2013 Volvo S60 T5 AWD
2013 Volvo S60 T5 AWD
2013 Volvo S60 T5 AWD. Click image to enlarge

I’ve always liked the S60’s interior. It’s airy, simple and usually enhanced with lighter hues that mercifully stray from the default coal-bin black. You sense the Nordic aesthetic here, although the stylish cluster of buttons on the centre stack are small and fussy—not particularly glove-friendly. The standard audio sounds great, but changing from AM to FM requires three steps that requires you to take your eyes off the road. Also, since first driving the S60 a couple of years ago, I’ve griped about the non-backlit gauge cluster that can be hard to read at a glance.

Volvo, this is basic safety stuff. Look at Nissan, Audi, VW, Infiniti, and Honda to see how it’s done.

Of course, the rest of the safety stuff reads like a laundry list. Let’s start with the articulated Xenon headlights that follow the curve of dark, twisty roads. Literally brilliant.

All S60 models come with City Safety 2 low-speed collision avoidance technology and active whiplash mitigating seats. This tester had the $800 Blind Spot detection system but not the comprehensive $2,100 Technology Package that layers on adaptive cruise, collision warning with full auto brake, pedestrian protection with full auto brake, distance alert, driver alert control, lane departure warning, active high beam, and road sign information.

It seems Volvo is getting more aggressive (realistic) with its package pricing. Last year, blind spot warning and most of the Tech Pack  (sans active high beam and road sign information) was rolled into the $4,500 Driver Support Package. So for 2013 we’re saving $1,600 and getting active high beam and RSI thrown in.

2013 Volvo S60 T5 AWD
2013 Volvo S60 T5 AWD. Click image to enlarge

Despite the fastback coupe roofline, headroom is not at a premium in the back. One of the keys to this is rear seating that was lowered and, for the outward positions, carved out a bit, allowing adequate headroom. The trunk is nicely finished and with the 60/40 rear seats down, it allows for a decent shop at Ikea.

Bottom line? If you read our recent Luxury Car Comparo (Audi A4, BMW 328i xDrive, M-B C 300 4Matic, and Cadillac ATS) and are heading out with a fist full of cash, do yourself a favour and check out the 2013 Volvo S60 T5 AWD.

Beautiful. Competent. Comfortable. Fast. It feels as solid as the day is long, and for those who don’t require the default premium badges, it’s just (enough) left of the mainstream. A four-year or 80,000-km warranty that includes scheduled maintenance, roadside assist, and even wear-and-tear coverage is nothing to sneeze at either.

Now, if Volvo would just give us the fetching and functional V60 wagon version of this car…

Never say never.

Pricing: 2013 Volvo S60 T5 Premium Plus

Base price: $43,150
Optional equipment: Haldex AWD $2,400; BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) $800; Caspian Blue metallic paint $800
A/C tax: $100
Destination charge: $1,095
Price as tested: $48,345

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