Review: Volvo S60 (2010 – 2018)

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Good to drive. Packed with safety kit including ‘City Safety’ as standard. Geartronic start/stop. New 2.0 Volvo D4 diesel from 2014 under 100g/km CO2.

Decent handling comes at the expense of ride at times. CO2 emissions were only average for this class of car until new Volvo diesel arrived in 2014. Serious issue of carbon build-up in pre-AdBlue EU6 D4 VEA engines that have not been run on high Cetane superdiesel.

Volvo S60 (2010 – 2018): At A Glance

The re-invented S60 is a stylish and surprisingly good to drive small executive saloon that's equipped with some particularly ingenious features. Volvo's plan is to shake off the dowdy (if worthy) image of the old S60 and make the new one much more of a match for the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the excellent Audi A4.

So it's out with the comfortable, but dynamically flawed drive and in with crisp steering, decent cornering ability, a well controlled body and some beefy brakes. The interior is a class act too, every bit as solid feeling as the Germans, but with a hefty dose of Scandinavian style.

Then there's the safety systems designed to make the S60 as crash-proof as possible. Volvo's City Safety system stops low-speed collisions before they happen and Pedestrian Detection makes hitting a pedestrian at speeds of 20mph or under virtually impossible. Without any input from the driver it senses the pedestrian and brings the car to a halt - before it hits the person in the road.

The engines are a mixture of old and new. The two diesels are what most people plump for. The 2.0-litre D3 is new to the S60 and its mixture of performance and economy will suit most buyers. The 2.4-litre D5 offers extra power and is more refined, which makes it a better bet for motorway driving.

Overall it's a well designed and good to drive car that offers something different from the three big German manufacturers. Its pricing is keen too, though CO2 emissions on some of the engines aren't quite as low as some rivals. If you like the look of the S60, but need more room, then consider the estate version, the V60.

Long Term Test Volvo S60 D4 DRIVe

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What does a Volvo S60 (2010 – 2018) cost?

List Price from £38,295
Buy new from £37,700
Contract hire from £270.71 per month

Volvo S60 (2010 – 2018): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4628–4635 mm
Width 1865–2097 mm
Height 1484 mm
Wheelbase 2776 mm

Full specifications

So, are the seats in the new S60 as comfy and supportive as we've come to expect from Volvo? You bet they are. The Swedes have now perfected the art of designing a seat that's supportive, highly adjustable and comfortable for hours on end - no other manufacturer (with the sole possible exception of Saab) comes close. Those in the new S60 can be specified in three different materials including Mellybystrand textile, Tylosand T-Tex/textile or leather-faced upholstery. The driving position is slightly raised, which gives a good view of the road ahead, with a highly adjustable seat and steering wheel.

The S60 is a class act inside. It manages to combine the best attributes of German rivals - the feeling - with Scandinavian panache. The ‘floating console' in the centre of the dash, which has become Volvo's trademark, makes its first appearance in the S60. It's been refined too, is now angled towards the driver and far more user-friendly. The buttons and dials aren't overwhelming and are easy to use on the move, while the heating direction switches are a work of art.

All cars have a five-inch colour display for the stereo while those with sat nav have a seven-inch screen. Volvo's previous sat nav system was fiddly, hard to use on the move and often counter-intuitive, but the new one is excellent. It's easy to input destinations and the instructions are easy to follow. It looks smart, too.

The S60 is generally pretty roomy with plenty of head and legroom for four or five at a squeeze. The boot is a reasonable size, easy to access and comes with a pop-up divider, but is significantly smaller than some similar cars.

Equipment from launch (August 2010):

ES is the entry-level specification and comes with City Safety, electronic climate control (referred to as ECC), charcoal trim, information centre, cruise control, textile upholstery, floor mats, five-inch colour screen, performance sound system, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, leather steering wheel and gearknob plus 16-inch alloy wheels with 215/55 R16 W tyres.

SE adds Tysoland T-Tec/Textile upholstery, shimmer graphite aluminium Trim, leather steering wheel with deco inlays, watch dials, auto dimming rear-view mirror, grocery bag holder, auto-folding power door mirrors, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, high performance sound system, Bluetooth, Rear Park Assist and 17-inch Balder Alloy Wheels with 215/50 R17 W tyres.

SE Lux is the top spec and, surprisingly, is one of the most popular variant. It adds electric seats with memory, leather upholstery, active bending headlamps and headlamp washers.

A range of options are offered, including satellite navigation heated front and rear seats, sunroof and rear park assist.

Packs include the Driver Support Pack, which has Pedestrian Detection with adaptive cruise control, Distance Alert, Queue Assist and collision warning with full auto brake, lane departure warning system, Driver Alert Control and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS).

The Exterior Styling Kit has front and rear skid plates, side scuff plates and exhaust tailpipe finishers.

Child seats that fit a Volvo S60 (2010 – 2018)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Volvo S60 (2010 – 2018) like to drive?

