As import brands have demonstrated with U.S.-produced vehicles like the Honda Accord, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Hyundai Sonata, it isn’t so much about where a car is built as it is the design, engineering and functionality of the vehicle. So, while the 2016 Volvo S60 T5 Inscription has the distinction as the first volume-produced car from a major manufacturer to come from China, it really matters little since the execution of the vehicle is pure Scandinavian in its look and feel.

The biggest difference between the Inscription models and the standard fare from Sweden is in length and passenger accommodations. Chinese consumers favor long-wheelbase models and to meet those demands, Volvo (which is now owned by Chinese automaker Geely Automobile), the Inscription has a 3.1-inch longer stretch between the axles. With a wheelbase of 112.3 inches, much of that added length greatly enhances the rear row in the S60, which in standard trim, is a fairly tight package.

Familiar face

Despite the country of origin and the longer stance, the 2016 Volvo S60 has the same clean styling inside and out as the standard model. It’s a handsome, modern sedan firmly rooted in European design philosophy. Inside, light colored wood, soft leather seating and the flying buttress center console with ample storage beneath remain perfectly in tune with the car’s Swedish roots.

Beneath the hood, a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine delivers 240 horsepower and 258 lb ft of torque to the front wheels, which makes the T5 a capable performer. Again, the road manners, taut suspension and communicative steering reinforce the car’s European sport sedan roots.

For the extra rear seat room, S60 T5 Inscription buyers can expect to pay about $4,800 more than the standard model which starts at $34,150 plus $940 destination. Our test car stickered at $45,925 delivered and included a $3,000 Platinum trim package that includes a premium Harman Kardon sound system, xenon headlamps, adaptive cruise, collision warning as well as pedestrian/cyclist detection with auto brake, among other driver assists. The Climate Package, which cost $1,300, features heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel and an interior air quality system. Rounding out the options is a $560 metallic paint finish and park assist pilot with blind spot warnings for $1,425. The longer and loaded 2016 Volvo S60 T5 Inscription is a fine addition to the company’s lineup and will help lift the brand from its premium position to true luxury status.

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