The handsome 2014 Volvo S60 has a new front end treatment that makes it look even better than before, if that's possible. In addition, the interior is one of the most accommodating in the segment, performance is commendably eager, handling is responsive and predictable and, to top it all, there's Volvo's long-standing and impeccable reputation for the utmost in safety features and occupant protection. Depending upon trim level, there are three strong and efficient engines from which to choose, with the strongest delivering 325 horsepower and, for those who must deal with bad weather and slick roads, all-wheel drive is available. All wrapped up in that sleekly elegant exterior, and with competitive pricing, the Volvo S60 deserves serious consideration. That's why we named it one of the 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $40,000 for 2014.
You'll Like This Car If...
For those who want a first-class and highly-attractive sports sedan in the European mode, and also want to stand out from the crowd, the 2014 Volvo S60 looks great, goes quick and sets the standard in safety features.
You May Not Like This Car If...
The 2014 Volvo S60 is certainly no slouch in performance and handling but, if what matters to you is having not only the capability but also the image, you'll probably look elsewhere.
The 2014 Volvo S60 has an all-new front end. Inside, there's a new instrument cluster and trim treatments. The option packages are upgraded, and there's a new Sport Package and a Blind Spot Information System Package, an enhanced Tire Pressure Monitoring System, additional stand-alone options and some new paint colors.
Driving the S60
We have spent a considerable time behind the wheel of the Volvo S60 T5 with all-wheel drive (AWD) and, even though it unfortunately did not cover pavement layered in rain,...
... snow, hail, sleet or any other foul-weather treatment, that drive did prove that the S60 with the all-wheel drive has a high level of capability, poise and confidence-inspiring stability – and the front-drive version of the S60 earns some pretty high marks in its own right. Starting from the "base" end of the line, the T5 and its Touring Chassis is intended for a comfortable ride but is no slouch in the sporty handling department. The Dynamic Chassis of the T6 AWD model, with its more powerful engine, adds considerable response when the driving becomes more enthusiastic. For the die-hard corner carvers, the R-Design version and its Sports Chassis are the perfect choice. Still, we figure the Touring Chassis will be the best pick for most Volvo buyers.
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.
COMPREHENSIVE OCCUPANT PROTECTION Nothing beats a Volvo when it comes to the comprehensiveness of the safety package, and the S60 certainly holds up the brand's reputation in this vital department. After all, why do so many people buy a Volvo?
2014 Volvo S60 Details
One of the most enduring attractions for Volvos has been their comfortable and highly supportive seats, and the 2014 S60 maintains that reputation, with T5 and T6 models fitted with standard sports-inspired seats that are engineered and built for the long-haul ride. Heated seats are available for both front and rear occupants. As you would expect, the instrumentation is easy to see and logical to operate, and sound quality from the audio system, thanks to the application of Audyssey Laboratories' MultEQ technology, is clear and crisp throughout the range.
Clearly, boxy Volvos are a thing of the long-ago past. The S60 is one of the sleekest sedans on the road. While it retains certain Volvo styling cues, the S60 is more than merely contemporary. The new front end looks smoother and cleaner and the detailing, including numerous LEDs for various lighting functions, shows much attention to the little things that matter. The sloping rear end, in the currently-fashionable "4-door coupe" profile, does, however, betray a somewhat smallish trunk.
The standard-equipment list for the 2014 Volvo S60 includes everything a potential buyer would reasonably expect, including every safety and occupant protection feature imaginable. Some of the more notable standard features include City Safety (which helps avoid low-speed collisions in slow, stop-and-go traffic), Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake (to sense an impending collision and alert the driver to help avoid or reduce the severity of a crash), and Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake (which can automatically stop the car if a pedestrian walks out into the vehicle's path).
For 2014, the Volvo S60 Premier trim level gains 17-inch Sadia aluminum-alloy wheels and other features. The Premier Plus level brings active dual xenon headlights and front and rear park assist. The Platinum level offers a premium 12-speaker, 650-watt sound system, navigation with real-time traffic and auto-dimming mirrors. The Technology Package includes Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake, and the addition of Cyclist Detection to Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake. A new 18-inch Sport Package includes sport seats, paddle shifters, 18-inch Titania alloy wheels and the Dynamic chassis. There is also a new Blind Spot Information System Package.
Under the Hood
The 2014 Volvo S60 is offered with a choice of three engines, a 2.5-liter inline 5-cylinder of 250 horsepower, or two versions of a 3.0-liter inline-6, one making 300 horsepower and the uprated version making 325 horsepower. All are turbocharged and all are commendably efficient. Certainly, the two 6-cylinder engines offer more performance, but the 5-cylinder delivers plenty of power for the vast majority of drivers and is more economical, besides. All engines are matched with a 6-speed Geartronic automatic transmission with a manual shift mode.
With a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of around $32,500, the "base" 2014 Volvo S60 T5 is significantly less expensive than its European competitors from BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. The gap narrows somewhat as one climbs to more well-equipped versions of the S60 versus its competitors, with pricing for all in the mid-$40K range, but we expect that incentives and discounting will keep the S60 at a very affordable price level in comparison to the German luxury cars. On a 5-Year Cost-to-Own basis, the Volvo S60 is a stellar buy. Low initial purchase price plus low maintenance and repair costs make the Volvo S60 a good choice, and its safety story is, of course, unsurpassed.
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"
"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."