★★★★ | Volvo S60/V60 R-Design

R-Designed Volvo. How do you want it?

What Have We Got

Hot on the wheels of the recent Volvo resurgence in their 60 series of cars, V60, V60 Cross Country, R-Design estates, comes the much-anticipated saloon version.

THEGAYUK were invited to try both models in R-Design trim, and, depending on your motoring needs, both were clear winners. One more than the other.


The all 250hp petrol engine option (no diesel) mated to an 8 speed automatic, work well. The drive is linear and it feels very fluid in its forward motion. 350Nm of torque come from a lowly 1800 to 4800rpm. And this fits in nicely with where the gearbox will try to keep the engine running. Go beyond it, and the good news is, you’ll still enjoy it. There is very little engine cacophony.

The ride is silent and all composed. It’s a touch hard but fitting for the R-Designs purpose as a sporting drivers car. I rather liked it. It felt muted to road surface discrepancies that blight our roads. However, the S60 trumps the V60 when it comes to handling. The 30kg lighter and yet stiffer shell feels it. Saloon shell makes the car feel somewhat more surefooted.

You could argue that the rear suspension might have been altered to compensate for what the V60 could be used for and I wouldn’t disagree with you. As a drivers car, the V60 is good, the S60 is better.



I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan of the R-Design set up. When you get to try the others in the 60 range, you discover that dark interiors are not what you want. Everyone does dark, so when you get behind the wheel of a V60 Inscription with blond leather and wood, it feels special and fresh.

That said, it is not like you are sitting in a rat infested dungeons with hard chairs and little enjoyment. The R-Design gives you bespoke bucket style seats. There is very little to complain about in the ergonomics and comfort. And a good job too because when you want to get the R-Designs shifting, they really grip onto you like a leather strapped chair in a BDSM dungeon.

Living with it

Style over function or the other way round? It’s a difficult one for me to suggest for you. As style goes, both body shapes ooze elegance not seen on a Volvo before. It’s a head turner. 

It all comes down to what you, as a driver, want. Practical and it’s the V60 with its 529 to 1441 litres off luggage space over the saloons 442 litres. Well composed with a touch more sporting to take on the likes of that pesky Audi that loses you down that twisty road, and it’s the S60. 

Neither will disappoint. They are easy to live with and they will fit your needs with a touch of premium class.

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Fast driving and they both do well, with the S60 doing it so much better. So much so that it really feels quicker to and more responsive. And to top it off, the smaller cabin design of the saloon really makes those Bowers and Wilkins speakers come alive.

The Verdict

For what it does, and if you want your saloon and estate to have the sporty potential that you crave, then these are for you.

As for me, I might have been swayed by the R-Design. I’m getting old but I’m feeling kinky and used. I’ve been abused by the R-Design and I can’t say I didn’t LOVE IT!

The Lowdown

Car –  Volvo S60/V60 R-Design 

Price (from) – S60 £37,935 / £40,210 (as tested)

MPG – 35.3 – 39.8 / 34.0 – 39.7 (WLTP combined)

Power – 250hp

0-62mph –  6.5 / 6.7 seconds

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Top Speed –  145 mph

Co2 – 155 / 157 (g/km)

About the author: Stuart M Bird

Motoring nurse or medical motorist? It's a difficult one. By day l nurse and by night l drive.
Fingers have always been grease deep in attending the motoring of an ageing fleet. And now l write about new and old.
If you have a car or motoring product you would like reviewed here for TGUK please e mail me:

Member of the Southern Group of Motoring Writers. (SGMW)

Twitter: @t2stu

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