2021 Volvo S60

#5
in Sedans
2021 MODEL
$36,050 - $48,045
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8.4

Overall Rating

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2021 Volvo S60 Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: August 4, 2020
Swapnil Kulshrestha's image

Swapnil Kulshrestha

Automotive Journalist

The Volvo S60 is a popular sedan in the small luxury sedan segment. It competes against the likes of Audi A4, Lexus IS 300, the Mercedes C-class, and the BMW 3 series. The Volvo S60 settles itself in the market with its top-class safety and high-tech gizmo. The 2021 Volvo S60 is offered in 3 trims and a hybrid model as well, with the range starting from $36,050. The 2021 Volvo S60 was expected to be launched in the summer of 2020, but accrediting to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, the date may get pushed forward. 

See detailed review »

Pros

Impressive acceleration

Extremely comfortable seats

Plush looking cabin

A long list of standard driver-assist highlights

Cons

Expensive to maintain

Frustrating tech interface

What's New?

Refreshed list of driver-assist tech

Minor cosmetic upgrades


Pictures & Videos

Exterior
Interior
Videos
2021 Volvo S60 Review video
2021 Volvo S60 Interior video

Styles

2021 Volvo S60 in Crystal White Metallic color
Crystal White Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

8.0

Engine And Performance

8.4

Fuel Economy

8.4

Interior

8.9

Exterior

8.0

Safety

8.6

Competition

8.6

8.4

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2021 Volvo S60 T5 Momentum

T5 Momentum

power
250 hp @ 5500 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
25 combined

$36,050


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
T5 Momentum 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $36,050 MSRP (21/25/32) 250 hp @ 5500 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, premium unleaded (required)
8-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5

2021 Volvo S60 T6 Momentum

T6 Momentum

power
316 hp @ 5700 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
25 combined

$40,550


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
T6 Momentum 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger 8A) Starting at $40,550 MSRP (21/25/32) 316 hp @ 5700 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, premium unleaded (required)
8-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5

2021 Volvo S60 T5 R-Design

T5 R-Design

power
250 hp @ 5500 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
25 combined

$43,545


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
T5 R-Design 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $43,545 MSRP (21/25/32) 250 hp @ 5500 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, premium unleaded (required)
8-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5

2021 Volvo S60 T5 Inscription

T5 Inscription

power
250 hp @ 5500 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
25 combined

$43,545


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
T5 Inscription 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $43,545 MSRP (21/25/32) 250 hp @ 5500 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, premium unleaded (required)
8-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5

2021 Volvo S60 T6 Inscription

T6 Inscription

power
316 hp @ 5700 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
25 combined

$48,045


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
T6 Inscription 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger 8A) Starting at $48,045 MSRP (21/25/32) 316 hp @ 5700 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, premium unleaded (required)
8-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5

2021 Volvo S60 T6 R-Design

T6 R-Design

power
316 hp @ 5700 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
25 combined

$48,045


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
T6 R-Design 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Twincharger 8A) Starting at $48,045 MSRP (21/25/32) 316 hp @ 5700 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, premium unleaded (required)
8-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5

Expert Review

8.4

Overall Rating


The 2021 iteration of the S60 looks to divert everyone’s attention from the usual German marquees with its classy and intuitive driver experience and rich opulence. The whole design philosophy is kept minimalistic yet sophisticated which gives Volvo a distinct image. The 2021 Volvo S60 offers two engine options - a 2.0 liter turbocharged inline 4, and a more potent supercharged I4. So let's dive into details and find out what’s more in store for the 2021 Volvo S60?


8.0/10
Features

 
 
 

8.4/10
Engine and Performance

 

8.4/10
Fuel Economy

 

8.9/10
Interior

 

8.0/10
Exterior

 

8.6/10
Safety

 

8.6/10
Competition

 
 

2021 Volvo S60 Features

8.0/10

The 2021 Volvo S60 has 3 basic names in its trim list- the Momentum, R-Design, and the Inscription. The cars also get a unique identity based on their drivetrains, with the T5 standing for front-wheel drive and the T6 for all-wheel drive, while the hybrid powertrain of the Volvo S60 is called T8. 

