- Luxury sports sedan, competes with the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class
- Two new four-cylinder engines and a new eight-speed automatic transmission
- Excellent crash test ratings and lots of standard safety features
The 2015 Volvo S60 sets itself apart as a viable sports sedan alternative to the BMW 3-Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
For the new model year, the S60 gets a pair of exciting new four-cylinder engines and a new transmission, an eight-speed automatic. As a company, Volvo has started phasing out their existing five- and six-cylinder engines in favor of smaller, four-cylinder engines that use a variety of forced induction methods to produce equivalent power while increasing efficiency. In simpler language, Volvo wants the high fuel economy of a small engine, but the power of a big one, which means turbocharging and supercharging. Volvo calls the new line of engine technology “Drive-E” and it will be found in several of Volvo’s models in 2015.
The S60 will still be offered in T5 and T6 trim levels. The T5 Drive-E will be the volume model and gets one of the new engines, a 240-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 258 pounds-feet of torque and is mated to the new eight-speed automatic. T5 AWD models add all-wheel drive and keep the 250-hp, turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder from last year, along with a six-speed automatic. Moving up to the T6 trim levels bring the more powerful engines, starting with the front-wheel drive T6 Drive-E. It gets another of the new four-cylinder Drive-E engines, a 302-hp, supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 295 pounds-feet of torque. The belt-driven supercharger is there to eliminate turbo lag, adding torque at low RPMs until the turbo kicks in when you get higher in the rev range. T6 R-Design AWD models keep the 325-hp, turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six. The T6 Drive-E gets the new eight-speed automatic as well, with the T6 R-Design AWD keeping its six-speed.
The T5 Drive-E also gets great fuel economy, 25/37 mpg city/highway which is a massive improvement over the 21/30 mpg that was the highest estimate for last year’s model.
Last year, the S60 got a few subtle changes to its exterior that smoothed out the front and added new LED accents to the headlights/taillights. It also added a new dashboard and technology features in the interior, including a fully digital gauge cluster on T6 models (optional on T5) that can be customized by the driver to display the information they want. Volvo’s Sensus Connect system is also available, it offers internet radio, weather updates, and even a web browser on a 7-inch display. Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, USB/iPod port, powered front seats, and dual-zone automatic climate control are standard.
The S60 also continues Volvo’s reputation for safety, earning a full five-star overall rating from the NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS, the highest possible designation from both agencies. Volvo’s City Safety technology is standard, using forward facing cameras to help avoid low-speed collisions; it will automatically brake the car to stop it at speeds of up to 31 mph if it sense a crash is imminent. Antilock brakes, electronic stability control, and traction control are also standard.