Test Drive Notes Library
- The new S60 is a sweet car. It features a nice balance between ride comfort and precise handling. It’s an easy car to live with every day.
- Plenty of power.
- Solid feel.
- Clean and classy looking. Volvo’s definitely playing on the clean, Swedish aesthetic. We liked it. We think it’s a great looking car on the outside and has a clean, calming interior. Nice design work.
- It has all the latest safety features you’d expect from Volvo, including blind spot warning and lane departure warning, which gently shakes the steering wheel if you’re wandering. The first time the steering wheel shakes, it’s a bit surprising—we though we had a flat tire. But, once you know what it is, it takes its place among useful safety features.
- All-wheel-drive option.
- The keyless entry system works particularly well. Just put your hand in a door handle, and you can have all four doors unlock. To lock the car, there’s a simple and clear indentation on the door. Touch it, and everything locks.
- Others we’ve tested are picky about exactly how and where you touch them, and some will only open the driver’s door. This one is particularly good, in that you never have to try twice or think about.
Test Drive Notes Library
- We drove the 5-cylinder 250 hp version, which gets mediocre mileage (low 20s, combined). They have a new 4-cylinder 240 hp engine with an 8-speed transmission for 2015 that claims high 20s combined, a huge improvement if it delivers those numbers in reality. But we have not tested it yet.
- The automatic start-stop is rough enough to be pretty annoying. The S60 turns off the engine when you stop at a light, and restarts it when you lift your foot off the brake. But it’s rough and noticeable. Volvo needs to reengineer the motor mounts or something to make the start-stop smoother. It got on our nerves, even during a week-long test drive. It can be disabled with a button on the dash, but you’d need to do that every time you start the car.
- The back seat is awfully tight. There’s not much room, and for a car with an MSRP that starts at $33,315 and heads north of $45,000, we thought that was a serious negative if you carry more than two people frequently.
- Poor rear visibility, mitigated by the backup camera.
- We experienced an occasional bit of torque steer. If you’re trying to turn while you step on the gas, the steering will have a tendency to try to pull the wheels straight.
- The S 60 has a very noisy engine... from the outside. While the passenger compartment is well insulated, the car adds a significant amount of noise pollution to the scene around you.
Get the Car Talk Newsletter