Full 2007 Volvo S60 Review
What's New for 2007
All 2007 Volvo S60s get a revised front fascia, standard stability control and a tire-pressure monitor. The 2.5T and T5 models receive firmer suspension tuning and aluminum interior trim. For the S60 R, a compass, grocery bag hooks and sunglasses holders are now standard.
A midsize, entry-level luxury sedan, the 2007 Volvo S60 is one of the more unconventional cars in the $30,000-$40,000 price range. It competes in a class dominated by cars with normally aspirated V6 engines, yet offers a trio of turbocharged five-cylinders instead. Styling is another area in which the S60 stands apart. Even seven years into the model cycle, its body lines have a distinctiveness that's, well, Scandinavian in flavor. Inside, the S60 comes across as more utilitarian than luxurious, but you'd be hard-pressed to find fault with its ergonomic control layout and orthopedically correct seats. Where you will find fault is on the performance front, where the Swedish sedan's handling dynamics are a bit dull compared to newer rivals, and in the backseat, where the S60 has less real-world legroom than Volvo's compact S40. Both of these issues could be solved by a redesign, but until that happens, buyers seeking a premium sedan that's a little different from the rest may still want to give this midrange Volvo a look.
The lineup starts out with the entry-level 2.5T, which has a light-pressure turbocharged inline-5 good for 208 horsepower; continues to the midlevel T5, which has a higher-pressure 2.4-liter turbo five good for 258 hp; and tops out with the S60 R, which gets a high-boost version of the 2.5-liter rated for an even 300 hp. Most S60s are sold with front-wheel drive, but the R has a standard all-wheel-drive system -- it's offered as an option on the 2.5T. An automatic transmission is standard on all 2.5Ts, but S60 T5 and R buyers have their choice of a manual or automatic. All S60s come with a complete list of safety features, including stability control and anti-whiplash seats, and the midsize Volvo has performed quite well in crash tests.
On the road, the acceleration in the S60 2.5T and T5 can feel a little sluggish when compared to competitors like the Acura TL, Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Infiniti G35 and Lexus ES 350 and IS 250/350, which have larger-displacement six-cylinder engines. And although the Volvos ride smoothly, they're not as composed over bumps as any of these rivals. The S60 R is downright quick, though, and offers an interesting alternative for enthusiasts willing to give a little on handling precision and ride quality.
On their own, any of the 2007 Volvo S60s would be satisfying to own, as they offer plenty in the way of comfort, safety and Scandinavian personality. However, with so many newer sedans populating this price range, it would be a good idea to try a few other cars before closing a deal on this aging Volvo.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
A midsize, entry-luxury sedan, the 2007 Volvo S60 comes in three trim levels -- base 2.5T, midrange T5 and high-performance R -- each of which comes with a different engine. The 2.5T is equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels, cloth upholstery, a power driver seat with memory, dual-zone automatic climate control (with a pollen filter), a CD player, a telescoping steering wheel and faux wood interior accents. Stepping up to the S60 T5 provides a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, a power passenger seat and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Choose the S60 R and you'll get an even firmer adaptive suspension, performance tires, bi-xenon headlights, a rear deck spoiler, leather upholstery, bolstered sport seats and metallic blue gauge faces.
Options include an excellent 13-speaker Dolby sound system with an in-dash CD changer, a navigation system, Sirius satellite radio, a sunroof, heated front seats, rain-sensing wipers and an interior air quality system (which monitors contaminant levels in incoming air and closes the vents as necessary). S60 2.5T and T5 buyers can also get the bi-xenons and a leather interior. Eighteen-inch wheels are available on the T5 and R. A lower body kit and premium leather upholstery are exclusive S60 R extras.
Powertrains and Performance
Each member of the 2007 Volvo S60 family has its own engine. The S60 2.5T has a turbocharged, 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder rated for 208 hp and 236 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard with this engine, and it routes power either to the front wheels or all four on all-wheel-drive models, which are designated 2.5T AWD.
Next up is the S60 T5, which has a slightly smaller 2.4-liter inline-5 but uses a higher-boost turbocharger, helping it produce 257 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The T5 is front-wheel drive only, but buyers have their choice of a five-speed automatic or a six-speed manual gearbox. The automatic has a manual mode, a feature that's optional on 2.5T models.
Finally, there's the high-performance R. It has a 2.5-liter, turbocharged five-cylinder that pumps out 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. All S60 Rs are all-wheel drive, and both a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic are available. Equipped with the manual, the S60 R will accelerate to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, says Volvo. With the automatic, it takes a full second longer.
Safety features include antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, anti-submarine seats with whiplash-reducing head restraints, and Volvo's OnCall telematics. Rear parking assist is optional only on the S60 R. In government crash testing, the 2007 Volvo S60 earned four out of five stars for the driver and front passenger in the frontal-impact category. It earned five stars for both front- and rear side-impact protection. In frontal offset crash testing conducted by the IIHS, the Volvo S60 received a "Good" rating overall (the best possible).
Interior Design and Special Features
The Volvo S60's interior is functional but doesn't feel upscale unless you order the leather upholstery and Dolby Surround Sound options. The controls are nicely weighted, but the pictograms depicting the various functions can be difficult to understand at first. There is seating for five, and although front occupants will bask in the comfort of the Volvo's orthopedically designed seats, rear passengers will likely find the legroom tight. Trunk space measures just under 14 cubic feet, and the rear seat folds in a 60/40 split on all trims.
The S60 2.5T offers adequate power for most drivers, while the T5 model is quicker but heavy on turbo lag off the line. If you can afford it, the S60 R is by far the most enjoyable, with minimal lag and brisk response at any speed. All S60s provide a ride that veers more toward comfort than sport, but they aren't as composed as similarly priced rivals over bumps and expansion joints. Handling is competent but limits are modest on 2.5T and T5 models. The S60 R is more capable on back roads, as its adaptive suspension offers multiple modes, allowing drivers to select firmer damping in this environment. Overall, the R is an entertaining car, though it's not as sharp or communicative as cars like the 330i, G35 or IS 350. S60s are known for their strong brakes, and all models exhibit impressive stopping ability.