Elegant styling inside and out. With the 2021 Volvo S60, the brand's styling has evolved to yield a handsome sedan. Up front, it’s marked by a bold grille amplified by Volvo’s iconic emblem. The headlights are accented by “Thor’s Hammer” LED lights. Pretty character lines and body sculpting dominate the profile. The rear supplies its own drama with pretty LED lights and massive exhaust ports.
Inside, the cabin features a minimalist design with modern and classic elements converging to form an attractive interior. It’s a coherent design with light colors, clean but elegant lines, and beautiful imitation leather or real hides. Not one feature besides the 9-inch touchscreen display dominates the cabin as everything flows seamlessly.
Class-leading safety features. The S60 scored well with the IIHS, but it hasn’t been tested by the federal NHTSA yet. That said, we rate the S60 high due to its long list of standard advanced driver assist safety features.
This year, Volvo made adaptive headlights and blind-spot monitoring standard equipment. That’s impressive because some manufacturers don’t offer these options on base models, then bundle them for a pricey upgrade elsewhere.
Other standard features include automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assist. Pilot Assist is also included, a feature that brings in semi-autonomous driving to the product line. Lastly, we think that the S60’s design is an added benefit, especially the thin roof pillars and large windows that benefit outward visibility.
Making do with boosted engines. You won’t find a single five- or six-cylinder Volvo model anywhere these days, as the automaker retired its older engines for a solitary 2.0-liter four-cylinder. It’s what Volvo does with this engine that makes a difference between trims and models.
The base T5 model comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Buyers have a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. This one is quick enough, but Volvo doesn’t stop there. Choose the AWD-only T6 trim and Volvo adds a supercharger with a turbocharger, boosting performance to 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.
At the top end of the spectrum is the AWD T8, a plug-in hybrid model with 22 miles of all-electric range. This one utilizes the T6’s engine and electric motors to reach 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers top out at 415 hp and 494 lb-ft of torque with the Polestar variant of the T8.
Excellent ride and handling. The powertrain choices alone give shoppers much to consider, with high-end performance squeezed out of the most efficient version of its one-size-fits-all engine. Beyond the powertrain, the S60 has other features that make this sedan truly drivable.
Its quick steering enables the sedan to ease in and out of lanes comfortably. While doing that, it delivers a ride that’s comfortable, easily swallowing up bumps. It fulfills its mission in its own way, taking aim at the BMW 3-Series and the Mercedes-Benz C Class.
Final thoughts. The 2021 Volvo V60 is an excellent midsize sedan. Thanks to its variety of powertrain options, long list of standard safety features, and elegant styling, it's a jack of all trades that can suit the needs of many different types of buyers.
In terms of its rivals, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is arguably more stylish and is better equipped. However, it starts at just over $54,000, while the S60 is priced just over $39,000 to start.
Check prices for the 2021 Volvo S60 »