The Volvo S60 also offers the plug-in hybrid models for its R-Design and Inscription trims with another separate performance-oriented hybrid trim known as the Polestar Engineered. The prices for the 2021 Volvo S60 initiate at $36,050 for the base Momentum trim and go all the way up to $42,900 for the range-topping Inscription trim. 

Model

Momentum

R-Design

Inscription

MSRP(FWD)

$36,050

$42,900

$42,900

MSRP(AWD)

$40,550

$47,400

$47,400

Key Features

9-inch center touchscreen display

Adds to Momentum features:

Adds to MomentumFeatures:

 

Rear park assist camera

Harman Kardon Premium sound system

Heads-up display

 

SiriusXM Radio

Keyless entry

LED front fog lights with cornering lights

 

Leather-wrapped steering wheel with deco inlay

12.3-inch digital driver display

Pilot Assist driver assistance system with adaptive cruise control

 

Leather upholstery

   
 

8-inch driver display

   
 

18-inch five-spoke black diamond-cut alloy wheels

   
 

Power driver's seat with memory and power front passenger seat

   

The Momentum trim starts at $36050, with both AWD and FWD available. It has a wide array of sensational technology with arguably unbeatable safety features. The Momentum trim, even after being the base variant, scores features such as leather upholstery, 8-inch driver display, and power driver’s seat with memory settings. 

The R-Design is to be looked upon as the mid-range trim, starting at $42900 with FWD and AWD and a hybrid plug-in model. The Harmon Kardon audio system and keyless entry are its key features.

The Inscription starts at the same price as the R-Design, with a slight advantage over the R-Design due to the Pilot Assist and a heads-up display.

2021 Volvo S60 Maintenance, Reliability and Warranty

It’s not often that you see a Top safety sedan also being on the lower end of the reliability ratings. The Volvo S60 is a core example of this weird notion. So where does the Volvo S60 go wrong and where does it get things to bang on the buck? Let’s dig into the subtleties and find out. 

Reliability and Ownership Costs

Safety is a serious brand commitment to the Volvo automotive company. It envisions to bring the death toll of accidents in all its cars to zero within the near future. That’s a bold dream to think about, and Volvo guarantees to convert this dream into a reality with its class-leading City Safety package. The optional Pilot Assist system that costs about $1900 is one of the most intuitive and inspiring driver assistance mechanisms out there on the market.

JD Power gave the 2020 Volvo S60 a reliability rating of 77 out of 100, which is an optimistic figure for the 2021 model. It collected a ‘GREAT’ rating in all sectors like quality and reliability, driving experience, resale, and dealership experience. We talk in particular about its nimble handling experience, which contributes the most towards its reliability rating. The safety aspect on offer in the S60 is the best you could get in a sedan with a $40,000 asking price.

However, factors like high average repair costs contribute to the dip in the reliability ratings. The Volvo S60 isn’t a very cheap car to maintain, with common issues plaguing in Volvo cars especially after 3 to 4 years of usage. Another factor which is a downfall for Volvo is its high-tech software. Yes, having the best technology has its perks, but such software tends to receive more updates than normal leading to more bugs and glitches.

Year

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Total

Tax Credit

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

Insurance

$1435

$1485

$1537

$1591

$1647

$7695

Maintenance

$137

$388

$640

$1294

$2127

$4586

Repairs

$0

$0

$0

$696

$1063

$1759

Taxes & Fees

$2528

$180

$161

$146

$146

$3161

Financing

$2154

$1732

$1282

$803

$290

$6261

Depreciation

$9512

$4737

$3870

$4341

$3791

$26,251

Fuel

$1668

$1718

$1770

$1823

$1877

$8856

The real cost of ownership 

$17,434

$10,240

$9260

$10,694

$10,941

$58,569

The 2020 Volvo S60 had a true ownership cost of around $58,569 which includes $4586 for maintenance and $1759 for repairs. Perhaps this is the main factor why the Volvo S60 doesn’t get that high of a reliability rating. Sure, it boasts of the safety features that are a class apart from other manufacturers. But with lavish repair costs and a lengthier time off the road while under repair, drivers see the Volvo S60 as less reliable to own over an extensive period.

