MSRP
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2020 Volvo S60 Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.7

The 2020 Volvo S60 has well-rounded handling, with a trio of capable powertrains and a comfortable ride. It gets good fuel economy, but it’s not as athletic as many class rivals.

  • "The S60 drives with a demeanor that feels incredibly well-rounded for this sedan's intended purpose. It's wonderfully compliant and comfortable on long stretches of the 101 Freeway, but offers taut reflexes when pushed around bends. I'd like a bit more weight to the steering effort in the car's standard mode (switching into Dynamic fixes that), but generally speaking, the S60 is perfectly pleasant in all situations." -- CNET (2019)
  • "It’s that climb to redline in the R-Design that leaves no doubt in my mind this is the S60 to linger around at the dealership. There was so much more feedback in the steering, the subtle vibrations that remind your hands are linked to the road surface. The throttle response feels physical and satisfying, and while the car sounds a little rough on startup, it makes a good noise when you’re pushing it." -- Jalopnik (2019)
  • "The S60 … lack[s] the transmission responsiveness and steering feel those competitors offer. The Volvo can entertain on your favorite driving road, but even with Fusion Red Metallic paint, the S60 R-Design isn't the sports car of the segment. Given that, the stiff ride you'll experience to and from that snaking two-lane disappoints." -- Motor Trend (2019)

Acceleration and Power

The Volvo S60 comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 250 horsepower. An optional turbo- and supercharged four-cylinder engine puts out 316 horsepower, and a plug-in hybrid model makes 400 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard with all models.

The S60 delivers swift acceleration, but critics are mixed on the transmission. Some reviewers say that it shifts well, while others note some delayed downshifts.

The S60’s standard engine gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, which is a little above average for the luxury small car class. The optional twincharged engine returns 21 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. At the time of writing, EPA estimates for the 2020 S60 plug-in hybrid are not available.

  • "The Volvo S60 delivers a deft combination of performance with very little effort on the driver's part. The S60's twin-charged 2.0-liter, which features both a super- and turbocharger, is responsive and saucy. Its flexible powerband could easily be mistaken for a larger V6 engine. In our testing, it propelled the S60 to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds, which more than satisfies expectations for the class." -- Edmunds
  • "The turbocharged T6 powertrain provides good power and minimal if any turbo lag, and there’s no supercharger whine. Also, there’s no torque steer felt through the steering wheel, thanks to the new front suspension, and the fact that some of the power is going to the S60’s rear wheels. The 8-speed automatic transmission, from Aisin-Warner, does its job well, shifting smoothly and unobtrusively when you expect it to." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • The T6 has good power for merging and passing. The supercharger delivers ample low-end response and combined with the quick-spooling turbocharger whatever small amount of lag that might have been there on initial throttle tip-in is taken care of. … Performing yeoman duty behind both T5 and T6 variants is an Aisin 8-speed automatic transmission that delivers reasonably prompt upshifts, but downshifts could be a bit tighter." -- New York Daily News (2019)

Handling and Braking

The S60 delivers a mostly comfortable ride and boasts strong braking power. Handling is decent, though some critics say the steering is too light and disconnected. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional.

  • The brakes have good mannerisms -- they are easy to modulate smoothly in everyday commuting, yet they exhibit powerful stopping capability. Steering and handling are just as impressive in the S60. This Volvo isn't as playful as some rear-wheel-drive sport sedans, but it allows you to move at a good clip without much effort. … Unfortunately, the ride on our test vehicle skewed stiff likely due to the optional sport suspension." -- Edmunds
  • Both models use the same electric power steering system, and it’s probably the weakest link of the S60 driving experience. When you scroll the Volvo’s drive mode selector into the more sporting mode, extra effort is added to the wheel. It feels artificially heavy and not any more connected to the road. In every other mode, the steering is light. Still, it does go where you point it with a decent amount of directness." -- Autoweek (2019)
  • "No matter which S60 you choose, it’s going to be comfortable. The ride is smooth, and even on the sportiest models, the suspension still soaks a lot of the aggressive bumps in the road up with no issue." -- Jalopnik (2019)
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