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Sedan buying guide

For decades the sedan reigned supreme as the practical choice for millions of car buyers. The four-door configuration means easy access for all passengers; large trunks and folding rear seatbacks offer a range of utility; and in the right designer's hands, a sedan can assume timeless style and proportions. The sedan is also one of the most versatile forms, ranging from econobox basic to first-class executive comfort to back-road speed special.

Today, the crossover SUV has replaced the sedan as America's vehicle of choice. An SUV's high seating position offers easy step-in entry and a commanding view of the road, and voracious cargo capacity makes them a staple for active families. But for many, a sedan offers a level of driver engagement, handling and performance that still eludes even the best crossovers, with enough space and utility to make it an ideal daily commuter or family hauler.

Category: Subcompact | Compact | Midsize | Full-Size | Luxury Compact | Luxury Midsize | Luxury Full-Size | Luxury Flagship

For decades the sedan reigned supreme as the practical choice for millions of car buyers. The four-door configuration means easy access for all passengers; large trunks and folding rear seatbacks offer a range of utility; and in the right designer's hands, a sedan can assume timeless style and proportions. The sedan is also one of the most versatile forms, ranging from econobox basic to first-class executive comfort to back-road speed special.

Today, the crossover SUV has replaced the sedan as America's vehicle of choice. An SUV's high seating position offers easy step-in entry and a commanding view of the road, and voracious cargo capacity makes them a staple for active families. But for many, a sedan offers a level of driver engagement, handling and performance that still eludes even the best crossovers, with enough space and utility to make it an ideal daily commuter or family hauler.

Category: Subcompact | Compact | Midsize | Full-Size | Luxury Compact | Luxury Midsize | Luxury Full-Size | Luxury Flagship

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2019 Volvo S60 First Drive

Edmunds Senior Reviews Editor Mark Takahashi is a big fan of the sporty luxury sedan class that has been dominated by BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. He's also been impressed by Volvo's recent renaissance. At long last, the two have come together with the all-new 2019 Volvo S60 that has the performance, style and smarts to challenge the Germans.

