By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.9
For the 2013 model year Volvo has endowed its S60 luxury sedan with even more features in the quest to compete in one of the best – if not the best – segments in all of autodom. Facing off against the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and other terrific sedans is no easy task, but the Volvo S60 brings eye-catching exterior styling, a well-tailored interior and a wealth of innovative safety equipment into the fray. Volvo engineers have also outfitted the car with a bevy of performance-enhancing features like the 3.0-liter 325-horsepower engine offered in the R-Design variant accompanied by significant tuning of its standard Sport Chassis. The less-aggressive S60 versions also offer a higher degree of sportiness than you might expect from a Volvo.
If you want an attractive European sports sedan, but you don't want to be a slave to the status quo, you'll find the 2013 Volvo S60 offers both driving excitement and unmatched safety features.
If the leading-edge of performance is in your blood and you want the world to know it, others cars in the category might make a clearer statement of your lifestyle choice.
The big news for 2013 is the fact that Volvo All-Wheel Drive with Instant Traction is available for the first time on the value-priced S60 T5. The 2.5-liter T5 5-cylinder engine also receives internal tweaks that allow it to pull stronger, though peak horsepower and torque remain the same.
Driving Impressions Although our one and – up-to-now – only driving experience in the 2013 S60 T5 with all-wheel drive (AWD) was a lengthy one, it did not include rain, snow, hail...or sleet. Despite this bad (good?) luck, we can report that the S60 with all-wheel drive offers road poise and confidence that surpass the already high levels of the front-wheel-drive (FWD) version. Volvo offers drivers a variety of choices to match their styles. The base T5 offers a Touring Chassis that is slanted toward comfort, but still feels sporty compared to many offerings. Next up the scale is the more performance-tuned Dynamic Chassis on the T6 AWD, which also benefits from the higher-horsepower 6-cylinder engine and the available FOUR-C active chassis that offers three driving modes. And finally there is the tuner-style R-Design with its Sports chassis. We feel most Volvo buyers will be pleased with the Touring Chassis.
PEDESTRIAN DETECTION WITH FULL AUTO BRAKE
Saying the name takes longer than the feature takes to save a life. The technology alerts the driver to a potential collision with a pedestrian and stops the car as quickly as possible if the driver doesn't immediately react.
CORNER TRACTION CONTROL BY TORQUE VECTORING
Operating on the front wheels of the T5 and the front and rear wheels of all S60 variants equipped with all-wheel drive, torque vectoring channels power to the outer wheel(s) in a corner to help push the car around the corner quicker and more effectively.
Volvos have always won praise for their comfortably supportive seats, and the 2013 S60 continues in that tradition. Sports-inspired seats are standard on the T5 and T6 models, while the R-Design is equipped with even more elaborate off-black leather seats emblazoned with the R-Design logo. Heated rear seats are available across the board, warming the hearts (and buns) of Volvo passengers. The S60's instruments are properly straightforward, and Volvo has made its information/entertainment systems easier to operate while at the same time sounding better. The use of Audyssey Laboratories' MultEQ technology, rare in the automotive world, aids the premium audio in achieving clear, crisp sound.Exterior
Gone are the days when Volvos looked like the crates other cars were shipped in. In a segment populated with great-looking models the S60 is one of the best. Designed in the current idiom of the "4-door coupe," the S60 manages to retain longtime Volvo styling themes like the signature Volvo grille and "double wave" shoulders, while looking not just contemporary but, dare we say it, leading edge. The exterior is dotted quite literally with LEDs, including the front positioning lights, side markers, turn signal indicators and taillights. Trunk space is in keeping with the luxury compacts as a whole – on the small side.
Standard equipment on the base S60 T5 has been upgraded for 2013 to include rain-sensing windshield wipers, headlight washers and dual polished exhaust pipes. For those spelunking enthusiasts in the audience, Volvo has added Tunnel Detection to the headlight system. The Geartronic automatic transmission shift knob is new this year (yes, really) but more to the point the gear selection is illuminated. Heading the list of standard safety equipment is Volvo's Dynamic Stability and Traction Control, which uses electronic means to sense and respond to oversteer (plowing) and understeer (fishtailing).
