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$36,050 - 64,800 MSRP

2020 Volvo S60 Review

The 2020 Volvo S60 has an upscale, spacious interior and a trio of engaging powertrain choices, but a frustrating infotainment system and a small trunk keep this car in the middle of our luxury small car rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Strong powertrain options
  • Upscale cabin
  • Smooth ride
  • Spacious seating
  • Confusing infotainment controls
  • Less athletic than rivals
  • Below-average predicted reliability rating
  • Small trunk for its class

Rankings & Research

The 2020 Volvo S60's #7 ranking is based on its score within the Luxury Small Cars category. Currently the Volvo S60 has a score of 7.9 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 22 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 7.7
Interior: 7.2
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Volvo S60 a Good Car?

Yes, the Volvo S60 is a good luxury small car, but it comes up short against some heavy competition in this class. The S60 has an elegant cabin, it comes with a long list of standard infotainment and active safety features, and there’s plenty of seating space. It has three capable powertrain options, including a muscular twincharged engine and a plug-in-hybrid variant.

While this Volvo delivers a pampering ride, it’s not as agile as many rivals. Downsides include an overly complicated infotainment system, unimpressive trunk space, and a below-average predicted reliability rating.

Should I Buy the Volvo S60?

The S60 has some appealing assets, but it doesn’t do enough to stand out in this competitive segment. You’re probably better off with one of its competitors. The BMW 3 Series costs more, but it boasts what many consider the best handling and overall driving dynamics in the class. A car like the Audi A4 – also a little more expensive – melds great performance with a high-class interior and user-friendly technology.

Compare the S60, 3 Series, and A4 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Volvo S60?

Volvo fully redesigned the S60 sedan for the 2019 model year, and it carries over with few major changes for 2020. A 12.3-inch digital instrument display is now standard across the lineup. The optional pairing of blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert now includes steering assist and reverse automatic emergency braking. Finally, the plug-in-hybrid model gets more battery capacity.

If those features aren’t important to you, consider an otherwise similar 2019 S60 instead. It will likely save you thousands of dollars compared to the cost of a new S60. A 2018 S60 will cost you even less, but because it's part of the prior generation, it's vastly different from a 2019 or 2020 model. Average list prices for a second-generation 2018 S60 are between $24,000 and $30,000.

Be sure to read our 2018 S60 and 2019 S60 reviews to help make your decision. You can also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 S60 »

We Did the Research for You: 22 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 22 Volvo S60 reviews – along with reliability ratings, fuel economy estimates, and more – to help you decide if the 2020 S60 is the right new car for you. This 2020 Volvo S60 review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which includes the 2019 and 2020 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain objective, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team manages the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Volvo S60 Cost?

The 2020 Volvo S60 starts at $36,050, which is about average for a luxury small car. Higher trim levels with the standard engine retail for a little under $43,000. S60 models with the midrange engine run between $40,550 and $47,400, while the S60 plug-in-hybrid model starts at $55,400. An S60 with most options added can cost more than $58,300.

Primary rivals like the Audi A4 (starting at $39,200) and the redesigned BMW 3 Series (starting at $40,250) are more expensive than the S60. The price of an Audi can go up to around $63,200, while the BMW can cost more than $67,500.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great deals at your local Volvo dealer.

Volvo S60 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Volvo S60 or Audi A4?

The Audi A4 sits near the top of the luxury small car class, and it’s a much better choice than the S60. Like the Volvo, the Audi has a lineup of engaging powertrain choices, but the Audi has livelier handling, and few rivals can match it for fuel economy. Inside, the A4 earns the nod thanks to its elegant design, highlighted by standard leather upholstery and heated front seats. Both of these rivals have ample second-row room, but the A4 offers more cargo space. The Audi’s MMI infotainment interface is easier to use than Volvo’s convoluted Sensus system. Add in the A4’s solid safety and predicted reliability ratings, and you have a winner.

Which Is Better: Volvo S60 or BMW 3 Series?

The BMW 3 Series is one of the most fun-to-drive cars in the class, with razor-sharp handling and potent powertrain options. The 3 Series’ trunk has about 5 more cubic feet of storage space than the S60. Both cars have roomy back seats, but some critics say that the BMW’s interior quality isn’t up to snuff for this competitive class. The 3 Series’ iDrive infotainment system is easier to operate than Volvo’s Sensus system. However, BMW’s latest version of iDrive has novelty commands like gesture control and personal assistant voice recognition that can be more trouble than they’re worth. The 3 Series has a high average starting price, but if you prioritize performance and it fits in your budget, go with the BMW.

