2013 Volvo S60 Preview

Jeff Youngs | May 20, 2013
  • All-wheel drive is available on all models
  • Headlight washers and automatic wipers are standard for 2013
  • Sunroof is standard on upper trim levels
  • Advanced climate control system reduces pollutants
  • 5- and 6-cylinder engines are available


The Volvo S60 is a midsize "executive" sedan. It was first introduced to the U.S. market for the 2001 model year, and is now in its second generation. In Europe, the Volvo S60 is often used as a police vehicle. In the United States, the Volvo S60's competitors include the BMW 3 Series, Audi 4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Acura TL. The 2013 Volvo S60 is offered in three models, the main difference being in the size and power of the engine. The T5 is the base model; the T6 has a slightly more powerful engine, plus other enhancements; the T6 R-design is the most powerful and sporty of the three. All models are available in a choice of four trim levels: base, Premier, Premier Plus, and Platinum. All models are available with front-wheel or all-wheel drive (FWD or AWD).

Exterior Features

The 2013 Volvo S60 is offered in a variety of colors; the metallic colors come at a premium price. The base T5 features 17-inch wheels, automatic headlights with headlight washers, automatic wipers, and heated mirrors. The Premier trim level adds a sunroof, plus keyless entry and ignition; Premier Plus steps up to bi-xenon headlights and front and rear park-assist sensors. The T6 adds 18-inch wheels, sunroof, and a sport-tuned suspension, along with a choice of steering settings and more powerful brakes. The T6 R-Design features a rear spoiler and upgraded wheels, as well as bi-xenon headlights.

Interior Features

Standard interior features on the Volvo S60 include dual-zone climate control, cruise control, cloth upholstery, 8-speaker sound system, leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and 8-way power front seats. The Premier trim level offers leather upholstery, power passenger seat, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. A compass comes with the Premier Plus trim level, and the Platinum trim level adds a 12-speaker sound system, navigation system, and rearview camera. The T6 comes with an optional adaptive suspension system that offers three settings. The T6 R-Design features distinctive styling elements, sport steering wheel, and sport seats. Trunk space is 12 cubic feet.

Optional Features

Many of the enhancements offered as standard on upper models and trim levels are available as options on lower trim levels. A Climate package adds heat to the front seats, as well as Volvo's proprietary air filtration system. The Technology package includes adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights, and a variety of extra safety features. Also available are a rear-seat entertainment system, sport décor frame, sport front bumper accent, remote starter, sport pedals, sport sill moldings, trunk spoiler, park-assist camera, portable navigation system, spare wheel kit, load rails, and a cargo compartment mat.

Under the Hood

The Volvo S60 T5 is powered by a turbocharged, 2.5-liter inline 5-cylinder engine rated at 250 horsepower; it produces 266 lb.-ft. of torque. Front-wheel drive and a 6-speed automatic transmission are standard; AWD is optional. The S60 T6 features a 3.0-liter, turbocharged, inline 6-cylinder engine rated at 300 horsepower and 325 lb.-ft. of torque, and works with AWD. The T6 R-design model has a more powerful version of the same engine, rated at 325 horsepower and 354 lb.-ft. of torque.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Volvo S60 are:

  • S60 with 5-cylinder engine and FWD: 21/30/24 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • S60 with 5-cylinder engine and AWD: 20/29/23 mpg
  • S60 with 6-cylinder engine: 18/25/21 mpg


Standard safety features on the Volvo S60 include anti-lock brakes, active front head restraints, front side air bags, and side curtain air bags. A blind-spot monitoring system and other safety enhancements are optional--including a proprietary pedestrian detection system that can apply full braking force in emergency situations.

In government crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Volvo S60 received 5 (out of 5) stars for all impact tests. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the S60 received "Good" ratings--the Institute's highest--for all impact protection tests.


Volvo is planning to reveal a high-performance version of the S60 featuring Polestar Performance software. This enhances throttle response, torque and power, according to the manufacturer, without increasing the certified fuel consumption or affecting the vehicle's original warranty. The software re-calibrates hundreds of parameters that control the engine to increase the turbocharger boost pressure, re-optimize the ignition and fuel-mapping, and re-calibrate the throttle response. According to Volvo, it will add about 25 horsepower to the 325-horsepower engine currently employed on the T6 R-Design.
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