2022 Volvo S60 B5 AWD R-Design Review

Before the dawn of the age of SUVs, the sedan was king. More specifically, the compact luxury sedan was the car most young professionals aspired to. With the abundance of available SUVs, you’d think the compact luxury sedan segment will be forgotten by carmakers, but that’s not the case.

The compact luxury market is full of great cars. The leader in this pack is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, followed by the BMW 3-Series, and there are also other great options in this segment. Cars like the Lexus IS, Audi A4, Cadillac CT4, Volvo S60, Genesis G70, Infiniti Q50, and the Acura TLX. I might be missing a car on this list, but I’m sure you get the gist of it. Some people might include the Tesla Model 3 in this comparison, but I would never call it a luxury car.

Last week I had the opportunity to review a 2022 Volvo S60 B5 AWD R-Design, a car I haven’t seen much on our local streets.

The Volvo S60, with its current naming structure, has been around since the year 2000. The first-generation car was in production from 2000 to 2009, the second-generation car was sold from 2010 to 2018, and the current third-generation car went on sale in 2018 as a 2019 model year and has been on sale since. The second and third generations of the S60 also spawned a wagon version called the V60. The current generation V60 is my favorite wagon design, it is on my short list of family cars for personal use (I’ll take one in red), and I hope to review one soon.

2022 Volvo S60 B5 R Design Front scaled

2022 Volvo S60 Canadian Prices

Like other vehicles in the Volvo lineup, the S60 comes with gasoline with a mild-hybrid or a plug-in hybrid powertrain; however, the S60 is also offered without the mild-hybrid on the base trim; the non-mild-hybrid powertrain is not available on other Volvo products.

The 2022 Volvo S60 B5 Momentum FWD has a starting price of $45,550. Adding the AWD and mild-hybrid system increases the price to $47,900. The S60 R-Design has a starting price of $52,750, and the S60 Inscription starts at $54,350. Additional packages can be added to these trims, adding safety and comfort features.

If you want to go the electric route with your S60, the S60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid is available in two trims. The S60 T8 R-Design has a starting price of $59,950, and the S60 T8 Polestar Engineered has a starting price of $74,800.

Our review car for the week was the 2022 Volvo S60 B5 AWD R-Design, with an as-tested price tag of $63,300 plus $2,015 for Freight & PDI. Our review car included the following options:

  • Climate Package ($1,000)
  • Advanced Package ($2,900)
  • Bowers & Wilkins Premium Sound System ($3,750)
  • Park Assist Pilot + Park Assist Front and Rear ($250)
  • 19” 5-Triple Spoke Matt black Diamond-cut Alloy wheel ($1,000)
  • Tailored Instrument Panel ($750)
2022 Volvo S60 B5 Review scaled

2022 Volvo S60 B5 Engine/Driving

All trims of the S60 B5 come with turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 engines, producing 247 horsepower at 5,400 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque at 1,800 rpm. Power is sent to the front wheels, on the base trim, or to all-four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission.

247 HP is a respectable number and with the max torque available at 1,800 rpm, the S60 is no slouch. However, it’s not super sporty, either. It slots in the middle of the pack; it’s not too sporty, and neither is it too soft like some of the competitors. I found the S60 to be a competent small family sedan, it’s still quick enough for the occasional spirited drive on back country roads. Still, it’s also not too powerful where fuel economy suffers.

The suspension is also set up in a way that’s not bone jarringly sporty and not so soft that it makes you feel like you’re driving your dad’s old boat of a car. It’s set up with a nice balance between the two extremes and I enjoyed it a lot for driving around town and on the highways. The steering feel is what you’d expect in a modern car, which is non-existent. However, the steering is direct and there’s no dead spot at the center; it’s also a blend of comfort and sporty.

Volvo lists the S60’s fuel consumption at 9.4/6.9/8.3 liters/100 kilometers in city/highway/combined driving. After a week of driving in 90/10 city/highway, the onboard computer showed 9.2 L/100 km, pretty much in line with what Volvo claims.

Volvo S60 Styling

2022 Volvo S60 B5 R Design Side scaled

I personally think the Volvo S60 is quite an attractive sedan; it’s an understated design that is quite elegant. It shares its looks with the rest of the Volvo family of vehicles, especially the S90 sedan; it looks like a baby S90. As much as I like the S60, I like the V60 much more; I think the S60 (V60) looks fantastic as a wagon.

The front end features Volvo’s signature “Thor’s Hammer” headlights, with blacked-out chrome trim around the front grill. The same black-out treatment is applied to trim pieces around the windows, giving the S60 a sporty appearance. Our review car came with the optional 19” 5-triple spoke wheels, which also add to the sporty look of the S60.

