By Paula MacPherson
There’s a lot to like in this new 2012 Volvo S60 T6 R-Design. The seats are very comfortable, the car is exceptionally solid and the steering is so exact that you feel you could thread a needle when pulling into a parking space.
However, I did find the steering heavy. It was only after the car was gone and I complained about its lack of power assist that Jim confessed he had adjusted the power boost to its highest effort setting while muttering something about better road feel.
I’m left to wonder what it would have been like when set to its normal or lowest effort modes. Even with little power assist for the steering, however, the S60 was still impressive.
When most people think of Volvos, they think of safety. Here, this Volvo raises the bar with its City Safety. This feature applies the brakes sharply at speeds up to 18 miles per hour, either preventing or mitigating a crash when the driver becomes distracted. Options include rear obstacle detection combined with a backup camera, lane departure warning, blind spot alert and, in a twist on City Safety, Pedestrian Detection with full Auto Brake. Our car also had the standard steering-linked high intensity headlights that did wonders on dark roads.
Highway manners are tops. This Volvo accelerates very quickly and cruises so steadily and serenely that you’ll probably end up going faster than you intended.
The gauges, with their blue color scheme, are very attractive, as is the rest of the interior. Our review Volvo was the top of the line model and was priced accordingly.
The base T5, however, is also nicely equipped with all the power assists and dual-zone air conditioning. Granted, it is less powerful and front-wheel drive, but it’s also $10,000 cheaper. That would be the version I’d look at first.