Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.
The 2017 Volvo S60 isn’t just another fancy midsize-luxury sedan. It’s a truly versatile platform offering consumers a wide range of variation, power and pricing. The base S60 competes well with the Audi A4 and Lexus IS, while the Cross Country offers the high ride height of an off-road-ready SUV, only in sedan form.
You'll Like The 2017 Volvo S60 If...
If you’re looking for a European luxury sedan that delivers power, styling and exceptional safety, the 2017 Volvo S60 is bound to offer a model to your liking. Extremely competitive pricing is another advantage, as is the Cross Country “go-almost-anywhere” attitude.
You May Not Like The 2017 Volvo S60 If...
The S60’s styling is attractive, but not enough to make it stand out in a crowd. While the S60 R-Design has the handling and muscle to compete, die-hard enthusiasts will find more to like in a BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 or even Cadillac ATS.
Volvo’s 2017 S60 luxury sedan drops its 5- and 6-cylinder engines choices while adding the option of all-wheel drive (AWD) to cars equipped with the 2.0-liter turbocharged Drive-E engine. The S60’s trims are reduced this year to five: Dynamic, Inscription, Cross Country, Polestar and R-Design Platinum.
Bigger is definitely better when it comes to the latest Volvo S60 Inscription sedan and its expanded rear seat. With nearly three inches of additional legroom, the S60 goes from cramped to comfy for rear-seaters, allowing them to appreciate the rest of the finely crafted interior. The driver’s seats are exceptionally comfortable and supportive, and the instrumentation is easy to see and mostly logical to operate, although the single-knob controller for the infotainment system isn’t very intuitive. Audyssey Laboratories’ MultEQ technology helps make the audio system’s quality clear and crisp throughout the range.
Lengthening the standard S60 could have gone badly, but the S60 Inscription actually looks quite nice, with the elongated roofline and rear doors nicely proportioned. The 2017 S60 Cross Country, on the other hand, reminds us of the short-lived Subaru Outback sedan. High-riding sedans aren’t very common, but Volvo says it sees a market, and the addition of ride height and fender extensions is definitely eye-catching. All Volvo S60 models get a front end with numerous LEDs for various lighting functions. The sloping rear end showcases the currently fashionable "4-door coupe" profile, but also betrays a smallish trunk.
While the 2017 Volvo S60 now offers only 4-cylinder engines, don’t be fooled into thinking this is an underpowered economy car. The Drive-E family of turbocharged and turbocharged/supercharged engines runs the gamut from the base 240-horsepower unit in the T5 Dynamic, to the tire-scorching 362-horsepower version found in the sporty Polestar. The T6 splits the difference at 302 horsepower, but even then the S60 can still sprint to 60 mph in a mere 5.6 seconds. AWD models are tick slower, but the added grip makes them better-handling vehicles on both dry pavement and snow-covered roads. An available Sport Package improves handling on the base car, but if you’re looking for the ultimate Swedish Driving Machine you’ll find it in the R-Design and Polestar trims. As in all Volvos since time immemorial, the driver’s seat is exceptionally well designed and supportive in all the right places without feeling snug or constricted.
The 2017 Volvo S60 T5 Dynamic starts off reasonably enough with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just under $35,000. The front-wheel-drive (FWD) Inscription T5 starts at just under $40,000, while the AWD Cross Country starts just over $45,000. It is roughly $1,500 to add all-wheel drive to models not so equipped, but even then the Volvo S60 generally undercuts competitors like the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan, although some Lexus and Infiniti models are more price-competitive. Before buying, be sure to check out KBB.com’s Fair Purchase Price tool to see what others in your area are paying. Based on 5-Year Cost-to-Own, the Volvo S60 is a stellar buy. The low initial purchase price plus low maintenance and repair costs make the Volvo S60 a good choice, and its safety story is, of course, unsurpassed.
Buyers in the upscale-sedan market have high expectations, which the 2017 Volvo S60 handily meets. Being a Volvo, the 2017 S60 starts with safety, including three active systems: City Safety helps avoid low-speed collisions in slow, stop-and-go traffic; Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake senses an impending collision and can brake to reduce the severity of a crash; and Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake that also auto-brakes (see Favorite Features). Inscription models include upscale interior features as well as more room, including a rearview camera, walnut wood inlays, additional sound deadening, a power rear-window sunshade, and silk-metal accents.
Options for Volvo’s 2017 S60 sedan lineup include 19-inch wheels for the Sport Package, which also adds paddle shifters and sporty chassis enhancements. You can add Volvo’s Park Assist Pilot to the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) package. A Convenience package adds keyless entry and start, a rearview camera and power-folding exterior mirrors. Not surprisingly, the Swedish automaker also offers a Climate package that adds heated front seats, windshield, steering wheel and windshield-wiper nozzles. The base model offers a harman/kardon navigation audio system while stand-alone options include different-sized wheels and a variety of accessories.
INSCRIPTIONVolvo’s S60 Inscription for 2017 offers something many S60 owners have been demanding for some time now: rear-seat legroom. This longer-wheelbase, Chinese-made version adds three inches to the S60’s rear-seat legroom stats, as well as additional luxury features and trim.PEDESTRIAN DETECTION WITH FULL AUTO BRAKEThe Swedish penitent for protecting people extends outside the 2017 Volvo S60’s passenger compartment via the car’s pedestrian-detection system. If the driver doesn’t react to the life form crossing ahead, the car will automatically hit the brakes, not the pedestrian.
Under the Hood
Power for the Volvo S60 lineup is simplified this year, offering three engine choices all based on the new Drive-E 2.0-liter engine. Dynamic, Inscription and Cross Country models get a 240-horsepower turbocharged version, while the T6 R-Design adds a supercharger to the mix for 302 horsepower. The Polestar sticks with just the turbocharger, but manages a whopping 362 horsepower. All three engines come connected to an 8-speed Geartronic automatic transmission with manual-shift mode.2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (T5 Dynamic, T5 Inscription, Cross Country)240 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-4,800 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/36 mpg (front-wheel drive), 23/31 mpg (AWD), 22/30 mpg (Cross Country, AWD) 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (Polestar, AWD)362 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm347 lb-ft of torque @ 3,100-5,100 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27 mpg 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged inline-4 (T6 R-Design, AWD)302 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm295 lb-ft of torque @ 2,100-4,500 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/32 mpg Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
The 2017 Volvo S60 isn’t just another fancy midsize-luxury sedan. It’s a truly versatile platform offering consumers a wide range of variation, power and pricing. The base S60 competes well with the Audi A4 and Lexus IS, while the Cross Country is rather unique in that it offers the high ride height of an off-road-ready SUV, only in sedan form. The luxurious 2017 S60 Inscription delivers luxury on par with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and its stretched wheelbase permits an additional three inches of rear-seat legroom. With a starting price undercutting most competitors and a range of powerful yet fuel-efficient turbocharged and supercharged engines, Volvo’s S60 line for 2017 is a tempting prospect worthy of consideration.