Volvo S60 Saloon

  • VOLVO S60 SALOON
  • VOLVO S60 SALOON
  • VOLVO S60 SALOON
  • VOLVO S60 SALOON
  • VOLVO S60 SALOON
  • VOLVO S60 SALOON
  • VOLVO S60 SALOON
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VOLVO S60 Saloon
2.0 T5 R DESIGN Plus 4dr Auto
VOLVO S60 Saloon
2.0 T5 Inscription Plus 4dr Auto
VOLVO S60 Saloon
2.0 T8 Hybrid R DESIGN Plus 4dr AWD Auto
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Looking for an objective review of the brand new Volvo S60 Saloon that cuts through the noise to help you make a better buying decision? We’ve got you covered, from engines to boot space.

The new Volvo S60 Saloon is pitted against premium exec saloons such as BMW, Mercedes and Audi, but it has a lot to offer in its own right. It’s never going to sell as many as its German rivals, but it makes for a comfortable, handsome and austere alternative for anyone who fancies something a bit different.

And just like the German big guns, the S60 is also undeniably a premium, high quality product. The interior is beautiful, the engines are powerful, performative and efficient, and it scores well on dependability and safety.

OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our Volvo S90 saloon review.

Overview Of The Volvo S60 Saloon

On The Road

The steering can’t be said to be as accurate as what you’ll get if you went for one of the German executive saloons, while the manual transmission is a bit too jerky for our liking. Overall driver involvement, then, is not fantastic. However, there is still a case to be made for this being a fun drive – it’s just that enthusiastic drivers are always going to plump for a BMW 3 Series.

Then again, that isn’t the customer Volvo are trying to attract here.

Review Of The Volvo S60 Saloon 2017

We like the fact there is plenty of grip on offer, while the option of four-wheel-drive gives this exec saloon a degree of ruggedness which is unusual in this sector. As tough as it makes the car, and as much as it will help you to tackle slippery conditions, four-wheel-drive does put a dent in efficiency while increasing body lean in bends.

The Volvo diesel models offer plenty of acceleration at lower revs, and they’re all responsive and powerful units. The D2 118bhp model will be the most popular with buyers, but our topic pick is the D4. It delivers up to 187bhp, and is still cheap to run – average fuel economy returns of 72.4mpg are hardly to be sniffed at. As mentioned, the manual gearbox is jerky, so paying out an extra £1,291 on the better 8-speed automatic transmission makes sense.

There are a pair of petrol engines available, but Volvo themselves will admit that they don’t expect either the T3 or T4 models to give the likes of Audi, Mercedes or BMW a run for their money. They’re actually cheaper to buy than the Volvo diesel engines, but they’re just not as good. Moreover, they will cost you more in the long run if you plan on putting the miles in.

Interior, Design & Build

Review Of The Volvo S60 Saloon 2017

The interior is far and away one of the S90’s strengths. It’s remarkably comfortable, and is helped to this end by a soft suspension setup and excellent sound insulation that keeps most external noises out of the cabin. However, you will likely hear the engines if you accelerate hard. The seats are mic and big, and offer plenty of adjustment and support.

The dash looks better than it ever has done, and is defined by a distinct design that features a sort-of floaty console which brightens the cabin up and gives it a decidedly airier feel than seen and felt in rivals. The controls are simple and easy to use, and the infotainment system looks smart and up-to-date.

Surprisingly, the S90 Saloon 2017 isn’t as practical as you’d expect a Volvo to be. The boot only measures 380-litres, which makes it some 100-litres smaller than the Audi A4’s. It’s also not the easiest to use, thanks to an awkward shape. Worse still, you can’t fold the rear seats totally flat for more space.

In terms of interior space, four adults can sit comfortably but the middle seat is really for a child only. Headroom is compromised. Storage spaces include a big glove box, decent-sized door bins, and two cup holders that you’ll find sandwiched between the two front seats.

Equipment

Standard equipment across the range is good, with entry-level models getting alloys, climate control, daytime running lights, cruise control, a leather steering wheel and a DAB digital radio as part of its kit.

