2015 Volvo S60 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Strong turbocharged engines
  • superb crash test scores
  • well-balanced ride and handling
  • comfortable front seats.
  • Smaller-than-average backseat
  • less efficient engines with all-wheel drive
  • some dated controls.
List Price Range
$14,500 - $19,590

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

2015 Volvo S60 models

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.

2015 Highlights

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.

Performance & mpg

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."

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2015 Volvo S60.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

29 months in, very pleased but wish we got the V60
MYOB,11/16/2015
T6 R-Design 4dr Sedan AWD w/Prod. End 6/14 (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A)
S60 R design Platinum. Zero issues over the past 2 years plus. Mileage is 22.5mpg short trips mostly with a couple of highway trips a year, 28 mpg on expressway at 70mph, 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. Throttle uptake is very touchy, unfortunately, taking a light foot to avoid lurching forward. 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. I have since removed the aftermarket bar and sold it, finding it unnecessary. 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. 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. Still loving it and we're hard to please.
Totally enjoying my 2015.5 S60 T5 AWD
slin3,09/11/2014
T5 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6A)
I have driven my 2015.5 S60 T5 AWD with Platinum package and BLIS for more than 1 month. Before purchase, I also test-drove 2014 BMW 328i xDrive, 2014 Lexus IS250 AWD, 2015 Audi A3 Quattro, 2014 Acura TL SH-AWD, in addition to 2014 S60 T5 (non-AWD). While I bought the car mainly for crash rating and safety feature, I was pleasantly surprised by how well/fun/engaging it runs. Among all the cars I tested, only 328i is slightly more fun with a much higher price tag. During the summer promotion I also got 5-year free maintenance. Overall a great value, with superior interior comfort, fun driving experience, and unbeatable safety features.
2015.5 T5 Platinum Shines Brightly
roubaud,06/30/2015
T5 Drive-E 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
I had a 2012 S60 T5 and loved it, but wanted xenons (all Volvo cars should have xenons period). The 2015.5 platinum makes an already good car superb. It's simply fun to drive -- not as fun as my old Merc C230 coupe, but still pretty darn good for a sedan. Mileage in the first few months is about 33 hwy and 28-29 combined -- that should get better, indeed I hope it does with the touted drive-e engine (I was at 24 combined in my 2012 T5). 14 months later my combined mileage barely holds on to 29mpg -- that's equal to or less than many CUVs on the market now; one would think it'd be well over 30 in a small sedan. After being saved by the collision mitigation warning light and beep (almost rear ended someone), it's now something I ignore. It will go off when I'm driving in housing divisions and weaving around parked cars on the road. What I REALLY wish this car had was more tech, or easy tech. I want to be on my phone or desktop and EASILY send directions to a destination (because it takes FOREVER to do it in the car). You have to use a special app / website, then it doesn't always load in the car, and if it does, it will take many, many minutes. So, still a lot of updating to do there. I also wish with voice nav you could say "Nearest Arby's" or whatever, instead of being forced into "Nearest restaurant" and scrolling through the list forever; all that time when my eyes are not on the road. But hands down one of the BEST radar cruise control systems -- takes you all the way down to zero and has excellent distance (much farther than my wife's loaded Mazda 6). Otherwise, great performance, love the turbo, awesome seats on my long trips, still looks good, not many others drive one (a shame!), and the value is superb for what you get. Absolutely a BMW and MERC alternative.
Fast and Fun
fordescortgt,08/04/2014
T6 R-Design 4dr Sedan AWD w/Prod. End 6/14 (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A)
This is a great highway car. It is very composed, fairly quiet, and extremely comfortable while commuting back and forth the 80 miles to work. The car is an absolute rocket, whether in sport mode or not. However what is truly nice is that you have an option. In normal mode the car will accelerate off the line with the authority dictated by how hard you press your right foot down, but you can also drive quite leisurely. Switch to sport and the car is absolutely manic, press the gas and hold on. The car feels like it will never stop accelerating. The only draw back in sport mode is it feels twitchy all the time.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover10%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2015 Volvo S60

Used 2015 Volvo S60 Overview

The Used 2015 Volvo S60 is offered in the following submodels: S60 Sedan, S60 T6 R-Design. Available styles include T5 Drive-E 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), T5 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6A), T5 Drive-E 4dr Sedan w/Prod. End 6/14 (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), T5 4dr Sedan AWD w/Prod. End 6/14 (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6A), T6 Drive-E 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger 8A), T6 R-Design 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A), T6 R-Design 4dr Sedan AWD w/Prod. End 6/14 (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A), and T6 Drive-E 4dr Sedan w/Prod. End 6/14 (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger 8A). Pre-owned Volvo S60 models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine or a 2.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 250 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2015 Volvo S60 comes with front wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 8-speed shiftable automatic, 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2015 Volvo S60 comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2015 Volvo S60?

Price comparisons for Used 2015 Volvo S60 trim styles:

  • The Used 2015 Volvo S60 T5 Drive-E is priced between $14,500 and$19,590 with odometer readings between 44430 and87203 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Volvo S60 T5 is priced between $16,500 and$17,000 with odometer readings between 47379 and85330 miles.

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Which used 2015 Volvo S60s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2015 Volvo S60 for sale near. There are currently 9 used and CPO 2015 S60s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $14,500 and mileage as low as 44430 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2015 Volvo S60.

Can't find a used 2015 Volvo S60s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volvo S60 for sale - 12 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $14,545.

Find a used Volvo for sale - 1 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $8,447.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volvo S60 for sale - 10 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $10,810.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volvo for sale - 9 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $9,741.

Should I lease or buy a 2015 Volvo S60?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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