Each S60 trim level is broken down by equipment levels to which you can add option packages. In ascending order, the trim levels are S60 T5, T6 AWD and R-Design. T5 buyers who choose the Premier level get a power glass moonroof, leather seating and keyless drive. The Premier Plus level brings active dual xenon headlights, front and rear parking assist, and a Homelink remote garage door opener. The Platinum level offers a premium 12-speaker, 650-watt sound system plus navigation with real-time traffic. Key features of the Technology package are Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake, and Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake. The list of standalone options includes heated rear seats.
The Volvo S60 offers its buyers the choice of a 2.5-liter inline-5-cylinder engine or a 3.0-liter inline-6. Both engines are turbocharged, and the 3.0-liter is offered in a higher state of tune in the performance-oriented R-Design version of the car. While the 300- and 325-horsepower 3.0-liter engines offer substantially more power than the 250-horsepower 5-cylinder, we never felt the S60 was underpowered with the smaller engine, and those who opt for the 5-cylinder will be rewarded with somewhat better fuel economy. Both engines are backed by the 6-speed Geartronic automatic transmission that includes a manual shift mode.
2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5
250 hp @ 5,400 rpm
266 lb-ft @ 1,800-4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 mpg (FWD), 20/28 mpg (AWD)
3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6
300 hp @ 5,600 rpm
325 lb-ft @ 2,100-4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 mpg
3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6
325 hp @ 5,400 rpm
354 lb-ft @ 3,000-3,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 mpg
By TiggerEsq on Tuesday, February 24, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,800overall rating 5 of 10rating details
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."
10 people out of 18 found this review helpful
By DD on Tuesday, February 03, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
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 61 found this review helpful
By volvoagain on Monday, February 02, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Engine, gas mileage, safety, fit and finish"
Cons: "Nav and radio controls to die for"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Forget the pointed stars and the over-hyped Japanese imports, bask in the knowledge that you have the best value on the road with one of the finest four cylinder engines in production. One that sips gas and pulls off the line like a 6. The seats are among the most comfortable in the category and unless you plan on driving like Mario, forget the sports bucket option. The display is cool and the electronics work. Downside is the positively clunky UI on the nav and radio controls...but heck, if I wanted to change the channel that often I'd stay home in the den! Think no more, friends, let your neighbors show off their Teutonic crests while you take comfort in the fact you saved thousands...in gas alone! Make sure this car is on your consideration list and test drive one. What's the worst that can happen...you'll fall in love with a beautiful Swede :)"
10 people out of 16 found this review helpful
By Tom on Sunday, December 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,600overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive & great styling"
Cons: "small trunk & no spare"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Only complaint is small trunk, no spare tire & depreciation. Drives great & very comfortable for driver & front passenger."
25 people out of 54 found this review helpful
By John on Friday, September 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 54,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Excellent power and comfort balance"
Cons: "Average cornering, front wheel spin on take off"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Really a great car. Wish the AWD system was weighted more to the rear than the front in normal driving. I have Polestar tuning as well, great add on. Interior is great. Back seat is not as cramped as described in some reviews and I am 6'2"."
38 people out of 74 found this review helpful
By P Canuck on Friday, September 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,900overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Acceleration, safety features, ride comfort"
Cons: "Bluetooth/iPod software conflicts with Volvo OS."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Love my S60! This is the second one that I've owned, and with the amount of driving that I do (>25k/year), I spend a lot of time in the car. The reliability has been great and the sluggish ride that Volvo's were known for were are a thing of the past. This car is fast! Haven't had any significant problems after 98k miles. Swedish design is simple without sacrificing features, and the safety features were (as usual) years ahead of the rest of the industry."
19 people out of 31 found this review helpful