2013 Volvo S60 Review
With adept performance and attractive interior and exterior styling, critics agree that the 2013 Volvo S60 is a compelling alternative to competing European sedans.
The 2013 Volvo S60 is available with turbocharged five- and six-cylinder engines, and test drivers say that the S60 offers competitive power, no matter which model you choose. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, and while most reviewers have few complaints, a handful note that competitors like the Audi A4 and BMW 328i have more gears. The S60 gets up to 21/30 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class, although rivals like the A4 and 328i use less fuel. Most auto reviewers say that the S60 offers poised, if slightly firm, handling, which makes it fairly capable on twisty mountain roads. Still, one auto writer comments that the S60 is not as agile as the most athletic sport sedans in the class, while another says that its ride doesn’t absorb bumps as well as some comfort-tuned family sedans. The 2013 S60's reliability rating is a bit lower than most upscale midsize cars. However, its exceptional safety score is also difficult for those cars to match.
Inside, the Volvo S60 surrounds the driver with high-quality materials and an attractively-styled design. A few test drivers say that the S60’s back seat and trunk could be more spacious, though most appreciate the comfortable front seats. The S60’s simple climate controls also earn praise, though more than one reviewer says that Volvo’s infotainment system is difficult to use. The S60’s list of standard equipment is about average for the class, but one critic notes that the omission of standard features like a backup camera is surprising given the S60’s price. Still, the S60 offers crash test scores and standard safety technology that exceeds many cars in the class, including Volvo’s City Safety system, which can automatically apply the brakes to help avoid (or lessen) the severity of a low-speed collision.
- "We love this Volvo for its striking design, impressive value, and understated luxury with a subtle sportiness that keeps things fun." -- Automobile Magazine
- "If you're shopping for a BMW 328i based on that car's enthusiast-cult credentials, you likely won't give the Volvo a second look. If, on the other hand, you're concerned with style, comfort, value for the money, safety and the badge of just-outside-the-norm respectability, the S60 T5 AWD is a solid choice." -- AutoWeek
- "The 2013 Volvo S60 is a well-balanced and stylish luxury sedan. As such, it makes for a tempting alternative to the ubiquitous German luxury sedans." -- Edmunds
- "The only disappointment in the car, given its final price, is the lack of navigation (perhaps it should be part of the premium package), paddle shifts on the steering wheel and no rear-backup camera, a feature that is increasingly common on cars costing far less." -- Road and Track
- "With comparatively generous standard equipment levels, it shades the Germans for value quite easily." -- Autoblog
Other Cars to Consider
While the Acura TL can’t match the S60’s safety scores, its offers more back-seat and trunk space, as well as more standard interior features. Reviewers don’t consider the TL as attractive as the S60, but the Acura’s powerful V6 engine and available all-wheel drive make it a close match in terms of performance.
The Volkswagen CC’s trunk is slightly larger than the S60’s. The CC also offers similar safety and fuel economy ratings. Like the S60, reviewers also appreciate the CC’s attractive, high-quality interior.
Details: 2013 Volvo S60
The 2013 Volvo S60 seats five and has standard front-wheel drive. S60 T5 models come with a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine, while T6 models feature a more powerful turbocharged 3.0-liter engine and standard all-wheel drive. A total of nine trims are available, which range from the base T5 to the T6 R-Design Platinum. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard across the model line. For 2013, all-wheel drive is now optional on the S60 T5, while all models gain standard rain-sensing wipers and new options like heated rear seats. Aside from these changes, the S60 hasn’t changed much since it was redesigned in 2011. As a result, this overview uses research and reviewers from 2011 and 2012, as well as the current model year.