Car Review: 2013 Volvo S60, a strong bet for entry-level luxury

The Volvo brand almost always impresses and the 2013 Volvo S60 is no exception.
Photo: Volvo S60

DALLAS, January 23, 2013 — The Volvo brand almost always impresses me, and the 2013 Volvo S60 is no exception. This is a stylish luxury sedan with a powerful engine and great handling. It’s an all-wheel drive vehicle that is both comfortable and cool.

Keeping to its roots, the S60 has a few tweaks to make it even better: the engine itself, a bit faster T5 trim, and the addition of automatic wipers and a sunroof to the T6 trim.

Competition is with the BMW 3 Series and the Cadillac ATS, but the Volvo S60 certainly has a place in the running as well as with entry-level luxury sedans like the Audi A4 and the Acura TL. The 2013 Volvo S60 midsize sedan offers three trim; T5, T6 and T6 R-Design.

The T5 has 17-inch wheels, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, automatic wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power driver seat with an adjustable lumbar, power-folding rear headrests, leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and high-end cloth upholstery.

If you add the Premier package to all of that, you will also get keyless ignition and entry, the aforementioned sunroof, leather upholstery and a power passenger seat. On the Premier Plus you get all of the above and more with bi-xenon headlights and front and rear parking sensors.

There is also a Platinum package adding 12-speakers with ultra premium sound, a navigation system and a rearview camera.  What is called the Climate package comes with heated front seats and heated windshield washers or the available Technology package has adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, driver-attention warning, and a lane-departure/collision warning system with auto braking.

There is more for the T5 too as you can also opt for different wheels,  blind-spot warning, heated rear seats, and a rear seat dual DVD entertainment system.

On the T6 you get the T5 standard features, but also a stronger engine along with all-wheel drive, 18-inch wheels and the Premier package. You can opt for an adaptive suspension that is called Four-C with three driver-selectable settings and the optional packages for the T5 are also available for the T6 too.

For the T6 R-Design you get even more power than the T6 offers and special 18-inch wheels, upgraded brakes, sport-tuned suspension, rear spoiler, sport steering wheel, sport seats and all that is already included in the Premium package except the front and rear parking sensors, but that is also optional on the T6 R-Design.

Other options for this trim level include a blind-spot warning system, heated rear seats and a rear seat dual DVD entertainment system, and the Platinum, Climate or Technology package add-ons.

Under the hood the 2013 Volvo S60 has choices of engines with the T5 being a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5 engine that offers 250 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque along with a six-speed automatic, front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is optional.

The T6 AWD has a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 with 300 horsepower and 325 pound feet of torque. The six-speed is standard on this one. For the T6 R-Design you get 325 horsepower and 354 pound feet of torque with all-wheel drive and six-speed automatic.

It seems that Volvo definitely has the safety thing down pat, so it is no surprise that the 2013 S60 includes a number of safety bells and whistles like antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side and full-length side curtain airbags, whiplash-reducing front head restraints, and what is called “City Safety,” to make sure the driver avoids rear-ending second vehicles or stationary objects, if possible.

Of course there is also the special Technology package that comes loaded with safety features like the pedestrian detection feature that will apply full braking force for you, electronic warnings, lane departure and collision notices with automatic braking and even front and rear parking sensors and a side blind-spot warning system.

The inside of the 2013 Volvo S60 definitely keeps up with the competition in this entry-level class; take note of the trims with leather interior, but even the vinyl and plastic stand out in this Volvo.

The knobs and dials are easy to navigate and placed correctly for easy use. A real standout are the buttons with the diagram of a person that help explain exactly what needs to be pushed for climate control needs.

The space in the back does not offer the legroom that a taller passenger might need for comfort, but all the seats in this vehicle are otherwise comfortable.

The trunk offers 12-cubic-feet and the rear and front passenger seats fold down too.

There is not much on this 2013 Volvo S60 to complain about and the drive offers excellent handling and support in comfortable style. Taking to the road in this Volvo, be it a long haul or just around town, means a pleasurable driving experience, period.

Should You Need to Know: The T6 R-Design will get you 60 miles per hour in 5.5 seconds, but the good news is that the fuel economy still matches that of the T6.

Miles Per Gallon: On the 2013 Volvo S60 T6 that I drove, the fuel came in at 17 miles per gallon in the city and 23 miles per gallon in the highway.

Cost: For the T6 the price tag was $48,145.

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1300 articles to her credit in the past 15-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a national radio show called “The Duva Show” where her “The Insider Mag’s” I’m Standing Here segment can be heard weekly between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. Monday evenings.

Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and the North Texas Film Critics and writes for the Dallas Morning News, Focus Daily New, Living Magazine and Valley Scene Magazines as well as www.greensourceDFW. She also spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books.

She recently received the 2012 Green Media Award from the North Texas Corporate Recycling Association. Her latest book release is “Haunted Bartlesville, Oklahoma” from and she will be publishing her ninth book this spring about Prohibition-Era cocktails in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13. 

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Rita Cook

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 10-plus years. She is the co-host of a radio show in Los Angeles; Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am and is on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.  Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and also writes an eco-friendly column for the Dallas Morning News.


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