels. No longer. The S60 exterior captivates, with curves in surplus and a Soul Red coat of enamel. The interior ups the stakes even higher with a modern, inviting vibe. I liked the combinations of textured aluminum, piano-black detail and comfortable bucket seats that reminded me of my easy chair in the family room. The engine start toggle and volume knob receive a jewel-like surface.

But what made me feel like I wasn’t living in a parallel universe was my Volvo’s focus on safety. The Swedish automaker is world renowned for it — and, thank goodness, that hasn’t changed.

Safety highlights include City Safety with Autobrake technology that assists drivers in avoiding potential collisions. It’s the only system on the market to recognize pedestrians, cyclists and large animals. In a world-first for the mid-size sedan segment, City Safety now also engages auto braking to mitigate oncoming collisions.

An optional Pilot Assist system – which supports the driver with steering, acceleration and braking on well-marked roads up to 80 mph – has been upgraded with improved cornering performance. The S60 also includes run-off road mitigation, oncoming lane mitigation and other steering assistance systems.

Base Price: $56,010

Price As Driven: $56,010

Destination charge is included in base price. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. Pricing may vary at local dealerships.