Volvo's S60 is in the second year of a fashionable redesign, backed by new Chinese ownership. Wrapped in a slinky coupe-like profile, the S60 is Volvo's mature sports sedan, a quirky alternative to the snobby German rivals.
Visually, the S60's facial features are fashionably elongated, resembling those recently given to the updated C30, while its tail has a beautiful fastback design. Inside, the interior mixes Volvo's traditional stoicism with an Audi-esque flair and excellent center-stack control ergonomics.
Three engines are offered, a front-wheel drive T5 with the 250-hp 2.5-liter, turbocharged 5-cylinder, the T6 all-wheel drive with a 300-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter 6-cylinder, and T6 all-wheel drive R-Design with a high-output 325-hp turbocharged, 3.0-liter 6-cylinder. All engine configurations come with Volvo's electronically controlled six-speed automatic.
Predictably, Volvo has also gone all-out in the safety arena, offering its sporty sedan with advanced technologies including City Safety and Pedestrian Detection -- both of which trigger automated braking in an emergency -- and a 180-degree front-mounted video camera. The S60 is a solid start for Volvo as it begins its future under Chinese ownership.
Volvo upped the sport ante for 2012 with the introduction of its T6 all-wheel drive R-Design, featuring 325 horsepower and 354 lb.-ft. of torque from a turbocharged six-cylinder found in the T6 model. The S60 T6 also sees a flurry of specific exterior and interior design cues, including 18-inch wheels.
The S60 represents Volvo's most dramatic step away from its "boxy" design heritage and toward a flamboyant new design philosophy. The S60's nose is similar to that of the recently revamped C30, while its profile is an unboxy, sweeping, and dramatic arc. Think fastback.
Inside, you'll be treated with two easy-to-read gauges within the simple instrument bin, and extravagantly sculpted seats are topped by scythe-like headrests. The atmosphere of Swedish design elegance is enhanced by available 'Urbane Wood' inlays.
Performance & Handling
All S60 variants are capable of sub-7 second 0-60 mph times, and the most powerful version--the T6 AWD R-Design--gets to freeway speeds in just 5.5 seconds. The front-wheel drive T5 is the most pedestrian of the bunch, but the all-wheel drive T6's, with enhanced suspension, are the aggressive sports-tuned models enthusiasts would want.
The S60 is an IIHS Top Safety Pick for 2012, with "Good" scores in front, side, and rear impact, plus standard stability control. In addition to plentiful airbags, anti-lock brakes and other safety systems, the 2012 S60 also offers advanced systems such as City Safety and Pedestrian Detection, both of which are designed to prevent accidents by stopping the car to avoid low-speed collisions.
Bodystyle: four-door sedan
Engines: 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5, 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6
Transmission: six-speed automatic
Models: T5, T6 all-wheel drive, T6 all-wheel drive R-Design
EPA Fuel Economy
Front-wheel drive: 20 mpg city/30 mpg highway
All-wheel drive: 18 mpg city /26 mpg highway
- T6 AWD R-Design
- Elegant, retro-fastback styling
- Safety features
You Won't Like
- Smallish backseat
- No manual transmission
Quirky and cool
If You Like This Vehicle
- Mercedes-Benz C-Class
- Audi A4
- BMW 3 Series