The Volvo S60 is a luxury saloon car from the Swedish manufacturer first developed and released in 2000 although it's been updated since then and is now in its third generation. It became one of five new electric models launched in 2019 when it became available as a plug in hybrid model and has also been available as the S60 Polestar engineered version.
Our Volvo S60 review will guide you through the latest S60 and S60 Recharge models to help you to decide which option is best for you and your needs.
The Volvo S60 uses the brands Scalable Product Architecture model, as other models in the Volvo line up do, which Volvo have said allowed for "significant improvements when it comes to offering protection in worst-case scenarios and when creating innovative features that support the driver in avoiding accidents" and also helped to achieve weight reductions and support hybridisation.
An aluminium brace is now installed in the engine bay to improve rigidity and sharpen response, with larger Brembo brakes also fitted to compliment this. The S60 also has adjustable dampers from Ohlins, another Swedish brand, which are a truly great part of the model's design.
These allow a dual-flow valve technology to run which lets the damping fluid act the same way during rebound as it does during compression. This should, in theory, make the wheels maintain more contact with the road which then improves traction, handling, and ride quality compared to a car that doesn't use the technology.
The interior of the Volvo S60 is clearly inspired by Swedish minimalism as the dash is clear and uncluttered for users. Most of the functions of the S60 saloon are controlled through the 9 inch portrait touchscreen that houses the infotainment system.
The touchscreen can also be used with gloves on which is fantastic news in winter and an obvious influence from the brand's homeland of Sweden.
This reduces the need for physical buttons across the dashboard but can make some things, such as climate control, a little trickier to use if you're driving alone. Just remember to take care whilst using these.
As standard your Volvo S60 will come with leather upholstery and metal mesh aluminium decor but you have the option to upgrade this for a choice of either other leather combinations or wool blend on the Recharge and the gear lever is upgraded to Orrefors Crystal, a unique touch to the Volvo line up.
As you would expect from a luxury saloon car, the Volvo S60 is spacious and extremely comfortable with 976mm of headroom in the front seats and 945mm in the rear seats.
The middle seat isn't ideal for an adult passenger as it's raised higher than the outer seats, so anyone who's tall might feel like they're brushing their head on the roof. However using the car with four passengers means that you can take advantage of the rear armrest with cupholders.
Front seats for the driver and passenger come heated and with adjustable lumbar support as standard, ideal for keeping comfortable or if you like some additional support when you drive. There's also front seat cushion extensions and power height adjustment, additional support functions that set the S60 aside from its competition.
The Volvo S60 has 427 litres of boot space with all seats in use, although this is reduced to 391 for the Recharge model due to the electric battery placement. For comparison the Mercedes C Class has 455 litres and the Jaguar XE is much lower at 270 litres with all seats in use so the S60 more than holds up for cargo space.
Volvo had previously offered a range of petrol and diesel engines on the S60 but they have since narrowed it down to two options: the B5 mild hybrid and T8 AWD plug in hybrid, ditching diesel engines altogether.
The Volvo S60 uses the B5 mild hybrid engine, a 4 cylinder, 2.0 litre petrol engine supported by an electric motor to produce 250HP. You can expect a 0-62mph time of around 6.7 seconds and a combined mpg of 42.2. It's not the greenest option in the Volvo range as it's CO2 emissions at their lowest is 153 g/km. Some have reported that in the most sporting drive mode the gearchange can be a little slow but you do have the shift paddles on
The Volvo S60 Recharge comes with one great plug in hybrid engine, the T8 AWD. This is a 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder petrol engine which is supported by am 11.6kWh battery which can give you up to 54.1 miles of an electric only range according to Volvo. Combining the two together gives you a phenomenal 455HP: 310HP from the engine and a further 145HP from the electric battery.
It's also an eight speed automatic gearbox with all wheel drive which really allows you to make use of all that horsepower and get a really smooth rid on open roads and tight corners alike. All of this with fuel consumption of up to 352.6 combined mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 18 g/km.
