The Volvo S60 challenges the conventions established by German benchmark-setters in the sector for compact luxury sedans. The third-generation S60, debuted for the 2019 model year, impresses with its sharp exterior appearance and elegant, simple interior layout. Volvo provides mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of its car. The S60 is also the foundation for the Volvo V60 station wagon.
The Volvo S60’s allure begins with its exceptional external design. This attractiveness extends to the interior, which is contemporary, sophisticated, and well-appointed with comfort and convenience features. Even after a year of driving our long-term test vehicle, we still found the S60 intriguing.
The new Android-based infotainment system introduced by Volvo for 2023 is a slight improvement over the previous generation’s infotainment system, which we didn’t particularly enjoy. Although this new technology from Google offers certain enhancements, such as built-in Google Maps, access to the Google Play store, voice control functionality, and over-the-air upgrades, the user interface is not significantly more intuitive than the previous one.
Although our comments are minor, the S60 has several flaws that should be addressed. The plug-in hybrid T8 drivetrain, which is the most potent, might be more polished. This issue may be resolved by the improved transmission shift algorithm implemented to the complete 2023 S60 series. In addition, the high-performance Polestar variant is not sporty enough. As long as you’re not seeking the sportiest or quickest driving experience, though, the Volvo S60 deserves consideration in a segment filled with impressive statistics.
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- Modernized grille design and Volvo emblem
- Modernized rear bumper with concealed tailpipes
- Google-based system for entertainment
- Model Recharge now comes standard with an extended-range configuration.
- Updated shift logic for the entire roster
- Added one-pedal operation to the Recharge model
- Two USB-C ports substitute for USB-A ports in the first row.
- Reduction tiers are now Core, Plus, and Ultimate.
- Exterior themes are now separated from trims; Bright, Dark, and Black are the names of the styling themes.
- Original wheel designs
- Modernized paint hues
- S60 Recharge is granted Custom upholstered wool blend
- Wireless charging is no longer offered.
Performance and Fuel Economy
Volvo provides a variety of powertrains for the S60, ranging from an entry-level turbocharged four-cylinder with mild hybrid assistance to a plug-in configuration with a turbocharged and supercharged inline-four paired with an electric motor.
Drivetrain of the Volvo S60 B5: FWD or AWD
- Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 Power/Torque: 247 horsepower/258 pound-feet
- 26/35 mpg city/highway (FWD); 25/33 mpg city/highway (RWD) (AWD)
- 0-60 mph Acceleration: 6.4 (FWD) / 6.2 (AWD) (mfr. estimate)
Volvo S60 T8 EAWD Drivetrain: AWD
- 2.0-liter turbo and supercharged I-4 engine and electric motor
- Power/Torque: 455 horsepower hp/523 pound-feet
- 74 mpg-e efficiency (city/highway).
- 0-60 mph acceleration in 4.3 seconds (mfr. estimate)
What is the meaning of Polestar Engineered?
The Polestar Engineered version of the Volvo S60 is the most sporty. This costs almost $17,000 more than the standard S60 Recharge T8 eAWD and comes with several cosmetic and performance upgrades, such as Ohlins shock absorbers, Polestar Engineered front and rear springs, gold Akebono brakes with six-piston front calipers, forged Polestar Engineered 19-inch wheels, a unique grille, sport seats, and a trim-specific interior. The Polestar Engineered S60 is quite swift and well-mannered, but its enhancements are insufficient for it to effectively compete with the sportiest and most potent small luxury sedans in its class.
Ratings and Features for Safety
Volvo continues to prioritize safety as a major brand pillar, as evidenced by the S60’s crash test scores. The IIHS has designated the 2022 Volvo S60 as a Top Safety Pick+, and the NHTSA has awarded it a five-star overall rating, with four stars for frontal crash testing, five stars for side collision tests, and five stars for rollover tests.
The S60 comes standard with forward collision warning, front and rear automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, automatic high-beams, and windshield wipers. In addition, adaptive cruise control and greater steering assistance are available as part of a semi-autonomous system called Pilot Assist.
Standard on the Volvo S60 is a nine-inch infotainment display with a Google-based operating system. Apple CarPlay, Google Assistant controls for speech recognition, Google Maps navigation, and over-the-air update capabilities are included. In addition, each S60 is equipped with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that interacts with the infotainment system. There is a head-up display available. Volvo provides a base 10-speaker audio system and optional 14-speaker Harman Kardon or 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio systems.
If we were purchasing a Volvo S60 with our own funds, we would go with the base B5 engine and entry-level Core trim, which includes a number of standard equipment. Every S60 comes standard with dual-zone temperature control, a 12.0-inch digital instrument cluster, a 9.0-inch infotainment system, 18-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof with a power sunshade, ambient interior lighting, keyless entry and ignition, and an abundance of driver aid technologies. In a class shared with the Genesis G70 and Alfa Romeo Giulia, where the S60 B6 provides greater power, dynamic performance is not this Volvo’s strong suit. Therefore, we would likely use the base engine for the 2023 S60.