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2017 Volvo S60

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2017 Volvo S60 Expert Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.6

The 2017 Volvo S60 isn’t just another fancy midsize-luxury sedan. It’s a truly versatile platform offering consumers a wide range of variation, power and pricing. The base S60 competes well with the Audi A4 and Lexus IS, while the Cross Country is rather unique in that it offers the high ride height of an off-road-ready SUV, only in sedan form. The luxurious 2017 S60 Inscription delivers luxury on par with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and its stretched wheelbase permits an additional three inches of rear-seat legroom. With a starting price undercutting most competitors and a range of powerful yet fuel-efficient turbocharged and supercharged engines, Volvo’s S60 line for 2017 is a tempting prospect worthy of consideration.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for a European luxury sedan that delivers power, styling and exceptional safety, the 2017 Volvo S60 is bound to offer a model to your liking. Extremely competitive pricing is another advantage, as is the Cross Country “go-almost-anywhere” attitude.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The S60’s styling is attractive, but not enough to make it stand out in a crowd. While the S60 R-Design has the handling and muscle to compete, die-hard enthusiasts will find more to like in a BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 or even Cadillac ATS.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 8.6
  • 8.4
  • 9.0
  • 8.8
  • 8.5
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#9

out of 35

Fuel Economy

#18

out of 36

Horsepower
View all rankings
2017 Volvo S60 Low/wide front photo What's New for 2017

Volvo’s 2017 S60 luxury sedan drops its 5- and 6-cylinder engines choices while adding the option of all-wheel drive (AWD) to cars equipped with the 2.0-liter turbocharged Drive-E engine. The S60’s trims are reduced this year to five: Dynamic, Inscription, Cross Country, Polestar and R-Design Platinum.

Driving the S60
2017 Volvo S60 Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

While the 2017 Volvo S60 now offers only 4-cylinder engines, don’t be fooled into thinking this is an underpowered economy car. The Drive-E family of turbocharged and turbocharged/supercharged engines runs...

... the gamut from the base 240-horsepower unit in the T5 Dynamic, to the tire-scorching 362-horsepower version found in the sporty Polestar. The T6 splits the difference at 302 horsepower, but even then the S60 can still sprint to 60 mph in a mere 5.6 seconds. AWD models are tick slower, but the added grip makes them better-handling vehicles on both dry pavement and snow-covered roads. An available Sport Package improves handling on the base car, but if you’re looking for the ultimate Swedish Driving Machine you’ll find it in the R-Design and Polestar trims. As in all Volvos since time immemorial, the driver’s seat is exceptionally well designed and supportive in all the right places without feeling snug or constricted.

INSCRIPTION
Volvo’s S60 Inscription for 2017 offers something many S60 owners have been demanding for some time now: rear-seat legroom. This longer-wheelbase, Chinese-made version adds three inches to the S60’s rear-seat legroom stats, as well as additional luxury features and trim.

PEDESTRIAN DETECTION WITH FULL AUTO BRAKE
The Swedish penitent for protecting people extends outside the 2017 Volvo S60’s passenger compartment via the car’s pedestrian-detection system. If the driver doesn’t react to the life form crossing ahead, the car will automatically hit the brakes, not the pedestrian.

2017 Volvo S60 Details
2017 Volvo S60 Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

Bigger is definitely better when it comes to the latest Volvo S60 Inscription sedan and its expanded rear seat. With nearly three inches of additional legroom, the S60 goes from cramped to comfy for rear-seaters, allowing them to appreciate the rest of the finely crafted interior. The driver's seats are exceptionally comfortable and supportive, and the instrumentation is easy to see and mostly logical to operate, although the single-knob controller for the infotainment system isn't very intuitive. Audyssey Laboratories' MultEQ technology helps make the audio system's quality clear and crisp throughout the range.

Exterior
2017 Volvo S60 photo

Lengthening the standard S60 could have gone badly, but the S60 Inscription actually looks quite nice, with the elongated roofline and rear doors nicely proportioned. The 2017 S60 Cross Country, on the other hand, reminds us of the short-lived Subaru Outback sedan. High-riding sedans aren't very common, but Volvo says it sees a market, and the addition of ride height and fender extensions is definitely eye-catching. All Volvo S60 models get a front end with numerous LEDs for various lighting functions. The sloping rear end showcases the currently fashionable "4-door coupe" profile, but also betrays a smallish trunk.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Buyers in the upscale-sedan market have high expectations, which the 2017 Volvo S60 handily meets. Being a Volvo, the 2017 S60 starts with safety, including three active systems: City Safety helps avoid low-speed collisions in slow, stop-and-go traffic; Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake senses an impending collision and can brake to reduce the severity of a crash; and Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake that also auto-brakes (see Favorite Features). Inscription models include upscale interior features as well as more room, including a rearview camera, walnut wood inlays, additional sound deadening, a power rear-window sunshade, and silk-metal accents.

Optional Equipment

Options for Volvo’s 2017 S60 sedan lineup include 19-inch wheels for the Sport Package, which also adds paddle shifters and sporty chassis enhancements. You can add Volvo's Park Assist Pilot to the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) package. A Convenience package adds keyless entry and start, a rearview camera and power-folding exterior mirrors. Not surprisingly, the Swedish automaker also offers a Climate package that adds heated front seats, windshield, steering wheel and windshield-wiper nozzles. The base model offers a harman/kardon navigation audio system while stand-alone options include different-sized wheels and a variety of accessories.

Under the Hood
2017 Volvo S60 Engine photo

Power for the Volvo S60 lineup is simplified this year, offering three engine choices all based on the new Drive-E 2.0-liter engine. Dynamic, Inscription and Cross Country models get a 240-horsepower turbocharged version, while the T6 R-Design adds a supercharger to the mix for 302 horsepower. The Polestar sticks with just the turbocharger, but manages a whopping 362 horsepower. All three engines come connected to an 8-speed Geartronic automatic transmission with manual-shift mode.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (T5 Dynamic, T5 Inscription, Cross Country)
240 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/36 mpg (front-wheel drive), 23/31 mpg (AWD), 22/30 mpg (Cross Country, AWD)

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (Polestar, AWD)
362 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
347 lb-ft of torque @ 3,100-5,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27 mpg

2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged inline-4 (T6 R-Design, AWD)
302 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 2,100-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/32 mpg

Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.

The 2017 Volvo S60 T5 Dynamic starts off reasonably enough with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just under $35,000. The front-wheel-drive (FWD) Inscription T5 starts at just under $40,000, while the AWD Cross Country starts just over $45,000. It is roughly $1,500 to add all-wheel drive to models not so equipped, but even then the Volvo S60 generally undercuts competitors like the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan, although some Lexus and Infiniti models are more price-competitive. Before buying, be sure to check out KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price tool to see what others in your area are paying. Based on 5-Year Cost-to-Own, the Volvo S60 is a stellar buy. The 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.

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