Volvo S60 Review

Volvo’s sporty new saloon dumps the diesel and offers buyers the latest technology – in the cabin and under the bonnet

Strengths & weaknesses

  • Sleek, eye-catching design
  • Filled with the latest infotainment and safety tech
  • Plug-in hybrid versions replace diesel
  • Not cheap to run
  • Lots of features are optional extras
  • Rivals are more engaging to drive
Volvo S60 prices from £11,000.
Finance from £200.52 / month.

Volvo S60 prices from £11,000  Finance from £200.52 per month

The mid-sized saloon market is chock-full of good cars, with the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4 all jockeying for position on the shortlists of buyers.

This strong competition makes it hard for the Volvo S60 to make any headway in making its case to potential owners – and the decision to offer the new model without a diesel option doesn’t, on the face of it, make it any easier.

However, the S60 has plenty to make it worthy of consideration and could offer a serious alternative to the established German rivals.

The exterior has been styled to be sleek and sporty, and it certainly continues the trend – established by recent Volvos such as the XC90, XC40 and V90 – for minimalist Scandi design that is perfectly executed. This is a good looking car, with well-placed contours and styling lines, and perfect proportions.

The interior continues in the same vein, with a well-designed, well-built cabin that uses high-quality materials and packs in the latest in technology. The dashboard is dominated by a 9-inch touchscreen for controlling the entertainment system, plus the climate control, which means that there are just a handful of buttons and switches to ensure that it all looks very clean and minimalist. Leather and aluminium trim reinforces the premium appeal, while the seats are also part-leather (and very comfortable).

There’s also plenty of room inside the S60, with lots of legroom and headroom in the rear, the latter being impressive, considering the way the roof swoops down at the rear. The 442-litre boot isn’t massive, but it will be enough for most users (if it isn’t, there’s always the V60 estate).

As the S60 is a Volvo, you won’t be surprised to discover that there’s lots of safety equipment, from a head-up display (in all models) – which enables the driver to see important information such as speed and navigation instructions without taking their eyes off the road. While Pilot Assist makes the Volvo semi-autonomous. A stepping stone to autonomous driving that combines information from radar and cameras to keep the car a set distance from the car in front (and at a set speed) and within a lane.

The controversial absence of a diesel engine option is offset by the inclusion of two plug-in hybrid variants (one of which is more performance focused), which arrive in mid-2019, a few months after the initial launch. There are no definite economy figures as we write this, but the chances are that it could prove attractive to business users – and potentially even prove cheaper to run than a diesel.

In terms of its on-road characteristics, the S60 isn’t as involving as the likes of the BMW 3 Series, but it handles consistently, steers accurately, feels nicely balanced and also rides well on the basic 18-inch wheels, ensuring that the comfortable ambiance of the cabin isn’t intruded upon.

There’s an awful lot to like about the S60. It isn’t the obvious choice for many buyers of a premium saloon, but it certainly bears scrutiny and offers a real alternative. If comfort, style and technology are what you’re looking for in a saloon car, the S60 is worth a look.


Key facts

Warranty Three years/60,000 miles
Boot Size 442 litres
Width 1916mm
Length 4761mm
Height 1437mm
Tax (min to max) £10-530 in first year and £145 thereafter

Best Volvo S60 for...

Best for Economy – Volvo S60 T8 Twin Engine

Although official fuel economy figures are yet to be released, the 39g/km CO2 emissions figure suggests that it will be the economy champion of the range.

Best for Families – Volvo S60 T5

The most popular version of the S60 is likely to be the standard petrol-engined car, the 2.0 T5.

Best for Performance – Volvo S60 T8 Twin Engine Polestar Engineered

Designed to offer more performance and electrified motoring, the T8 Twin Engine Polestar Engineered is the fastest S60, while also capable of electric-only driving.


June 2018: S60 unveiled
May 2019: First cars delivered in the UK

Understanding Volvo S60 names

Engine T5

The S60 has three engine options – a T5 2.0 petrol unit and two versions of the T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid, both of which add an electric motor to the 2.0.

