2019 Volvo S60 First Drive: Culmination Of Good

You might write off the Volvo S60 as another cog in the subdued Swedish machine. Call it a carbon copy of the S90 with XC60 and XC90 powertrain options if you like, but in truth, it’s much more than that. The Volvo S60 is a complete package – it’s the culmination of Volvo’s best elements wrapped up neatly. Compared to the last generation S60, this one offers extra equipment, better tech, hugely improved styling, and even a performance option (not that the old S60 Polestar wasn’t endearing or anything).

Between the scenic views of the Santa Monica coast, where our drive started, and the sleek lines of the S60, there was no shortage of eye-candy on display. The S60 wears the Volvo design language exceptionally well. It's the best application of the family styling to date – more so than the S90, even – and puts the Swede single-handedly at the top of its class visually.

The Polestar Engineered model is the most stunning of the bunch. It turns the styling dial up a notch with black trim pieces on the grill instead of chrome, trim-exclusive 20-inch wheels, and fancy gold brakes. But the R-Design isn't far behind visually – it too loses a ton of chrome in place of black accents, and rides on unique 19-inch five-spoke wheels. Both of these models reek of performance on the surface.

The S60 R-Design wears its "...