Warranty

Volvo offers a reliable warranty service with 4 years or 50000 miles coverage. Other aspects are also covered in this plan like corrosion perforation for 12 years/unlimited distance and maintenance warranty for 3 years or 36000 miles. 

They ensure the powertrain for a similar period like the basic limited warranty, with 24/7 roadside assistance service for unlimited distance for 4 years' time.

Criteria

Period

Limited warranty

4 years/ 50,000 miles; whichever is earlier

Powertrain warranty

4 years/ 50,000 miles; whichever is earlier

24-hour roadside assistance

4 years/ unlimited distance

The Volvo S60 has standard warranty coverage of 4 years/50000 miles which is what you hope for in any average luxury sedan. BMW offers a similar warranty coverage with unlimited distance. Audi too gives a dependable warranty service with unlimited mileage in the first year.

Miles Per Dollar

The Volvo S60 has a decent fuel economy, ensuring that you spend every dollar with the maximum mileage coverage. Considering the average cost for a gallon of gasoline, the Volvo S60 shells out around 10.45 miles for a dollar’s worth.

2021 Volvo S60 Buying Advice

The Inscription trim must be your go-to option for the best-personalized driving experience you could get from an S60. Its Pilot Assist feature works great while cruising on highways. If you emphasize interior comfort, you can always settle in for the base Momentum trim with AWD stability. All the trims have the same level of interior comfort, so there is no point of differentiation. You can also purchase the Heated seat package for added comfort.

Is buying a used car Volvo S60 Sedan a good idea?

The Volvo S60 sedan went through a major facelift in 2019 with the introduction of a 12.3-inch digital instrument display. The 2021 S60 receives some safety upgrades with a couple of new features being introduced. In case you are in the market to buy a used Volvo S60, buying a 2019 model might save you several thousand dollars, all at the cost of sacrificing these sensational features. 

You can also buy the 2018 model, but its fundamental design is quite different due to the generational change. Buying a new S60 might be a good idea, as used Volvos often end up in the repair shop more than often, costing you several extra bucks.

2021 Volvo S60 Engine and Performance

8.4/10

Let’s head to the fascinating part of this article i.e. the engines. The base Momentum trim of the Volvo S60 generates about 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, with its 2.0 liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine. These power figures are the same as that of the 2020 Volvo S60

This engine won’t give you a ride that puts you on the edge of your seats, but it emphasizes a comfortable and plush ride quality over anything else. A reliable front-wheel drivetrain works with this engine in unison to provide optimum luxury.

 A more powerful supercharger inline-4 is also at your disposal, with an all-wheel drivetrain that chugs out around 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The 2021 Volvo S60 also places its footprints in the hybrid market, with its 3 plug-in hybrid trims, namely the R-Design, Inscription, and Polestar. 

They contain 2 noteworthy engine options that generate as much as 328 hp and the other one generating 407 hp. All these Volvo S60 siblings employ an 8-speed automatic transmission with overdrive that’s amazingly slick and sweet.

Models

Volvo S60 Momentum T5

Audi A4 Premium

Lexus IS 300

Mercedes-Benz C300 Sedan

MSRP

$36,050

$37,400

$38,560

$41,500

Engine

2.0 L Turbocharged Inline-4

2.0 L Turbo Inline-4

2.5 L Intercooled Turbo Premium Inline-4

2.0L Intercooled Turbo Premium Inline-4

Drivetrain

FWD/AWD

FWD/AWD

RWD/AWD

RWD/AWD

Transmission

8-speed automatic w/OD

7-speed automatic w/OD

8-speed automatic w/OD

9-speed automatic w/OD

Power 

250 hp@5600 rpm

188 hp@4200 rpm

241 hp@5800 rpm

255 hp@5800 rpm

Torque 

258 lb-ft@1500 rpm

236 lb-ft@1450 rpm

258 lb-ft@1650 rpm

273 lb-ft@1800 rpm

The 2021 Volvo S60 features in a tough draw regarding the engine specifications. It edges out the Audi A4 and emerges as the winner against the Lexus IS 300 by a small margin. Only the Mercedes-Benz C-class beats it out, with its leading power of 255 hp and a peak torque of 273 lb-ft.

