What's the used Volvo S60 saloon like?
After years of producing good, solid and notably safe cars, Volvo has been busy injecting some much-needed style into its cars in recent years. Now, far from being known for its slab-sided and rather dreary estates, the Swedish firm is an exemplar of the cool Scandi-style school of thought.
This S60 executive saloon, launched at the end of 2018, added a much-needed dash of extra style and panache to its normally staid class, and it stands out even among such highbrow rivals as the Audi A4, the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C-Class.
Now, good looks aren’t everything; you'll need a bit of muscle to back things up. And interestingly, on that theme, under the bonnet of the handsome S60 you'll find only petrol engines: a 247bhp 2.0-litre T5 and a 385bhp 2.0-litre T8 plug-in hybrid initially, changed after a 2020 facelift to the 2.0 B5P, which was now a regular petrol-electric hybrid engine, and 2.0 T8 Recharge PHEV, which is a plug-in hybrid. There's also a sportier version of the PHEV engine known as the Polestar Engineered.
Initially, trims on offer were Inscription and R-Design. R-Design is for those wanting something sporty, because it has lowered suspension, larger (18in) alloy wheels and gloss black exterior pieces. Inscription is the even more luxurious model, with wood inlays inside and plenty of chrome outside.
Only one trim is offered on post-2020 cars: R-Design Edition. This is seriously well equipped, with 19in alloys, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a driver head-up display, climate control, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry, rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlights.
The plug-in hybrid Polestar Engineered T8 versions have 19in alloys, a heated steering wheel, an upgraded Harman Kardon sound system and a set of expensive Ohlins adjustable dampers and a bespoke suspension tune.
With many illustrious rivals in the mix, the S60 needs to be decent to drive. Fortunately, it is. The most disappointing thing about the S60 is its uncomfortable ride. That’s partly because the only version on sale at present has relatively stiff sports suspension fitted as standard. It’s a setup that delivers a decidedly firm ride no matter what speed you’re doing, although things are worst around town. More comfortable executive saloons include the Audi A4 and Jaguar XE.
The S60’s lumpy ride would be easier to accept were it as fun to drive as its rivals, such as the 3 Series and Giulia. However, it actually leans more through tight twists and turns, and is generally less willing to change direction in the first place.
Not to be outdone by the competition, you can personalise your driving experience with the various driving modes available. You can make the steering lighter or heavier, alter the brake pedal feel and also make the accelerator response sharper.
Where the S60 differs most from its predecessor is inside, where there’s far more room for both people and luggage. The driver and front passenger have very comfortable seats with plenty of leg, head and shoulder room. The raised centre console and well-padded door-mounted armrests are great for long journeys, too.
Rear seat occupants also get lots of space to spread out, although fitting three adults across the rear bench would be pushing it. The boot is a good size, too.
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