2015 Volvo S60 Review & Ratings | Edmunds
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2015 Volvo S60 Review

2015 Volvo S60
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Edmunds Summary Review of the 2015 Volvo S60

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • The 2015 Volvo S60 is a well-balanced and stylish luxury sedan. As such, it makes for a very tempting alternative to the ubiquitous German luxury sedans.

  • Pros

    Strong turbocharged engines; superb crash test scores; well-balanced ride and handling; comfortable front seats.

  • Cons

    Smaller-than-average backseat; less efficient engines with all-wheel drive; some dated controls.

  • What's New for 2015

    The 2015 Volvo S60 gets several changes, including a couple of new four-cylinder engines (one that is both turbo- and supercharged) and an eight-speed automatic transmission. New features debut for 2015 as well, such as fuel-saving automatic engine stop-start technology and available lane-keeping assist. Finally, midway through the year, "2015.5" models (those built after June 2014) see a few changes to standard and optional equipment including updates to Volvo's standard telematics system.

Summary

The entry-level luxury sport sedan segment is something of an automotive Olympics. Here, athletic entries from Germany, Japan, America and Sweden vie not for medals, but for prestige and popularity. And from the country that gave us Abba and Ikea comes the 2015 Volvo S60. Already a player that could hold its own in this tough game, the S60 comes into this year sporting greater performance and efficiency thanks to a couple of new powertrains.

This year the Volvo S60 adopts turbocharged four-cylinder power like most of its rivals already have. The Volvo's base 2.0-liter turbo makes 240 horsepower and promises solid performance along with strong fuel economy. Indeed, with an EPA rating of 29 mpg in combined city/highway driving, this Volvo is a front-runner in that respect. There is also a 2.0-liter four that is both supercharged and turbocharged, allowing this little 302-hp dynamo to provide both immediate response and admirable fuel efficiency. Although it rates just 1 mpg shy of the base engine's lofty combined estimate, according to Volvo, it is still capable of dispatching the 0-60-mph sprint in a speedy 5.6 seconds.

Other changes this year include a new eight-speed automatic transmission for those engines along with the adoption of fuel-saving automatic engine stop-start technology and a shuffling of features and trim levels. Unfortunately, these new engines and transmission only apply to front-wheel-drive S60s. If you desire the traction-enhancing benefits of all-wheel drive, the S60's less-efficient five- and six-cylinder turbocharged engines soldier on for another year.

Elsewhere, the Volvo S60 has the expected qualities of this segment: handsome styling, responsive handling, a comfortable cabin and plenty of luxury features. The company's endearing hallmarks, namely impressive safety technologies, extremely comfortable front seats and feisty engines, also come along for the ride.

As you might've guessed, we like the 2015 Volvo S60. While its backseat is a bit tight and its sporting credentials aren't quite on the same level as the BMW 3 Series, the Volvo S60 fits right in against more comfort-tuned entry-level luxury sedans like the Acura TLX, Audi A4 and Lexus ES 350. It's also priced attractively, often thousands less than the competition. If you're shopping for a premium-brand sedan, this quietly competent Volvo is worth a test-drive.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2015 Volvo S60 is a midsize luxury sedan available in four trim levels: T5 Drive-E, T5 AWD, T6 Drive-E and T6 R-Design. Depending on when your S60 was built, it might have a "2015.5" designation (models built after June 2014). As such, the information contained in this review refers to the 2015.5 S60. See the end of this section for the notable differences on the earlier models.

Apart from its powertrain, the T5 Drive-E and T5 AWD are similar in terms of available equipment. They come standard with 17-inch wheels, automatic headlights, LED running lights, headlight washers, heated mirrors, automatic wipers, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat (with adjustable lumbar), driver memory settings, power-folding rear headrests, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, T-Tec cloth upholstery, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat with pass-through, a 7-inch display screen, "Sensus" smartphone app integration, WiFi capability,  Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.

For T5 Drive-E and T5 AWD models, the Premier package add keyless ignition and entry, bright window trim, a sunroof, leather upholstery, a power passenger seat, a navigation system, a configurable instrument display and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The T6 Drive-E essentially starts with the T5 Drive-E Premier's equipment but adds a more powerful engine, 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, adjustable steering effort, a power sunroof and sport seats.

The T6 R-Design has the T6 Drive-E's features along with a more powerful engine, all-wheel drive, special exterior styling details, unique 18-inch wheels, upgraded brakes, specifically tuned sport suspension, special interior trim, a sport steering wheel and a rearview camera.

Available on all S60s, the Convenience package adds power-folding mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, a rearview camera, a remote garage opener and a grocery bag holder. The Technology package features adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, collision warning with auto braking, pedestrian and cyclist detection with auto braking and driver-attention warning. A lane-departure warning system is included with this package in all-wheel-drive models, while the Drive-E models get a more sophisticated lane-keeping assist system that will steer the car in the event of driver inaction.

