2018 Volvo S60

2018 Volvo S60 Review

It's been around for nearly a decade, but the Volvo S60 still looks modern and sleek
3.5 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Travis Langness
Edmunds Editor

After nearly a decade on the market, it would be easy for the 2018 Volvo S60 to look dated compared to its luxury-sedan rivals, but it's quite the opposite. Its looks are still classy, and all of the modern safety equipment you'd expect from Volvo is helping to keep this four-door Scandinavian competitor relevant.

Under the hood, the S60 is available with two four-cylinder engines, one that is turbocharged, the other turbocharged and supercharged. Front- and all-wheel drive are both available, and the multiple safety features offered give the S60 a range of modern technology. The handling has varying levels of sportiness depending on the trim level, and the ride is definitely a luxury-level quality. Interior trimmings, as unfamiliar as they may seem to owners coming from other brands, are upscale and pleasing to the touch. And while legroom is limited on the standard S60, there's an available extended-wheelbase model called the Inscription that adds about 3 inches of rear legroom. Essentially, the 2018 Volvo S60 has all the bases covered. Despite its age, it's a well-rounded sedan that has a lot going for it. We recommend taking one out for a test drive.



what's new

Other than the shuffling of some minor trim items, the 2018 Volvo S60 carries over unchanged.

we recommend

If you're looking for some extra legroom in the rear and a decent amount of standard equipment, we recommend going with the T5 Inscription trim level on the 2018 Volvo S60. For some additional safety features, we'd also recommend tacking on the Technology package, which includes adaptive cruise control, an advanced forward collision warning and mitigation system, and a lane departure warning and intervention system. More enthusiastic drivers will be drawn to the T6 AWD R-Design, and we won't blame them, but the T5 Inscription is probably the most well-rounded trim level.

trim levels & features

The 2018 Volvo S60 is available in four different trim levels. The two standard-wheelbase offerings are the T5 Dynamic and T6 AWD R-Design Platinum, and the long-wheelbase trim levels are the T5 Inscription and T5 Inscription Platinum. The T5 Dynamic comes with items such as power seats and Volvo's Sensus smartphone app integration. Work your way up to the Inscription or Inscription Platinum and you'll get the longer wheelbase, an upgraded sound system and a slew of safety features. The T6 AWD R-Design is the sportiest and most powerful S60.

The T5 Dynamic and T5 Inscription are equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (240 hp, 258 lb-ft) and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The T6 AWD R-Design uses a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (302 hp, 295 lb-ft).

Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is an option on all trim levels, except on the T6 AWD R-Design, which comes only with AWD. Every S60 uses the same eight-speed automatic transmission.

The base T5 Dynamic comes relatively well-equipped with 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, xenon headlights, LED running lights, headlight washers, heated mirrors, automatic climate control, leather seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat (with lumbar adjustment), driver-seat memory settings, power-folding rear headrests, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a 60/40-split folding rear seat. Standard technology features include a low-speed forward collision warning and mitigation system, a 7-inch display screen, Volvo's Sensus smartphone app integration, Wi-Fi capability, Bluetooth, voice commands, and an eight-speaker sound system with satellite radio and a USB interface.

The midlevel T5 Inscription gets the longer wheelbase (which increases rear legroom by 3 inches), side rear window sunshades, a power rear window sunshade, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, a power front passenger seat, a configurable instrument display and an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a multi-filter cabin air filtration system and additional sound-deadening material.

The Inscription Platinum adds a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, turn-adapting headlights, revised seats, wood interior trim, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and Volvo's Convenience and Technology packages (explained below).

At the top of the ladder, there's the T6 AWD R-Design Platinum, which has all the Inscription Platinum features plus the more powerful engine, all-wheel drive, 19-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, special exterior and interior trim, navigation, sport front seats, adjustable steering effort and paddle shifters.

Available on all S60 Inscription models and standard on Platinum models, the Convenience package adds power-folding mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, 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 a lane departure warning and intervention system.\

Volvo's optional Climate package, available on all S60s except the Dynamic trim level, includes a heated windshield, heated windshield washers, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel and an active cabin air filter. The Sport package (T5 Dynamic only) includes 19-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, adjustable steering effort and paddle shifters. Also available is the Vision package, which features blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear park sensors, and keyless entry and ignition.

