The Volvo S60 is a premium mid-size sedan that serves more in the way of luxury and performance than ever before as it guns for well-established upscale rivals from Germany and Japan.
Updated for the latest model year, the S60 wears a stylish and elegant design that clearly demonstrates Volvo's desire to move up a notch on the market. It is characterized by slender A- and C-pillars, features that improve its looks while noticeably increasing visibility.
Following the sweeping roofline to the back end of the car reveals boomerang-shaped tail lamps and a tall trunk lid.
Offering room for up to five passengers, the S60 features a well-laid out cabin that puts a big emphasis on comfort and ergonomics. It is equipped with an innovative floating center console that frees up space for a small storage bin behind concealed behind the climate control buttons.
The S60 offers 12 cubic feet of trunk space with the rear seats left up. Carrying long items such as skis is a breeze thanks to a pass-through integrated into the rear arm rest.
All S60s regardless of trim level come standard with a dash-mounted seven-inch color touch screen that runs Volvo's Sensus infotainment system. Sensus groups the car's connectivity and entertainment and navigation (if equipped) into a single easy-to-use unit that can also be controlled with buttons and voice command. The screen also displays images in cars equipped with a rear-view camera, and gives the driver access to a host of menus that provide vital information about the car.
The entry-level T5 is powered by a 2.5-liter straight-five engine that sends 250 horsepower and 266 lb-ft. of torque to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. The sedan is capable of sprinting from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds.
Fuel economy is rated at 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Selecting the optional all-wheel drive system lowers city and highway mileage to 20 and 29, respectively.
The base T5 comes standard with central locks, remote keyless entry, torque vectoring, LED daytime running lamps, rain-sensing wipers, a multi-function steering wheel, dual-zone electronic climate control SiriusXM satellite radio, an eight-speaker sound system and Bluetooth connectivity.
The Premier trim level adds keyless start, bright trim pieces around the windows, a power glass moonroof, a configurable thin-film transistor (TFT) screen in the instrument cluster, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, an eight-way power adjustable passenger seat and leather upholstery. It also gives buyers access to a host of options that cannot be selected with the base trim.
Next up is the Premier Plus trim level. Building upon the Premier model, it gains a Homelink garage opener, a compass in the rear-view mirror, a grocery bag holder, a quick-fold passenger seat and a rear-view camera.
The range-topping Platinum trim level features auto-dimming power-retractable outside mirrors, accent interior lighting, a 12-speaker premium audio system with a DVD player and navigation.
The T5's list of options includes a wide palette of metallic paint colors, wood trim on the dash and the door panels, heated front seats, a dual-screen rear entertainment system, bi- Xenon headlights with washers and the aforementioned all-wheel drive system.
The mid-range S60 T6 comes standard with a turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six that sends 300 horsepower and 325 lb-ft. of torque to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. The extra power helps the S60 sprint from zero to 60 mph in just 5.6 seconds while a sport-tuned suspension, torque vectoring and a reworked chassis enhance handling.
The sedan returns 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway when driven conservatively.
The base T6 comes standard with a power moonroof, puddle lights, rain-sensing wipers, a configurable TFT screen in the instrument cluster, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, sport seats, shift paddles mounted behind the steering wheel, an eight-way adjustable passenger seat, an auto up/down function for the front windows, aluminum trim on the dash and on the door panels, leather upholstery, Bluetooth connectivity and a six-month trial subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio.
The next model in the lineup is the T6 Premier Plus which gains a Homelink garage door opener, a rear-view camera, a grocery bag holder and a compass in the rear-view mirror.
The range-topping T6 Platinum features auto-dimming and retractable exterior mirrors, accent LED lighting inside, a 12-speaker premium audio system with a DVD player and navigation.
The list of options includes bi-Xenon headlights with washers, a dual-screen rear entertainment system, heated front seats, metallic paint colors and an accessory prep cable.
The range-topping S60 R-Design boasts 325 horsepower and 354 lb-ft. of torque thanks to a revamped variant of the T6's 3.0-liter straight-six. Power is sent to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox.
The R-Design stands out from other S60s thanks to a unique front fascia with a glossy black front grille, twin exhaust pipes and model-specific 18-inch alloy wheels. Inside, the R-Design offers bespoke sport seats with more bolstering, off-black leather with contrast stitching, a sport steering wheel and blue dial-style gauges.
A strut tower brace adds stiffness to the chassis while monotube dampers improve the ride quality. Shortened front springs lower the R-Design's ride height by about half an inch.
Standard equipment includes bi-Xenon headlights, heated exterior mirrors, a moonroof, mirror-mounted puddle lights, a multi-function steering wheel, a compass in the rear-view mirror, eight-way adjustable front seats and speed-sensitive power steering.
The R-Design Platinum trim adds auto-dimming exterior mirrors, a rear-view camera, interior accent lighting and navigation.
The list of options largely mirrors the S60 T6's. Extra-cost equipment includes a rear-seat entertainment system, heated front seats and several metallic paint colors.
Volvo offers four different option packages for the S60.
Available on all models, the Climate Package bundles features such as heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a heated windshield and the automaker's Interior Air Quality System.
The Technology Package consists largely of driving aids such as Volvo's Pedestrian Detection technology. Cable of of detecting when a collision with a pedestrian is imminent, the system automatically triggers the S60's brakes to prevent an impact.
Other package highlights include Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Warning, Distance Alert, Lane Depature Warning and active high beams.
The Blind Spot Information System package adds a blind spot warning system, Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Merge Aid and front and rear park assist.
Finally, T5 buyers can order the 18" Sport Package. It includes shift paddles, a dynamic chassis, 18-inch alloy wheels and sport seats.
Volvo and safety are almost synonymous so it's no surprise that the S60 comes with a long list of active and passive safety equipment. All S60s feature dual front, side and side curtain airbags.
A tire pressure monitoring system and a Whiplash Protection Seating System (WHIPS) both come standard.
Noteworthy competitors in the crowded premium mid-size sedan segment include the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the BMW 3-Series, the Audi A4, the Lexus IS250, the Cadillac ATS and the Infiniti G37.