The Platinum package available on all T5 and T6 models includes the Convenience and Technology packages along with xenon headlights, auto-dimming outside mirrors, cabin accent lighting and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system.

The Climate package includes a heated windshield, heated windshield washers, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel and an active cabin filter. The Sport package (T5 only) includes 19-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension and paddle shifters. Also available is the Blind Spot Information System package, which features side blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert and front and rear park sensors. A quick-fold passenger seat, the keyless ignition and entry system, heated front seats, a front-side parking camera, and a rear-seat entertainment system with dual displays are notable stand-alone options.

Before the mid-year update (labeled "2015.5" by Volvo) the Convenience package was referred to as the Premier Plus package but it came with essentially the same equipment. Earlier 2015 models (built before June 2014) also lacked the updated Sensus Connect and On Call telematics system. It's worth checking the exact year of your S60 if you're interested in getting the updated infotainment graphics, a built-in WiFi hot spot, in-car apps like Pandora and Yelp, improved voice commands and safety items like roadside assistance.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2015 Volvo S60 T5 Drive-E has a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine with 240 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque. It sends its power to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Volvo estimates a 0-60-mph time of 6 seconds, while EPA fuel economy estimates stand at an impressive 29 mpg combined (25 city/37 highway).

The T5 AWD features all-wheel-drive, a six-speed automatic and a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5 good for 250 hp and 266 lb-ft. Volvo puts its 0-60 time at 6.6 seconds with fuel economy estimates at 23 mpg combined (20 city/29 highway).

The T6 Drive-E is front-wheel drive and packs a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter inline-4 that cranks out 302 hp and 295 lb-ft. It uses the eight-speed automatic, and 0-60 mph is estimated at 5.6 seconds, while fuel economy numbers are 28 mpg combined (24 city/35 highway).

At the top of the performance ladder is the T6 R-Design, which features the so-called "Polestar" upgrade: a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 producing 325 hp and 354 lb-ft. Its 0-60 time is given as 5.4 seconds and fuel economy estimates are 21 mpg combined (18 city/26 highway).

Safety

Upholding Volvo's sterling reputation for passenger protection, the S60 comes loaded with standard safety features that include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and whiplash-reducing front head restraints. Also standard is "City Safety," which can help the driver avoid a collision with other vehicles or a stationary object at speeds of up to 19 mph by automatically applying the brakes if he doesn't react in time.

Included in the optional Technology package is Volvo's pedestrian and cyclist detection feature, which can apply full braking force (reducing speed by as much as 22 mph) to help you avoid hitting pedestrians and cyclists who are at least 31 inches in height. This package also includes electronic warnings for driver inattention, lane departure and impending collision, the last of which includes automatic braking. Lane-keeping assist is further included for the Drive-E trims.

As previously mentioned, models built after June of 2014 will receive the 2015.5 designation and they'll also get Volvo's On Call system as standard. On Call includes emergency roadside assistance, automatic crash notification and stolen vehicle assistance.

Other safety options for all S60s include front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a front-side parking camera, a blind-spot warning system and rear cross-traffic alerts.

In government crash tests the Volvo S60 earned a perfect rating of five stars for overall crash protection, with five stars each for total frontal and side crash protection. In testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the S60 received the best possible rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, small-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests as well as the head restraint design for whiplash protection in rear impacts. The IIHS also rated the S60's optional frontal collision warning and mitigation system as "Superior."

Interior Design and Special Features

Interior materials in the 2015 Volvo S60 are on par with the rest of the entry-level luxury sedan class. The heavier graining on the dash and doors won't suit everyone, but there's no denying that the interior leather, vinyl and plastic are quality materials. Volvo's unique Scandinavian take on wood and metal accents also gives the S60's cabin a unique personality among its rivals.

The straightforward dual-temperature adjustment dials and "mode man" pictogram make climate control adjustments simple and intuitive. For more complicated tasks like selecting a media player playlist, programming the optional navigation system or controlling more complicated vehicle functions, the S60 relies on the standard Sensus system. It, too, is fairly easy to use and similar to competitor systems, though the multipurpose knob's location on the dash (rather than the center console) is not ideal.

As you would expect in a Volvo, both the standard front seats and the optional sport seats offer excellent long-trip comfort and proper support. Unfortunately, the backseat isn't quite as accommodating. The seats themselves are supportive, but legroom and foot room are tight for adults taller than 5-feet, 8 inches. Competitors like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class are more welcoming for taller passengers.

The trunk's 12-cubic-foot capacity is a bit small for the class as well, but a low liftover height makes it easy to access the space. Both the rear seats fold down, and there's a separate ski pass-through. An available fold-flat front passenger seat further increases cargo carrying capability.