2021 Volvo S60 Sedan Acceleration And Braking Performance

The 2021 Volvo S60 benefits from its engine mechanics to accelerate to 60 mph from a dead stand in just 5 seconds. The 8-speed automatic transmission powers the sedan to post a respectable quarter-mile time of 14.3 seconds.

However what comes as a downside is the top speed. The Volvo S60 has a top speed of 112 mph, which is quite low while compared to its competition. The brake calipers of the S60 work in unison to bring the car to a stop from 60 mph in 127 feet, which again happens to be a decent yet not an impressive figure. 

Models

Volvo S60 

Audi A4

Lexus IS 300

Mercedes-Benz C300 Sedan

0-60 MPH

5 sec

5.8 sec

6.9 sec

5.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.3 sec

14.3 sec

14.7sec

14.1 sec

Top Speed

112 MPH

134 MPH

143 MPH

130 MPH

60-0 MPH

127 ft

99 ft

128 ft

110 ft

The Volvo S60 has the fastest 0-60 start among its adversaries with an equally delightful quarter-mile timing. However, it is nowhere near the Mercedes-Benz C300 and the Audi A4 in the braking department.

2021 Volvo S60 Fuel Economy

8.4/10

Volvo ensures that buying a luxury sedan won’t put pressure on your bills because of lavish fuel charges. 

The 2021 Volvo S60 can spin for 23 miles in the city or can cruise through 34 miles on the highway for every gallon of gasoline. Summing up these figures, we get a combined mpg of 27, which happens to be a decent figure. 

Model

Volvo S60 

Audi A4

Lexus IS 300

Mercedes-Benz C300 Sedan

MPG (City)

23

27

21

24

MPG (Highway)

34

35

30

35

MPG (Combined)

27

30

24

28

Fuel Capacity 

14.5 gallons

15.3 gallons

17.4 gallons

17.4 gallons

Range (City/Hwy/Combined) 

333.5/493/391.5 miles

413.1/535.5/459 miles

365.4/522/417.6 miles

417.6/609/487.2 miles

The Volvo S60’s mpg figures may get perceived as handsome when seen in solidarity, but when you place it against the rivals, the same figures start looking meek. The Volvo S60, with its combined mpg of 27, slots itself in the lower slab of the segment, surpassing just the mpg figures of the Lexus IS 300. The Audi A4 and the Mercedes-Benz C300 emerge as the leaders here with combined mpg of 30 and 28 respectively.

2021 Volvo S60 Interior

8.9/10

The interior of the 2021 Volvo S60 has a majestic Scandinavian presence to it. It emphasizes minimalistic design over an extraordinarily feature-rich cabin. The first impressions of the S60’s cabin will leave a mark on you with its serene interior surroundings. Dark leather covers the wide dashboard which gives it a bold outlook. The cream-colored stitching gives it a perfect contrast. High-end material is in abundance in the cabin, which provides ultimate luxury.

The seats are soft and intricate with an elite leather build and the driver’s seat is adjustable by means of an 8-way power with added lumbar support and memory. The tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel is reflexive and the pricier trims feature aluminum décor panels.

Model

Volvo S60 

Audi A4

Lexus IS 300

Mercedes-Benz C300 Sedan

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

37/56.1/42.3

38.9/55.9/41.3

38.2/55.9/44.8

37.1/55.3/41.7

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

37/54.5/35.2

37.4/54.5/35.7

36.9/53.4/32.2

37.1/55/35.2

The Volvo S60 has an average trunk space of 11.6 cubic feet, which may become an issue when you plan on going for a weekend getaway with your family. However, you can free up some additional luggage-storing space by folding the rear seats down.

How’s the 2021 Volvo S60’s infotainment system?

Every Volvo S60 features a portrait-oriented tablet-style touchscreen with the Sensus infotainment system. The graphics are crisp and stylish but its touch response is unresponsive at times. The large volume knob and the home button is your way to get out of laggy situations. 

