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
Used S60 for SaleSee all for sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
Most helpful consumer reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.