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2016 Volvo S60 Review

The 2016 Volvo S60 offers peppy engines, good fuel economy, refined handling, and superb safety ratings. However, its fussy infotainment controls, tight-back seat space, and small trunk keep it in the bottom half of the competitive luxury small car class.

Pros & Cons

  • Fuel-efficient Drive-E engines
  • Comfortable front seats
  • Pleasant ride and handling
  • Fussy infotainment controller
  • Small trunk

New for 2016

  • Long-wheelbase Inscription model introduced
  • New Cross Country model with raised suspension




Critics' Rating: 7.7
Performance: 7.2
Interior: 6.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.5
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Volvo S60 Overview

Is the 2016 Volvo S60 a Good Used Car?

Despite its ranking, the 2016 Volvo S60 is a decent pick if you’re shopping for a used luxury small car. Its strengths include a comfy cabin, a gentle ride, and potent turbocharged engines. It also has some of the lowest ownership costs in the segment. However, the S60 looks and feels a little less luxurious than top-rated rivals like the 2016 Lexus IS. Also, the Volvo's trunk space is slightly below average for the class.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 60 Volvo S60 reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2016 Volvo S60?

You can expect to pay between $20,600 and $39,000 for a used 2016 Volvo S60. These figures are based on 260 listings for this vehicle on our site. The average price is $27,700. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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How Much Does the 2016 Volvo S60 Cost to Own?

The S60’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $23,600 – or about $4,700 per year. That’s much lower than average for the luxury small car class.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New S60?

The 2018 Volvo S60 starts at $34,100. You can save thousands of dollars if you buy a used 2016 S60 instead of a new one, especially if you want a base model with few options. You won’t miss out on any features with a used model. Changes for 2018 are limited to a new trim level structure and a reshuffling of existing features. These updates just aren’t enough to justify the new model’s higher cost.

Read about the new Volvo S60 »

Buying new doesn’t always mean paying more. The 2018 Honda Accord starts at just $23,570. While it doesn’t offer the same exclusivity as the Volvo, the Accord also has a similarly handsome cabin. The Honda also gives you many more standard safety features, superior fuel economy, and better tech features like Apple CarPlay.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Volvo S60?

J.D. Power gives the 2016 S60 a reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Read more about S60 reliability »

2016 Volvo S60 Recalls

At the time of this writing, there are two safety recalls for the 2016 S60. Volvo has identified an issue with the car’s starter motor fuse, which can become overloaded and fail in certain stop-and-go driving situations. A separate recall covers a fault with the front passenger seat belt buckle, which may separate from its bracket. Before buying a used S60, make sure these recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Volvo S60 safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Volvo S60 Is Best?

The Volvo S60 is part of a generation that started with the 2011 model. Each model year offers roughly the same tech and safety features. The major differences come down to performance. Volvo introduced its Drive-E engines for 2015. Models from 2015 and later offer an appealing combination of strong performance and superb fuel economy. The four-cylinder Drive-E engines ultimately replaced Volvo’s muscular (but rather inefficient) five- and six-cylinder engines, which were available from 2011 to 2016. Additionally, the long-wheelbase Inscription and high-riding Cross Country models were only offered from 2016 to 2018.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 S60 »

Which Used Volvo S60 Model Is Right for Me?

Volvo offers the 2016 S60 in six configurations: T5, T5 Inscription, T6, T6 R-Design, T5 Cross Country, and Polestar. Deciphering these trim levels is a little tricky, but here are the basics. The Volvo S60 T5 comes standard with low-speed automatic emergency braking, a 7-inch display screen, satellite radio, Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary ports, cruise control, remote keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, leatherette seats, and alloy wheels. The S60 Inscription trim has an extra three inches of rear legroom. It also adds the Premier package, which consists of a navigation system, a sunroof, and leather seats. This is the trim that suits most buyers’ needs.

The S60 T6 and T6 R-Design trims add stronger engines, proximity keyless entry, and push-button start. Available features for these models include a rearview camera, parallel park assist, and blind spot monitoring. You can also opt for the Climate package (heated front and rear seats) as well as the Technology package, which adds a large suite of active safety features.

The rugged-looking S60 Cross Country has a taller ride height, skid plates, and it comes standard with the Technology package. Lastly, the S60 Polestar trim is fully loaded with every available feature. It comes with a high-performance engine as well as upgraded brakes and shock absorbers.

See 2016 Volvo S60 trims and specs »

What Does Volvo's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Volvo offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. All certified pre-owned Volvos come with an unlimited-mileage comprehensive warranty providing exclusionary coverage until five years from the new-car purchase date. Additional coverage is available for a fee. Each CPO Volvo must pass a 170-point inspection. Additional benefits like mobile app connectivity, 24-hour roadside assistance, towing, and trip interruption benefits may be available, so read the Volvo warranty page carefully.

