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2012 Volvo S60

Overview
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2012 Volvo S60 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.6

The 2012 S60 adds dose of style and pizzazz to Volvo's reputation for class-leading safety. While it competes with some formidable opponents such as the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the 2012 Volvo S60 offers a score of performance and safety features at an attractive price. With athletic driving characteristics, standard 6-speed transmissions and the choice of an efficient 5-cylinder engine or powerful turbocharged inline-6, the S60 proves that safety and dynamic performance are not mutually exclusive.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you are looking for a premium midsize sedan with exceptional safety, athleticism and a sleek design that refuses to blend in with the crowd, the Volvo S60 is a smart choice.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you are looking for a European-built sedan with a prestigious pedigree and exhilarating performance, the BMW 3 Series or the Audi A4 might be a better fit.

What's New for 2012

Following a major redesign in 2011, the Volvo S60 adds two new model grades to the lineup for 2012, including an entry-level T5 trim with a turbocharged 5-cylinder engine and an R-Design variant boasting a 325-horsepower turbocharged engine and a sportier design. The 2012 S60 also adds a rear-seat entertainment system with headrest-integrated LCD displays to the list of options.

Driving the S60

Driving Impressions Seeking to increase the S60's visceral appeal, Volvo engineers created a chassis, suspension and steering system designed to give cars like the 3 Series and A4 a run for their...

money. The front suspension is McPherson strut and the rear a multi-link, but it is the tuning that sets the S60 apart from other Volvo sedans in the handling department. The front struts have thicker piston rods than the larger S80 sedan, the bushings are stiffer and the springs are both shorter and stiffer, resulting in more ability to handle lateral loads. These efforts are most notable in the standard version of the three chassis setups available, which Volvo calls "Dynamic." Those seeking a gentler, boulevard ride should opt for the no-extra-cost "Touring" suspension, while those seeking a more custom-tailored driving dynamic will prefer the T6 model's available 3-mode FOUR-C variable chassis system. The road-hugging Haldex all-wheel drive system is standard-issue on the T6 and R-Design trims while the entry-level T5 gets front-wheel drive. The result of the engineering efforts is a level of fun-to-drive that exceeds any Volvo sedan we've driven. We had the opportunity to drive it on dry pavement, wet pavement, rain-slick gravel roads and even a racetrack, and in all situations the S60 was predictable, stable and unflappable. Braking is sure, traction is never an issue, and the steering is precise.

Rear-Seat Entertainment
Whether you're aiming to entertain younger passengers or sufficiently distract a backseat driver, the available rear-seat entertainment system's dual DVD players, 7-inch displays and wireless headphones will do the trick.

Front Camera System
The front-grille-mounted camera that offers a 180-degree field of view is especially effective in helping prevent accidents when emerging from limited-vision areas like a parking garage.

2012 Volvo S60 Details
2012 Volvo S60 photo Interior

The beauty of the S60's interior design is in its simplicity. Discernible controls combined with a contemporary layout make for an upscale, user-friendly cockpit. Materials are top-notch and comparable to the offerings from the category's heavy-hitters. Steering-wheel-mounted switches plus redundant controls located on the center stack put you in charge of the infotainment system and its Sensus connectivity interface, which includes a 7-inch high-resolution display. The comfortable, ergonomic front seats provide excellent support while the rear seats feature an uncommonly supportive design with aggressive side bolstering along with ample leg room for rear-seat passengers

Exterior
2012 Volvo S60 photo

Arguably the best-looking Volvo sedan ever built, the S60's charismatic style blends modern automotive architecture with a hint of Volvo's unmistakable, classic design. The T5 model rides on standard 17-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels while the T6 and R-Design wear18-inch alloys. In addition to 10 exterior color choices, the 2012 Volvo S60 offers a variety of distinguishing style add-ons, highlights of which include a Sport Appearance Package with unique front and rear bumper accents and door sills, a pair of stainless steel exhaust tips and a performance-based rear spoiler.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

On the safety front, all 2012 Volvo S60 trims feature "City Safety," which helps prevent low-speed rear-end collisions, Ready Alert Brakes that prepare for panic braking situations by moving the brake pads closer to the rotors, Fading Brake Support to help diminish the risk of brake fade caused by excessive heat, and power-folding rear headrests for optimal visibility when backing up. Of course, as a luxury vehicle the S60 is fitted with a wide variety of convenience and comfort features, these include a USB port with iPod connectivity, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming capability, a 7-inch "Sensus" infotainment screen and a power driver's seat with 3-position memory.

