Test Drive: 2016 Volvo S60 T5 Inscription Review

Jerry Reynolds | October 27, 2015
Test Drive: 2016 Volvo S60 T5 Inscription Review

If you look closely at many of the items around your house, you’ll see a sticker on the bottom that says Made in China.  This Volvo is too heavy to turn over to see if it has that sticker, but it is indeed made in China.  In fact, this is the first high volume car built in China that is sold in the United States.

This week I bring you the   The Inscription designation is important because this version is 3” longer than the regular S60 and the end result is, this car has very nice back seat room, versus the regular S60, which is very tight.  I have complained before about the back seat in the S60, and the Inscription answers that concern.

The S60 comes in a variety of engines and transmissions.  My review vehicle is the T5 front wheel drive, so it comes with a 2-liter 4-cylinder and an 8-speed automatic. Together they put out 240 horses.

This same car comes in an all-wheel drive version with a 5 cylinder engine and a 6-speed automatic.  You can also get a T6 4-cylinder Front wheel drive with an 8-speed that puts out over 300 horses.  And last, you can get a T6 All-wheel drive with a 6 cylinder turbo and a 6-speed automatic rated at 325 horses.  Could Volvo make this more confusing?  Confucius say “keep it simple, stupid” but apparently the folks at Geely Auto don’t listen to Confucius.  But I digress.

This T5 front wheel drive is the fuel economy leader of the group and it is pretty amazing how much power this 4-cylinder engine has, it truly feels like a 6-cylinder.

We all know Volvo’s are known for safety but in recent times, it has also added styling to the interior and exterior of all its models.  For me, the S60 is a near-luxury car with a beautiful interior, and great lines on the exterior.  It has a very sculpted hood, and a wide, bold stance with 18” alloy wheels set out to the corners.

Standard equipment abounds in the Inscription and includes navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, power moonroof, leather interior, rear park assist with rearview camera, power rear window shade, keyless entry, and City Safety.  is Volvos low speed collision avoidance and braking system.

Also standard is the .  The Sensus Smartphone application leverages the Internet to provide a ton of features, like guidance to parking spaces and you can pay from the car.

You can also use Sensus to stream music or listen to books. The feature also summons roadside assistance, delivers door lock status, as well as provides fuel level monitoring, maintenance warnings, and other key information about the car. You can even use it to remote start the engine and pre-condition the interior to cool it in summer and warm it in winter—before you get into the car.

You also get 10 years of emergency crash response at no charge, HD and Sirius radio, and the Sensus system will turn the interior of the car into a WiFi hotspot.

When you sit in the contoured driver’s seat, the gauge cluster is one of the easiest to read I have ever seen.  The center console is very simple, well organized, and adorned with real walnut.  Above it are the controls that run everything and connected to a 7” color screen.

Although the controls look intimidating at first, the learning curve is minimal.  One of my favorite features is the car’s ability to read road signs like the speed limit and display it on the center gauges.

Four round dials offer control over the systems, while the top right dial conducts functions for the monitor.  The keypad permits the direct entry of frequencies for the radio, and dialing the phone, while the pictogram directing the incoming air flow is as obvious as they come.

My review vehicle is the Platinum package, which for $3000 gives you a Harman Kardon sound system, pushbutton start, adaptive cruise control, automatic pedestrian braking, lane keeping aid, collision warning, and power retractable mirrors.

It also has the climate package, which for $1300 gives you heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, and heated windshield washer nozzles.

Finally, for $1425 you get the Park Assist package which is the system that parallel parks itself and this package comes with blind spot monitoring.

This car is full of technology and safety equipment, it drives like a dream, and handles surprisingly well.

Fuel economy was a big surprise to me at 25 in town and 37 on the highway.

It has always been a challenge for Volvo to sell its safety technology because it didn’t have the styling and luxury to command the necessary price, but that has all changed now.

This car has an MSRP of almost $46,000 and for what this car has, that is a truly exceptional price.  You even get 3 years and 36000 miles of scheduled maintenance.

This is a great 5-passenger car, it has a generous amount of trunk room and headroom, and as always you can’t put yourself or your family in a safer car.

The 2016 Volvo T5 Inscription is a family sedan that should be on your shopping list if you are in the market for a medium priced great sedan.

What I liked most:  The luxurious interior and great fuel economy.

What I would change:  Truthfully, nothing.

MSRP: Base price $38,799, as equipped $45,925.

Fuel Economy:  EPA rated at 25 city, 37 highway, 29 combined.

Fuel Tank:  17.8 gallons of regular unleaded.

Dimensions:  15.2’ long/6.1’ wide/4.1’ high.

Weight: 3433 Pounds

2016 S60 T5 in a few words:  Cutting edge safety AND luxury come together! 

Trailer Towing:  N/A

Warranty:  4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper with roadside assistance, 3-years/36,000 miles of free maintenance.

Miles When Tested:  1300

Manufacturer’s website: 

Photo Credit: Volvo
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