Compare the S60, A4, and 3 Series »

S60 Interior

How Many People Does the S60 Seat?

The Volvo S60 sedan can seat five people. The comfortable front seats have ample side bolstering and offer lots of power adjustments to help you find a relaxing position.

It’s classified as a luxury small car, but the S60 is roomy. There’s plenty of headroom, even under the standard moonroof, and the second row has plenty of legroom for taller adults to stretch out.

Synthetic leather upholstery is standard. You can opt for goodies like full Nappa leather upholstery and heated front and rear seats. Ventilated, massaging front seats are also optional.

S60 and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the S60’s rear outboard seats, as well as an upper tether on the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use. The lower anchors are behind plastic flaps, which make them easy to find. However, it can be difficult to maneuver your hands around the anchors to attach the car-seat straps.

S60 Interior Quality

Clean lines, quality materials, and a lack of clutter all help make this one of the most attractive cabins in the segment.

S60 Cargo Space

The S60’s trunk has 11.6 cubic feet of space. That’s a little below average for the class, but it's enough to handle lots of grocery or shopping bags. The trunk is wide but a little shallow. Standard split-folding rear seats allow you to haul longer items, and a hands-free power trunk lid is optional.

By comparison, the Audi A4 has 13 cubic feet of space. The BMW 3 Series sedan has one of the largest cargo holds in the class at 17 cubic feet.

S60 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system features a vertical 9-inch touch screen that dominates the center stack and dashboard and acts as command center for most of the car’s functions. However, it’ll likely take some time getting used to this interface. There are few physical knobs, and simple actions like entering navigation can require multiple steps.

Standard features include remote start, a moonroof, a 12.3-inch digital instrument display, dual-zone automatic climate control, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, satellite radio, and two USB ports. Optional features include navigation, a 14-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system, and a Bowers & Wilkins premium stereo.

Read more about interior »

S60 Performance

S60 Engine: Keeps Improving

The Volvo S60 is available with one of three powertrains. The T5 base engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that delivers 250 horsepower. That’s a good amount for a sports sedan, and it should be enough for most shoppers.

The T6 adds a supercharger to the base engine to achieve 316 horsepower. This twincharged engine has muscular low-end power thanks to the supercharger, which also covers any turbo lag.

The S60 comes in a T8 plug-in-hybrid variant that adds an electric motor for a combined 400 horses.

All models are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It mostly snaps off timely and predictable shifts, though some critics say downshifts could be more precise.

S60 Gas Mileage: Admirable

According to the EPA, the S60 with its standard engine returns 23 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Those numbers are pretty good for a luxury small car, but rivals like the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 are more efficient. Those German competitors are among the class leaders for fuel economy. The S60’s twincharged T6 engine gets an estimated 21 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.

At the time of writing, we do not have official EPA estimates for the T8 plug-in hybrid. However, the nearly identical 2019 S60 plug-in hybrid earned a combined 74 MPGe and has an all-electric driving range of 22 miles.

S60 Ride and Handling: Cool As a Cucumber

The S60 prioritizes a relaxed, calm ride over outright driving engagement. It can soak up large bumps in the road with ease, though models with a sport suspension feel a little stiffer. With the T5’s standard front-wheel drive, the S60 isn’t as athletic as sport-oriented rear-wheel-drive rivals. All-wheel drive is optional. In most situations, the steering feels light and disconnected from the pavement.

Read more about performance »

S60 Reliability

Is the Volvo S60 Reliable?

The 2020 Volvo S60 has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Volvo S60 Warranty

Volvo covers the S60 with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty.

Read more about reliability »

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Volvo S60?

The cost of insuring a Volvo S60 will depend on a variety of factors, including your deductible, the level of coverage that you want, and the type of insurance that you choose. Your age, gender, location, credit score, and driving record can also have an impact on your insurance rates. Check out our car insurance guide to find the best policy for you.

S60 Safety

S60 Crash Test Results

At the time of writing, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2020 Volvo S60.

The nearly identical 2019 S60 earned the highest score of Good in all six IIHS crash tests, as well as the top rating of Superior for the effectiveness of its front crash prevention features. However, the car received the second-lowest score of Marginal for how well its headlights illuminate the road ahead.

