The 2015 Volvo S60 arrived earlier this year with a new power train for some of its trim levels, continuing the evolution of the S60 that began with a significant refresh of its styling and features in 2014. While that might have been enough for some manufacturers, it was not enough for Volvo. Not willing to wait another year to make it even better, they went ahead with the release of a 2015.5 model of the S60 that added some more technology and features to the S60 line.
Starting the model year, the 2015 S60 T5 was already impressing us with their new (and we think) exciting Drive-E engine family and new transmission that delivers more performance plus improved fuel economy.
At mid-year Volvo released the 2015.5 S60 T5 with new technology features and services through their Sensus Technology system, an available new Harmon Kardon Premium Sound System and a new Convenience Package, among other items.
S60 T5 Drive-E FWD ride and drive
Volvo recently provided us a brand new 2015.5 Volvo T5 Drive-E FWD (front-wheel drive) with the Platinum Package as our ride and drive for a week around Central Texas. It came equipped with the new Drive-E four-cylinder power plant mated to the all-new standard Geartronic eight-speed automatic transmission and – of course – the mid-year model changes as well.
We can tell you right up front that this new power train is quite an improvement from the old standard 2.5L turbocharged five-cylinder and six-speed automatic that we tested on the 2014 S60 T5 FWD. It is more responsive, smoother running, gets the torque to the road more effectively and is more fuel efficient – all with less horsepower than the old 2.5L. Even before the mid-year changes, the 2015 S60 was already a much better vehicle.
Drive-E turbocharged power
Our S60 T5 Drive-E Platinum came with the 2.0L four-cylinder (which is now the standard on the FWD) that uses a turbocharger and direct-injection to produce 240 horsepower with 258 lb.-ft. of torque.
Drive-E is the Volvo name for their ECO+ fuel-saving technology that is designed to optimize shift points and throttle response yielding up to, what Volvo says is, five percent better fuel economy when engaged. Some of the features include a start/stop function to shut down the engine when coming to or at a stop, provide a ‘coasting’ mode for the engine when the accelerator is released and disengage the AC compressor when in ECO+ mode.
The new Drive-E 2.0L is EPA MPG rated 25/37 mpg city/highway with 29 mpg combined.
Geartronic eight-speed automatic transmission
The performance of the bit smaller engine is maximized by the all-new standard eight-speed Geartronic automatic transmission that provides (as compared to the old six-speed) smoother and more flexible shifting using that extra gearing to optimize power delivery to the road more effectively with more fuel efficiency.
The Volvo Advanced Quick Shift feature with the Paddle Shifters enhances the Drive-E power plant and eight-speed transmission’s performance with manual shifting using the paddles or automatic shifting using software mapping that improves gear change speed by 20-30 percent for third to sixth gears and up to 50 percent faster shifting from first to second gears.
S60 T5 Drive-E FWD
The base S60 T5 FWD, equipped standard with the new Drive-E drive train, has a MSRP of $ 33,750.
For that price, it comes with the new styling from last year that included all-new exterior panels from the A-pillars forward including a new hood, front fenders and fascia. A wider grille is flanked by new headlights while a larger, wider lower front intake with bright accents and horizontally mounted LED daytime running lights. At the rear, new LED light guides on the taillights and integrated exhaust pipes contribute to the more aggressive presence on the road.
Inside, the S60 T5 exemplifies the simplicity of Scandinavian design with their attention to details and the use of premium materials of wood and leather. The instrument clusters are simple yet give lots of information through an adaptive digital TFT display that can be customized by the driver using three formats – Elegance, Eco and Performance.
The seating in the new Volvo S60 T5 continues to impress also. Notable are the thigh-to-shoulder side bolstering that gently – yet firmly – keeps the driver solidly in place during the most aggressive driving.
The S60 T5 FWD comes standard with a MacPherson Strut front with rear multi-link suspension, Electronic Power Assisted Steering (EPAS), Dynamic Stability Traction Control (DSTC), Touring Chassis with Advanced Stability Control and Corner Traction Control through Torque Vectoring.