Every S60 trim supports Android Auto and Apple Carplay smartphone integration, much like its S90 lineup. The infotainment interface has a ton load of features like navigation, car functions, and in-car connection services. Play your favorite playlist on Spotify with the Premium Harman Kardon audio system, by splashing a few extra bucks. The Volvo S60 overall is a refined sedan with loads of impressive gizmo.

2021 Volvo S60 Exterior

8.0/10

The Swedish influence of the Volvo S60 is paramount in its exterior philosophy. The aesthetics of the sedan are quite different from its German rivals. The Swedish marquee highlights the S60 with smooth exterior lines that are eye-catching and with a unique aesthetic that propels it to the top of the most stylish sedans.

 It has an extensive hood with the iconic Volvo logo decorating the front fascia. The special Thor’s hammer-shaped LED headlights to give the car a commanding presence at night. Its power-operated liftgate facilitates a hands-free experience while loading the car. Other notable exterior features are LED running lights, headlight washers, heated mirrors, and a sunroof.

Model

Volvo S60 

Audi A4

Lexus IS 300

Mercedes-Benz C300 Sedan

Curb Weight 

3657 lbs

3450 lbs

3583 lbs

3472 lbs

Length 

187.4"

186.1"

184.3"

184.5"

Width 

80.3"

72.5"

71.3"

71.3"

Height 

56.6"

56.2"

56.3"

57"

Ground Clearance 

5.9"

NA

5.3"

3.8"

Wheelbase 

113.1"

111"

110.2"

111.8"

The 2021 Volvo S60 is fundamentally one of the longest and widest sedans in the luxury sedan segment. It has a wide wheelbase of 113.1 inches which gives its occupants more room on the inside to work with. It also has the highest ground clearance in the class which gives it an advantage on rough roads.

2021 Volvo S60 Safety

8.6/10

Scoring the highest possible rating of “GOOD” in all six IIHS crashworthiness tests and a Top Safety Pick award, the Volvo S60 highlights its state of the art safety mechanisms in implementation inside its chassis. 

NHTSA also awarded it a 5-star rating on the basis of 2 crash tests. The SPA platform of the S60 which shares its underpinnings with Volvo’s S90 model also makes widespread use of rigid boron steel, which is a crucial factor in constructing the sturdy Volvo cars. Volvo’s applaudable City Safety technology is preset on all Volvo models and includes automated braking function and collision avoidance systems in its inventory. 

This safety system sets the S60 apart from the rest with the fact that it is the only system that detects pedestrians, cyclists, and huge animals such as moose and deer. This ensures a collision-free ride 24/7. You can also purchase the Pilot Assist driver assistance system that assists you while driving on numerous occasions.

2021 Volvo S60 Competition

8.6/10

2021 Volvo S60 Sedan Vs Audi A4

The Volvo S60 sets its priorities straight from the beginning, to provide the most enjoyable driver-friendly everyday rides. The Audi A4 will probably come to your mind first when you think of an all-rounder luxury sedan. The Audi A4 has a suave design and a quiet and exhilarating ride which propels it to the top of the leaderboards. The Volvo S60’s extravagant ownership costs may make some people steer away from it, but its stellar safety system is sure to gather lots of attention.

2021 Volvo S60 Sedan Vs Lexus IS 300

While the Volvo S60 may blow your mind away with some of its robust engine options, the Lexus IS 300 delves into the happy minds of customers with its friendly service and low maintenance costs. The Volvo S60 has a more refreshing and appealing design than the Lexus IS 300, with better muscle power and handling. Volvo’s vivid array of technology and safety features go against the practicality and reliability of the IS 300.

2021 Volvo S60 Final Verdict

The 2021 Volvo S60 has its strong defining points, with top-class safety and outstanding exterior design to attract customers like bees. Its base MSRP is affordable than most of its rivals, however, the true ownership cost takes a hit in the long run. 

In a nutshell, the Volvo S60 is a car worth considering if you are looking forward to procuring a luxury sedan. Give the 2021 Volvo S60 a chance to impress you with its classy aspects.