Almost nine out of every ten Volvo S60s sold is a diesel, so it's no surprise that there's a wide choice of engines. The D3 - which is in fact a 2.0-litre with 163bhp - is the best all-rounder and a real surprise out on the road. This five-cylinder engine is quick (0-62mph is 9.2 seconds), punchy, and with plenty of torque on tap (400Nm at 1400-2850rpm) it's no slouch when it comes to overtaking.

So much so, that many buyers won't bother with the D5. This 205bhp five-cylinder diesel may be a little quicker, but not enough to justify the £2000+ premium. The D5's attributes become clearer on the motorway, where it's a refined cruiser that's comfortable eating up the miles - more so than the D3. If you're doing mega mileages, then it's definitely a model to should consider. It has fractionally more pulling power, with 420Nm at 1500-3250rpm.

Volvo's low emissions diesel, the DRIVe, is on sale from February 2011. Like other DRIVe models it uses a 115bhp 1.6-litre diesel and has 270Nm of torque. It promises emissions of 114g/km and 65.7mpg on the combined cycle. The petrols are the T3 (1.6-litre with 150bhp), T4 (1.6-litre with 180bhp), T5 (2.0-litre with 240bhp) and the T6 (3.0-litre with 304bhp). The two 1.6-litre engines offer decent emissions for their size, while the gargantuan 3.0-litre is the only version to be offered with all-wheel drive (AWD).

Volvo has gone to great lengths to improve the way the S60 drives. So much so that the company claims that it's more driver-orientated than any other car that they've ever built. It was even fine-tuned in the UK specifically for our roads. There's loads of grip, it turns-in crisply and the body is very well controlled. The ride is fine on smooth surfaces, but is rather firm if the road is less than perfect.

When it comes to safety, Volvo shows many of its rivals a clean pair of heels, with a series of systems designed to stop accidents happening in the first place, as well as mitigating the damage if the worst does happen. City Safety is standard on all cars. This clever little system detects upcoming obstructions in the road and applies the brakes to prevent a crash.

The Driver Support Pack adds further protections, with a Pedestrian Detection System that will stop the car at speeds of up to 20mph if it notices a person in the road. There's a blind spot warning system included in the wing mirror, a system that alerts the driver if they're straying out of a lane on the motorway and adaptive cruise control, which keeps a distance between you and the car in front when the cruise control is on. In addition to this, six airbags and stability control are standard.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.6D DRIVe Start/Stop 66 mpg 10.9 s 114 g/km
2.0 D4 74 mpg 7.4 s 99 g/km
2.0 D4 Geartronic 67 mpg 7.4 s 109 g/km
D2 66–74 mpg 10.5–12.3 s 99–114 g/km
D2 Geartronic 66–67 mpg 10.7–11.4 s 110–113 g/km
D2 Powershift 66–72 mpg 10.9–12.3 s 103–114 g/km
D3 53–72 mpg 8.4–10.2 s 102–139 g/km
D3 Geartronic 48–67 mpg 8.4–10.2 s 110–154 g/km
D4 66–73 mpg 7.1–9.2 s 102–114 g/km
D4 AWD Geartronic 66 mpg 7.1 s 149 g/km
D4 Geartronic 52–66 mpg 7.1–9.2 s 113–142 g/km
D5 53–63 mpg 7.4–7.8 s 119–139 g/km
D5 Geartronic 45–48 mpg 7.6–7.8 s 154–166 g/km
T3 50–51 mpg 8.1–9.4 s 129–131 g/km
T3 Geartronic 49 mpg 8.1 s 135 g/km
T3 Powershift 40–42 mpg 10.2 s 159–164 g/km
T3 Start/Stop 43–51 mpg 9.4–9.5 s 129–152 g/km
T4 44–50 mpg 7.2–8.3 s 131–149 g/km
T4 Geartronic 49 mpg 7.2 s 134 g/km
T4 PowerShift 40 mpg 9.0 s 164 g/km
T4 Start/Stop 36–44 mpg 7.3–8.3 s 149–184 g/km
T4 Start/Stop PowerShift 38–40 mpg 9.0 s 164–173 g/km
T5 36 mpg 7.3 s 184 g/km
T5 PowerShift 34–35 mpg 7.5 s 189–193 g/km
T6 29 mpg 6.1 s 231 g/km
T6 AWD 29 mpg 6.1 s 231 g/km
T6 AWD Geartronic 29 mpg 5.9 s 231 g/km
T6 Geartronic 44 mpg 5.9 s 149 g/km

Real MPG average for a Volvo S60 (2010 – 2018)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

21–61 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Volvo S60 (2010 – 2018)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

What comfortable car is best for doing a lot of miles?

I do a lot of miles (35k+ year on mixed roads) around the UK. I currently have a 2006 Audi A6 Avant and I'm looking to change for something comfortable for around £5000. Any suggestions?
You'll want a diesel for 35k miles a year but any diesel at this price has the potential to produce some hefty bills. How about a Toyota Avensis? It's not an exciting choice but it'll be extremely dependable. If you'd prefer something a bit more upmarket, a Volvo S60 or S80 could be a very comfortable choice.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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