Volvo also offer you the option to add on Polestar Performance on their petrol S60 which offers software optimisation to "bring heightened engine power, faster, more precise gear capability and fine-tuned throttle response". Previously this, with several other features, was part of the S60 Polestar Engineered version but is now an optional extra.
As with other models in the Volvo family, the Volvo S60 has two trim levels available: the Plus and the Ultimate.
The standard equipment that you get across the range is fantastic and arguably Volvo offers some of the best standard options on the market. This includes automatic LED headlights with daytime running lights, adaptive brake lights which include a high level LED brake light, front and rear park assist, cruise control, a rain sensor for the wipers, dual zone climate control with an air quality system and pollen filter, B-Pillar ventilation, a 12.3 digital driver's display, heated front seats, adjustable lumbar support, and power height adjustment for the front seats.
Also included is the 9 inch centre console touch screen which controls most of the features in the car. This also has Google Automotive Services integrated with a 4 year data plan so that you can use these and other enabled apps as you drive.
The Plus trim then adds some additional equipment onto this, already impressive, list. You can expect handsfree boot lid opening, puddle lights, 19 inch diamond cut alloy wheels, heated steering wheel, heated windscreen, leather upholstery, power driver seat with memory function, heated rear seats, multi directional lumbar support, keyless drive, and driver awareness which includes a blind spot information system.
Upgrading again to the Ultimate trim adds even more, as you would expect from the name. This includes pilot assist, adaptive cruise control, 360 degree parking camera with side proximity sensors, a power glass tilt and slide panoramic sunroof with a sun curtain, power passenger seat with memory function, active bending headlights with adaptive shadow technology, dark tinted rear windows, and a premium sound system by Harmon Kardon.
There are also a number of additional accessories that can be added to enhance your Volvo s60. These include child seat kick plates, roof boxes, and bike racks to help you to fit the S60 into your life seamlessly.
Opting for the S60 Recharge plug in hybrid will additionally give you Recharge aluminium tread plates, a fresh air subwoofer, a 3 pin plug charging cable, a type 2/mode 3 charging cable, electric rear axle drive, drive mode settings, and a low speed exterior sound speaker.
The Volvo S60 has a five star safety rating from Euro NCAP. This is in line with other large family cars such as the Alfa Romeo Giulia, the Jaguar XE, and the Mercedes C Class, although it outperforms the BMW i4 which is interesting.
This rating comes from a great number of standard pieces of safety equipment and systems. Every Volvo S60 has city safety with steering support which includes pedestrian and cyclist detection and front collision warning with full auto brake, run off road protection, slippery road and hazard light alert, drive alert control with lane keep assist, road sign display, WHIPS whiplash protection system for the front seats, vehicle deceleration control which includes anti-lock braking system, EBD and emergency brake assist, and stability and traction control.
Volvo's manufacturing warranty will cover your S60 for three years or until your car has driven 60,000 miles, whichever comes first, and will have any authorised Volvo retailer carry out repairs if they are deemed to have been caused by faulty materials or workmanship at manufacture.
As a mild hybrid the Volvo S60 starts at £44,580 for the Plus trim or £49,280 if you opt for the Ultimate trim. This is a little more than the Mercedes C Class which starts at £39,860 and the Jaguar XE at £32,205, although both of these have many more engine options across the range which brings them in line or even higher in the case of the C Class.
The Recharge model is more expensive but this is the case for any plug in hybrid version of any car model at the moment. The Plus trim level starts at £51,780 and the Ultimate trim comes in at £56,480, well in line with the hybrid pricing of the many C Class hybrids which are priced between £46,310 and £52510 depending on which model you choose.
With an initial price of over £40,000, the S60 will always succumb to the so called "luxury car tax" which is an additional cost of £355 on the car's annual road tax which lasts for the first five years of a vehicles life, regardless of who owns it.
The Volvo S60 definitely manages to keep up with other luxury saloon models such as the the Mercedes C Class or the Jaguar XE. Volvo continue to prove this thanks to their immaculate attention to detail and excellent commitment to high quality equipment in every model.
If you're looking for an alternative to some of the more conventional and obvious saloon cars in the market then you should definitely be considering a Volvo S60 for your next car.