2016 Volvo S60 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Muscular and fuel-efficient turbocharged engines
  • well-balanced ride and handling
  • excellent safety scores.
  • Fuel efficiency drops on all-wheel-drive models
  • standard wheelbase has less rear legroom than competitors.
List Price Range
$13,989 - $21,891

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2016 Volvo S60 won't bowl you over with excitement, but with its diverse selection of engines and impressive safety, it's an appealing pick for an entry-level luxury sedan.

Vehicle overview

Long noted for safety and more recently for styling as well, Volvo has been a solid contender in the entry-level luxury sedan market with its S60 lineup for several years now. The automaker bolstered its position in 2015 when it rolled out its new family of strong and fuel-efficient turbocharged engines. For 2016, Volvo is better able to challenge leading German rivals in this class with the debut of the roomier S60 Inscription models.

The 2016 Volvo S60 is a surprisingly vice-free choice for a small luxury sedan.

A new body style within the 2016 Volvo S60 family, the Inscription has a 3-inch-longer wheelbase and an accompanying 3 inches of extra rear-seat legroom. Developed in part for the Chinese market, where many business professionals prefer to be driven and demand a roomy, well-appointed backseat area, the S60 Inscription gives U.S. shoppers a new reason to consider the S60: It has plenty of rear-seat room for adult-size friends and family.

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

We like the 2016 Volvo S60. Although the backseat in the standard-wheelbase models is a bit tight and its sporting credentials aren't quite on the same level as the BMW 3 Series, the Volvo S60 compares well against more comfort-tuned entry-level luxury sedans such as the Acura TLX, Hyundai Genesis 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.

2016 Volvo S60 models

The 2016 Volvo S60 is a midsize luxury sedan available in standard and extended-wheelbase (Inscription) versions. On the standard wheelbase, the trim levels are T5 Drive-E, T5 AWD, T6 Drive-E, T6 Drive-E Platinum, T6 R-Design AWD and T6 R-Design AWD Platinum. Trims for the extended-wheelbase Inscription models are the T5 Inscription, T5 Inscription Platinum, T5 AWD Inscription and T5 AWD Inscription Platinum.

Apart from their powertrains, the standard-wheelbase T5 Drive-E and T5 AWD have the same 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 and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat with pass-through. Standard technology features include a low-speed forward collision warning and mitigation system, 7-inch display screen, Volvo's "Sensus" smartphone app integration, WiFi capability, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, voice commands and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB audio interface. The T5 Drive-E also gets an engine stop-start system.

For T5 Drive-E and T5 AWD models, the Premier package adds bright window trim, a sunroof, leather upholstery, a navigation system, a configurable instrument display and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The extended-wheelbase T5 Inscription and Inscription AWD models start with T5 Premier equipment and add 18-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, upgraded front seats with additional bolstering, a multi-filter interior air filtering system, interior accent lighting, increased sound-deadening material, manual rear door sunshades and a power rear window sunshade.

The Platinum trim adds a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, adaptive xenon headlights and Volvo's Convenience and Technology packages (explained below). Front-wheel-drive Platinum trims also get an automated parallel parking system.

The T6 Drive-E gets the same standard equipment as the T5 Drive-E with Premier, along with a more powerful engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, adjustable steering effort, paddle shifters, sport seats with power lumbar support, and keyless ignition and entry.

The T6 R-Design AWD has the T6 Drive-E's features along with an even more powerful engine (depending on production date), all-wheel drive, special exterior styling details, 19-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, special interior trim, a sport steering wheel and a special R-Design sport seat.

The special-order T6 R-Design AWD Polestar adds to the Platinum trim with 20-inch alloy wheels, a special aerodynamics kit, beefier front brakes, unique interior trim, an exclusive exterior color and a more powerful version of the six-cylinder engine.

Available on all S60s and standard on Platinum models, the Convenience package adds power-folding mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, a rearview camera and a grocery bag holder. The Technology package features adaptive cruise control, automatic high beam headlight control, a more advanced forward collision warning and mitigation system, and driver-attention warning. A lane-departure warning system is included with this package in all-wheel-drive models, while the Drive-E models also get a more sophisticated lane-keeping assist system that will steer the car in the event of driver inaction.

Volvo's optional Climate package includes a heated windshield (except the T5 Inscription models), 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. On T6 R-Design models, this package can be ordered with an automated parallel parking feature.

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.

