$27,255 - $39,897

2018 Volvo S60 Performance Review


Performance: 7.9

The 2018 Volvo S60 is all about polish, as evidenced by its refined powertrains, composed handling, and smooth ride quality. This is also one of the most fuel-efficient cars in its class. When it comes to spirited driving, it lags behind more-athletic rivals, and its ride (though comfortable) isn’t as buttery soft as some classmates.

  • "Despite packing both a supercharger and a turbocharger, it's always well-mannered. The all-wheel-drive system effectively apportions power to individual wheels to maximize traction around turns or on slippery roads. 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. It's sporty enough not to be a complete wet blanket on a winding mountain road, yet it's also smooth and quiet enough for easy everyday commuting." -- 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)
  • "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 S60 T5 comes standard with a 240-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It has a reasonable amount of punch, though its winning traits focus on a combination of refined performance plus stellar fuel economy. This engine gets 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, which is one of the highest gas mileage ratings among luxury small cars.

If you want more power, the T6 trims have a supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The T6 in the R-Design trim cranks out 302 horsepower, and reviewers note that its acceleration is impressive but not scorching. Gas mileage with this engine is 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway. The Polestar, which comes with a 362-horsepower T6 engine, is a much more potent performer. The EPA estimates its fuel economy at 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway. All S60 trims come with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

  • With a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is both turbo- and supercharged, the S60 T6 makes 302 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, which is impressive for its size. The resulting acceleration is slightly disappointing, but overall the S60 is a solid performer." -- Edmunds
  • The engines are smooth and quiet, with the T5 offering acceptable acceleration and excellent fuel economy. The turbocharged and supercharged T6 makes impressive power (more low-end torque than the T5, thanks to the supercharger) and good fuel economy." -- Autotrader (2017)
  • "While the 2017 Volvo S60 now offers only 4-cylinder engines, don't be fooled into thinking this is an underpowered economy car." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)

Handling and Braking

The S60 comes standard with front-wheel drive. You can add all-wheel drive to any trim, and it's standard in uplevel trims like the T6 AWD R-Design. Handling is slightly sportier than the average small car, and the steering is precise. Still, it isn't as agile as some rivals. The ride is smooth and comfortable, though not quite as silky as some luxury cars. Cross Country trims come with all-wheel drive and a raised suspension.

  • "The handling has varying levels of sportiness depending on the trim level, and the ride is definitely a luxury-level quality." -- Edmunds
  • "The beauty of the S60 lies in its comfort and precision. Over the roughest stretches of pavement, the ride remains composed. The speed-sensitive steering in T6 models has driver-selectable modes, but even the T5 models' variable-assist steering works well. The basic suspension is tuned to absorb small undulations while providing excellent body control over larger bumps. The optional sport-tuned suspension is never harsh, and its responsiveness is worth the slightly firmer feel." -- Autotrader (2017)
  • "Volvos aren't as cushy as they once were, as the company has aimed at a more sporting demeanor of late. But the T5 rode reasonably well, with fine handling and rather quick steering." -- Consumer Guide (2017)

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