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2021 Volvo S60 Review

The 2021 Volvo S60 finishes in the middle of our luxury small car rankings. It has a posh interior with plenty of features, but a below-average predicted reliability rating hurts its overall score.

Pros & Cons

  • Top-notch interior quality
  • Excellent seat comfort
  • Lots of standard features
  • Powerful engines
  • Below-average predicted reliability rating
  • Small trunk
  • Less athletic than rivals

Rankings & Research

The 2021 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 20 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

7.9

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.1
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 7.0
Safety:
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 10.0 for safety is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
TBD
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Volvo S60?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Volvo S60 a Good Car?

Yes, the Volvo S60 is a good car. It gives you a choice of three energetic powertrains, one of which is a plug-in hybrid, and it offers composed handling and a good ride quality. The cabin is incredibly nice, with plenty of top-shelf materials and spacious, comfortable seats. There are lots of standard and available features as well. This sedan has a few drawbacks, though. The trunk is a bit small, and the S60 has a subpar predicted reliability rating.

Why You Can Trust Us: 20 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

This 2021 S60 review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2019.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

Should I Buy the Volvo S60?

If interior quality is a priority, then you should move this Volvo way up your list. As mentioned above, it's cabin has an attractive design and is filled with top-notch materials. The S60 also carries a lower price tag than several rivals, making it a solid value in the luxury small car class.

Find a 2021 Volvo S60 for sale near you »

2020 vs. 2021 Volvo S60: What's the Difference?

The 2021 Volvo S60 sees only minor updates. The 2021 model comes with a few additional active safety features, such as blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking sensors.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 S60 »

Here are the key changes for the Volvo S60 over the last few years:

  • 2017: Polestar trim introduced
  • 2018: no notable changes
  • 2019: fully redesigned with updated styling and shuffled trim lineup; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto introduced and made standard; T8 plug-in hybrid debuted
  • 2020: 12.3-inch digital instrument display added to standard features list
  • 2021: blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rear parking sensors now standard

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2018 S60, 2019 S60, and 2020 S60 reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Volvo S60 Cost?

The S60 has a starting MSRP of $38,395. That's in the middle of the pack for the class. The range-topping S60 Inscription starts at $44,145. That's below most rivals' top-trim prices.

Plug-in-hybrid models carry a starting price of $48,295, while the most expensive hybrid, the S60 Polestar Engineered, starts at $64,800. That's pricey for the class, but it's still not as much as you'd pay for some competitors' top trims.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Volvo dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Volvo deals page.

Volvo S60 Versus the Competition

Volvo S60 vs. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class comes in sedan, coupe, and convertible body styles. It has a beautiful interior and a larger trunk than the S60, though the Volvo has more spacious rear seats. The Mercedes has a lineup of powerful engines that includes some high-performance models, and it handles well and rides smoothly.

Compare the S60 and C-Class »

Volvo S60 vs. Audi A4

The Audi A4 sits near the top of the luxury small car class, and with good reason. Like the Volvo, the Audi has a lineup of engaging powertrain choices, but the Audi has superior handling and better fuel economy. Inside, the A4 features one of the most elegant interiors in the class. Both of these rivals have ample second-row room, but the A4 offers more cargo space. Also, the Audi’s MMI infotainment interface is easier to use than Volvo’s Sensus system.

Compare the S60 and A4 »

Compare the S60, C-Class, and A4 »

S60 Interior: Few Cabins are Finer

S60 Cargo Space

Many other cars in the luxury small car class have larger trunks than this Volvo, which gives you 11.6 cubic feet of cargo space. That's enough room for about eight grocery bags.

How Many People Does the S60 Seat?

The S60 seats five people, and there are no bad seats in this sedan. The front seats are extremely comfortable and offer plenty of support. Headroom is good all around, and the second row affords ample legroom as well.

S60 and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors for the S60’s rear outboard seats, as well as an upper tether for the rear middle seat. The tether anchors are easy to find, but the lower anchors may be difficult to maneuver around.

S60 Interior Quality

This Volvo has a handsome cabin with a sleek and minimalistic design. There are soft-touch materials throughout, and overall interior quality is on par with anything else in the class, including the heavily lauded German sedans.

S60 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The S60’s Sensus infotainment system works well. The screen is easy to see and has crisp graphics, and the interface is reasonably easy to master with a bit of practice. Unfortunately, it requires several steps to adjust some settings, and the lack of physical buttons means you have to use the touch screen for almost everything, which you may find distracting while you're driving.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 9-inch touch-screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, 10 speakers, satellite radio, and two USB ports
  • Available infotainment features: navigation, wireless device charging, a 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, and a 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system
  • Additional standard features: a panoramic sunroof, a 12.3-inch digital instrument display, dual-zone automatic climate control, and remote start
  • Other available features: quad-zone automatic climate control

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

S60 Performance: Powerful but not Overly Agile

S60 Engine

The S60 comes standard with a 250-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. There are two available engines: a 316-horsepower turbo- and supercharged four-cylinder, and a 400-horsepower plug-in-hybrid model. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard with all powertrains.

Even the base engine delivers impressive performance, with quick acceleration and plenty of power for highway driving. The turbo- and supercharged engine provides more rapid acceleration, while the plug-in hybrid unlocks performance that's hard to find outside of a sports car.

