2017 Volvo S60

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Key Specs
Our Take
Road Test
Photos
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Safety & Recalls
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Key Specs

of the 2017 Volvo S60. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    23-29 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    240-hp, 2.0-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    8-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Power, estimated gas mileage (T6)
  • Responsive steering
  • Smooth eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Sound quality of available premium stereo
  • Value

The Bad

  • Stop-start technology annoys
  • Busy ride with 19-inch wheels, Volvo's Sport Chassis
  • Nonlinear brake-pedal response
  • Gray interior looks dreary
  • Lack of backseat legroom in regular-length version

Notable Features of the 2017 Volvo S60

  • Simplified lineup with new Dynamic trim level
  • Choice of four-cylinder engines, including supercharged and turbocharged engine
  • Front- or all-wheel drive
  • City Safety low-speed collision avoidance standard
  • Pedestrian and cyclist detection with auto-braking available

2017 Volvo S60 Road Test

Kelsey Mays
The Verdict:

Aside from some obvious warts, the 2017 Volvo S60 is still a competitive, value-oriented luxury sedan. That’s impressive given its age.

Versus The Competition:

A less expensive alternative to most luxury sports sedans, the S60 still has enough appeal to deserve a look, but some optional features should be avoided.

For 2017, the Volvo S60 comes in T5 Dynamic, T6 R-Design and high-performance Polestar variants. Compare them here. Volvo simplified the S60's trim levels and engines for 2017; compare the 2017 with the 2016 S60 here. Front-wheel drive is standard on the T5 (all-wheel drive is optional) and the T6 and Polestar get AWD standard. We cover the outdoorsy S60 Cross Country and extended-length S60 Inscription, which adds backseat legroom, separately on Cars.com.

Firm & Fast

We tested an AWD T5 equipped with Volvo's optional Sport Package chassis — a setup that makes for an objectionably choppy ride thanks to a lowered sport suspension with firmer springs and modified stabilizer bars, plus 19-inch alloy wheels with lower-profile tires instead of the S60's standard 18s.

In contrast to the S60's comfortable base suspension, the sport package setup surrenders to every dip and rise in the pavement, with minimal isolation on all but the most pristine roads. Shock absorption over frost heaves and sewer covers is controlled enough, but the suspension filters out little turbulence elsewhere. (That's my take; I should note that fellow editor Mike Hanley drove a Sport chassis-equipped S60 in 2015 and found ride quality acceptable.)

Handling is strong in the new car, at least. Body roll is limited, and the Pirelli all-season tires stave off the Volvo S60's eventual understeer with impressive lateral grip. Still, it's hard to slide the tail around much ...

For 2017, the Volvo S60 comes in T5 Dynamic, T6 R-Design and high-performance Polestar variants. Compare them here. Volvo simplified the S60's trim levels and engines for 2017; compare the 2017 with the 2016 S60 here. Front-wheel drive is standard on the T5 (all-wheel drive is optional) and the T6 and Polestar get AWD standard. We cover the outdoorsy S60 Cross Country and extended-length S60 Inscription, which adds backseat legroom, separately on Cars.com.

Firm & Fast

We tested an AWD T5 equipped with Volvo's optional Sport Package chassis — a setup that makes for an objectionably choppy ride thanks to a lowered sport suspension with firmer springs and modified stabilizer bars, plus 19-inch alloy wheels with lower-profile tires instead of the S60's standard 18s.

In contrast to the S60's comfortable base suspension, the sport package setup surrenders to every dip and rise in the pavement, with minimal isolation on all but the most pristine roads. Shock absorption over frost heaves and sewer covers is controlled enough, but the suspension filters out little turbulence elsewhere. (That's my take; I should note that fellow editor Mike Hanley drove a Sport chassis-equipped S60 in 2015 and found ride quality acceptable.)

Handling is strong in the new car, at least. Body roll is limited, and the Pirelli all-season tires stave off the Volvo S60's eventual understeer with impressive lateral grip. Still, it's hard to slide the tail around much — an area where performance-oriented cars like the BMW 3 Series, Cadillac ATS and Jaguar XE still reign. The Volvo's quick-ratio steering makes for precise, assertive directional changes, but its  raw dynamics fall short of the winners' circle.



In terms of acceleration, the Volvo S60 turns in a solid effort. The sole transmission, an eight-speed automatic , upshifts with sewing-machine smoothness early and often, invariably landing you in higher gears when a lower gear might seem necessary for passing. But the T5's 240-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder makes a burly 258 pounds-feet of torque, and it's enough to muscle past slower traffic whether you've induced a manual shift down or not. The oomph comes lag-free, too: In contrast to the accelerator delay that afflicts so many luxury cars, the Volvo S60 moves in lockstep with your right foot.

