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2016 Volvo S60 Inscription and 2016 Volvo XC90 R-Design: Detroit Auto Show

What Are They?

The 2016 Volvo S60 Inscription is a new variant of the company’s premium compact sedan, and it’s- made especially for buyers in the United States. “As a part of our revitalization of Volvo in the United States, we have undertaken extensive research,” said Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo’s senior vice president of product strategy and vehicle line management.

The upshot of that research is extra legroom for rear passengers. The S60 Inscription has 3.4 more inches than the regular S60 does. Because Americans in general tend to like the finer things in life, the Inscription adds walnut trim, silk-finish metal trim, interior accent lighting, Inscription-branded tread plates and special-design 19-in alloy wheels.

The available trims are Premier (one step up from base, with leather and navigation) and Platinum (as plush as it gets), and both have the 250-horsepower T5 engine driving the front wheels, with all-wheel drive as an option.

The Inscription is going to be made in China, and it’s actually already on sale there as the S60L. Remember, Volvo was sold by Ford to Geely, a Chinese company. However, this should not be a cause for concern. Volvo says its Chinese facility “has been built in accordance with globally monitored quality standards such as the Volvo Cars Manufacturing System, which ensures Volvo Cars’ global quality engineering, quality audit and quality assurance standards.”

The new generation of the company’s 7-seater SUV comes to Detroit with its sportiest look. The 2016 Volvo XC90 R-Design has a package of cosmetic additions such as a reworked front end with air intakes, bespoke 20- or 22-in alloy wheels, exhaust tips, leather-covered sports seats, redesigned dials and a few other bits and bobs.

When Can You Get Them?

Summer 2015

How Much?

This is to be determined, but a regular 2015 S60 T5 Platinum with all-wheel drive starts at $41,500, so expect something a little higher for the S60 Inscription equivalent. The XC90 starts at $48,900, so the R-Design will be more expensive.

Add Them to Your Shopping List Because…

As the current trend of downsizing continues, with buyers still expecting some level of luxury, the S60 Inscription makes life more bearable for adult-sized rear passengers. The XC90 R-Design will at least look the part.

Other Cars to Consider

2015 Audi A4 — The A4 has one of the best interiors. The space in the rear is decent, but nothing else has the 2016 Volvo S60 Inscription’s option of extra legroom.

2015 BMW 3 Series — Again, rear space is good. The 3 Series is the benchmark of the segment, and the driving experience is really what will pull you in.

2015 Infiniti Q50 — The Q50 wants to be a 3 Series when it grows up. It’s a little noisy, but it offers good equipment levels for what it costs.

2015 Lexus ES 350 — This Lexus offers spacious rear quarters, a smooth ride, a huge trunk and excellent build quality.

2015 Volkswagen CC — The CC is roomy and quite stylish.

Used Volvo S80 — One size up from the S60, the S80 offers plenty of space and has a great reputation for safety and comfort.

Used BMW 5 Series — The BMW is the same size as the S80 and is simply one of the finest lineup of cars ever.

2015 Acura MDX — The MDX comes with an upscale ambiance.

2015 Audi Q7 — A new generation of the Q7 debuts this year.

2015 Mazda CX-9 — It may not be quite as posh as the Volvo, but the CX-9 is still an excellent vehicle.

Used Land Rover LR4 — The Land Rover LR4 sports real off-road abilities and a tougher image than most rivals.

Colin Ryan
Colin Ryan specializes in writing about new cars. But he has also covered trucks, vans, 3-wheelers, even the occasional motorbike. That’s the kind of thing that happens while contributing to the Los Angeles Times, Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, Popular Mechanics, Variety, Mazda and Lexus customer magazines, as well as many enthusiast sites and publications. He was also a staff writer at BBC Top... Read More

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