The 2015 Volvo S60 is the smallest sedan from this Swedish car manufacturer, a compact model that seats five. Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is obtainable and 10 editions are available for this safety leading model.
Among premium sedans, the 2015 Volvo S60 is a compact model with standard front-wheel drive, available all-wheel drive and four engine choices. New for this year are an eight-speed “Geartronic” transmission and a Sensus connectivity package.
Up front, the 2015 Volvo S60 brings in the most modern interpretation on the classic Volvo front fascia theme. The trademark “iron” symbol and diagonal slash are present, but everything else about the S60 has evolved.
For instance, the hood now pushes down to the fascia, delivering a striking, yet vigorous design with its wraparound headlamp assemblage highlighted by parking lights. An oversized lower grille outlet is balanced by embrasures for the LED daytime running lights.
The rear fascia is composed of a familiar wraparound taillight design and is punctuated by LED lights that stream from the crown of the bumper to the foot of the rear quarter. Distinctive profile lines cross the sedan at door level with a second set of lines near the rocker panel. Overall, the sedan’s visage is energetic, with a sloping roofline line that suggests a sport sedan.
Step inside the Volvo S60 and you will find a cabin that is reasonably roomy and efficiently organized. The interior is marked by exquisite leather seating surfaces, wood and metal accents. And wherever plastics are used, it meshes seamlessly with the decor.
Behind the tilt and telescopic steering column resides a digital instrument panel featuring a sizable speedometer and tachometer display and a digital readout. Atop the center console is a small, but vibrant screen with controls for media, radio, telephone and navigation.
Direct management of the infotainment and climate control systems is accomplished via an assemblage of switches and knobs located beneath. Additional buttons beneath that are for activating select safety features and the rear headrests.
Between the front seats is a generously proportioned armrest with a sliding cover that houses a pair of cup holders and a 12-volt outlet. The small, yet low storage chamber is outfitted with an auxiliary input connection and a USB port.
All doors incorporate small storage compartments, but were not designed to house drink bottles. Four cup holders are included with two found up front and two more to the rear.
The front seats have been carefully designed with comfort and safety in mind, the latter particularly evident with the active headrests. Both seats are power operated and come with hidden storage compartments at the front edge. Another secluded storage area is located behind the center console.
Although there are seat belts for three in the rear, that split-folding bench seat is more comfortable for two and with the center armrest folded down. The seating positions are satisfying and supportive, but legroom is limited.
In the S60, Volvo offers four gasoline engine choices. A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 240 horsepower is standard; a turbocharged and supercharged variant of that engine making 302 horsepower is the second choice.
With select editions, Volvo also makes available a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine rated at 250 horsepower and a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine making 325 horsepower.
Both four-cylinder engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed automatic transmission is reserved for the larger engines.
As tested, Volvo provided a front-wheel drive model equipped with the turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder engine. This engine packs a lot of power in a small footprint, so much so that torque steer is common. Step on the gas, hold onto the steering wheel steadfast and you will experience this sedan move from side to side. That’s a problem largely mitigated by all-wheel drive, which is a better choice for this model. The turbocharger-supercharger unification is an interesting one as it works to deliver power equivalent to a much larger, normally aspirated engine.
Beyond its Drive-E technology, which delivers a more dynamic and efficient powertrain arrangement, Volvo has made substantial changes to its in-cabin connectivity system, Sensus Connect.
The system goes beyond USB and auxiliary connectors to also advance Bluetooth wireless connectivity. Further, this model acts as its own Wi-Fi hot spot, enabling passengers to connect a variety of devices and access the Internet.
Sensus Connect is also the first system of its kind to provide Pandora connectivity as part of the system. That, along with Stitcher and cloud-based apps for Yelp, Bing, Park & Pay, Glympse and Wikipedia, provide a versatile package. When integrated with the available navigation system, Sensus Connect provides a level of in-cabin connectivity that few of its competitors can match.
Based on crashworthiness protection testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2015 Volvo S60 garnered Top Safety Pick+ recognition, the IIHS’ highest score. The S60 received top grades in all five crash testing categories and was also recognized with a superior score for front crash prevention for cars equipped with optional safety equipment.
All Volvo models come with a suite of safety features. For the S60, those features include: air bags, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, traction control, stability control and an automatic braking system that stops the car when pedestrians and cyclists have been detected.
A driver assistance system brings in adaptive cruise control, collision warning, active high beams, lane departure warning, a blind spot information system and other features.
Volvo updated the S60 during the middle of the model year, bringing new features to models sporting the 2015.5 designation. When shopping this model, the dealer should note the distinctions between 2015 and 2015.5 models, which include intervening equipment changes and the introduction of the new Drive-E package for the mid-model year editions.
Pricing ranges from $33,750 for the base model to $46,950 for the top-of-the-line edition. Choosing a well-equipped model with the updated powertrain and all-wheel drive will cost you about $41,500. That price is in line with what other European models yield.
Model transition and pricing confusion aside, the Volvo S60 delivers a safe, attractive and updated package for a competitive price. The full benefit of this model is achieved with all-wheel drive and when all safety equipment is included, resulting in a compelling reason to consider Volvo.