Through thick and thin and more than 10,000 miles logged on its odometer in the more than six months we've stewarded our 2013 Volvo S60 T5 AWD, the thought has lingered: Would we buy one ourselves?
We took in a slightly used 2013 model with nearly 10,000 miles already on it because of Volvo's excellent performance in servicing pre-owned cars, according to our IntelliChoice sister publication. Since then, we've driven it near and far. We've tinkered with its every intricacy to see what the deal is with our roundabout $38,000 compact luxury sedan.
And just a few weeks ago when a friend of mine asked if I'd recommend the Volvo S60 to replace her husband's--and therefore her--Nissan Sentra, I paused for a second, and I thought about it for a second. Then, I answered that I would.
While not the most powerful car in its class, the T5's turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder always has enough punch in it to put you back in your seat. It's properly quick, growling in baritone with a light whistle from its turbocharger singing backup, and it makes driving long distances a pleasure when coupled with the plush, yet compliant, suspension ours has.
But its also a capable performer, as I was more than able to take yet another friend through the twisty Malibu canyons without breaking a sweat. Its brakes are strong without being too touchy, and its all-wheel drive has provided us with the utmost assurance.
Perhaps its biggest downsides come by way of a bit too much bump steer--movement over potholes and whatnot--lackluster fuel economy, with us reporting right around 21 mpg over the life of the car on Premium fuel, and some groans from the chassis over uneven pavement. Because of the headlight washers equipped in our car, we've also gone through quite a bit of window washer fluid. But, perhaps, that was to be expected. We also had to twice patch a tire, which has been signalling a low pressure light for months after the initial repair. Together, both have come to $90. With the car, we have three free scheduled maintenance appointments. We've used two of them with just under five months left with the car.
With some of the most comfortable seats in any car today with incredibly efficient seat heaters, a kickin' standard stereo system, excellent all-around visibility, and those orange seats that have garnered more than their fare share of compliments, the 2013 Volvo S60 continues to impress.
If we were to have it our way, perhaps the only changes we'd make in opting for a 2014 model--which has been revised--would come by way of adding navigation, the newly available Sport package with paddle shifters and revised suspension, xenon headlights, and backup camera, bringing our total to about $43,600. There are even more options available, such as Volvo's (in our opinion) class-leading Blind Spot Information System, but they aren't on our must-haves list.
We still think that a more heavily optioned version of our car would be a fantastic value in its class considering how easily a BMW 328i can perch above $50,000. Given that we've had several friends ask about the car, telling us they're looking for a luxury car without being too ostentatious, we can't help but think the Volvo S60 would be on our short list of cars to consider if it were us doing the shopping.