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#10

in Upscale Midsize Cars

MSRP: $33,300 - $46,950
Invoice: $31,302 - $44,133
MPG: 25 City / 37 Hwy
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Volvo S60 Performance

Automotive experts remark that the 2015 Volvo S60 has controlled handling and that an available sport suspension sharpens cornering ability a bit, but no S60 is particularly athletic for the class. The new S60 Drive-E models get stellar fuel economy, and reviewers are impressed with the acceleration provided by the T6 Drive-E model.

  • "On the road, the beauty of the S60 lies in its holistic approach to ride comfort and handling precision. Even over the roughest stretches of pavement, the body structure is solid and the ride composed." -- AutoTrader
  • "As to the S60 itself, it's still a sweet-natured, comfortable, and antiseptic machine. … But at its core, the sedan is stoic, only reluctantly communicative, and rarely eager to be pushed harder." -- Car and Driver
  • "Volvos aren't known for being particularly sporty. While it won't be dethroning the BMW 3 Series or Cadillac ATS from the pinnacle of the performance heap, the S60 is genuinely fun to drive." -- Forbes
  • "When driving this spruced-up S60 T6 in a civil manner - as nearly every Volvo owner in the United States drives their car - the entire experience shined." -- Autoblog

Acceleration and Power

The base 2015 Volvo S60 T5 Drive-E is powered by an all-new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 240 horsepower. The T5 AWD model comes with a 250-horsepower, turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine, while the T6 Drive-E has a brand-new 302-horsepower, turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Lastly, the T6 AWD R-Design comes with a 325-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. Drive-E models have a new eight-speed automatic transmission and an engine start/stop system, while AWD models have a six-speed automatic. According to the EPA, the base 2015 S60 Drive-E gets 25/37 mpg city/highway, which is significantly better than the fuel economy ratings of most upscale midsize cars. The S60 T6 Drive-E gets 24/35, which is also very good for the class.

Test drivers report that the base S60 T5 Drive-E’s engine provides sufficient power, but several prefer the potent acceleration provided by the T6 Drive-E model. Automotive journalists say the older engine in the T5 AWD provides more than enough power, and the top-of-the-line T6 AWD R-Design delivers surprisingly strong acceleration for a Volvo. The new eight-speed automatic transmission also earns praise for its quick shifts.

  • "Under the hood, you can't go wrong with any of the S60's offerings. The new Drive-E 4-cylinder engines are smooth and quiet, with the base T5 turbocharged engine offering acceptable acceleration and excellent fuel economy. We much prefer the turbocharged and supercharged T6 FWD, which offers impressive power, good fuel economy and, thanks to the supercharger, a good deal more low-end torque than the T5 engine." -- AutoTrader
  • "The 241-hp, single-turbo T5 version installed in the S60 sedan we drove has a wonderfully broad and flat torque curve-Volvo claims 258 lb-ft are available from 1500 to 4800 rpm. Combine that torque-rich character with the relatively short spaces between the eight gears, and the S60 always seems to be operating in the meatiest part of the power band. However, there are only so many thrills that can arise from mixing 241 horsepower with a car that weighs about 3600 pounds." -- Car and Driver
  • "With a clear road ahead, zero to 60 happens about as fast as you can say ‘No way, dude, this is a Volvo?!’ or about 5.6 seconds in normal people time. Between the two 'chargers and the quick transmission, there's no dead spot in the power delivery." -- CNET
  • "In the T5, you get plenty of power from the turbocharged five-cylinder's 250 horses." -- Cars.com (2013)
  • "Mash the aluminum-trimmed pedal on the right, and the S60 R-Design launches to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds-impressive for this mild-mannered, safety-obsessed brand." -- Popular Mechanics (2012)

Handling and Braking

The 2015 Volvo S60 comes standard with front-wheel drive. Sport-tuned Dynamic Chassis and Sport Chassis suspension systems are available, as is all-wheel drive, larger brakes and a speed-sensitive steering system with driver-selectable settings. Reviewers report that the 2015 S60 offers a comfortable ride and handling that’s composed, but not particularly sporty. Some test drivers say the S60’s steering is accurate, but others write that it feels a bit numb.

  • "The speed-sensitive steering has driver-selectable modes in S60 T6 models, but even the base gear in the T5 model has variable-assist steering and good precision." -- AutoTrader
  • "The suspension is on the floaty side and the steering feels a bit disconnected, but neither is egregious enough to dampen driving enjoyment." -- Forbes
  • "All of the S60 sedans are tuned for comfort, with a Sport package that amps up handling, but not at the expense of ride quality." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The sedan goes around a corner well enough and feels responsive to wheel input. However sporty it is, though, the nearly 3,500-pound, front-drive S60 T6 still feels like comfort is its primary goal, with a compliant ride and slightly muted steering feel, and as much as I think this car's 302-horsepower engine is the sweet spot in the line, I'm eager to compare how the AWD R-Design model tackles a corner." -- CNET
Review Last Updated: 7/28/14

Next Steps: Volvo S60