2011 to Present: Volvo S60
The current Volvo S60 is a luxury midsize car that launched for the 2011 model year and was significantly refreshed for 2014. Additionally, in the middle of the 2015 model year, Volvo gave the S60 a minor update, adding some new powertrain options and trim level amenities.
A strong but subdued member of the entry-level luxury car segment, the Volvo S60 offers attractive Scandinavian-infused styling and a trio of forced-induction engines that balance efficiency and performance. A true luxury sedan, the S60’s high-end materials, superior technology and excellent fit and finish help this Volvo remain relevant in a fiercely competitive segment.
At launch, the S60 came with a six-speed automatic transmission and a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that’s good for 300 horsepower. For 2012, a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine joined the lineup, offering 250 horsepower. The 2012 model year also saw the addition of a more powerful version of the 3.0-liter engine offering 325 horsepower. The 300-horsepower 3.0 liter was dropped for the 2015 model year. The 325-horsepower version of this engine was phased out in 2016, and is available in early-build sedans from that model year.
Later S60 models offer updated engine choices, most of which became available for the 2015 model year. A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 240 horsepower is standard in the base model. A turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that creates 250 horsepower continues to be offered with all-wheel drive. The S60 can also be configured with a supercharged and turbocharged engine that generates 302 horsepower. A higher-output version of the same engine is offered, generating 345 horsepower. The five-cylinder S60 comes with a six-speed automatic transmission, while the remaining engine choices are paired with an eight-speed automatic.
The well-equipped base model includes power windows and door locks, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and dual-zone climate control. Base models also feature an audio system that includes Bluetooth, USB connectivity and satellite radio.
Moving into the higher trim levels allow you to add a power glass moonroof, upgraded interior trim and more.
The Volvo S60 is a strong contender among luxury sedans, competing with European favorites including the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Jaguar XE and Audi A4. Other primary competitors include the Cadillac ATS, Buick Regal, Lexus IS and Acura TLX.
Earlier Volvo S60 Models
The first-generation Volvo S60 was launched for the 2001 model year to compete with BMW’s 3 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-class, among others. Volvo’s approach when it comes to engine choices has always been unconventional, but typically results in a mainstream favorite. The base 2001 S60 has a 168-horsepower, 2.4-liter five-cylinder engine, while the top T5 model uses a 2.3-liter turbocharged inline five.
The S60 arrived with front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive was available as an option from 2002 on.
In 2004, Volvo introduced a high-performance Turbo R model that’s powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that makes 300 horsepower.
The first-generation Volvo S60 is an entry-level luxury sports sedan and is optioned accordingly. Standard features include keyless entry, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control and a suite of safety features that were advanced for that era.
Volvo is a highly respected leader in passive and active safety technology, and the S60 was built to a high standard, typically earning top ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.