Although Volvo is often referred to as the automaker producing the safest vehicles in the industry, the Swedish manufacturer is also known for the massive amount of luxury and technology it puts into its cars and SUVs. Sure, Volvo still lags behind German companies like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi in terms of sales, but the Chinese-owned brand’s lineup is as lush as it gets, with the brand-new 2016 XC90 paving a new path in terms of exuberance. While it may take a couple of years for the entire Volvo lineup to align to the trend set by the SUV, the Swedes are trying to keep up with the Germans by bringing more Inscription models into dealerships. At the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, Volvo unveiled the S60 Inscription, basically the range-topping version of its compact sedan.

Introduced in early 2014, the Inscription trim is essentially a package that adds several unique features inside and out, including soft leather upholstery, bespoke paints, new wheels, and custom interior amenities with embroidered logos. The S60 is the latest to receive the Inscription trim, which will arguably enable the sedan to fare better against similar competitors from Germany and the United States as well.

Updated 05/21/2015: Volvo announced prices for its entire 2016 model year lineup, including its new addition: the S60 Inscription. The model will be offered in two versions, with prices starting from $38,700.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Volvo S60 Inscription.

  • 2016 Volvo S60 Inscription
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  • 0-60 time:
    6 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    130 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
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2016 Volvo S60 Inscription High Resolution Exterior
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Facelifted for the 2014 model year, the second-generation S60 is already a familiar face in the compact segment. The new hood and front fenders gave it a fresh look, while the widened grille and the revised headlamps added a touch of sportiness to its otherwise bland-looking front fascia. Volvo refined the sedan’s rear end as well by mounting LED taillights and integrating the exhaust pipes into the apron.

Those of you who find the facelift appealing will certainly enjoy the Inscription model on the outside. That’s because the package leaves the exterior unaltered, not counting the unique 19-inch wheels and the slightly longer wheelbase. On the other hand, if you were expecting a bespoke exterior, the S60 Inscription might not be your thing.


The interior is where the S60 Inscription really shines. Available in two versions, Premier and Platinum, the sedan comes with Volvo’s finest materials, including high-grade leather upholstery, Linear Walnut trim, silk metal detailing, a standard sunroof, and the Sensus Navigation package.

While the aforementioned features are available for both trims, the Platinum model gets even more equipment, including the full Sensus Technology package, with Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Warning, Pedestrian/Cyclist Detect, Distance Alert, Driver Alert Control and much more. A premium Harman Kardon audio system is also included, while the Convenience Package adds Keyless Drive, Park Assist Camera, Digital Compass, a grocery-bag holder, and power-retractable mirrors. The Platinum also receives dual Xenon lights for a better driving experience after sundown.

Both trims benefit from 3.4 inches of additional rear-seat legroom, which, according to Volvo, results in best-in-class rear accommodation.


2016 Volvo S60 Inscription High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The S60 Inscription is only available with the T5 trim, meaning power is provided by Volvo’s tried-and-true, 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine. The mill cranks out 250 turbocharged ponies and 266 pound-feet of torque, and mates to a six-speed Geartronic automatic transmission with Sport Mode. Both front- and all-wheel-drive configurations are available.

With only the front wheels handling the traction, the S60 Inscription needs 6.2 seconds to reach 60 mph from a standing start. Things become slower with all-wheel drive at 6.6 seconds. Top speed is listed at 130 mph for both layouts. Needless to say, the S60 is rather slow when compared with the BMW 328i (240 ponies / 0 to 60 in 5.7 seconds) and the Mercedes-Benz C300 4MATIC (235 horses / 0 to 60 in around 6.2 seconds).

In the fuel-economy department, the Volvo returns 21 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined with front-wheel-drive, and 20 mpg city, 29 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined with all-wheel-drive. Unfortunately for Volvo, both the Bimmer and the Merc fare significantly better, returning up to 33 mpg highway and 31 mpg highway, respectively, with AWD.


2016 Volvo S60 Inscription High Resolution Exterior
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Model Price
Volvo S60 T5 FWD Drive-E Inscription $38,700
Volvo S60 T5 AWD Inscription $40,200


BMW 3 Series

2016 BMW 3 Series Exterior Spyshots
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The 3 Series, by far the most popular luxury compact as of 2015, was redesigned for the 2012 model year and there’s a facelift scheduled for 2016. The sedan is available in four different guises in the United States, but the 328i is the best suited for a comparison with the S60 T5. Offered with both rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations, the 328i sports a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that churns 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque.

