Having spent a week driving the 2015 Volvo S60, I have newfound appreciation for and a favorable impression of the company’s best-selling model. As of late, that hasn’t been the case. Allow me to explain.
Until recently, I had been a long-time fan of Volvos. From their broad-shouldered design and relentless focus on safety to their perfectly formed seats and perky turbocharged powertrains, these quirky but eminently comfortable Swedish cars possessed a character all their own. And it’s easy to get behind character, isn’t it?
Lately, though, what made Volvos great had begun to fade. Take the second-generation Volvo S80, for example. The original S80 revolutionized Volvo design, moving the company away from building boxes on wheels and toward creating unmistakably modern and attractive luxury cars. When Volvo finally redesigned the S80, what rolled off the assembly line lacked the original’s strongly defined character, looking and feeling less upscale than its predecessor.
Then, Volvo did the same thing to the S60, replacing an aged but distinctive midsize luxury sedan with a bug-eyed bar of soap that looked like a Honda Civic from some angles. Ford Motor Company bailed on Volvo shortly thereafter, selling it to Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, which promptly set about to righting the S60’s wrongs.
The first wave of upgrades came for the 2014 model year, styling changes intended to give the S60 greater visual presence. Now, for 2015, Volvo debuts its new Drive-E family of powerful and fuel-efficient turbocharged powertrains while continuing a program of improvement. As a result, and though I’m still not entirely sold on the 2015 Volvo S60, I would start recommending it to people again.