The 2008 Volvo S60 is an oddball sedan in many ways. While Japanese and German sedan manufacturers tend to prefer the V-6 engine, Volvo is sticking with the turbocharged five cylinder model. Styling also has that distinctive Volvo flavor, with its Scandinavian accents and blips.
Also appealing in many ways, this is the eighth year of production for the S60 and unlike the S40, which has received a major upgrade this year, the S60 is still chugging along in the same manner is has for years. While Volvo has refused to budge when it comes to mechanics, BMW and Suzuki have been hard at work making vehicles that outperform the S60 in several key factors. Although the S60 is still a competent and comfortable vehicle, you might be interested in looking at the competition.
Body Styles: entry-level luxury sedan
Engines: turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder, 2.4-liter with turbocharger
Transmissions: five-speed automatic, five-speed automatic with manual shift mode
Models: Volvo S60 2.5t, Volvo S60 T5, Volvo S60 T5 AWD
The 2008 Volvo S60 has had a slight reshuffle. The ""R"" series model has been dropped. All S60 trim lines receive an auxiliary audio jack. The option packages, once incredibly complicated, are simplified.
The 2008 Volvo S60 is an entry level luxury sedan that comes in three trim lines: the 2.5T, 2.5T all-wheel drive (AWD), and the T5 model. All models have a sleek design that has a very attractive silhouette. Standard features on the 2.5t model include 16-inch alloy wheels, intermittent wipers, rear defogger, and power-retracted heated mirrors. The 2.5T gains all-wheel drive. The T5 model upgrades the wheels to 17-inch alloy wheels, and also adds a sunroof. Options include rain-sensing windshield wipers, and 18-inch wheels.
The interior of the 2008 Volvo S60 has a very functional design. However, unlike the S40, the interior does not have a very upscale feel unless you opt for the leather upholstery and the special Dolby audio system. The controls feel nice, but the icons describing the control functions are hard to read and a bit frustrating.
Seating is available for five passengers. The driver and front passenger have access to incredibly comfortable seating. Rear passengers, unfortunately, will find the rear seat has minimal legroom, especially for taller passengers. There is 14 cubic feet of trunk space, and a little bit more when the 60/40-split rear seat is folded away.
Standard features on the 2.5t include cloth upholstery, power driver seat with memory, dual-zone climate control, audio system with CD player and auxiliary audio jack, telescoping steering wheel, and faux-wood interior accents. The T5 adds a sunroof, leather upholstery, power passenger seat, and an auto-dimming rear view mirror.
Options come in bundled packages for the most part. Optional equipment includes a 13-speaker Dolby sound system with an in-dash CD player, a navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, Sirius Satellite Radio, heated front seats, rain-sensing wipers, and an interior air quality system with filters. A two-tone interior is also available for the T5 model.
Performance & Handling
The 2008 Volvo S60 has one of two engines. The 2.5T has a turbocharged five-cylinder engine that produces 208 horsepower with 236 lb-ft of torque. The engine is wed with a five-speed automatic transmission, which routes power to the front wheels, or to all four wheels on the all-wheel-drive version.
The T5 model is equipped with a 2.4-liter, five-cylinder that uses a supercharger to create 257 horsepower with 258 lb-ft of torque. The engine uses a five-speed automatic with manual-shift mode.
The 2008 Volvo S60 2.5t offers ample power for most drivers, but the T5 model is a bit quicker. Unfortunately, the engine has a bit of turbo induced lag when it attempts to shoot off the line. Handling is fine, but the soft tune suspension does cause some problems in turns. There is a bit of teeth grinding over bumps and potholes.
The 2008 Volvo S60 comes equipped with an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), stability control, front-side airbags, full-length curtain airbags, anti-whiplash headrests with active headrests, and OnCall Telematics. There is also rear-parking assist as an option. The NHTSA gave the 2008 Volvo S60 five out of five stars for front and side impacts.
EPA Fuel Economy
2008 Volvo S60 2.5t: 19/27 mpg city/highway
2008 Volvo S60 2.5T AWD: 18/26 mpg city/highway
2008 Volvo S60 T5: 18/26 mpg city/highway
- Front seat design
- Lots of safety features
- Comfortable ride
You Won't Like
- Too soft suspension tuning
- No feedback from steering
- Turbo lag
- Torque steering issues in T5 model
- Rear legroom
Although the 2008 Volvo S60 is still a great vehicle, it lags behind in what it offers in comparison to the competition.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Audi A4
- Acura TL
- BMW 3 Series
- Infiniti G35