Step up to the Business Edition and you get sat nav, a better stereo, 17” alloys, automatic headlights and wipers, as well as power-folding mirrors. The SE Lux trim adds electric rear headrests, leather upholstery and electric driver’s seat adjustment, while the R-Design comes with 18” alloys, an upgraded sound system and sports seats. The R-Design Lux sits at the top of the range and treats you to a rear lip spoiler, a rear central armrest and a headlight cleaning system.

Review Of The Volvo S60 Saloon 2017

Costs Of The Volvo S60 Saloon

Prices for the new car start out from £22,000 and rise to around £34,300. For more information on our Volvo lease deals, you can check out our page here.

As always, running costs vary according to which model you go for. For best fuel economy, see the D2 118bhp diesel engine which can achieve average returns of 74.3mpg while costing nothing to tax – if you pair it up with a manual gearbox, that is. Pairing it up with the automatic transmission means you’ll be paying £20 a year in road tax, while fuel economy drops down to 67.3mpg.

In truth, though, none of the diesel engines are expensive to run. The D3 and D4 offer more performance than the D2, and they can both achieve average fuel economy returns of 72.4mpg while costing £20 a year in road tax – if you go for the manual transmission.

The petrol engines are a different affair. The T3 will cost you £130 a year in road tax and returns 50.4mpg at best, while the T4 cost the same in tax and returns the same mpg figures.

Pros and Cons Of The Volvo S60 Saloon 

Pros:

Cons:

Spacious

Head and legroom is good, while there are a decent number of storage spaces here and there. The door bins are a good size, and the glovebox is vast.

Good To Drive

Granted, the S60 isn’t as finely honed as its exec German rivals, but the handling is not as unsophisticated as it’s been in the past and the car is easy to drive.

Safe As Houses

You can’t fault this car for safety, and there are plenty of active and passive safety systems on board the Volvo Saloon. You get a full set of airbags, anti-whiplash head rests, side impact protection and more.

Not The Comfiest

A tilting driver’s seat might sound quirky, but in truth it’s just a bit of a pain.

Small Boot

A surprising major failing of this Volvo Saloon is its small boot. 380-litres is way off the class-leaders.

Volvo S60 Saloon vs BMW 3 Series Saloon vs Audi A4 Saloon

Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our Volvo S60 Saloon review.

Volvo S60 Saloon vs BMW 3 Series Saloon

The S60 has a lot to do to convince buyers its an all-round better car than the brilliant BMW 3 Series Saloon. But sometimes it’s the small differences that make the big difference.

It may no longer be the ultimate driving machine, but in many ways the 3 Series is the perfect machine. As always, it’s entertaining to drive an offers a firm suspension setup, good grip, and well-weighted steering. On twisting roads, you’d back yourself much more than you would if you were in the S60 Saloon.

Review Of The Volvo S60 Saloon 2017

Performance runs right through the engine range, starting with the entry-level petrol that can do 0-62 in an impressive 8.9 seconds. You have to work it fairly hard to get the best out of it, but the rewards are pleasing.

The 320i and 330i models are quicker, and can do the 0-62 dash in 7.2 and 5.9 seconds, but they don’t really make a lot of sense if you’re going to be spending most of your time milling around the town. For that, the entry-level petrol should be just fine.

The 340i is breathtakingly fast, and can do 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds, but you also shouldn’t overlook the diesel engines. A 320d has more power than the 320i and does 0-62 in 7.5 seconds. It’s the cheapest engine to run, and makes sense for high-mileage drivers. It is, however, a tad on the noisy side. But those promised fuel economy returns of 74.3mpg are hard to ignore.

That’s as good as things get, but mpg numbers across the range are decent. The 330d is good for 56.5mpg, while the 318i petrol model can claim returns of 51.4mpg.

BMW do top quality interiors all the time, so it’s no surprise to find the 3 Series is a very pleasant place to be. The design is classy and current, the layout is logical, and the materials are great to the touch. We especially like that standard cloth seats are standard across the range.

