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2016 Volvo S60 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Volvo S60 was new.


Performance: 7.8

While the 2016 Volvo S60 is mostly focused on comfort, professional test drivers think that it still exhibits impressive overall performance. The base engine delivers high fuel economy, and an optional turbo- and supercharged engine boasts power that is even more formidable. Some think that the S60 lacks the precise handling of rivals, but most agree that it provides a smooth and enjoyable ride.

  • "The 2016 Volvo S60 is a comfortable and well-behaved luxury sedan whether you go with four, five or six cylinders under the hood." -- Edmunds
  • As to the S60 itself, it's still a sweet-natured, comfortable, and antiseptic machine. … But at its core, the sedan is stoic, only reluctantly communicative, and rarely eager to be pushed harder." -- Car and Driver (2015)
  • "On the road, the beauty of the S60 lies in its holistic approach to ride comfort and handling precision. Even over the roughest stretches of pavement, the body structure is solid and the ride composed." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "Volvos aren't known for being particularly sporty. While it won't be dethroning the BMW 3 Series or Cadillac ATS from the pinnacle of the performance heap, the S60 is genuinely fun to drive." -- Forbes (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The base 2016 Volvo S60 T5 Drive-E features a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 240 horsepower in front-wheel drive models and a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that produces 250 horsepower in all-wheel drive models. The T6 model has a 2.0-liter turbo- and supercharged four-cylinder engine that produces 302 horsepower and the T6 with all-wheel drive features a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder that puts out 325 horsepower. Front-wheel drive models have an eight-speed automatic transmission, but a six-speed automatic comes in all-wheel drive models. The base S60 earns an EPA-estimated 26/38 mpg city/highway, which is among the best ratings in the class.

Reviewers say that the base T5 Drive-E and the available T6 engines both operate smoothly and provide plenty of power for highway and city driving, although they prefer the superior acceleration of the T6. Test drivers add that the automatic transmission shifts quickly.

  • "Available in the front-wheel-drive (FWD) T5 and T6 models, the new engines pack a punch, with the T6 getting from a standstill to a freeway-friendly 60 mph in just 5.6 seconds. If you opt for all-wheel drive you'll end up with the older engines, but that's no reason to skip over them if you live where AWD is a necessity." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Regardless of output, the engines are smooth and powerful, and the all-wheel-drive system apportions power to individual wheels to maximize traction and grip through turns or on slippery roads. … Most buyers would likely find the acceleration, response and fuel economy of any S60 to be compelling. …" -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "Under the hood, you can't go wrong with any of the S60's offerings. The new Drive-E 4-cylinder engines are smooth and quiet, with the base T5 turbocharged engine offering acceptable acceleration and excellent fuel economy. We much prefer the turbocharged and supercharged T6 FWD, which offers impressive power, good fuel economy and, thanks to the supercharger, a good deal more low-end torque than the T5 engine." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "The gearbox features respectably quick and smooth up- and downshifts, which are sharpened with the selection of its sport and manual shift modes." -- CNET (2015)
  • "Without low-speed lag or dropoff at high rpm, the 2015 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E's twin-charged 2.0-liter four-cylinder feels like a much larger naturally aspirated engine. Even more impressive is how smooth the new eight-speed automatic works with the engine as it seamlessly transitions between the supercharger and turbocharger." -- Motor Trend (2015)

Handling and Braking

The 2016 Volvo S60 features standard front-wheel drive, although all-wheel drive is available. The S60 delivers a nice balance between comfort and handling, according to test drivers. A few mention that the available Sport chassis improves the S60's agility around turns. Some critics think the steering is precise, although others find it somewhat disengaged.

  • One thing the S60 is not is a true sport sedan. Even with AWD, it lacks the handling precision and driver engagement offered by a few other rivals. Instead, it takes a balanced approach to sport and comfort." -- Edmunds
  • The sedan goes around a corner well enough and feels responsive to wheel input. However sporty it is, though, the nearly 3,500-pound, front-drive S60 T6 still feels like comfort is its primary goal, with a compliant ride and slightly muted steering feel. …" -- CNET (2015)
  • The suspension is on the floaty side and the steering feels a bit disconnected, but neither is egregious enough to dampen driving enjoyment." -- Forbes (2015)
  • "All of the S60 sedans are tuned for comfort, with a Sport package that amps up handling, but not at the expense of ride quality." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)

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