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.
29 months in, very pleased but wish we got the V60
written on 11-15-2015
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.
I have received 3 flat tires in 6 months. 2 of the flat tires were blow outs on the expressway and I almost caused 2 huge accidents while my 7 year old daughter was in the car. This car needs to be recalled. There is NO SPARE TIRE and when i got all 3 of my flats the lighter socket did not work for me to fix the tire. Continental tires are horrible and not safe. DO NOT BUY THIS CAR WITH THE CONTINENTAL TIRES.