Mated to either a six-speed manual or a an eight-speed automatic, the German compact needs only 5.4 seconds to sprint from 0 to 60 mph, while top speed comes in at 155 mph. Both figures are far superior than the S60’s, while fuel economy is estimated at up to 35 mpg on the highway for the RWD model. Naturally, standard equipment includes a host of luxury and convenience features, with more goodies available on the options list. Prices begin from $37,500 for the RWD model and $39,500 with xDrive.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class High Resolution Exterior
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Brand new for 2015, the C-Class took the compact segment by surprise with its impressive interior, which makes the 3 Series and the Audi A4 look rather dated. Highlights include revised materials, an optional 8.4-inch touchcreen and an overall sporty, yet still elegant layout. Two models are currently available in the U.S., with the base C300 4MATIC matching the S60 in terms of performance.

Motivated by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, the C300 comes with 241 ponies and 273 pound-feet on tap. The four-banger mates to a seven-speed automatic and a 4MATIC, all-wheel-drive system and pushes the sedan from 0 to 60 mph in around 6.2 seconds, nearly a half-second quicker than the equivalent S60 T5 with AWD. The C300 4MATIC may not be the quickest of the bunch, but it’s definitely the most expensive, starting from $40,400.


2016 Volvo S60 Inscription High Resolution Exterior
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The fact that the second-generation S60 is nearing the end of its life cycle makes the addition of the Inscription trim that much more important to the nameplate. It’s the most Volvo can do until a third-gen model with a new design language, more efficient engines, and added luxury arrives sometime in 2016. The amount of convenience and safety features is massive with the Inscription package, enabling the S60 to give both the 3 Series and the C-Class a run for their money. On the other hand, the Swedish sedan lags behind in terms of performance, while also being inferior to the Mercedes as far as luxury amenities goes. It all depends on what you need really. While the C-Class will satisfy one’s need for the latest and most luxurious compact on the market as of 2015, the S60 is the best option for those looking for a safe, well-equipped, and rock-solid sedan.

  • Leave it
    • No exterior goodies except for a set of wheels
    • Slower than most of its competitors
    • Package not available with the T6 engine
    • The C-Class is tough to beat
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert -
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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Press Release

Volvo Cars is stepping up to the plate yet again when it comes to delivering a luxury car experience with the launch of the S60 Inscription. Tailored to meet the discerning requirements of U.S. consumers, the S60 Inscription takes the S60 to a new level of comfort and rear passenger convenience, offering consumers 3.4 inches additional rear seat legroom, resulting in best-in-class rear accommodation.

2016 Volvo S60 Inscription High Resolution Exterior
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“As a part of our revitalisation of the Volvo Brand in the United States we have undertaken extensive research reaffirming what our customers want and have come to expect from Volvo Cars. It goes without saying that the traditional strength of Volvo Cars product offering are still highly sought after – specifically leading-edge safety, low-impact, high-performance powertrains and standard connectivity across all models. What we have added to the S60 Inscription is a luxurious edge using the most natural materials, attention to detail and our iconic Scandinavian design language,” said Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy & Vehicle Line Management at Volvo Car Group.

The choice of materials used in the S60 Inscription succinctly reflects the authentic Scandinavian origins of the Volvo Brand. Linear Walnut trim, silk metal detailing, spacious rear seating and a unique 19” wheels, combine to create a relaxing environment that exudes comfort. Additional enhancements include interior accent lighting and Inscription branded tread plates.

2016 Volvo S60 Inscription High Resolution Exterior
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The 2016 model year S60 Inscription will come in two variants: Premier and Platinum. Premier will comprise leather upholstery, a sun/moon roof and the Sensus Navigation package. The S60 Inscription will be available with the T5 in both front-wheel drive and All-Wheel Drive.

Platinum customers receive the above, plus the full Sensus technology package, a high-end Harman Kardon audio system, dual Xenon lights and a thoughtful convenience package, which puts the joy back into every day driving.

“With the addition of a great sound system by Harman Kardon and full connectivity, Volvo is delivering a truly competitive offer in the mid-sized sedan segment,” added Lex Kerssemakers.

2016 Volvo S60 Inscription High Resolution Exterior
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The S60 Inscription will go on sale in the U.S. this summer.

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