Road Test and Review: 2016 Volvo S60 T5 Inscription
Of all the places I had imagined I’d drive a Volvo – Alaska, Gothenburg, even New England in the snow – I never thought of the car as a desert warrior. But there I was in Palm Springs, California, in a Seashell Metallic S60 T5 Inscription and the temperature had cooled down for the evening to a comfortable 102° F (39° C).
With images of melting Vikings on my mind, I adjusted the driver’s seat and made my way from the Palm Springs Airport to the hotel. Over the next three days, the Volvo and I explored the surrounding area and neither of us melted.
What’s important about the S60 Inscription model is that the “Inscription” designation signifies that this is the long-wheelbase variant. Its 3.1” longer wheelbase adds 3” of additional legroom exclusively for back-seat passengers. What’s different about this Volvo from any other sold in the United States – indeed from any other car sold in the United States – is that it’s built in China. To be more specific, it’s manufactured in the city of Chengdu, home of Volvo’s corporate parent, Geely, as well as the Chengdu Panda Base, a non-profit founded in 1987 that has worked tirelessly to protect the world’s panda population and has done much to increase its numbers.
The long-wheelbase model, called the S60L locally, was designed for the Chinese market, where many owners prefer to sit in the back and let a driver navigate the nightmare that is Chinese traffic.
Our Chinese Volvo came equipped with the Platinum package, which provides an excellent Harman/Kardon sound system, bi-xenon headlights that follow the steering wheel and have their own washers, and keyless entry and start. It also includes a plethora of driver assistance technologies.
DRIVING THE 2016 VOLVO S60 T5 INSCRIPTION
Unfortunately, I left my driver back in New York so I was both driver and sole occupant of the Sino-Swede for the duration of my stay.