Time has been kind to the S60’s cabin, as was always likely. Volvo continues to resist the influence of many short-lived trends in premium car interior design, preferring instead to focus on systems and features intended to make your motoring experience better, rather than distracting you from the business of driving.
You’ll find no MMI-style rotary controller here, no fingertip touchpad, no head-up display and no widescreen multimedia interface. It has few of the more garish styling touches that have infiltrated the cockpits of various BMWs, Audis and Mercedes-Benz of late.
The S60 is instead characterised by simple, effective design flourishes, such as the sweep of satin chrome trim that neatly makes a highlight of the interior door handles. Substantial and tactile but tastefully underplayed materials also feature, as does a pragmatic emphasis on comfort and ease of use.
An Audi devotee might label the button-filled alphanumeric control console a wasted opportunity to declutter, but a Volvo buyer would value the straightforward simplicity of operation that it brings. And so do we.
We’re less convinced by the S60’s second-row headroom, which remains a bit tight, and by some features – such as the displaced central air vent and the storage cubby hidden behind the centre stack – that you’d describe as either quirky or strange, depending on how charitable you were feeling. For the most part, though, this is a very pleasant, smart and practical space.