S60 Safety Features

The S60 comes loaded with standard active safety technologies. Among them are forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, forward automatic emergency braking, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, oncoming collision mitigation, traffic sign recognition, automatic high-beam headlights, and a rearview camera.

You can opt for blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, reverse automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, a surround-view parking camera, adaptive headlights and fog lights, and front and rear parking sensors.

Like most other Volvo models, the S60 can be equipped with Pilot Assist. This driver assistance system controls your speed relative to other vehicles around you, and it provides steering input to keep you centered in your lane. This is not a semi- or fully autonomous driving mode. The driver is always responsible for safe operation of the vehicle.

Read more about safety »

S60 Dimensions and Weight

The Volvo S60 is 15.7 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,657 to 3,907 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 Volvo S60 Built?

Volvo builds the 2020 S60 in South Carolina.

Which Volvo S60 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2020 Volvo S60 is available in three trims: Momentum, R-Design, and Inscription. You'll also have to choose from three powertrains: T5, T6, and T8. The standard T5 is a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with front-wheel drive, while the T6 is a turbo- and supercharged engine with all-wheel drive. The T8 is an all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid.

We recommend sticking with the Momentum model and adding features via several packages. The S60 comes standard with a long list of advanced safety features and most of the available infotainment amenities.

R-Design and Inscription models have the same starting price no matter the powertrain. They're similar in features, but they differ in appearance and interior and exterior design accents.

Volvo S60 Momentum

The 2020 Volvo S60 T5 Momentum starts at $36,050. Standard features include synthetic leather upholstery, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, remote start, a moonroof, a 12.3-inch digital instrument display, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a 9-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, satellite radio, and two USB ports.

The S60's standard safety features include road departure mitigation, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, oncoming collision mitigation, traffic sign recognition, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, forward automatic emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlights, and a rearview camera.

Heated front seats and a heated steering wheel are optional for $750. The Premium package costs $2,050 and includes auto-dimming and retractable side mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, a power trunk lid, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and reverse automatic emergency braking.

The Multimedia package costs $1,850 and adds navigation and a 14-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system. The Advanced package, which requires both of the previous bundles, retails for $2,500 and comes with adaptive headlights and fog lights, adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, a surround-view parking camera, and Pilot Assist.

The T6 Momentum starts at $40,550 and comes standard with heated front seats. It offers the same options and packages as the T5 Momentum. You can add heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel for $750.

Volvo S60 R-Design

Starting at $42,900, the S60 R-Design T5 comes with Nappa leather upholstery, front sport seats, a leather-wrapped dashboard, and other unique interior and exterior design elements. It also includes the contents of the Premium and Multimedia packages.

The R-Design T6 starts at $47,400. The R-Design T8 plug-in hybrid retails for $55,400 and comes with the Advanced package. A Bowers & Wilkins premium stereo is optional for $3,200.

Volvo S60 Inscription

Volvo S60 Inscription models start at $42,900 for the T5, $47,400 for the T6, and $55,400 for the T8. In addition to trim-unique design pieces like a crystal shift knob, the Inscription is available with the $2,200 Luxury package. Features in this bundle include Nappa leather upholstery and ventilated, massaging front seats.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Volvo dealer.

See 2020 Volvo S60 specs and trims »

The Final Call

The Volvo S60 is a good luxury small car, but it can’t match the overall appeal of a top-ranked rival like the Audi A4. It’s also not as engaging as a class behemoth like the BMW 3 Series.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The Volvo S60 is a strikingly well-rounded luxury sedan that offers equal parts performance, comfort and beautiful Scandinavian design. It isn't the quickest or most luxurious in its class, but it ticks all the right boxes." -- Edmunds
  • "Whichever S60 … model you're eyeing, the Volvos look distinctive inside and out. Combine that with the new, longer car's decent interior space, and suddenly you've got a strong contender." -- Motor Trend (2019)
  • "The S60 is arguably the best midsize sedan Volvo’s ever offered. It has to be. In terms of driving character and equipment, the Audi A4 is the S60’s closest competitor, with the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class worth cross-shopping as well. The S60 has some advantages in offering more standard comfort, convenience, and safety equipment for less money." -- New York Daily News (2019)
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2020 Volvo S60

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