Other notable options are an automatic parking assistance system and a rear-seat entertainment system with dual displays.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2015 Volvo S60 T6 AWD Drive-E (turbo and supercharged 2.0L inline-4 | 8-speed automatic | FWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Volvo S60 has received some minor trim-level revisions. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's model, however.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.5 / 5.0

Driving

4.0 / 5.0

Acceleration3.0 / 5.0
Braking4.0 / 5.0
Steering4.0 / 5.0
Handling4.0 / 5.0
Drivability3.0 / 5.0

Comfort

3.0 / 5.0

Seat comfort3.5 / 5.0
Ride comfort3.0 / 5.0
Noise & vibration3.0 / 5.0

Interior

3.0 / 5.0

Ease of use3.0 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out4.0 / 5.0
Roominess4.0 / 5.0
Visibility3.0 / 5.0
Quality3.0 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
With a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is both turbo- and supercharged, the S60 T6 makes 302 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, which is impressive for its size. The resulting acceleration is slightly disappointing, but overall the S60 is a solid performer.

acceleration

edmunds rating
Shifts are smooth under light pedal pressure, but they become noticeable under moderate acceleration. Our test S60 T6 reached 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. That's a bit slow for a small luxury sedan with an upgraded engine, but real-world performance should be useful enough for most drivers.

braking

edmunds rating
Panic stopping from 60 mph required 120 feet in our test car, which is a few feet longer than rivals. Overall, the S60 remains composed, and it's easy to modulate the brakes around town.

steering

edmunds rating
Steering effort can be adjusted among three modes to suit individual tastes. Steering feel is appropriate in Normal mode, and reactions are predictable and precise, which contribute to the car feeling somewhat athletic and confident.

handling

edmunds rating
The S60 is surprisingly capable on a tight, winding road. It feels stable and encourages spirited driving. At the limit, the stability control smartly brakes the inside front wheel to gently keep the car on its path.

drivability

edmunds rating
Points are deducted for the rough engine stop-start's slow startup response and occasional lurches. The good thing: The system can be disabled with a single button. Otherwise, the S60 is easy to drive with few demands on the driver.

comfort

edmunds rating
The S60 gets high marks for front-seat comfort over long distances, but the rear seats aren't as comfortable, particularly for adult-size passengers. The ride quality is on the stiff side without being harsh, and the cabin is relatively quiet. Overall, it's slightly better than average.

seat comfort

edmunds rating
The front seats are well-shaped for hours of comfortable road tripping, but they lack adjustability. Lateral support is adequate enough when cornering. The rear seats are flat by comparison and may not be as accommodating for adults.

ride comfort

edmunds rating
Initial impacts from small ruts and bumps are smoothed over reasonably well. Larger undulations have a tendency to create a fair amount of jostling. On the highway, the S60 feels well-planted and solid.

noise & vibration

edmunds rating
Wind noise is noticeable at highway speeds, but not to the point that it's intrusive. Road noise is much more muted, even on coarse asphalt. Under hard acceleration, the engine sounds coarse, acknowledging it's a four-cylinder.

interior

edmunds rating
Although the S60's interior is visually pleasing, the many buttons and awkward infotainment controller show that it lags behind the times. Rear passenger space and cargo capacity is also a bit smaller than in some rivals. But thoughtful touches make up for many of these shortcomings.

ease of use

edmunds rating
The primary controls are well-placed, but the driver information display is not intuitive. The infotainment screen is crisp, but the dial controller mounted on the button-heavy center stack is not ideal and some menus are complicated.

getting in/getting out

edmunds rating
Getting in and out of the S60 is easy, thanks to tall door openings. Lengthwise, the doors are short enough to allow easy access in tighter spaces. This holds true for rear passengers, too.

roominess

edmunds rating
The front seats are spacious, and the large windows make it feel even bigger. Rear passengers have enough headroom for adults, but the seat cushions lack support for the same passengers. The tall door sills make it feel more enclosed.

visibility

edmunds rating
The narrow roof pillars afford a good all-around view with little obstruction in sharp turns. The rear decklid is high, but the standard power-folding rear headrests, parking sensors and rearview camera (on the T6) assist when reversing.

quality

edmunds rating
The S60's interior materials and sturdy build quality are typical for entry-level luxury sedans. It easily meets and sometimes exceeds expectations. Knobs and buttons have a heft that's appropriate for this class.

utility

The S60's trunk is a bit small for the class, and standard-wheelbase models are limited when it comes to rear legroom but the available extended-wheelbase (Inscription) models help solve that problem.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.