Transcript

MARK TAKAHASHI: When you think of luxury sedans that are a little sporty, you think of the BMW 3 Series, the Audi A4, Mercedes C class. It's hard to break into that German trio, but this might actually have a chance. This is the all new 2019 Volvo S60. Before I get too deep into the S60, do me a favor and hit subscribe below. We've got some great Edmond's content coming your way. The S60 is completely redesigned for 2019, and it is the last little puzzle piece in Volvo's Renaissance. It started four years ago with the XC90. And that design language and all of the quality that, quite frankly, was surprising to me carries over to this, the S60. It looks great. It has all the sharpness that the XC90 does. I love these headlights with the signature Thor's hammer. This is the R design, and it has some black accents up front. And I kind of like it. Prices start right around $37,000 for the base T5. That has a two liter, turbocharged, four cylinder, and puts out 250 horsepower. What we have here is that T6 R design. The T6 has a turbo charged and supercharged four cylinder that puts out 316 horsepower. At the very top of the range is the T8, which is a plug-in hybrid it has 415 horsepower. I drove it earlier today. And yes, it has a decent amount of power, but I wasn't a fan of the brakes. The regenerative braking, I could never come to a smooth stop, which is why I think the T6 and possibly the T5 are your best picks. Right off the line, it accelerates nicely. It's smooth. There's no drama. There's no real delay. It's a traditional automatic transmission. You hear a little bit turbo and supercharger whine, but it's actually kind of nice. When you get on the throttle harder, between shifts, you'll hear this little raspy puff, too, which makes it feel a little more sporty, or at least sound a little more sporty. You do have selectable drive modes, as most cars do today. They do have an option for an adaptive suspension. But I don't honestly think it's worth it. It's a really good balance of comfort and performance, as it is. I've been on some rougher roads earlier today, and it handled them just fine, and on some really tight twisty roads, which I'm on the way to hit right now. The T8 was actually really fun to drive. I'm not a very familiar stretch of Pacific Coast Highway right now. And the road noise is really well taken care of. You hear it, sure. You'll hear it pretty much in any car today, but it's not at all intrusive. The wind noise is pretty much absent as well. Visibility is great. I can see all the way around with no real obstructions. When I'm in the turns, I don't have to peek around the left roof pillar right here. And in typical Volvo style, when I don't have rear passengers, I hit a button, and those rear head rests fold flat, as they are right now. Because you can fold those headrests flat, you actually have a better view rearward than almost any other car. Normally, when I think of exciting, sporty little sedans, Volvo isn't at the top of my list. But they've gone and impressed me with this S60. It's actually a lot of fun to drive. It's very confident. This one has all wheel drive. So I do feel like there's an abundance of grip. Steering feels pretty good. And I like that the steering wheel is actually kind of small. Reminds me a little bit of a Lotus Elise, where it had this minuscule, comically small steering wheel, but it also gives you almost this extra directness. We're handling these mid-corner bumps just fine, soaking them up, but there's not a lot of body roll, and it certainly isn't discouraging me from driving harder. Yeah. It's kind of good. It has the mid-grade engine. It's got plenty of beans to get me through and out of turns, and it sounds pretty decent, too. Let's see which mode I'm in. A little roller dial down here. I can go to dynamic. This should sharpen up the response a bit. I'll be damned. It's good. Well, already, it's looking good to compete against BMW and Audi. That question I posed at the beginning, it's going to be a lot easier to answer now. It's encouraging to drive this car. It's almost asking for a little more power, power, power, power, power, power. And that pavement back there is super choppy. And I know that for a fact, because I go through on my motorcycle, and you have to be really careful. This wasn't even fazed by it. So their suspension tuning, spot on. But this R design doesn't really have a lot of performance parts. It's almost more about sporty appearance than anything else. It's not until you get to the Polestar, T8, I think, that comes with a different suspension with the Ohlins dampers and all that good stuff. That means even if you go with a base T5, you're going to have the same experience when it comes to handling. Obviously, not power. But in all fairness, and with past experience with that turbo only T5 engine, it's going to be really good with this S60, because it's in the XC40, which I also like. And this should be even better, a little smaller. It's not a crossover. It's a sedan. Whoo. This is a Volvo that wants to play. Who knew? Let's see how the brakes feel. It's a little soft. Heading into a turn here, getting on the brakes a little hard. Yeah, it's just a little spongy. And I don't have that much feedback to modulate it. But I am really just nitpicking now. When it comes to comfort, I really like the seats Volvo have been putting out. First seat redesign that came out was with the XC90, and they were designed by orthopedists. And man, after hours and hours of driving, I never felt fatigue. I actually felt pretty good getting out of the car. The same with this. I have put many, many hours on this car already, and there's no soreness. I feel really well supported. it just conforms to your body. This car is a joy to drive. If it hasn't become abundantly clear that I'm already a fan of Volvo's exterior design, I'm also a fan of their interior design. It's just as clean. It's just as classy. It's a nice horizontal motif going through the dash with this sharp little lip here, some really nice materials, and the dash is dominated by this vertical touch screen. It's been used in everything since the XC90, with mixed results. But they didn't make improvements for this year. It is apparently 50% quicker to respond, and it does actually work pretty quickly now. It's not quite as intuitive as some other touchscreen systems, but as long as you give it a little time, it becomes pretty intuitive after. It starts with these four tiles here initially. You just swipe one way or the other. Now you have all these choices as far as infotainment, and you get a lot of the systems as far his driver assistance and lane keep and camera systems. It all starts making sense the more you use it. As far as storage goes, well, you have this really nice long bin here with two cup holders and another cubby up there. It's not very deep. But for cup holders, it's just fine. You have another tiny little pocket here that would probably be good for a cell phone and a center bin, which is deep enough. There is a bigger iPhone in there right now, and doesn't seem to be having a problem fitting in their. Door pockets, they're about average if you ask me. It doesn't quite fit larger water bottles, but a medium-sized one will be just fine. One thing I really like about this cabin, too, is the airiness. Now, of course, I mentioned the visibility earlier, but you also have this panoramic sunroof, which is standard throughout the lineup. It really lets the light in, but if you don't want it, you just hit this little button here, and the shade slides forward, and does a good job of keeping the sun off your head. The backseats of the S60 are nicely accommodating. My hair is just barely brushing the headliner, and I'm 5 foot 10. So that means your average male adult will be able to fit back here just fine. There's a good kind of coved out area here for the passenger, and it gives you a little bit of lateral support, and that's something that's unusual in the class, actually in sedans in general. They're usually pretty flat when it comes to seatbacks. I'd be comfortable back here for a road trip, not a problem. Right down here we have a household power outlet, which is a nice touch. Doesn't seem to be USB port back here, but if you have that, well you can get one of those wall outlets with the USB on there. This particular car has quad zone automatic climate control, which means I can control the temperature for each outboard seat here. That's nice. And there are also heated seats back here. This is the R design, probably with a lot of options, as well. So it's expected. But the interface, it's really nice. It's really clean, just like everything else in the S60. While a lot of shoppers are gravitating towards crossovers and SUVs, the S60 shouldn't be overlooked, because it has a decent amount of cargo space. Look at that. You also get some nice little flip down handles for your shopping bags. Maybe not as clever as some of the storage solutions in the XC40, XC60, but for a sedan, it hits the right mark. The question I posed at the top of this video was does this have a chance of squeezing into that German trio of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes? Yes is the short answer. The long answer is absolutely yes. It drives great. It looks great. I mean, look at this, it is sharp and clean. The price is right. You have a choice of three engines. The interior is impeccable. There really isn't a lot to knock it for, and that is a really good sign for a review. If you're looking in this class, I highly recommend going to a Volvo dealer and checking out the S60. For more information on the S60 as well as its competition, head on over to edmunds.com. To see more videos like this, hit subscribe.

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