Trim R-Design

There are four trim levels – R-Design Plus, a performance-oriented Polestar Engineered and a more luxurious Inscription Plus, with R-Design Edition also available for a limited period after the UK launch of the S60.

Gearbox Automatic

All versions come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Volvo S60 Engines

T5, T8 Twin Engine, T8 Twin Engine Polestar Engineered

The first thing many buyers will notice when choosing the engine to power their S60 is that there’s no diesel option – a bold decision, but probably an astute one, with the way that consumers are rapidly turning away from the fuel.

Instead, there are three engines based on a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol unit. The most popular will be the T5 engine that produces 250hp and manages 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds. The performance is pacey without being outright quick. The eight-speed automatic gearbox shifts neatly and smoothly. Economy isn’t great, but only to be expected for a petrol engine producing this kind of power: official fuel consumption is 35.3 to 39.8mpg (assessed under the new WLTP test), while CO2 emissions are 152-155g/km.

There are also two plug-in hybrid versions, which use an electric motor alongside the T5’s 2.0 engine, both of which are mated to an all-wheel-drive system. The standard T8 Twin Engine version creates a total of 390hp (303hp from the petrol engine, plus another 87hp from the electric motor), which reduces the 0-62mph time to 4.6 seconds. There are no official fuel economy figures yet, but we do know that the electric-only range is between 30.4 and 36.0 miles.

A more high-performance version of the T8 Twin Engine, called Polestar Engineered (because it’s engineered by Volvo’s Polestar electric performance car brand) ramps up the power to 405hp which reduces the 0-62mph time to 4.4 seconds, with fuel economy figures again yet to be revealed.




Fuel economy


Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed







T8 Twin Engine

petrol-electric hybrid





T8 Twin Engine Polestar Engineered

petrol-electric hybrid





Volvo S60 Trims

R-Design Plus, R-Design Edition, Polestar Engineered, Inscription Plus

Volvo is keeping things simple with three trim levels, plus an extra limited-edition trim for launch models.

The ‘base’ trim is R-Design Plus, which would usually be a higher trim on other Volvo models. As a result, it's pretty highly specced, with 18-inch alloys, LED highlights, hands free boot opening, front and rear parking sensors, sports suspension, electrically-adjustable part-leather sports seats, head-up display, dual-zone climate control, 9-inch touchscreen (with satellite navigation, DAB and Bluetooth connection), voice control, 10-speaker audio system, and Drive Mode with four settings.

At launch, an R-Design Edition is also available for a limited time, which adds to the R-Design Plus features 19-inch alloys, smartphone integration (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), rear-view camera, 14-speaker audio system, Pilot Assist driver assistance technology, adaptive cruise control, blindspot information system and heated steering wheel.

Polestar Engineered variants (only available with the T8 Polestar Engineered engine) of the S60 add to R-Design Plus performance-oriented suspension, brakes, engine and gearbox; 19-inch alloys; 14-speaker audio system; heated steering wheel; and gold-coloured seatbelts in the front and rear.

Inscription Plus cars are designed to offer a more luxurious experience, with leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, electrically adjusted front passenger seat, driftwood interior inlays and chrome exterior trim.

There are numerous optional extras and packs to increase the number of features on your S60 (and the price). For example, smartphone integration isn’t standard on any of the regular trim levels and is a £300 option, while a Xenium pack (which includes full-length sunroof, 360-degree camera and park assist) is an additional £1,800.


Volvo S60 Reliability and warranty

The S60 was launched after the publication of the 2019 edition of the Auto Express Driver Power survey, so it doesn’t make an appearance. However, it is built on the same platform as the current Volvo XC60, which is positioned in 16th place in the list of best cars to own. Volvo is also 13th in the table of best manufacturers.

The warranty for the S60 covers the first three years or 60,000 miles (whichever comes first), with the battery in the T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid variant also covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty.

Used Volvo S60

There are currently 10 Volvo S60s available on BuyaCar, with prices ranging from £11,000 to £37,500 for nearly-new models. Monthly finance payments start from £200.52 per month.

Resale values are estimated as 46% after three years and 30,000 miles (or 39% after three years and 60,000 miles), which puts in joint first place in its class.