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2020 Volvo S60 impresses with sporty ride, style and safety features Featured

Posted On Sunday, 22 March 2020 03:22 Written by
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The 2020 Volvo S60 is a well-designed and fun-to-drive luxury sport sedan. The 2020 Volvo S60 is a well-designed and fun-to-drive luxury sport sedan. Photo courtesy of Volvo

The luxury sport sedan segment is one of the most brutal in the business. Featuring strong entries from everyone from Audi and BMW to Mercedes-Benz and Genesis, success in this field requires a near-perfect effort from rival automakers.

Volvo’s entry in this category, the S60, manages to shine despite the prominent foes it is facing. I recently tested a 2020 Volvo S60 and I’m back with a full report on what stands out.

After a strong redesign for 2019, the look of the S60 carries over for the 2020 model.

The exterior design of the S60 is simple and elegant, yet also smooth and eye-catching, with a low design and nice side lines. It stands out in a segment known for good-looking rides.

Moving inside, Volvo really nails the luxury look and feel that’s needed to succeed in this segment. The Nappa leather seats are incredibly plush and comfortable, even on longer trips.

The R-Design trim level that I tested featured standard four-zone climate control, interior lighting and a tailored dashboard. For 2020, a virtual instrument panel is now standard for all models.

Among other features that boost the luxury in the S60 include a panoramic moonroof with power sunshade, leather steering wheel and gear shift knob, auto dimming interior & exterior mirrors and metal mesh aluminum inlays.

The 2020 Volvo S60 features strong acceleration and responsive braking, and is one of the most powerful, fun and sporty rides in its class. It offered me one of the better driving experiences I’ve had, in a segment full of great driving experiences. You’ll look forward to getting behind the wheel.

Power comes from a 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine offering 250 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, though paddle shifters can help drivers simulate a manual experience if so desired.

My vehicle was FWD, but AWD is offered, and zero-to-60 times were just over 6 seconds. Drive mode settings can be adjusted depending on conditions, and an optional sport suspension is available to spice things up.

The S60 features anti-lock brakes, hill start assist and advanced electronic stability control.

For those seeking even more power and performance, a Polestar engine is offered that will give you 415 horsepower and 472 lb-ft. But the price is significantly higher.


As usual with Volvo offerings, this area is a mixed bag. 

The infotainment system is the biggest concern and brings down the overall tech package, while safety offerings are extremely impressive as always.

The Sensus infotainment system on the S60, with its massive and confusing tablet-like setup, is one in need of a major overhaul. The system was slow to load, voice commands were not always responsive, plus the screen is overly busy and problematic in terms of user experience.

I’ve always been a fan of the motto: “Keep it simple”. Volvo does the exact opposite here, and the result is the opposite of user-friendly.

On the other hand, you’re not going to find a carmaker who takes safety more seriously than Volvo. In fact, they’ve been thinking about it longer than most of their rivals, and it shows.

Among features on the Volvo S60 are:

  • Blind Spot Information System with Steer Assist
    • Cross Traffic Alert with Autobrake
  • Park Assist Front & Rear 
  • Collision Avoidance by City Safety
    • Low & High Speed Collision Mitigation, Detects Vehicle/Pedestrian/Cyclist/Large Animal Run-off Road Protection & Run-off Road Mitigation 
  • Lane Departure Warning / Lane Keeping Aid 
  • LED Headlights w/Thor's Hammer DRL & Auto Highbeam
    • Front, Side & Curtain Airbags with Driver Side Knee Airbag
    • Whiplash Protection System in Front Seats 
  • Side Impact Protection System 
  • Rear Park Assist Camera 
  • Power Child Lock, Rear Doors

No safety box is left unchecked, though some safety features are optional upgrades. For example, the Advanced Package ($2,500) features: Headlight High Pressure Cleaning, Graphical Head-Up Display, the helpful and effective Pilot Assist Driver Assistance System with Adaptive Cruise Control, a 360-degree Surround View Camera, and full LED Headlights w/ Active Bending.

Oddly, heated front seats and heated steering wheel are a $750 option (probably should be standard), and if you love your tunes you can upgrade to a Bowers and Wilkins premium sound system for an extra $3,200.

Getting back to technology, you can integrate your smartphone to the vehicle via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Navigation system on the S60 did its job well in terms of getting me where I needed to go, though the initial setup of the destination is hampered by the Sensus system.

Bluetooth connectivity is included for audio streaming, and you can have a WiFi hotspot in the vehicle. As far as radio options, satellite radio is included for free for 3 months, plus AM and FM radio are included. You get 2 USB ports up front, and the standard audio system is a 14-speaker Harman Kardon system.

Official fuel mileage numbers of the Volvo S60 are 23 city/34 highway/27 combined. In real-world testing, my average was lower (closer to 21). These numbers are rather low compared to some of its competition.

The 2020 Volvo S60 I tested was well-equipped and priced just under $52K, while the base price for the S60 starts about $36K. Scheduled maintenance is covered for the first 3 years/36,000 miles. And warranty is in effect for 48 months/50,000 miles.

The three “S”es rule the 2020 Volvo S60. Its stylish design will attract buyers, as will its strong safety features and sporty driving experience.

If you can get past the frustrating experience of the infotainment system on the S60 and are OK with a bit lower fuel mileage, it’s one of the better luxury sedan options available, and costs less than some rivals. can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2020 Volvo S60   
  • Price as tested: $51,990 (starts around $36K)  
  • Best feature: Sporty ride, strong safety features, stylish design 
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars    
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Luxury sedan buyers looking for a well-designed, safe and attractive vehicle
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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