2016 Highlights

The 2016 Volvo S60 gains an extended-wheelbase model that has more legroom. Volvo has also shuffled content in the various trim levels and options packages and deleted the S60's fold-flat front passenger seat feature. Partway through the model year, the six-cylinder engine in the T6 R-Design AWD model will be phased out and replaced by T6 Drive-E's four-cylinder.

Performance & mpg

The 2016 Volvo S60 T5 Drive-E and T5 Inscription are equipped with 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engines with 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. EPA fuel economy estimates stand at an impressive 30 mpg combined (26 city/38 highway) for the base T5 Drive-E and 29 mpg combined (25 city/37 highway) for the Inscription.

The T5 AWD and T5 AWD Inscription feature all-wheel-drive, a six-speed automatic and a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline five-cylinder engine good for 250 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. EPA fuel economy estimates for both models stand 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 four-cylinder engine that cranks out 302 hp and 295 lb-ft. It uses the eight-speed automatic. In Edmunds testing, a T6 Drive-E accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds, which is quick but essentially an average time for an entry-level luxury sedan with an upgraded engine. EPA fuel economy numbers are 27 mpg combined (23 city/33 highway). We found it difficult to match these numbers in our long-term testing of a T6 Drive-E.

Midway through the model year, Volvo gave all S60 T6 models the supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter engine.

Next up the performance ladder is the T6 R-Design AWD. Early 2016 models feature a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder producing 325 hp and 354 lb-ft. Power is sent to all wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. Its 0-60 time is given as 5.4 seconds, and the EPA fuel economy estimate is 21 mpg combined (18 city/27 highway). For models produced after November 2015, Volvo replaced this engine with the same 302-hp four-cylinder engine and eight-speed automatic transmission that it fits to the T6 Drive-E. EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 25 mpg combined (22/31). The Polestar edition uses the turbocharged six-cylinder engine, retuned to produce 345 hp. Its six-speed transmission gets paddle shifters, and the EPA fuel efficiency estimates remains unchanged at 21 mpg combined.

Safety

The S60 comes loaded with standard safety features that include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and whiplash-reducing front head restraints. Low-speed frontal collision warning and collision mitigation with automatic braking ("City Safety") systems are standard and 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 reaction from the driver isn't quick enough. Also standard is Volvo's On Call system that includes emergency assistance, automatic crash notification and stolen vehicle assistance.

Included in the optional Technology package (standard on the Platinum trim) is an upgraded version of the forward collision mitigation system that adds pedestrian and cyclist detection. This package also includes electronic warnings for driver inattention, lane departure warning and lane departure intervention (Drive-E trims).

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 Edmunds brake testing, an XC60 T6 Drive-E stopped from 60 mph in 120 feet, which is average for this class of car.

In government crash testing, the S60 earned a perfect five-star rating 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 all tests, including the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, small-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact, roof-strength and head restraint/seat design (whiplash protection). The IIHS also rated the S60's optional forward collision warning and mitigation system as "Superior."

Driving

The 2016 Volvo S60 is a comfortable and well-behaved luxury sedan whether you go with four, five or six cylinders under the hood. The T6 Drive-E's engine is impressively smooth, and you'd never know that it's packing both a supercharger and a turbocharger. The older inline-5 and inline-6 engines aren't as fuel-efficient, but they're still plenty powerful, and the all-wheel-drive system apportions power to individual wheels to maximize traction and grip around turns or on slippery roads.

One thing the S60 is not is a true sport sedan. Even with AWD, it lacks the handling precision and driver engagement offered by a few other rivals. Instead, it takes a balanced approach to sport and comfort. It's sporty enough not to be a complete wet blanket on a winding mountain road, yet it's also smooth and quiet enough for easy everyday commuting.

Interior

Interior materials in the 2016 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.

Dual temperature adjustment dials and "mode man" pictograms make climate control adjustments simple and intuitive. For more complicated tasks such as 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's fairly easy to use, though the multipurpose knob's location on the dash (rather than the center console) is not ideal and lacks a touchpad input like some rival controller systems.

It may take some time to get used to the S60's knob-based infotainment interface and mishmash of function buttons on the center console.

As you would expect in a Volvo, the front seats (standard, Contour or Sport) offer excellent long-trip comfort and proper support. Bigger adults may find themselves a little squished between the ample bolsters, however. In back, the S60 isn't quite as accommodating. The seats themselves are supportive, but legroom and foot room are tight for folks taller than 5 feet, 10 inches. Competitors like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class are more welcoming for taller passengers. If you'll regularly be taking along rear passengers, the new 2016 T5 Inscription with its extra 3 inches of legroom is the way to go. It's also easier to get in and out of, and that extra room can be helpful for installing rear-facing child safety seats.

