Sure, they sell some great cars, but they're too popular, and you're seeing too many of them on the road. You'd prefer something unique, that will draw people's attention but that's not an oddball, either. One such car is the 2013 Volvo S60 T6 R-Design.
Volvo's stylists threw out their T-square rulers and let their imagination run wild, penning a bodacious bod for the Swedish S60. From any angle, the car looks athletic, sensual and seductive.
A bunch of little details give the S60 an alluring appearance, such as the roofline that slopes down right to the edge of the trunklid, the alloy wheels that feature razor blade-like spokes as well as that polarizing blue paint. Ok, more conventional colours are available, but really, if you want to get noticed, Rebel Blue is the way to go.
In order to rival the 2013 BMW 3 Series and the 2014 Lexus IS, among others, you need power. That's why the 2013 Volvo S60 T6 R-Design gets a turbocharged 3.0L V6 matched to a six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. With the collaboration of Polestar, a performance part peddler and tuner for Volvo, the car boasts no less than 325 hp and an impressive 354 lb-ft of torque.
As a side note, if a little more power in your turbocharged, late-model Volvo sounds interesting, know that Polestar's upgrades can be retrofitted at Volvo dealerships, and doesn't affect fuel economy or the vehicle's original warranty. You can find more information on the Canadian section of Polestar's website.
So, performance-wise, the R-Design version competes more with the Audi S4 and the new 2014 Infiniti Q50. This Volvo's acceleration is surprising, and its engine never seems to run out of breath, no matter the rev range. In addition, its power delivery isn't violent, but immediate and linear.
The S60 T6 R-Design also entices you to find some empty and sinuous country roads, so it can stretch its legs and amaze you with its confident road manners. However, it can't quite match the BMW and Lexus in regards to steering finesse, while the suspension is somewhat stiff around town.
As for fuel economy, it can be considered as reasonable. Despite the power output and our desire to exploit it, we ended up with an average of 11.9 L/100km at the conclusion of our test.
Climbing aboard the 2013 Volvo S60 T6 R-Design, we quickly felt at comfortable, thanks to the generously stuffed seats that are covered in soft leather with contrasting stitches. The centre stack features a satin silver finish that didn't draw unanimous praise, but it's well finished and dresses up the otherwise dark dashboard.
The switchgear feels solid and refined, while the blue-faced instruments in the driver pod mix well with the car's sporty character. On the other hand, it's a compact-sized sedan, so rear-seat passengers get a sufficient amount of space at best, especially in regards to headroom.
Our test car was equipped with the Technology Package, which adds adaptive cruise control, a collision warning system that hits the brakes if you're not paying attention (although you should), lane-departure warning, active high beams and a neat feature that uses one of the S60's cameras to read speed limit signs and displays them on the infotainment screen.
With a little extra dough, one can opt for navigation, a rearview camera, front and rear park assist, a 650-watt surround sound system, a blind-spot monitor and heated rear seats. Really, there isn't much missing in this sedan.
What you don't get is the competition's willingness to offer more than one body style. That will change next year, as the lovely Volvo V60 wagon will reach Canadian dealerships.
Starting at $51,350 before freight and delivery charges, though, the Volvo S60 isn't within everyone's financial reach. At least it's more affordable than the BMW 335i xDrive, the Audi S4 as well as the Mercedes-Benz C 350 4MATIC, when similarly equipped. For the price, you get a powerful and luxurious sedan that will get other people's attention. You also get a car that you won't see on every street corner.
4/5: The child seat fits nicely on the rear seat and the ISOFIX hooks are well within reach, but the car's small size means the front passenger must move his/her seat forward. The baby stroller easily fits in the trunk.
In collaboration with Canadian Tire.