Driving Impressions

The 2015 Volvo S60 is a comfortable, sophisticated and well-behaved luxury sedan with ample power whether you go with four, five or six turbocharged cylinders. It's a sure-footed handler with nicely weighted steering that feels substantial without being heavy.

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. The base front-wheel-drive T5 model, meanwhile, lines up favorably with other rear-drive entry-level luxury cars like the BMW 328i and Mercedes C300 that feature turbocharged four-cylinders. Most buyers would likely find the acceleration, response and fuel economy of any S60 to be compelling, but the Volvo's comfortable ride is its strong suit.

2015 Volvo S60 Video Review

Reviews from owners of the 2015 Volvo S60

Average Consumer Rating (See all 14 reviews) Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Love my s60 - but....

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Volvo S60

I seldom write any time of reviews but in this instance I feel I must share some of my experiences with potential future Volvo S60 buyers. I purchased my 2015 S60 during the second half of 2014. I will note at the outset that I "love" my car. I enjoy the way it performs, the speed, the handling, etc. It's a bit tight (I'm 6'2") but overall it's been a great buy. My only issue has been on maintenance and I can't decide whether it's the vehicle or the dealership which I've been using for maintenance. I've had three instances where "major" repairs have been required, the most recent of which is currently in the works and involves replacing spark plugs which should not need to be replaced after merely 18,500 miles. I've already had one internal sensor replaced at the recommendation of VOLVO Central and it's likely that this current repair will require the replacement of a cylinder. I've had this vehicle for less than two years, and it has "granny" miles (coming up on 18,500) yet somehow it's required days worth of repairs. Recognizing that these repairs are all covered under the current warranty (thank God) it's still a bit of a disappointment because I enjoy this vehicle. Once I get the vehicle back to health - from fuel economy to comfort, it's a great purchase. Just starting to wonder whether VOLVO sold me the proverbial "lemon."



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

First volvo

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Volvo S60

After multiple Japanese and American cars, this is our first venture in a European based car. So far we are very pleased with our choice. Getting to consider the Volvo was due primarily to the very positive experience we had with the dealer group (Fields Automotive) while we owned our 2005 Infiniti G35 sedan. That was a great car, but we were not enthused about staying with Infiniti (great driving experience, but expensive operating and maintenance costs). Same group had a Volvo store and decided to check it out. First impressions: clean design, interior and exterior (typical Euro/Scandinavian functionalistic, without being cold); good driving experience: totally surprised by throttle response from the T5 engine, handling; visibility, and comfort. Also appreciated that the tech interface was not the centerpiece of the dashboard like most new cars. Good combination of actual buttons and knobs with screen controls. Has a screen saver option, so the display goes dark after 20 seconds, instead of staring at you. Looked at an Acura TLX 2.0 4-cyl (poor engine response, dash is way too busy) and a Lexus ES (nice car, still a Camry, and pricey). So we went with the S60 (thought about the V60, but didn't need the extra room, and the sedan was a bit quieter). We've only had it 4 months, but still very pleased. Good on the highway: plenty of power even at speed, quiet: some road noise, but not obtrusive. City driving is relaxed. Auto Stop/Start is a little weird at first, but you get used to it. BLIS is great. Back seat (which has been described as tight) has been totally comfortable for 2 adults. Trunk has also been adequate for our needs. Great gas mileage: 25/35 (which is tremendous coming from about 16 mpg on a good day). Only issue was the electric defrost built into the windshield, which comes with the Climate package. Was very distracting: Volvo replaced at N/C with standard windshield.



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

I am truly loving it. (i am small)

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Volvo S60

I am petite (AKA short ; 5'2'') so finding a car I can drive well and comfortably is always a challenge... I like car seats that I can move up, tilt the bottom part, adjust pretty much everything so I can reach the pedals and also see the road... this car is perfect for me in so many ways but the seats are the most important... I also love confortable seats and these are truly amazing. I love gadgets and technology and I feel this comes loaded, love the number pad.... I make many calls for work so I find it very practical, I was very annoyed by the start-stop engine system but you can disable it when you run the car on , which is great. I wanted the MB CLA but they did not give me a good deal so went with the dealer that sold me my VW and after looking at the cc and Eos wasn't convinced , they are great cars but the cc felt for older people and the Eos was again a 2 door car and was tired of having a 2 door car... it does look bit like many new other cars out there pretty much every make has a model similar to the S60 but it is still a good looking sedan with nice clean lines. The adjustable lumbar part of the front seats and heated seats are also a plus... I use it even in the summer in FL. I am not a fan of the dual AC ... it is kind of annoying. at least for me. I like that the cover for sunroof is totally sun proof unlike mercedes and vw which are not 100% sun proof and I can't stand feeling the sun on my head specially since I can't be under the sun. My daughters say the seats in the back are confortable, I like that you can (at the push of a button) tilt the hardest in the back seats to allow better visibility... I think it has great visibility and I find that important... test drive one, you will like it.



