Volvo S60 saloon (2010-2018)
“The Volvo S60 is a handsome, comfortable and subtle alternative to conventional executive saloons from Audi, BMW and Mercedes”
- Comfortable interior
- Plenty of space for four
- Lots of safety equipment
- Boot is small compared to rivals'
- Not as fun to drive as a BMW 3 Series
- Hi-tech safety equipment costs extra
The Volvo S60 faces some tough competition in the executive saloon class. The BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4 are all established, popular, highly capable rivals, and they outsell the S60 as a result. The Volvo has become something of a niche choice, offering a comfortable, high-quality alternative to the ‘big three’, which are often seen as the default choices.
Soon to be replaced by a new model that's related to the Volvo V60 estate car, The S60 is an upmarket car that’s well built and has a relaxing, accommodating interior. Other cars in the class, particularly the BMW 3 Series, are more engaging to drive but the Volvo is a class leader in terms of comfort thanks a softer, more forgiving suspension set up and Volvo’s excellent seats.
Volvo S60 buyers have three diesel-engine options and one petrol from which to choose. The diesels sell in greater numbers, as is usual for cars in the S60’s class, with the D2 an attractive choice for high-mileage drivers because of its claimed economy of 72.4mpg. Correspondingly low CO2 figures mean a low Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) rating. If your annual mileage is relatively low, the T4 petrol model returns a very acceptable 50.4mpg.
We’ve become accustomed to Volvos that are engineered for comfort rather than outright driving fun and the S60 is no different. The Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3 Series are both more rewarding cars to drive on a twisty road, but the S60 is a more accomplished cruiser and is less prone to transmit poor road surfaces into the cabin.
Trim levels for the S60 start with the Business Edition, moving up to Business Edition Lux, SE Nav, SE Lux Nav, R-Design Nav and R-Design Lux Nav. The Lux suffix denotes some additional plush touches for the interior, while Nav indicates the car has sat nav.
Company-car buyers are probably best choosing the Business Edition model, as this includes a lot of equipment without incurring too high a rate of Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax. With around a third of buyers opting for it, Volvo has also introduced Business Edition Lux, with unique alloy wheels, leather upholstery and a rear parking camera. For private buyers, we recommend SE or SE Lux trim, as these offer the best blend of value and equipment. The R-Design model has a sporty bodykit and unique alloy wheels, which give it a more aggressive stance, but this isn’t in keeping with the S60’s character and makes the car relatively expensive, too.
In terms of reliability, the Volvo S60 shares much of its underpinnings with the previous-generation V60 estate model, which has a pretty good reputation for reliability. The news is even better where safety is concerned: the V60 estate scored the full five stars in its Euro NCAP safety tests.