The Volvo Sensus Technology system is integrated with a 7-inch Color LCD Monitor in the center stack. Audio and infotainment include Sirius Satellite Radio, HD radio, single disk CD player, USB, and AUX inputs, MP3 and Bluetooth Hands Free. For 2015.5 Volvo has added Sensus Connect that features a wide array of new and improved in-car connectivity services. Sensus also added
Volvo On Call that includes a driver-activated SOS button, automatic collision alert and GPS location tracking.
Other standard features on the S60 T5 FWD included Shimmer Graphite Aluminum Inlays, Leather and Silk Metal Steering Wheel, Push-button Start and Stop, Dual Zone Climate Control, Rain Sensing Windshield Wipers, Power 8-way Driver and 3-way Passenger seats plus more.
Making the S60 T5 FWD a Platinum
Already very well equipped, the Platinum Package does raise the MSRP for the S60 T5 FWD to $40,000, but it also adds a range of additional features plus the Convenience and Technology Packages.
Added features include a Power Glass Moonroof, Sensus Navigation (new for 2015.5), Side Window Brightwork, Accent Lighting, the Adaptive digital TFT Display, Harmon Kardon Premium Sound System with 650 watts and 12 Premium Speakers and Dual Xenon Headlights with washers.
The Convenience Package adds Keyless Drive, Rear Park Assist Camera, HomeLink, digital compass, Grocery Bag Holder and Power Retractable Outside Mirrors while the Technology Package included Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Queue Assist, Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake (CWAB), Driver Alert Control (DAC), and Lane Departure Warning (LDW).
Completing the S60 T5 FWD Platinum
To make the S60 T5 FWD about as complete as one might want it – the following items were included from the long list of stand-alone options available:
- Sport Leather front seating with charcoal headliner
- Electric Silver Metallic Paint
- Heated front seats
- Blind Spot Information System
- Cross Traffic Alert
- Forward Distance Keeping Alert
- Lane Keeping Alert
- Active High Beams for Road Sign Information
- 18-inch Titania Aluminum Alloy Wheels
In the garage, the delivered price for our 2015.5 S60 T5 FWD Platinum was $44,125, delivered.
Safety engineering is synonymous with Volvo
The 2015.5 Volvo S60 continues the leadership from Volvo in the safety engineering of their vehicles with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarding the 2015.5 S60 its highest possible 5-Star Overall safety rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has already recognized the refreshed 2014 S60 with its newest and highest rating, the Top Safety Pick+ award.
The Volvo line up for 2015.5
T5 FWD – (Version we tested) Came equipped with the new 2.0L four-cylinder with the turbocharged direct-injection engine producing 240 horsepower with 258 lb.-ft. of torque mated to the all-new eight-speed Geartronic automatic transmission. The three model levels included the Base (MSRP $33,750), Premier (MSRP $ 36,350) and the Platinum (MSRP $40,000).
T5 AWD – The 2015.5 Volvo S60 T5 AWD is the All-Wheel Drive with Traction version in the same three trim levels (Base, Premier and Platinum). The power train for the AWD is the standard 2.5L turbocharged five-cylinder engine (also the standard for 2014) that delivers 250 horsepower with 266 lb.-ft. of torque through a six-speed Geartronic automatic transmission. The AWD has a premium of $1,500 to the MSRP of the FWD T5.
T6 Drive-E – The S60 T6 Drive-E T5 offers more power and performance using the same 2.0L engine from the T5, but augments the turbocharger with a supercharger to get 302 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque delivered through the eight-speed Geartronic Automatic transmission. It has a Base model for (MSRP $39,000) and a Platinum (MSRP $42,750).
T6 R-Design – The top of the line are the performance S60 T6 R-Design AWD models. They offer the most powerful V6 available from Volvo – a 3.0L turbocharged engine putting out 325 horsepower with 354 lb.-ft- of torque. The MSRP for the R-Design model Base is $43,550 and Platinum $46,950.
T5 FWD would be a good choice
For our money, we think we prefer the 2015.5 to the higher performing – more expensive trim-levels.
Yes – the other models have more horsepower or AWD, but we think, though it is not a sport sedan, that the new 2015.5 T5 Drive-E Platinum FWD with its turbocharged 2.0L engine and the eight-speed Geartronic transmission has more than enough power for most drivers.
Simply, in Scandinavian style, an even better well-engineered Volvo S60 sedan very complete for under $45,000 – in your garage too.