2012 Volvo S60: Flash Drive
This 2012 review is representative of model years 2001 to 2009.
By Staff of MSN Autos
I generally don't regard Volvos as sporty-looking vehicles. I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised when first viewing the new Volvo S60. I thought the body lines were clean, but conservative. At least the car was less boxy than its family members. The interior was attractive and plush. Our test vehicle came with the beechwood brown with off-black upholstery, which was striking. I thought the fit and finish was good all around. While the front seats have plenty of room, the rear seats were a little tight for taller passengers. I loved the smooth and powerful 300-horsepower turbocharged engine. It was plenty fast, and delivered 19 mpg in mixed driving. If you fully load the S60, the price can approach $50K, a price range where there is a lot of competition. Still, I think the S60 holds its own against the competitors. –Joe Chulick
Volvo hasn't been known for building fun-to-drive vehicles over the past few decades. The S60 goes a long way toward bridging the gap between excitement and responsibility. It's fast, responsive and even fun to drive if conditions are just right. Unfortunately, it's still a Volvo, and it still has those annoying electric "nanny" systems that are meant to protect but are so primitive that they mostly just irritate instead. Even with the systems supposedly turned off, entering or exiting the freeway still results in a warning alert because it can't recognize the merging lanes. If you're looking for a performance car that prioritizes safety just as much, then perhaps it will be perfect for you. –Paul Hagger
While the 2012 Volvo S60 is distinctively Volvo, it is still fresh and nicely proportioned, giving it a sporty appeal not found in any other Volvo. The new looks carries over to the driving experience. This is easily the most dynamic Volvo that I have driven, with a sporty balance and feel to the handling, although the steering is vague. Adding to the fun of the S60 T6 all-wheel drive is a lot of power from the 300-horsepower turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine sending torque to all four corners. It still feels like a front-wheel-drive car, but the AWD gives it better balance, and even with all that power it's still rated at 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway. The transmission shifts quickly and there is a sport mode and manual shift gate for enthusiast drivers. Inside the S60 combines familiar Volvo design elements with new detailing. The chestnut-colored leather in our test car contrasted nicely with the black interior elements. –Mike Meredith
Anyone who still thinks Volvos are dull cars needs to check out the new S60. The boxy shape is long gone — this new sedan is sleek and stylish and provides a glimpse of what we can expect from future Volvos. Seats are supremely comfortable — something I've come to expect in a Volvo — and the two-tone interior is very attractive. A welcome change is the updated center display. Unlike previous Volvos, all information is provided in a single display, and you no longer need a remote to use the navigation system. Most surprising about this Volvo is how much fun it is to drive. With 300 horsepower and all-wheel drive, the S60 really moves — acceleration is very strong, steering is tight with impressive handling. There are a number of safety "nannies" including alerts if you're following too close or drifting out of your lane. They can become a bit annoying and thankfully can be turned off. –Perry Stern