Update2 – Road Test Review – 2016 Volvo S60 T5 Inscription

Update1 – Additional info from Volvo Cars US in Performance article section. 

Update2 – Clarifies that S60 Inscription is the new LWB model, and the only one imported from China.  

2016 Volvo S60 T5 Inscription FWD 33

Solid experience in any business can make you a bit cocky.  You know your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats intimately.

A brilliant skillset for any field. One that helps you achieve results faster and better than others.

In the car reviews business, that often means you think you know a car pretty well… without even driving it.  From other models in the brand’s lineup, from previous generations and from reviews you have read.. you just have a good predictive sense sometimes.

That’s how we started our week with the 2016 Volvo S60 T5.  We expected a slightly floaty, slightly boaty but overall very competent Lexus ES350 rival.  Even after years of disliking its style on the road… nothing could prepare us for the S60’s total mediocrity.

America’s first Chinese-made car slammed our hopeful predictions to the ground like an MMA fighter.  Sure, it’s ugly from all angles.  And old: this basic car has been on the market for more than 10 years.  But cloud-like refinement, quietness and comfort should make all those trendy concerns irrelevant, right?  A superb car for calm retirees?

Perhaps in isolation, without driving any rivals. But that same buyer group would be better served looking for comfort, ease of use and efficiency in a base Altima than this S60 Inscription.

Find out what exactly made us dislike the S60 Inscription so much via the standard headings below: Exterior, Interior, Performance, Pricing and Summary.



The S60 will soon be a hometown hero for your Charleston-based author.  Volvo Cars US is building a factory to make the next-gen S60 for 2018 less than an hour from CRD HQ.

And this was actually our first Volvo press fleet loaner.  So all the cards are stacked in favor of finding “something” to like about car.  Some way to imagine that a buyer group will like its qualities, even if they are a wide miss for you personally.

An important note: we call this the S60 and S60 Inscription in this review. Only the S60 Inscription is being imported from China versus Sweden for all other S60s.

The disappointment with the S60 starts right when you lay eyes on the car.  It is not attractive whatsoever.  More than that actually.  It is nauseating from all sides.

Many Volvo’s have been visual turds, of course. Right back to the 240DL!  (*And before.  And since).

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About The Author

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly expanding automotive news magazine.He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.