S60 Gas Mileage

With the T5 powertrain and front-wheel drive, the S60 gets 23 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. These ratings are in the middle of the pack for the luxury small car class. With the T6 powertrain, ratings check in at 21 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.

Plug-in-hybrid (T8) models get 69 MPG-equivalent with electric power and 30 mpg in combined city/highway driving using gasoline power. With this powertrain, you get up to 22 miles of all-electric range before the gasoline engine kicks in.

The battery can be recharged in four to nine hours, depending on whether you use a 240-volt power outlet or a standard 120-volt household-style outlet.

For more information, read What Is MPGe?

S60 Ride and Handling

The S60 rides smoothly, even over rough pavement, but the suspension is a bit firmer than in some competitors. Steering is accurate, and the S60's handling is poised. Still, it's not as fun to drive as some class rivals.

Read more about performance »

S60 Reliability

Is the Volvo S60 Reliable?

The 2021 Volvo S60 has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five.

Volvo S60 Warranty

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

Read more about reliability »

S60 Safety

S60 Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2021 Volvo S60 an overall safety rating of five out of five stars, with four stars in the frontal crash test and five stars in the side crash and rollover tests.

At the time of writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested the 2021 S60, but the organization gave the similar 2020 S60 the highest rating of Good in all six crash tests.

S60 Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Road departure mitigation
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Oncoming collision mitigation
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Forward collision warning
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Forward automatic emergency braking
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • Front parking sensors
  • Reverse automatic emergency braking
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Head-up display
  • Surround-view parking camera system
  • Pilot Assist
  • Parallel and perpendicular park assist

Read more about safety »

S60 Dimensions and Weight

The Volvo S60 is 15.6 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,657 to 3,907 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Volvo S60 Built?

Volvo builds the 2021 S60 in South Carolina.

Which Volvo S60 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2021 Volvo S60 comes in four trims: Momentum, R-Design, Inscription, and Polestar Engineered. You can also choose between three powertrains: T5, T6, and T8. Models with the T5 have front-wheel drive, while T6 and T8 models have all-wheel drive.

The standard T5 is a 250-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The T6 is a 316-horsepower turbo- and supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The T8 is a plug-in hybrid that features a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine and an electric motor that combine to put out 400 horsepower.

For most buyers, the right play is to stick with the Momentum trim and add 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 S60 T5 Momentum sports a base price of $38,395. Standard features include a panoramic sunroof, synthetic leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start, and the Sensus infotainment system with a 9-inch touch-screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, 10 speakers, satellite radio, and two USB ports.

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, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera.

The Climate package ($750) adds heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. The Premium package ($1,700) adds front parking sensors and navigation. The Advanced package ($2,100) adds the Pilot Assist semiautonomous driving system, adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, a surround-view parking camera system, and wireless device charging. You can also add a Harman Kardon audio system for $800.

T6 models start a $42,895. This model is not offered with the T8 powertrain.

Volvo S60 R-Design

The S60 R-Design T5 carries a starting price of $44,145. In addition to the base trim's features, the R-Design comes with Nappa leather upholstery, front sport seats, quad-zone automatic climate control, front parking sensors, reverse automatic emergency braking, navigation, and a 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.

The Climate package ($750) adds heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. The Advanced package ($1,900) adds the Pilot Assist semiautonomous driving system, adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, a surround-view parking camera system, and wireless device charging. You can also add a Bowers & Wilkins audio system for $3,200, a sport chassis for $200, and parallel and perpendicular park assist for $200.

T6 models start at $48,645. T8 models, also known as the S60 Recharge, start at $48,295. That's for the R-Design Expression, which is outfitted like the Momentum trim, while the standard T8 R-Design starts at $54,045.

Volvo S60 Inscription

The S60 Inscription starts at $44,145 for the T5. This trim is the same as the R-Design from a features standpoint, but it has unique styling elements and some upgraded interior materials, such as wood trim.

T6 models start at $48,645. Recharge (T8) models start at $54,045.

Volvo S60 Polestar Engineered

The S60 Polestar Engineered starts at $64,800 and only comes with the T8 powertrain and produces an extra 15 horsepower, for a total output of 415 horses. Otherwise, the Polestar is similar to the Inscription.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Volvo dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Volvo deals page.

See 2021 Volvo S60 specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2021 Volvo S60 is a real contender in the luxury small car class. Inside, it's as nice as any BMW, Mercedes, or Audi, with premium materials and excellent seat comfort. The S60 isn't the most athletic car in the class, but its engines are powerful, and its handling is poised. It also comes with plenty of features, including the litany of safety tech you expect in a Volvo.

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

  • "The 2021 Volvo S60 is the Swedish automaker's answer to compact luxury sedans like the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Acura TLX. And it's a pretty darn good answer. First, this Volvo costs several thousand less than similar European rivals, yet features their taut-yet-enjoyable manners. And as you would expect from a Volvo, the S60 is loaded with safety features." -- Autotrader
  • "The 2021 Volvo S60 is the Swedish brand's compact luxury sedan. It competes with rivals like the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4, and Acura TLX. The Volvo S60 stands out with its long list of safety features, comfortable road manners, and an appealing price tag that starts thousands below its European rivals. … Volvo has long gone its own way, and where its competitors tout speed and dynamics, Volvo emphasizes safety and efficiency – though we also find the S60 a very competent handler." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2020)
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2021 Volvo S60

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