The driver-oriented dash is of the wraparound kind, which means the centre console is a bit to high, though the dials and controls are all angled towards you. These dials are easy to read and use too.

The 3 Series Saloon is fairly practical. It’s the same size as the Volvo’s other German rivals, but, like the S60, it’s not the most usable car in the class. That award goes to the likes of the VW Passat.

However, this is the biggest 3 Series so far. As a result, leg and headroom is satisfactory, and the 480-litre boot is competitive. Like the Volvo, anyone sat in the middle seat will struggle with the high transmission tunnel. Upfront, though, there is plenty of space for the driver and passenger.

Price:

Volvo – £22,000 – £34,200

BMW – £25,000 – £41,000

Volvo S60 Saloon vs Audi A4 Saloon

Review Of The Volvo S60 Saloon 2017

Audi have made a number of significant changes to their austere Audi A4 Saloon, resulting in a car that’s more comfortable and practical. It also costs noticeably less to run.

The outgoing A4 was criticised for its rather dour driving experience. The steering was numb – but this has been improved. Sharper steering and more agility have turned the A4 into something vaguely exciting. Active steering comes as an optional extra, but we suggest that you overlook it, as it makes the car feel less natural.

Body lean is kept to a minimum, while adaptive suspension (optional) boosts the ride quality.

You get more (and better) petrol engines to choose from this time around. A turbocharged 1.4-litre unit that delivers up to 148bhp has been added to the ranks, as well as a turbocharged 2.0-litre TFSI engine that is available in two power guises – 187 to 249bhp. Both are fast and pleasingly efficient.

A new RS4 performance car is in the works (apparently), while there are also a quartet of diesel engines to take your pick from. The 2.0-litre power plant, however, will be satisfactory for most buyers. It can deliver up to 187bhp, and makes less noise than previous diesel A4’s. This diesel engine is not just the most efficient in the A4 range – it’s almost the most efficient in this entire sector. It averages fuel economy returns of 74.3mpg, and costs nothing to tax.

The turbocharged 2.0-litre TFSI petrol unit, meanwhile, can achieve returns of 55.4mpg at best, and emits 116g/km of CO2.

The Volvo’s interior is good, but it can’t really compete with the impeccable quality of the Audi A4 Saloon’s. Crammed with lots of advanced tech and high quality materials it is, as ever, a real cut above the rest. The dash is much less cluttered than before, with Audi’s new minimalist aesthetic finding its way to the A4 at last. The interior design isn’t as flashy as, say, the Mercedes C-Class’, but it’s still super slick and contemporary.

The A4 is also a very practical car. It’s considerably bigger than last time around, although the 480-litre boot stays the same size. But thanks to some clever design work, adults upfront and in the back have never enjoyed so much space in this car. Indeed, legroom has been extended by 23mm. Headroom is also good, while driver seat and steering wheel adjustment means it’s easy to get comfortable. Storage spaces include large door bins and a decent-sized glovebox.

Price:

Audi – £26,000 – £39,500

Verdict Of Our Volvo S60 Saloon Review

The compact executive class is, as ever, filled with the usual suspects. The S60, however, offers something a bit different.

It’s not as fresh faced as it was in 2010 when the new model replaced a lumpish Volvo Saloon, but 2013 revision has kept this car’s image moving in the right direction. It looks good in the showroom, where its premium fit and finish are more than a match for its premium German rivals.

The diesels are strong and economical … but when faced with such good choice in this market, you need to think long and hard about whether the Volvo S60 Saloon is right for you.

Want to learn more? Click below to view the review for the competitors in this article…

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Related VOLVO S60 SALOON Articles

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Volvo S60 Review

13th June 2016

The Volvo S60 is a new turn for the ‘safe and comfortable’ Volvo brand identity. There’s development with a new emphasis on un-boxing the stereotypical style and ramping up the driving experience factor in this compact executive saloon. The biggest change is the inclusion of the new D4 2.0ltr Drive-E engine option, which boasts great economy…

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