The 2013 Volvo S60 earns an average Total Car Score for the Entry Luxury Sedans & Wagons segment.
The term “sporty Volvo” may seem like a contradiction in terms if you haven’t shopped Volvos in a while. But the midsize S60 sedan aptly demonstrates how the Swedish automaker has been able to fold style and, yes, a sporty driving experience in with the safety features it’s best known for.
The S60’s swoopy lines immediately announce that this isn’t your father’s Volvo, and when you open the door the interior design is similarly contemporary while offering roomy accommodations and a long list of standard amenities.
Either of the two turbocharged engines (three if you count the T6 R-Design model, reviewed separately) is fun to drive. Opting for the six-cylinder T6 models gets you more power, standard AWD and Volvo’s Dynamic Chassis, which is tuned for more responsive handling than the base T5 models.
In its third year of production, the S60 is going through some evolutionary changes. The Haldex-based AWD system is now available on the T5 as a $2,000 option, and the T5’s five-cylinder engine has been tuned so that it makes the 0-60 sprint faster than before -- in 6.4 seconds as opposed to 6.8, says Volvo. New trim levels have been added to the T5 and T6 models, grouping oft-ordered optional equipment into convenient packages.
While the sporty elements of the S60 are fun to discuss, Volvo hasn’t forgotten its commitment to safety. The S60 earns a full five-star rating in the government’s crash tests, and the cars are equipped with a raft of security features. City Safety, standard on the S60, uses a velocity sensor to mitigate or prevent collisions at speeds of 31 mph or less. The optional Technology Package includes Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake, which uses radar and cameras to sense when people are in front of the car and use the S60’s braking system to avoid hitting them.
This may not be your father’s Volvo, but the 2013 S60 has inherited its genetic predisposition to keep its passengers -- and now those around it, too -- safe.
The 2013 Volvo S60 is a four-door five-passenger entry luxury sedan offered with a choice of two engines and several trim levels. (A high-performance variant, the T6 R-Design, is reviewed separately.)
The S60 T5 models are powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine producing 250 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that drives the front wheels in standard configuration; all-wheel drive is available as an option.
The S60 T6 models are powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 making 300 hp and 325 lb-ft of peak torque. It, too, is joined to a six-speed automatic transmission, and AWD is standard on T6 models.
The T5 is available in four trim levels. Base T5 models feature standard equipment that includes 17-inch alloy wheels, power accessories, rain sensor windshield wipers, dual-zone electronic climate control, a power-adjustable driver seat, tilt/telescope steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity, and an 8-speaker audio system with HD radio, satellite radio, and auxiliary and USB inputs. The T5 Premier model adds leather upholstery, a powered moonroof, keyless drive, and a power adjustable passenger seat. Premier Plus models gain dual xenon headlights and front and rear park assist, while Platinum models are equipped with a premium 12-speaker sound system and a navigation system.
T6 models are available in three trim levels: base, Premier Plus and Platinum. All T6 models are fitted with leather upholstery, 18-inch wheels and Volvo’s Dynamic Chassis. Beyond those features the equipment found in the T6’s trim levels mirrors that found in the T5’s.
The EPA has rated the 2013 Volvo S60 as achieving 21 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 24 mpg in T5/FWD trim. The AWD T5 returns 20/29/23 mpg, while the AWD T6 earns an 18/25/21 mpg rating.
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