Volvo has removed the virtual cover from its 2014 S60 sedan and XC60 SUV, revealing numerous interior and exterior updates.
Volvo refers to this midlife freshening as the most extensive in its company history, although it is well within the updates we have seen from other automakers.
Both vehicles receive a facelift for the upcoming model year. The S60 now hides its windshield washer nozzles, and the chrome grille surround has likewise vanished. New headlamps, wider grille, LED tail lights, wheels, and integrated exhaust tips give the sedan an updated appearance. The XC60 wears a new hood and headlamps, and black trim has been removed for a more monochrome exterior appearance. (See our last S60 and XC60 road tests.)
Inside, both vehicles benefit from new upholstery colors, wood inlays, headliner, and metal accents. More notable, Volvo has upgraded its entertainment offerings with Sensus Connected Touch, an infotainment system that features a glove-friendly touch screen, smart-phone connectivity, and voice-command control. This system enables Internet searching and audio streaming, Google Maps navigation, and a variety of integrated applications.
Volvo promises that fuel economy has improved. Good news, as fuel efficiency has not been a brand hallmark. In addition, available paddle shifters promise to make the automatic transmission more engaging to command.
On the safety front, Volvo is offering permanent high beams that automatically dim when a car approaches and an enhancement to its active headlamps to better illuminate around corners.
Northern drivers will appreciate that a heated windshield will be offered on models fitted with a rain sensor to help clear ice on winter mornings.
In total, the changes sound rather minor, but refinements and more equipment is always welcomed, so long as pricing is kept in check. When we tested the S60, we quite liked the basic hardware, citing lively acceleration and agile handling. We're glad Volvo hasn't messed with the sedan's dynamics, but a bit more suspension refinement on the XC60 would have been welcomed.