The trunk's 12-cubic-foot capacity is a bit small for the class (it's the same for either wheelbase), 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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2016 Volvo S60.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

I have driven Caddys , Alfas, Lincolns, Saabs
s m,02/01/2016
T5 Drive-E 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
I test drove Jag, Mercedes, Lexus , BMW , Caddy and quickly found out car manufactures design from the outside in where I think Volvo designs from the drivers seat out . Lets face it you spend 100 percent of your time in that seat and the passenger seat normally gets the second most use . The Volvo seat is by far the best , sound level the best , the new E drive engine blew me away . Such a sold car, drive it and you will buy it . They say the back seat is small but would not know and if it is buy the Inception it is a stretched version . I am getting over 37 miles to the gallon on the HW and around town 27 . Controls so easy to use and simple , the safest car on the road also . I am sold on Volvo
2016 S60 Inscription Platinum tight & fun to drive
Paul Raine,12/03/2015
T5 Drive-E Inscription Platinum 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
I'm a week into ownership of my new Volvo S60 Inscription Platinum and I'm VERY happy so far! Volvo does front seats better than anyone in my opinion; these are sculpted and amazingly supportive in beechwood/black leather. The feel of the car is luxurious, tight, quiet and cocoon-like but it gives you a sense of being in touch with the road and very much in control. Consumer Reports recommends this car and says reliability is "better than average." This trim line comes with an excellent Harmon Kardon stereo with 12 speakers, LOADS of safety features and electronics; my car insurance went DOWN 25% due to Volvo's safety record! The lighting throughout the cabin--which is very important to me--is really nice...with foot well lights front and back and lots of little ambient lighting touches throughout. The center console storage area feels small to me and is a little too vertical in comparison to my last car. The car feels welcoming and calming inside with its beautiful Scandinavian design cues and subtle luxury touches. This car has the extra 3" wheelbase and therefore backseat room which is really nice. It feels sporty and nimble and can take corners quickly without a squeal but isn't a sports car per se. I shopped Audi A4, Lexus 250, BMW 328 and Volvo felt like the best overall choice for me in European sport sedans. (Most striking to me was that the current A4 was rated "poor" in one critical IIHS front collision test!) The Volvo trunk is spacious. This car comes with intelligent cruise control, backup camera, parallel parking assist, Volvo's BLIS system, keyless entry, fold-up outside mirrors, home link, navigation and mine has the 19" alloy wheels with big Pirelli tires. I will check in again in six months and hopefully still be as happy then as I am now with my S60. UPDATE: Six months in, I am still very glad I got my S60 Inscription! It is quick, nimble, very comfortable to drive in city & on the open road. The safety systems are superb & work exactly as designed! The radar-controlled smart cruise control amazes me every time I use it & the sensors front & rear and side-to-side make any parking pickle a breeze. And those industry-leading Volvo front seats do not disappoint. Awesome audio, too. The only small complaints I have are: some creaking in the interior on the rear right side of the cabin (although no squeaks or rattles of any kind) and I find that the wiper/washer/headlight washer system sprays excessive amounts of windshield spray which doesn't drain off the car properly & requires numerous wiper swipes to clear. All things considered, I would definitely buy Volvo again.
A hidden gem in entry luxury cars
Jack,10/08/2016
T5 Drive-E Inscription Premier 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
Owned the car for over two months now and my experience is extremely positive. I was looking for a car that is comfortable, safe, quiet, powerful enough yet with great fuel economy at the same time. I researched various cars like new Accord touring, Acura TLX, 2017 Audi A4, Bentz C300, Lexus IS350 and S60 Inscription. I narrowed it down to Volvo S60 inscription and Audi A4. After test drive, the Volvo S60 Inscription stands out to be my top choice: it has the most head room for me and it is easily one of the smoothest to drive at all speed range. Standard features include leather interior, HD radio, rear window sunshades, city safety and glass sun roof etc. Exterior The 18" titanium wheels look handsome and provide very good ride quality. The tall roof line makes entering and existing the car extremely easy. The car looks small from outside while roomy inside. Interior High quality leather seats, simple yet elegant color combination is pleasant to my eyes. The sit position is more upright compared to other cars, together with excellent all-round support and wide adjustment range from the seat as well as from the steering wheel, easily provide the most comfortable experience among all the cars I've tested. The silk metal trim gives solid and luxuries feeling, the steering wheel has the perfect size, it feels really good in hands. Driving I own a Honda accord and my first impression driving the S60 is that the cabin is whisper quiet, much quieter than my Honda. The acceleration feels like a powerful V6, the S60 feels very solid on road. It does not have much body roll when making turns, at the same time it filters uneven road surface nicely. Safety features Safety feature includes the ability to stabilize the car in case of a flat tire; also good space between the front bumper and the radiator that can reduce damage in case of low speed accident (There is a sticker on the rear window of the passenger side that indicates the car's rear and front bumpers are designed to withstand 3 miles/hour hit limit, which exceeds the standard 2.5 mile/hour limit, which result in no structure damage and minimum bumper damage that can be fixed easily ); the city safety triggered once when a biker cuts in front of my car when my car was moving slowly, nice! Entertainment I loaded all my music collections on to a USB stick and plugin to the USB port in center console. The album name, album photo and track names are displayed on the LCD screen. I can now enjoy the high quality music on my daily commute. Overall the S60 inscription is an elegant car that meets all my requirements, it provides an extremely well balanced experience that makes the daily drive a true joy. Update (11-19-2016): The combined MPG is now 29.4 at 3316 miles, compared to 28.4 at 1800 miles, my daily commute includes mountain road with a lot of up and downs. Started to use the front seat heating feature as it is pretty cold now in the morning. I can feel the heat in less than 10 seconds. I hope the steering wheel could also be heated.
150 miles a day, pure bliss
Mike C,09/06/2016
T5 Drive-E Inscription Platinum 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
I justified this purchase (to myself and mostly my wife!) based on safety - Volvo's reputation for crash protection and all of the safety technology that comes with the car. On the technology front, I simply don't want to drive anything else now (haven't driven my wife's Touareg in months - anytime we go out together, it's in the Volvo). The adaptive cruise control has more than once alerted me to stopped traffic on I75 outside of Atlanta, and applied the brakes sooner than I would have by myself. Combine the adaptive cruise with the blind spot detection, and it's like having a very competent copilot with me on every drive. The cross-traffic alert is also very helpful - scans for people or moving vehicles as you are backing up and sounds an alert. Ride comfort is a 10/10. Incredibly comfortable leather seating and solid, quiet ride. Reliability has been outstanding so far - I just passed the 20K mark with zero problems. This is an outstanding car that I highly recommend. I have owned a lot of vehicles including a 3 series, and none compare to this vehicle. Hoping to get 200K out of it over five years, and so far I am VERY happy with my decision to buy this car.

