However, good and all as those websites are, not a single one of them will provide a close-up design analysis as you will find if you simply click on the highlighted text.
What you get when you digest all the annotated photos here is that Volvo’s designers have re-stated saloon car ideals. The glasshouse is distinct from the lower body. There is a clear boot and bonnet volume. Sneaky cheeky, they have also made the car look a bit rear wheel drive. Why not? Audi does it. The near vertical snout thrills. We have waited decades for this.
Volvo have decided to go with plain bodysides too. Maybe when this car is dented to bits in Midwestern shopping mall car-parks they might regret that. Still, the Alfa 156 had no rub-strips either and I haven’t noticed them being lunar landscapes of small depressions. The only bit of decor then seems to be the rising waist-line and the rather silly wrinkles around the wheel arches. Neither are deal breakers though.
The S60 is a restrained yet striking bit of design work. It is both true to Volvo values and not beholden to them. In this car and the superlative S90, Volvo have the two best-looking saloons on the market. Brands offering blurry and indistinct styling ought to be worried.
Since this is the saloon, we ought to take a look at the back.
I am unsure about the curve linking the top edge of the rear light clusters (see below). Like the S90 it is almost a bit untidy. It isn’t untidy. The diagonal of the tab where the badge sits is the noisy element. In a design this calm, that is not needed. In the image below I have altered the window line to make it more conventional. It’s all I know how to do. This is not the only conventional alternative – mine makes it look like a B6/B7 Passat. Others make it look like a BMW.
Back to the front again:
This front end works because it does one single thing and does it clearly. The figure-ground relation is easy to work out. Some small angles give the design a little bit of motion (working much better than the rear). I really didn’t need to highlight the main elements of the bumper at all but I did:
With a very small change to the window line this would be perfect. Yet I quibble. Overall, Volvo have produced a really pleasant and satisfying saloon design, as good perhaps as the 2000-2009 car and vastly better than the outgoing car which will be remembered as the forgotten Volvo only.