The turbo-charged five- and six-cylinder engines from last year are gone. If you're keeping track, what's in there now is the motor from last year's Volvo S60 T5 Drive-E, sans the extra verbiage. As base models go, it's quick: Stand on the gas and the S60 T5 can hit 60 mph in about 6 seconds, Volvo says. That hangs with manufacturer-estimated acceleration times for the Mercedes-Benz C300 and Audi A4 2.0T — both pricier cars. The T6 and Polestar add power and shave zero-to-60 times down to 5.6 and 4.4 seconds, respectively. Have at it.

The Inside

The Volvo S60's cabin has aged well. Volvo's waterfall dashboard mixes elegance and functionality, with a center panel that's rife with physical, rather than touch-sensitive, controls — an essential layout, even if it delves a bit much into nonessentials like a full numerical keypad. Still, there's a clear sensibility to the layout. Behind the control panel is a big storage bin, and the stadium-style cupholders are shaped for the caffeine tankers Americans will stuff in.

The sole blemish is Volvo's multimedia system, a 7-inch display that looks sharp but confounds basic tasks with screen delays and extra menus. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are unavailable, and a backup camera is inexcusably optional instead of standard. The whole setup begs for a touchscreen, but instead you have to manage the action through steering wheel controls or a dashboard knob. Graphics aside, this smacks of a 2000s-era system.

If we must go old-school, at least visibility is a hell of a lot better than in so many cars today. The Volvo S60's narrow A-pillars keep forward sight lines acceptable, and the rear window is unobstructed once you flip down the head restraints with a dashboard button. That's a feature every car should have.

Build quality is exemplary in some areas but shoddy in others. Most surfaces are padded and low-gloss, and the doors have a handsome finish that extends all the way down. Still, it curiously doesn't match the stuff on the upper dashboard. The passenger seat leaves some unsightly hardware exposed at its base, and its manual adjustments for the front seats in the T5 are a head-scratcher for a luxury car.



Speaking of chairs, the standard sport seats have prominent backrest bolsters that many shoppers will deem too restrictive. Alas, the T5 has no other seating option. The T6 and Polestar have unique seats, but both appear to be just as hip-hugging. Rear seat headroom and seat position are acceptable, but legroom is tight — something the extended-length S60 Inscription improves by a significant 3.4 inches. Trunk space in any Volvo S60, however, is a smallish 12 cubic feet.

Crash-test ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety are excellent. The S60's standard low-speed automatic emergency braking earned an advanced ranking (out of none, basic, advanced or superior) in IIHS' crash-prevention test. An optional forward-collision warning system with higher-speed automatic braking earned a superior rating.

Luxury Value

The Volvo S60 has its drawbacks, but the base price — from about $35,000 for the reasonably equipped T5 up to the mid-$50,000s for a loaded T6 — represents a considerable value versus leading sports sedans from Audi, BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz. Volvo might even draw a few shoppers away from entry-luxury subcompacts, like the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and Audi A3, a group for which the S60 is a far better alternative.

Volvo just unveiled a redesigned XC60 SUV with similar panache to the excellent XC90 and S90. Given the schedule of redesigns on the automaker's 60-series cars, a new Volvo S60 is certainly nigh. Still, the outgoing car remains a solid effort — age notwithstanding. Sports-sedan shoppers looking to save a few (thousand) bucks should give Volvo a gander. Just skip that Sport chassis.


Latest 2017 S60 Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(4.6)
Value For The Money
(4.7)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Volvo S60

by Courteous from Oyster Bay, NY on May 17, 2018

The car is stylish, comfortable, powerful, handles great, quiet, smooth, economical, comfortable, and up to date and is by far the best car I have ever owned. Read full review

(5.0)

Loving my Volvo

by erinlorra from Omaha, NE on April 24, 2018

I love my Volvo S60...what a fun and sporty sedan! I have always driven 2-door cars; however, this gives me a 2-door feel with the convenience of 4-doors. The reason I gave a 4 of 5-star rating on ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2017 Volvo S60 currently has 3 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2017 Volvo S60 T5 Dynamic

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Child Seat Anchors (Latch)

Ease of Use
acceptable

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Small Overlap Front - Driver Side

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/Thigh
good
Lower Leg/Foot
good
Overall Evaluation
good
Restraints and Dummy Kinematics
good
Structure and Safety Cage
good
acceptable
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranties

Backed by Volvo
New Car Program Benefits
  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits
  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    Less than 5 years/less than 80,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    7 years/100,000 miles

  • Powertrain warranty

    7 years/100,000 miles

  • Dealer Certification Required

    130-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All Program Details

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The S60 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker