2015 Volvo S60: Sensus Interface Satisfies
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on November 11, 2015
I've been driving our 2015 Volvo S60 quite a bit recently, which has given me plenty of time to play around with its "Sensus" tech interface. We've written a few prior updates about some of its features, but here's a more general opinion about how well it works for controlling the car's entertainment and operation features.
Operation: Much of S60's interface runs through this dial-and-button interface. The "tune" knob allows you to cycle through on-screen lists or options, while the "menu" and "exit" buttons are used to dive deeper or move back up through menu structures.
Surrounding the keypad are the main menu buttons: Nav, Radio, Media, Tel, My Car and the globe icon for apps and the web browser. Pushing one of these brings up the associated system.
I prefer button-and-dial interfaces over touchscreens because they allow me to keep my eyes on the road more easily, and that's an advantage here.
The main knob controller knob is easy to reach, and I can keep my hand on it by resting my wrist on the gear shift lever.
S60's hooded display screen doesn't wash out in sunlight.
Plenty of customization choices for controlling or activating/deactivating the car's various features.
Preset buttons. The S60's keypad looked a bit dated, but it's nice to have some physical radio preset buttons.
In general, it takes a bit longer to access what you want compared to some rival systems. If you want to tune a satellite radio station using the knob, for instance, you have to turn the knob one "click" first to bring up the station list, then again to find the station you want. Or, as another example, the voice control system. Though it recognizes my voice well, it typically requires an extra confirmation step or two to get what I want.
There's no writing touchpad, so if you want to input a name, you'll be doing it via the old-fashioned alphabet wheel.
The 7-inch display screen is competitive in terms of size and graphics, but the rearview camera display lacks the crisp detail I'd expect for a luxury vehicle.
Overall, though, I've found our S60's interface to be likable, especially since I've been able to spend some quality time with it.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor