Review: Volvo S60 Inscription is a Chinese revolution – Detroit Free Press


Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

The Chinese Revolution began last year, yet you probably missed it.

Don’t feel bad. It wasn’t that big a deal.

Unbeknownst to most people, including the fear mongers that claim the U.S. economy is under siege by global trade rules that let others countries steal us blind, the initial vehicle built in China went on sale in the U.S. in 2015.

It won’t be the last, and it certainly wasn’t the end of the globe as we already know it.

I simply spent a week along with a ★★★ 2016 Volvo S60 T5 Drive-E Inscription sedan that rolled off an assembly line in Chengdu, China, last summer. Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan. Lonely Planet says Chengdu is noteworthy mostly since it looks dull, yet individuals seem to adore it.

You could say the same thing concerning the S60 T5 Drive-E Inscription. It’s a perfectly nice lower-luxury sedan, not the apocalypse Numerous individuals feared China’s arrival as an global automaker would certainly herald. If you hope to see a Volvo that scares others automakers, think about the legitimately revolutionary Swedish-built XC90 SUV that took the market by storm en route to winning the Free Press and North American truck of the year awards last year.

Straight from Chengdu and concerning as menacing as one of the city’s famed Giant Pandas, the S60 Inscription is a Volvo’s S60 sedan, lengthened to match Chinese taste.

You could walk past one in the parking lot devoid of noticing, which frankly makes it a lot adore simply concerning every sedan Volvo ever built. Short-wheelbase S60s sold in America go on to come from Volvo’s house plant in Sweden.

The S60 T5 Inscription’s raison d’être is a roomier spine seat. That matters a lot in China, where cars adore the S60 are often chauffeur-driven. The front-wheel-drive model I tested competes most directly along with cars adore the Acura TLX, Buick Regal, Lexus ES and Volkswagen Passat CC yet might additionally get hold of some focus from individuals curious about a BMW, Cadillac or Mercedes due to Volvo’s impressive safety technology and stylish interiors.

Prices for the regular-wheelbase S60 start at $34,150. According to Volvo’s website, the Inscription starts at $38,900 for front-drive and $40,400 for all-wheel drive. every one of S60 Inscriptions use Volvo’s 240-hp 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. I tested a nicely equipped front-drive model that stickered at $44,985.

Volvo stretched the S60 compact sedan’s wheelbase 3.1 inches to include 3.4 inches of rear legroom.

The result is a comfortable space. Passengers that didn’t already know anything concerning the Volvo’s provenance commented on it. The S60’s passenger space beats the Acura TLX, Audi A4, Mercedes C-class and Volkswagen CC. It fulfills the BMW 3-collection and trails the Buick Regal and Lexus ES 350. The S60 has actually the smallest trunk among those cars.

The interior features Volvo’s usual elegant, spare Scandinavian design. Light-colored wood, easy black trim and silver dials develop a pleasant and modern look.

The front seat has actually plenty of room and storage for glasses and phones.

The S60 has actually been on sale for several years, and it shows. The voice recognition and controls for audio, navigation and others units are much less user-friendly compared to those in good brand-new cars.

The Inscription has actually plenty of electricity for daily driving. Its front-wheel-drive layout limits handling, yet it’s a perfectly competent and comfortable vehicle along with many features for the money.

True to Volvo’s history, Numerous of those features concentrate on safety. My vehicle had automatic braking, collision alert, blind-spot alert, lane-maintaining assist, pedestrian and cyclist detection, energetic Higher beams and road authorize recognition.

Chinese automaker Geely bought Volvo from Ford throughout the Terrific Recession. Geely’s been an excellent steward of the brand, funding the development of advanced vehicles and technology, adding assembly capacity and supporting Volvo’s traditional engineering and design base in Sweden.

Other automakers will certainly follow Volvo’s lead and use Chinese plants as global production bases for vehicles that will certainly sell well in China and at reduced rates in others countries. The next to reach American dealerships will certainly be the Buick Envision compact SUV. Buick sells nearly four vehicles in China for each one it sells it the U.S.

It’s widely expected Ford will certainly later import the Taurus from China, since reason for large front-drive sedans is much better there compared to in the U.S.

Going forward, others auto making nations will certainly have actually to enact policies to encourage manufacturing adore China has. As an investment banker pointed out to me throughout the Terrific Recession, anybody that thinks the auto industry is governed by unfettered capitalism doesn’t already know history or economics. Every industrial country has actually policies to promote the auto industry and most likely constantly will. China is now section of that group.

Contact Mark Phelan:, 313-222-6731 or on Twitter @mark_phelan

Behind the Wheel

Volvo S60 T5 Drive-E Inscription FWD

Front-wheel-drive, five-passenger luxury sedan

Price as tested: $44,985 (excluding destination charge)

Rating: ★★★ (from four stars)

Reasons to buy: Rear legroom, safety features, interior contents and fuel economy

Shortcomings: Handling, infotainment controls and voice recognition

Competitive EPA fuel-economy ratings

(Automatic transmission, front-drive models)

Volvo S60 T5 Drive-E Inscription: 25 m.p.g. city/37 highway/29 combined. routine gasoline

Acura TLX w/Tech package: 24/35/28. Premium gasoline

Audi A4 Frontrak Premium: 24/32/27. Premium gasoline

BMW 320i: 26/38/30. routine gasoline

Buick Regal Premium FWD: Estimated 35 m.p.g. combined city/highway. routine gasoline

Lexus ES 350: 24/35/28. routine gasoline

Mercedes C300 Luxury: 29/39/33. routine gasoline

VW CC 2.0T R-Line Executive: 29/27/32. routine gasoline



Comparative base prices (excluding destination charges)

(Automatic transmission models)

Volvo S60 T5 Drive-E Inscription: $38,900

Acura TLX w/Tech package: $35,750

Audi A4 Frontrak Premium: $35,900

BMW 320i: $38,350

Buick Regal Premium FWD: $31,900

Lexus ES 350: $38,000

Mercedes C300 Luxury: $38,950

VW CC 2.0T R-Line Executive: $37, 820

Source: Autotrader


Specifications as tested

Engine: 2.0 16-valve turbocharged 4-cylinder

Power: 240 hp @ 5,600 rpm; 258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-4,800 rpm

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

Wheelbase: 112.4 inches

Length: 185.6 inches

Width: 73.4 inches 

Height: 58.4 inches

Curb Weight: 3,644 

Where assembled: Chengdu, China


Key features on car tested

Standard equipment: Antilock brakes; stability control; electronic brake help and distribution; 18-inch alloy wheels; curtain air bags; front seat adverse air bags; low-speed automatic braking collision avoidance; front seat adverse air bags; LED daytime operating lights; navigation system; 7-inch screen; in-dash CD player; USB and auxiliary inputs; B60/40 folding rear seat; electricity rear sunshade; backup camera and rear park assist; Bluetooth phone and audio; voice recognition; 6-month Sirius radio service; electricity sun roof; leather seating; eight-means electricity front seats; memory for driver settings; push-button start; leather warped tilt and telescoping wheel; controls on steering wheel; dual zone automatic climate control; electricity locks, windows and mirrors, and rain sensing wipers

Options: Harman Kardon audio; Xenon headlights along with washers; Homelink garage door opener; grocery bag holder; technology package; adaptive cruise control; collision warning along with automatic braking; pedestrian/cyclist detection and braking; collision alert; lane-maintaining aid; driver-alert control; road authorize information; energetic Higher beam; auto dimming rearview mirror; heated front seat; heated rear seats; heated steering wheel; heated windshield washer nozzles; blind-spot assist, and park help pilot

Read or Share this story:

Leave a Reply