6 of 7 people found this review helpful

Cheap & tires are dangerous

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Volvo S60

Like another reviewer, we have have several flat tires in one year. We have two S60s and it's the same problem with both. After 12,000 miles, the tire lights came on and wouldn't go off when we put in more air. I brought it into Volvo Service and was told it was a technology glitch and it was fixed. A week later, they were on again. I brought the car in again and now they're saying that we have to replace all four tires because they're so worn down. This makes absolutely no sense. We are in our 50's, are very safe drivers and drive the speed limits. This car is only a year old and Volvo wants $1000 for the new tires. Pathetic.




My new baby!

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Volvo S60



11 of 11 people found this review helpful

21 months in, very pleased but wish we got the v60

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Volvo S60

S60 R design Platinum. Zero issues over the past year plus. Mileage is 21.5mpg short trips only, 28 mpg on expressway at 70mph, and about 23 mpg after a reset that included some of both. Gas tank is maybe 17 gal so range is only about 450 miles w/o pushing your luck. Acceleration is as much as a sane person would every need. Effortless and tons of torque is around way down low in the rev band. Smooth engine that growls if you punch it but is otherwise quiet. Steering is precise but could use more road feel, though almost no cars have that any more. AWD and 350 lb ft of torque are a great pairing, as you can floor it from a stop and turn into traffic with no fear of fishtailing, and it gives great confidence. Minimal body roll, changed to almost none with the addition of an aftermarket tuner rear anti-sway bar. Handling is confidence inspiring. Reviews that talk of small differences between this and BMW are living in a fantasy land where people oversteer their cars around curves on public roads. The G forces you feel in turns are more than enough to have you slow down before the grip of the tires is lost to understeer. This is a sport sedan, not a sports car. Braking is not as quick as the XC60, with the pedal having more play before it really bites. Once you're used to the difference it's fine. Ride quality is firm but never harsh, noise levels are good on good roads, higher on bad ones. But again, never uncomfortable. Better ride and noise levels than our E90 BMW 3 series with 18" wheels, I'd say. We have the 19" on this R design. But this car will not please those looking for luxury quiet first and foremost. On concrete expressways you get tire hum. Trunk is pretty small, rear seat room isn't an issue for us but it isn't big. But we added 2 more dogs for a total of 4 so we wish we'd waited to find a V60 R design for the extra space in back. Insurance costs are low ($850/yr full coverage $500K liability) but we are middle aged. The upgraded Platinum level Stereo is surprisingly good for having no dedicated sub-woofer. The Nav system is not very good at all. Just use your phone or a Garmin. It will send you on crazy turns on small roads and the interface is cumbersome. The dash is great looking and the big digital speed readout really makes a HUD superfluous. Climate control works fine, the interface for the entertainment system is not touch but works fine once you learn that the button on the wheel controls most things. (along with one on the panel your passenger can operate) Comfort is great on long trips, the seats are the best I've had in a sedan. They soften with time, btw. Visibility is not great in blind spots. I thought the BLIS was a waste of money, but it really comes in handy in heavy expressway traffic where long looks at your blind spot are not always safe. I still check, but do so knowing my BLIS will back me up and alert if I try to signal a turn with someone there. It also has the ability to "See" cars overtaking you and prevent you from getting in front of them if there isn't time for them to react. It works very well and unobtrusively with a light most of the time, alerting only if you attempt to change lanes. The interior has held up well and I expect it to continue to. Material quality really is superior, it's just that some people expect to see German or Japanese design and this has a Swedish mentality to it. Basic, sparse, but high quality. Negatives would be that the transmission is a little lazy in regular mode. Sport mode sure solves that, but at the expense of holding lower gears a little longer than you'd like in routine driving. But for spirited driving, it's great. Another issue would be that the bluetooth streaming will cut out for a second every now and then at first, then eventually settle down and work well. The Nav is a disgrace, The 5 year warranty with full maintenance we got free during a summer promotion helps offset the biggest negative, the poor resale value. We thought about trading ours for a V60 but found it was worth about $10,000 less than we paid for it after a year. This will flatten out, but for some reason all Volvos seem to take a steep initial drop in value, and some, like the S60, keep dropping. We paid about $6500 less than MSRP in 2014, and currently they are showing $9000 discounts at a popular car pricing site. So this is hurting resale. Overall, besides the BMW 328i, which will cost a little more and be a little less quick, I wouldn't seriously consider another make for this specific class of car. However, I do prefer slightly larger vehicles for the interior "elbow room". The BMW will have a bigger back seat. And yes, Volvos are built like vaults. Very solid.



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Talk About The 2015 S60

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