The Volvo S60 is an upmarket saloon car with a stylish interior and plenty of space for passengers. It’s not particularly thrilling to drive, however, and you can’t get it with any diesel engines
The Volvo S60 is a smart saloon car that’s comfortable to drive and comes with a plush, spacious interior. There aren’t quite as many engines to choose from as in the likes of the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 but you can get it as a rapid Polestar-tuned hybrid model.
Regardless of which S60 you pick, you get a slick interior that looks and feels well put together. Almost every surface of the dashboard, centre console and doors comes with a soft plastic or brushed aluminium finish and you get lots of lovely cold-to-the-touch metal switches and handles dotted about the place, too.
You’ll find similar trims in many German alternatives, but a large portrait infotainment display really helps the Volvo S60 interior stand out from the crowd. It looks great but isn’t quite as easy to use as the systems you get in the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. Unlike these cars, you get a slick digital driver’s display as standard in the Volvo S60.
It doesn’t just come with lots of tech, the Volvo S60’s cabin is also very practical. There’s an impressive amount of space in the front and ample space in the rear seats for two six-foot-tall adults to get comfortable. Unfortunately, carrying three in the back is made a little more cramped by a large lump in the rear floor in T8 models.
Traditionally, Volvos have had larger boots than most alternatives. Sadly, the same can’t be said of the S60. It trails the likes of the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4 by a fair margin, but at least there’s still enough space to carry a few large suitcases or a baby buggy and a few soft bags. Unlike in some saloon cars, the Volvo S60’s back seats fold down flat to let you load much larger items.
Range-topping Polestar Engineered models do their best to shake Volvo’s stodgy-not-sporty image, but they still aren’t quite as fun to drive as some simpler non-hybrid alternatives
Unlike the larger V60 estate, the S60 saloon is only available with petrol engines – ranging from an affordable T5 model to a seriously fast Polestar-tuned T8 version. The mid-range T6 makes a good choice if you spend lots of time on motorways, while one of the hybrid T8 cars is worth considering if you do lots of short journeys and have somewhere to charge the onboard batteries in between trips.
Whichever model you pick, you get an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard and plenty of advanced safety systems designed to prevent avoidable collisions. Pay extra for the upgraded Intellisafe pack and you’ll find driving the Volvo S60 very relaxing indeed. This feature will accelerate, brake and even steer the car for you on motorways – providing you keep your hands on the steering wheel, that is.
If you’d rather do the driving yourself, you’ll find the Volvo S60 feels relatively agile, if not quite as sporty as the likes of the BMW 3 Series or Alfa Romeo Giulia on a twisty country road. Even range-topping Polestar Engineered T8 models with upgraded brakes and suspension don’t feel quite as nimble as these lighter rear-wheel-drive alternatives.
Putting handling prowess aside, the Volvo S60 is a very capable car with a stylish interior and some of the best safety equipment of any car on sale. If you’re looking for a sensible, spacious saloon car, then, it’s definitely worth a closer look.
Read more about the Volvo S60 in our interior, practicality, performance and specifications review sections.