Optional Equipment

The headline-grabber in S60 safety options is "Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake." The camera- and radar-enabled system identifies pedestrians in front of the car and, if necessary, applies the car's full braking power to avoid a potentially fatal collision. Pedestrian Detection isn't the only high-tech safety feature the new S60 offers, either. Driver Alert Control helps determine if you're too tired or too distracted to pilot the car properly, and Blind Spot Information System helps you avoid colliding with vehicles that are beside you in your blind spots. The S60 also offers niceties like parking sensors, a rear backup camera and adaptive cruise control that can detect the distance and speed of the vehicle ahead and adjust the S60's speed accordingly. The top-of-the-line 12-speaker audio system features a digital 5x130-watt amplifier with circuits from Sweden's Anaview, Dolby Digital in combination with Dolby Pro Logic II Surround, and MultEQ from Audyssey Laboratories.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Volvo S60 offers a variety of power plants to suit your performance and budget requirements. The available inline 6-cylinder engine offers less than 3,000 cc of displacement, but with turbocharging, it whirs out 300 horsepower in T6 form while the high-performance R-Design model pumps out 325 horsepower. All three S60 engines possess sufficient low-end torque for brisk acceleration. A bonus is that both the 5- and 6-cylinder engines require only "regular" grade gasoline, and the base T5's fuel economy (20 mpg city/30 mpg highway) is laudable in the luxury class.

2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5 cylinder
250 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
266 lb-ft of torque at 1,800-4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/30 mpg

3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 cylinder
300 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
325 lb-ft of torque @ 2,100-4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 mpg

3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 cylinder
325 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
354 lb-ft of torque @ 3,000-3,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 mpg

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2012 Volvo S60 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 64 Ratings for the 2009 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Chinese copy of a Volvo

By on Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fantastic ride quality, power, good looks"

Cons: "computer, brakes, info system, cheap buttons"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"Quality has gone down big. Many things are cheapened and if you care about cars you will see them. We own more than one Volvo and our 2008 S40 is superior as far as quality, reliability, brakes, finishes and materials, lighting. The computer and infotainment systems are too slow to start and the park assist will be no good if it takes it 30 seconds to start. The S60 is burning through coolant starting at 4000 miles... What is going on guys? Ford and Kia are becoming superior to your quality! Could have been a great car if it did not come with so low key of important components like brakes!!! Not a great value for the money and some poor engineering aspects. Disapointed"

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

YES! Best vehicle ever.

By on Saturday, April 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "An adrenaline rush in every drive."

Cons: "HMmmmm....nothing."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Been buying and driving cars since 1970. Most were of a high performance type. My R-Design Volvo is the best of them all. I thoroughly enjoy driving this car. And...best of all the only maintenance required is oil changes. The look, fit, finish, interior, acceleration and ride are second to no other 50K car."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

compares to mb bmw for less $$$

By on Wednesday, April 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,150

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "had mb bmw volvo s60 equal"

Cons: "12 cuft trunk and no spare"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"quiet comfortable lux ride. volvo makes the best seats. leased it for 2 years to test the volvo product and now may lease or buy another. volvo offers a silly buyout price about 10k above the market value, and volvo will not extend the lease, so even though i only have 6k easy going miles i will not buy it. this was the awd t5 premium plus version and i like the styling and overall ride. i was not intersted in the t6 version for the extra power or polestar for performance. i wanted a relaxing ride and got it. quiet and absorbs potholes and road noise is minimal."

29 people out of 47 found this review helpful

It's fun to drive again!!

By on Monday, March 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "luxurious"

Cons: "high price...."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I absolutely love this car! I commute an hour every day and I have never had a more comfortable ride than I have now!"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Comfortable with significant limitations

By on Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,800

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Beautiful car, comfortable."

Cons: "Horrible controls for phone, radio, trip control"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"I have owned this car for 7 months, it has about 7800 miles on it. The car is gorgeous, I have Caspian Blue with the light tan interior. It is also very comfortable. I was also seriously considering an Audi A4 and BMW 328i. I've owned a few Audi's. The handling of the Volvo S60 is not nearly as good as an A4 or 3Series BMW. Comfort was more important so I bought the Volvo. However because of the "info-tainment" limitations I am re-thinking my choice. This car takes 3 steps where another car would take one to say change the radio station. I just assumed I could press a button and be connected to my phone. Nope. I can't even hang up the phone from the steering wheel. I have seen Chevy's and Hyundai's with more intuitive and useful controls. I have also been without my car for a total of 8 days because of faulty parts."

15 people out of 30 found this review helpful

Looks great but inferior handling and technology

By on Tuesday, February 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Exterior looks, comfy seats, pickup"

Cons: "Ancient technology, stability, lack of convenience"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"I love the way my S60 looks. It's a sexy, yet elegant car. The seats are very comfy and no big mechanical problems in the first three years. I owned a BMW x3 (in the shop too many times) before this and they are miles apart on handling. The bmw held the road, but the Volvo feels like it could spin out. No fun. It feels like a lightweight compared to other cars I have owned. It does have very good pickup. It lags tremendously in the technology front. I've had numerous issues (too many too mention)with the Bluetooth that the service guys say is the limits of the car. My daughters Passat has a better system. Lots of issues with the heat and keyless entry too. I've owned a P1800 and a Volvo wagon. I wanted to love this car. She's a pretty girl, goes fast, but there's not much under the hood and she's just not modern. Also, if you have an issue with the dealership, Volvo will not help you at all."

32 people out of 63 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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