At the rear end of the S60, we find taillights that look almost identical to the ones found on the S90 sedan. The S60 also proudly features exhaust tips in the lower rear bumper; it’s not ashamed to show it’s still powered by good old dinosaur juice (gasoline).

Volvo S60 Interior & Features

2022 Volvo S60 B5 R Design interior scaled

You’d be forgiven for mistaking the interior on the S60 with any of the other models produced by Volvo. This is not necessarily a bad thing; Volvo interiors are simple and elegant and they work just fine. Volvo’s minimalist interior philosophy was ahead of its time; now, most automakers use similar designs by completely removing or just having a few physical buttons.

The main infotainment screen is a 9” vertically placed unit. Unlike some of the other Volvo vehicles we’ve reviewed recently, the system doesn’t feature Android AI; this is the older system found on the XC90 we recently reviewed. It’s an easy-to-use system and is responsive; the graphics are crisp and look modern. The gauge cluster features a 12.4” digital display, which is also easy on the eyes. Unlike some competitors, there isn’t much customization available on this screen.

The interior materials are high quality, mostly soft plastics and some metal trim. The seats are incredibly comfortable, have a signature Volvo feature, and look quite sporty. I found more than enough room in the front seats; the rear seats were also comfortable and had a few inches of spare leg room for my 5’ 8” frame. This is a small car, so people over 6’ will find the back seat tight in the leg and headroom departments.

The interior is quiet and the engine noise is barely noticeable; some engine noise does make it into the cabin at low speeds, but overall, you feel quite insulated from the outside world.

The 2022 Volvo S60 is equipped with standard features and a few optional packages; below are some highlights from the standard features and the optional packages and their content.

  • CleanZone
  • Panoramic Sunroof
  • Key remote control
  • Keyless Entry with Handsfree Tailgate Opening
  • BLIS – Blind Spot Information System with Cross-traffic alert
  • Power Heated Front Seats with Driver Memory
  • Automatic Dimming Inner and Exterior Mirrors
  • Retractable Rear View Mirrors
  • LED Headlights with Active Bending Lights
  • Cruise control
  • Collision Mitigation Support, Front & Rear
  • Lane Keeping Aid
  • Park Assist Camera
  • 2 USB Connections (Apple CarPlay / Android Auto)
  • Bluetooth Connection
  • Road Sign Information (RSI)
  • Mild Hybrid with 48v Battery
  • R-Design Grill
  • 4 Zone Electronic Climate Control
  • Passenger Seat Memory
  • 4 Way Lumbar Support
  • LED Front Fog Lights with Cornering
  • Cushion extension
  • Power Fold of Rear Backrest
  • Power Folding Rear Headrests
  • High-Level Illumination
  • Park Assist Front & Rear
  • Navigation Pro
  • Harmon Kardon Premium Sound
  • Wireless Smartphone Charger
  • Tailored Sport Steering Wheel
  • R-Design Nappa Leather Front Sport Seats and Leatherette Rear Seats with Open Grid Textile
  • Upholstery
  • R-Design Pedal
  • Sport Chassis
  • R-Design Grill
  • 18” 5-Double Spoke Matt Black Diamond-cut Alloy wheel (235/45R18)

You can also add the packages below:

Climate Package ($1,000):

  • Headlamp Cleaners
  • Heated Rear Seats
  • Heated Steering Wheel

Advanced Package ($2,900):

  • Head-Up Display
  • Pilot Assist – Semi Autonomous Drive System w/ Adaptive Cruise Control
  • 360° camera
  • 12V Outlet in Luggage Area
  • Air Purifier

Additional standalone packages can also be added:

  • Park Assist Pilot
  • Tailored dashboard
  • Bowers & Wilkins audio system

Final Thoughts on the 2022 Volvo S60 B5 R-Design

I’m glad the entry-level luxury sedan is still an option for those not looking to buy an SUV. The competition is fierce in this segment, and I think the Volvo S60 can hold its own. It may not be the sportiest or the most luxurious in this segment, but it does fit nicely somewhere in the middle. Owning the S60 also sets you apart from the crowd; you won’t confuse it with another S60 in a mall parking lot.

2022 Volvo S60 B5 R Design Rear scaled

Check out Volvo Canada’s website for more information on the S60 and other Volvo vehicles.

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Faisal

When I'm not reviewing the latest cars, I'm busy checking out the latest gadgets and watches by the world's best manufacturers. Cars, gadgets, and watches... that's all a man needs to get through life.

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