Vital Stats

Engine:
Turbo 2.5L I5
Power:
250 HP / 266 LB-FT
Transmission:
6-Speed Auto
0-60 Time:
6.6 Seconds
Drivetrain:
All-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
3,700 LBS.
Seating:
2+3
Cargo:
12.0 CU-FT
MPG:
20 City / 29 HWY
The Volvo S60 T5 with all-wheel drive struck us as a whole 'lotta Euro sedan for the money the first time we tried out this new-for-2013 powertrain combination. There are several fans of the offbeat and Swedish on the Autoblog team, me among them, and this $38,170-as-tested (including $895 destination) S60 has a fjord-load of style and comfort that you'll pay a lot more for in some other Euro-brand showroom.

Driving Notes
  • The T5 AWD is the sweet-spot for the S60. It's not underpowered, yet it's still efficient, and it comes well-equipped with all-wheel drive for a price that's way lower than you'll catch a leather-seated AWD German.
  • Subjectively, the styling is distinctive and still clearly Volvo, even beautifully detailed, but it's a bit more bland than the original. That's me being biased.
  • Pleasantly surprised at fill-up time to find that the T5 only requires regular fuel, even with the turbo mill. Both my turbo S60s (first-gen models) drink high-test.
  • The 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine has 250 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque and a temporary overboost function that delivers 295 lb-ft for brief bursts. In spite of this, it never really blows your hair back like the 300-hp T6 or even the older, less refined high-pressure turbo five. The older engine was much less linear in its power delivery, which likely explains the different feel, but this significantly revised powerplant is a really refined runner.
  • Interior is both beautifully designed and thoughtfully finished, the front seats are crazy-comfortable. Not really bolstered for truly spirited driving, but these are 1,000-mile-a-day seats.
  • Steering is decently weighted, but sort of rubbery just off-center and generally numb.
  • The ride is very comfortable, well controlled and compliant without float. Even without the higher-tech chassis of the T6 model, this is one of the best Volvo tuning jobs ever.
  • Like every other Volvo sedan for the last decade, the trunk itself is a decently sized box with a horrific access hatch. The latest S60s back glass extends far to the rear and chews up most of the space that was once trunklid. That leaves a small slot for trunk access, and the hinges take a slight bite out of the width of the opening, too, but they're trimmed in so you won't run any risk of crushing your cargo.
  • The rear seat is comfortable, though the bottom cushion may be a little bit lower than is preferable for some passengers. Legroom is also probably tight for anyone much over six-foot-two.
  • Overall, this car is a really great value, and it gives buyers a just-out-of-the-mainstream choice that doesn't force unreasonable compromises or cost obscene money.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      Felipe Politano
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm almost sold on a T4 (not available in the US, with a 180hp 1.6 turbo), but still tempted by a fully loaded Kia Optima SX with the regular non-turbo engine for the same price. I might end up with the Volvo, though, since I liked its driving position better. Btw, I could get the FWD T5 for only 10% more, and I most definitely would if I had the money. But these things are expensive in Brazil: the S60 T4 and the Optima SX both retail for around US$60k - yes, sixty thousand american dollars. To put it in perspective, the 170hp BMW 320i and 156hp MB C180 are sold for around US$70k the same price as a loaded Passat or Camry; the base Fusion goes for a little over US$40k, and a pricey fully loaded Corolla sells like hotcakes for almost US$50k. So the Volvo and the Kia are both good deals, anyway.
      GN
      • 2 Years Ago
      My next purchase, no doubt. Are you people in the US not getting halo-projector headlights for this model? Where I live they come standard.
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @GN
        We do, you just need the HIDs as an option. You might get projectors for non-HID headlamps, we don't.
      th0mb0ne
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nice. Now imagine if we could get the v60 wagon. http://www.motorward.com/wp-content/images/2010/09/Volvo-V60-R-Design-2.jpg So close, yet so far away.....
      Rob J
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have never been in a more comfortable car than a childhood friends moms car. We drove her S60 2000km and it felt like a run to the grocery store.
      FuelToTheFire
      • 2 Years Ago
      It still has lackluster FWD-until-wheelslip Haldex AWD. The Acura TL SH-AWD has a much more sophisticated, fulltime AWD system, which leads it to best-in-class or near best in class performance in handling and skidpad tests. The MB C class is also much better than this thing: the specs on paper are just much more competitive.
        SteveM
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Wow, another spec sheet genius. And how many of these have you actually owned or driven? Having driven the Merc and the S60 I can say, from personal experience, that the S60 is a great car, and a fantastic deal if you're into European cars.
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Both of those are more money.
          msspamrefuge
          • 2 Years Ago
          @NightFlight
          Few entry-level sport/luxury sedans offer this level of power with AWD for this kind of coin; the A4 and G37 are the only ones I'm aware of, and that's just based off of starting MSRP.
      Chris Bangle
      • 2 Years Ago
      Reflector headlights on a $40,000 car? For shame!
      Patrick M D'Agostino
      • 2 Years Ago
      Still dealing with the Nightmare that is my 2012 S60 T5! My 2nd car has a laundry list of issues. Some Volvo will ack. others they stay blissfully ignorant. Just look at the recalls since '10 for Volvo's. Fuel cut out (which mine was a nexus for & still happens) Fires & faulty airbags. The new 25% offset crash test results are nice. But with my exp; I want to know how it performs if hit from the rear in the same manner. I say this due to have broken down in 6 states. With several near misses while waiting in the side of the road for Volvo on call. The new product isn't up to par quality wise as we have come to expect from this once great brand.
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