Volvo’s CPO program is one of the better ones available from a luxury automaker. Infiniti, Lexus, Jaguar, Tesla, and Land Rover are the only programs that are more robust.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the S60?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2016 S60 a perfect five-star overall rating. The S60 also earned five out of five stars in the frontal crash, side crash, and rollover tests.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the S60 a 2016 Top Safety Pick+, giving it the highest rating of Good in five crash tests. The base model earned a middling score of Advanced for the effectiveness of its front crash prevention features, while properly equipped models earned the highest rating of Superior. Most trims received the lowest rating of Poor for how well the headlights illuminate the road ahead, but the Platinum trim’s headlights received the second-highest rating of Acceptable.

All S60 sedans are equipped with Volvo’s City Safety system, which can automatically apply the brakes in an emergency (at speeds of 31 mph or below). Available features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, a rearview camera, parking sensors, parallel park assist, and adaptive pivoting headlights. The available Technology Package adds lane departure warning, lane keep assist, speed limit alerts, a driver drowsiness monitor, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning with full-speed brake assist.

See S60 safety scores »

2016 Volvo S60 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Volvo S60 or 2016 Audi A4?

The 2016 Audi A4 ranks higher than the S60 in our luxury small car rankings in large part because the A4 has sportier handling, a comfier ride, and a richer cabin with roomier rear seats. That said, the Volvo has better fuel economy estimates and lower projected ownership costs.

Which Is Better: 2016 Volvo S60 or 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

Like the S60, the 2016 Mercedes C-Class offers a slew of advanced driver assistance features, excellent fuel economy, and balanced handling. It has a higher-quality interior than the Volvo and heavy-hitting engine performance. The Mercedes is likely to be significantly more expensive to buy and maintain, but if it’s in your budget, go for the C-Class.

Which Is Better: 2016 Volvo S60 or 2016 Volvo S80?

The Volvo S80 matches the smaller S60 in a few key areas. Both offer high fuel economy, comfy seats, a smooth ride, great safety features, and superb safety ratings. However, the S60 tops the S80 in nearly all other areas. It’s available with all-wheel drive, a roomier back seat (Inscription models), extra convenience features like parallel park assist, and zippier performance from its array of four-, five-, and six-cylinder engines. The S60 is the better Volvo.

Compare the S60, A4, and C-Class »

2016 S60 Performance

How Does the 2016 Volvo S60 Drive?

Volvo offers the 2016 S60 sedan with five turbocharged engine options. The S60 T5 Drive-E and T6 Drive-E models have four-cylinder engines (240- and 302-horsepower, respectively), eight-speed automatic transmissions, and front-wheel drive. The T5 AWD and Cross Country models share a 250-horsepower five-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive. Lastly, the T6 R-Design and Polestar models have six-cylinder engines (325- and 345-horsepower), a six-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive.

Regardless of the powertrain, all S60 sedans provide brisk acceleration and ample passing power. Both transmissions feel refined as well, and each delivers prompt shifts. The S60 also has a smooth, well-composed ride. Bumps and dips in the road are nicely softened, and the car feels stable at highway speeds. It doesn’t offer the sporty driving experience that rivals like the BMW 3 Series can. Even so, the S60’s precise steering means it’s still a fun car to drive.

Does the 2016 Volvo S60 Get Good Gas Mileage?

The S60 T5 Drive-E earns some of the best fuel economy estimates in the luxury small car class with up to 26 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. The S60 T6 Drive-E is rather efficient as well, with up to 23/32 mpg city/highway. However, the S60 T5 AWD and Cross Country models get a far lower 20/28 mpg, while the T6 AWD and Polestar models return just 18/27 mpg.

Read more about S60 performance »

2016 S60 Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 S60 Seat?

The 2016 Volvo S60 sedan seats five in its elegant cabin. The front seats are very comfortable and offer great support on long drives. The rear seats are similarly plush, but slim legroom makes them less inviting for adults. The long-wheelbase Inscription trim largely solves this issue though, thanks to its three additional inches of rear legroom. Leatherette seats are standard; leather and heated seats are available.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Volvo S60?

The S60 has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the vehicle’s LATCH system an Acceptable rating for ease of use, but noted that some of the anchors are hard to access.

2016 Volvo S60 Features

Volvo equips all S60 sedans with a 7-inch infotainment screen, a USB port, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and Sensus Connect (an app suite and Wi-Fi hot spot). Available features include a navigation system, Harman Kardon stereo, and rear-seat DVD screens. The S60’s audio and climate controls are arranged in a straightforward fashion, making them easy to use. The knob that controls the infotainment system isn’t so user-friendly, though. It’s positioned awkwardly on the center stack, and it can often complicate simple tasks.

See 2016 Volvo S60 specs »

Read more about S60 interior »

2016 Volvo S60 Dimensions

Volvo S60 Cargo Space

The S60 has 12 cubic feet of trunk space, which is a bit slim for a luxury small car. Lowering the 60/40 split-folding rear seats allows longer items to fit in the trunk. For more cargo space, check out the mechanically similar 2016 Volvo V60 wagon.

2016 S60 Length and Weight

The standard S60 sedan is 15.2 feet long. The Inscription models are slightly longer at 15.5 feet. Depending on engine and trim level, the S60’s curb weight ranges from 3,433 to 3,913 pounds.

Where Was the 2016 Volvo S60 Built?

The S60 was built in Sweden.

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