Volvo S60 Interior
The S60's interior may be attractive, but it's not very user-friendly. U.S. News reviewer Rick Newman says "the impression I got is that the S60 has been artfully engineered, but somewhere along the line, somebody skipped a dummy test or two-making sure all the great ideas work in the real world."
Forbes says that the "the graceful roofline may look good, but it impairs outward visibility." Consumer Guide says that's not the only problem, noting that "visibility is restricted aft by the high parcel shelf, bulky headrests, and the sloped roofline." However, the rear headrests are retractable and a power option is even available to retract them automatically.
The front-seat is comfortable by most accounts, and Forbes says "the power-adjustable driver's seat and manually adjustable steering wheel (which moves up, down, fore and aft) offer flexibility for all shapes and sizes." The driver's seat is power-adjustable on all versions, but a power-adjustable passenger seat is only available as part of an options package. Seats have an anti-submarine feature, which stops passengers from sliding under the seatbelt in the event of a crash. The was lavish in its praise, saying "there is literally support for every single contour and curve of your body."
Rear seating is available for three, but most reviewers found space to be lacking in the rear. MSN says "legroom gets tight for a tall rear occupant if the driver's seat is moved back more than halfway" and New Car Test Drive agrees: "the S60 offers good rear headroom, but adult males will find it short of legroom." The headrests also received some mixed comments, with Forbes reviewer noting that one driver said "she would never buy an S60 simply because of the headrests hitting her in the head and forcing her to slouch forward."
Thesays "there are [optional] tasteful woodgrain accents on the doors and glove box, and the instruments and controls have a look and feel of solid craftsmanship."
Critics say gauges and controls are good, easily read, and accessed. MSN says "the interior looks bland, but has easily read gauges and fairly large controls placed within the natural arc of a hand." New Car Test Drive adds that its standard features are "copious," and include features not always found as standard on lower-priced vehicles such as power windows, cruise control, a keyless entry system and dual-zone climate control.
Stereo and Entertainment
The standard radio/CD system has steering wheel controls which reviewers say are easy to operate, but the knob-based system on the actual radio was a hindrance to some reviewers. Forbes says "controls on the dash for the radio and optional in-dash six-disc changer are confusing." New Car Test Drive was more sympathetic, saying "changing preset channels involves turning a knob, rather than pressing a button, for example. Once understood, it works well."
Fold-down rear seats and a spacious trunk mean the 2008 Volvo S60 has rather good cargo capacity, at 13.9 cubic feet. MSN says this space means "the S60 has the cargo hauling abilities of smaller sport utes." However, reviewers note the curvaceous exterior styling of the car means a smaller actual trunk opening, making loading more difficult. As New Car Test Drive explains, "to get the S60's swoopy shape, Volvo had to make design concessions that constrict the trunk opening. The trunk itself is roomy and deep; it'll hold a lot of small bags, but big hard-sided bags might be a challenge." Another frequently noted annoyance is, as U.S. News' Rick Newman says, "to fold down the rear seats you have to pull a lever reachable only through the trunk. Compared with most fold-down seats, which have levers right on top, inside the passenger cabin, that can be a huge inconvenience-especially if the trunk is full."
Up front, a large arm rest conceals storage space as well as two cup-holders, but a few reviewers encountered bad ergonomic design. U.S. News' Rick Newman says "I put my coffee mug into one of the cupholders and it directly interfered with my ability to reach the shifter." A third cup holder on the dash met with the reviewer's ire: "the location of the cup holder on the instrument panel blocks the air vent and some of the radio controls." In the rear, the armrest also contains two cupholders as well.