Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • 12 Best Family Cars of 2014
  • 10 Most Affordable Cars of 2014
  • 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $40,000
Go

2012 Volvo S60

Style:

2012 Volvo S60 Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 2/29/2012


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 It 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.

Favorite Features

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.

Vehicle Details Interior   photo

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   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 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.

Notable 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

Pricing Notes

While the S60 offers styling and performance with great emotional appeal, it is still the cold, hard rational aspects of superior safety that make the 2012 Volvo S60 stand out among the crowd of mid-size luxury-brand sedans. With a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting under $32,000, the S60 is priced under competitors like the BMW 3 Series, Lexus IS 250, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. On the resale value front, though, the A4 offers better numbers, as does the BMW 335i. Be sure to check KBB's Fair Purchase Price in the "What should I pay for my new car?" section on our homepage to see what consumers are typically paying for their S60s in your area.

Find Deals Near You vehicles for sale matching Volvo S60 near Honolulu. See local deals