The Volvo S60 is a premium executive luxury sedan made to compete with the likes of the Mercedes Benz C-Class, the BMW 3-Series, and the Audi A4. This means that the S60 is part of the best-sold luxury sedan group and is as such, one of the most popular Volvo cars today, bar the SUVs of course.
The S60 was first introduced back in 2000 and was later replaced by the second generation, the S60 II in 2006. The current generation of the S60, the S60 III is in production since 2019 and is likely going to be the very top echelon of the Volvo compact executive sedan lineup for a few years to come.
The S60 comes in a variety of different engines. The first-gen S60 engine lineup mostly revolves around the 5-cylinder inline engine while the 2nd generation of the S60 has also introduced a 6-cylinder engine and a 4-cylinder engine. The latest S60 comes with an inline 4-cylinder exclusively because of all the efficiency benefits.
Design-wise, the last current generation S60 is by far the best-looking one, while the first-gen S60 takes second place. The S60 is also a relatively reliable car, but it does come with some issues worth pointing out. Value-wise, it is decent, especially the second and first generations while the practicality is as you’d expect from a compact sedan.
Volvo S60 – The powertrain
As mentioned in the beginning, the 1st gen S60 comes with a plethora of inline 5-cylinder engines with power outputs ranging from 140 to 300hp. The S60 I is also available with a few diesel engines as well, but these are not all that popular in the US. The S60 I comes with a manual gearbox and a choice between FWD and AWD for certain models.
The second generation of the S60 is available with either 4, 5, or a single 6-cylinder engine. The power ranges from 200hp all the way up to 350hp while the diesel engines top out at around 220hp. The S60 II is available with an automatic, FWD, or AWD.
The current S60 III offers a few inline 4-cylinder engines with power outputs ranging from 163hp and 250hp. It also comes with an automatic gearbox with the power being sent to either the front wheels or all four wheels. The S60 III also offers a comprehensive list of hybrid engines with the Polestar T8 S60 being the most powerful S60 model with upwards of 450hp.
The first two generations are not all that efficient, but the S60 III is the most efficient car from its class.
Volvo S60 – Design and chassis
The first-gen S60 utilizes a classic Volvo boxy design language while the second one is much more rounded. This made the S60 II a bit questionable when it comes to design, especially because the car is not aging all that well. The S60 III is undoubtedly the best looking of the bunch, both inside and out.
The chassis and suspension tuning of the S60 is 100% tailored towards comfort. This means that even the higher-powered S60 models never really feel all that dynamic. The S60 is designed to be serene, comfortable and at home on the highway.
Volvo S60 – Reliability and common issues
The first-gen S60 seems to fare the worst when it comes to reliability while the 2nd generation S60 is not all that much better. The current S60 III is a lot more reliable judging by the initial reports, but we will have to wait and see if the reliability is going to last for decades to come.
The most common S60 problems are down to a faulty MAF sensor, suspension issues, oil leaks, drivetrain issues, and issues with the engine mounts. Older S60 models were also known to suffer from electrical issues as well.
More about Volvo S60 problems.
Volvo S60 – Value and practicality
The used S60 prices range from under $10,000 for the first model and all the way up to upwards of $50,000 for the current model. You also need to keep in mind that rarer, better equipped, and better-maintained models do hold a significant price boost compared to well-used models.
The S60 is a practical car thanks to its wide-opening 4-doors, a nice and easily accessible trunk space, and the ability to lower the seats down in just a press of a button. The S60 also offers decent visibility while the maneuverability and turning circle are in line with the rest of the segment.
How long will a Volvo S60 last?
The Volvo S60 is an essential Volvo sedan model which means that Volvo tries its best to make the S60 as long-lasting as possible. As such, many online forums have concluded that the S60 is good for at least 20 years of use, or more than 200,000 miles.
However, if you do all the maintenance necessary and you don’t drive like a complete maniac, all three generations of the S60 are likely going to last as much as twice as that. The way how an individual treats a car is much more important when it comes to longevity, more so than what the forums say.
Is the Volvo S60 a safe car?
The Volvo brand name is synonymous with safety and the S60 is one of the safest premium executive compact sedans on the current market. Volvo has long been the industry standard when it comes to safety and this is likely never going to change, not as far as Volvo is concerned.
Either way, the 1st gen S60 is not as safe as the latter two while the S60 III is by far the safest one of the bunch. Virtually all modern-day safety systems can be found in the S60 III with many of them even coming as standard.
Why do people buy the Volvo S60?
The compact luxury sedan segment is brimming with lots of amazing options from many automakers, predominantly German ones. However, Volvo is the only automaker that can easily steal customers from the German trio group because Volvo offers many things the Germans simply don’t.
For one, the S60 offers the most advanced hybrid powertrains while also employing a more minimalistic design approach inside and out. The S60 is not overly styled as some German compact luxury cars are which means that it both blends in and stands out, depending on how you spec it.