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18 Oct 2019

What We Dislike
Poor fuel economy
All-wheel drive not really necessary

The Volvo S60 T5 R-Design combines ample equipment, good looks and a comfortable drive to deliver a well-rounded compact executive sedan package.

The new Volvo S60 is a mighty impressive offering. Having driven the T4 R-Design model, we came away impressed by its good looks, premium cabin and respectable dynamism.

So, what's this then? This T5 is the most expensive variant of the S60 available right now. Should you fork out the extra 10 grand for this one? 

What's the difference? 

The main difference here is the drivetrain. The T5 uses an uprated 2.0-litre engine with 251bhp and 350Nm of torque. Power is sent via an eight-speed gearbox to all four wheels (the T4 is front-wheel drive).

The 2.0-litre engine in this T5 variant produces 251bhp and 350Nm of torque

Is that power bump significant? Honestly, not really. This car is heavier than the T4 by 73kg, and when driven lightly it doesn't feel that much quicker. Yes, this T5 engine has more puff when worked hard (the T4 runs out of breath), but for day-to-day driving the difference isn't that stark. And in fact, because it's four-wheel drive, it actually feels less alert and light-footed than the T4. 

The Individual drive model allows you to customise both the the steering force and brake characteristics

And how about equipment?

This R-Design variant and the T4 R-Design share a lot of similar equipment. The exterior has R-Design touches like the grille with Glossy Black finish frame and side mirrors, R-Design front and rear bumper kit and dual integrated tailpipes.

The cabin is also similarly comfortable, premium and high-quality. There's a 9.2-inch iPad-style touchscreen, a fully digital 12.3-inch Adaptive Digital Display, a sunroof, and Customisable Drive Mode with Adjustable Steering Force.

Equipped with Sensus Navigation, the digital dashboard is able to display a map as well

However, the T5 also packs more equipment than the T4. Notably, it comes with Sensus Navigation, which also allows navigation information to be displayed on the digital dashboard (the T4 only displays media information).
You also get additional safety systems as part of Intellisafe Surround - Blind Spot Information System, Cross Traffic Alert with Auto Braking, and Rear collision warning with braking at standstill. 

The Pilot Assist function is effortlessly easy to use

Most notably, the T5 also comes equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control with Pilot Assist. Volvo's semi-autonomous system is one of the best in the market - easy to engage, seamless to manage and accurate in operation. It even brings the car to a complete stop, and you just have to tap the throttle to get going again. Somewhat strangely, this is included as standard in the cheaper T4 Momentum, but not the T4 R-Design (it's about managing cost and pricing).

The new S60 displays excellent on-road manners, with ample ride comfort and stability

So which should I buy?

The Volvo S60 T5 R-Design is a very complete car - it packs a wealth of equipment, delivers plenty of comfort, space and luxury, and it's a very easy car to live with. It also looks good.

However, this T5 drivetrain isn't absolutely necessary, in our minds. It's not that much more powerful, and the all-wheel drive system just isn't that necessary in Singapore. The T4 already isn't particularly good on fuel economy, and the T5 (with its more powerful engine and extra weight) is even worse - we struggled to hit 9km/L.

The S60 T5 R-Design is a very well-rounded compact executive sedan

Ideally, we would have the S60 with the T4 powertrain, but all of the T5 equipment. But, if we had to pick between the two (the T4 R-Design and T5 R-Design), the smart choice would be the T4.

It may not be as powerful, but we have a video review of the S60 T4 R-Design so you can get a better look at that handsome design and premium cabin!

Also read our comparison article on:
Audi A4 vs Jaguar XE vs Volvo S60
Car Information
This model is no longer being sold by local distributors


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Engine Type


4-cylinder in-line 16-valve Turbocharged

Engine Cap





187kW (251 bhp) / 5500 rpm



350 Nm / 4800 rpm



8-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption



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volvo  volvo s60  s60  s60 t5  volvo s60 t5  s60 t5 r-design