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 2016 Volvo S60

Used 2016 Volvo S60 Overview

The Used 2016 Volvo S60 is offered in the following submodels: S60 Sedan, S60 T6 Polestar. Available styles include T5 Drive-E Premier 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), T5 Drive-E Inscription Premier 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), T5 Premier 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6A), T5 Inscription Premier 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6A), T5 Drive-E Inscription Platinum 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), T5 Inscription Platinum 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6A), T5 Cross Country Platinum Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6A), T6 Polestar 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A), T6 Drive-E Platinum 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger 8A), T6 Drive-E 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger 8A), T5 Drive-E 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), T5 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6A), T6 R-Design 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A), T6 R-Design Platinum 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A), T6 Drive-E R-Design 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger 8A), and T6 Drive-E R-Design Platinum 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger 8A).

What's a good price on a Used 2016 Volvo S60?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 Volvo S60 trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 Volvo S60 T5 Drive-E Premier is priced between $15,500 and$18,999 with odometer readings between 37232 and56602 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Volvo S60 T5 Inscription Premier is priced between $20,895 and$20,900 with odometer readings between 23623 and34560 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Volvo S60 T5 Cross Country Platinum is priced between $21,891 and$21,891 with odometer readings between 38847 and38847 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Volvo S60 T5 Drive-E is priced between $17,495 and$17,495 with odometer readings between 33873 and33873 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Volvo S60 T5 Premier is priced between $13,989 and$13,989 with odometer readings between 65478 and65478 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2016 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) 2016 Volvo S60 for sale near. There are currently 7 used and CPO 2016 S60s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $13,989 and mileage as low as 23623 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 2016 Volvo S60.

Can't find a used 2016 Volvo S60s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volvo S60 for sale - 1 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $7,654.

Find a used Volvo for sale - 4 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $23,334.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volvo S60 for sale - 2 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $24,343.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volvo for sale - 11 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $18,201.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 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.

Check out Volvo lease specials
Check out Volvo S60 lease specials