“With the industry’s hostile take over by SUVs and crossovers, sedans are becoming less and less popular. In fact, some would say they’ll eventually cease to exist. With several strong players in the luxury sedan segment, can the Volvo S60 fend for itself?”
2017 Volvo S60 Review – Just Another Luxury Sedan?
At first glance, the 2017 Volvo S60 is a looker. Our test car was a T5 AWD Dynamic model, and sported a lovely passion red paint color which made it look extra hot.
So, why Volvo? For starters, Volvo has pledged that no one would be killed or severely injured in a new Volvo vehicle by 2020. Surely that sounds ambitious, but if there’s someone that can accomplish such feat, it’s Volvo. The S60 has yet to be rated by any government agencies on crash worthiness, but let’s face it, Volvo has received more IIHS Top Safety Pick+ awards than any other automaker in the world.
Now that we know why Volvo as a brand is a good choice, you must know whether the S60 is a good choice as a sedan, and that’s a little trickier. After spending little over a week behind the wheel of this intricate sedan, I grew to love it, and I grew to hate it. It was like driving an exciting and fulfilling sports sedan one moment, and an outdated and clunky the other.
Let’s start with the reasons why I would buy a 2017 Volvo S60:
It looks bloody good, and it drives even better. If you want a fun-to-drive vehicle that has room for groceries and two or three kids in the back, this is a great option. The 2 liter turbocharged 5-cylinder engine (yes, 5) offers 240 horsepower on tap, which actually feel more like 300 or so. Step on the throttle and you’ll be rewarded with a smile.
Aside from engine performance, the adjustable power-steering is on-point. To be honest, I never had to switch it out of its normal setting, as I really enjoyed the way it communicated with me. I always felt in control at low, high, and really high speeds. The brakes are equally good. Extremely responsive but without an uncomfortable initial bite. Overall, the S60 achieves a nearly perfect balance between comfort and sportiness.
Year-round performance. Volvo’s all-wheel drive is fairly high-tech, and if I named all the terms involved to make it perform the way it does, you’d most likely die of boredom. Let’s just say that if you live in the midwest or anywhere it snows, the S60 would be a very wise choice.
Family-friendliness. It’s super safe, so that’s always good, but besides that, the S60’s rear offers plenty of room for babies and toddlers in car seats, as well as grown ups. The back seat also features ac/heater vents mounted on the B-Pillars, though it only offered one lonely and outdated cigarette-style power outlet. USB power outlets and heated rear seats shouldn’t be ”M.I.A” on a $44k European luxury-sedan.
Reasons why I wouldn’t buy a 2017 Volvo S60:
The interior. While the S60 does have a stylish interior, it feels like it got stuck back in 2009. The painted plastics, the silly knobs, the cheap-feeling steering wheel. It all somehow managed to detract all the beauty the exterior exudes. It’s just dreary.
Should you attempt to use the Sensus infotainment system, you’ll have to do so via a tiny knob that somehow manages to play about 4 different roles. It turns, it has buttons, it just does way too much. It definitely made us miss the lovely Sensus touchscreen in the 2017 Volvo XC90 we drove recently.
The 7 inch LCD screen is just that, an LCD screen, it’s not even a touchscreen, and it features graphics worthy of a Blackberry smartphone. If there’s one major letdown about the S60, it’s the poor user-friendliness.
The seats are another near-miss from Volvo. While comfortable by most standards, one has come to expect chiropractor-levels of comfort from the Swedish manufacturer. These aren’t it. On a four hour drive to Chicago in the S60, the seats proved to be average.
If you’re looking for a fun driver’s sedan, and don’t use any other technology feature other than the radio, the 2017 Volvo S60 is an excellent choice. If you want more than that, you’ll need to look somewhere else.
2017 Volvo S60 T5 AWD Dynamic
- Starts at: $33,950
- Price as tested: $44,195