In-depth reviews

Volvo S60 review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

The Volvo S60 boasts average practicality and space, but don’t think of it as pokey. Rivals offer a better blend and ride better.

Those looking for outright space and practicality will be best served by the S60’s estate counterpart, the V60 – but that’s not to say the saloon isn’t capable of swallowing four or five adults.

Volvo has a reputation for making comfortable cars and the S60 carries on that trend; the seats are some of the best available anywhere, the driving position is excellent and refinement on the move is great. It’s just a shame the firm ride undoes some of this excellent work.

The S60 is marketed as the sportiest model in the range and as such comes as standard in R-Design Edition trim that brings 19-inch wheels and stiffer suspension as standard, with the option of moving up to 20 inches. Ride quality falls short of that in other Volvos as a result, proving uncomfortable over small bumps at lower speeds. High-speed motorway cruising is still a smooth experience and body control is very good, but the S60 can’t match the latest BMW 3 Series for ride and handling balance.

Size

The S60 measures in at around the same size as the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class – at 4.76m long and just over 2m wide including mirrors, it’s marginally bigger than the BMW all round, but not enough as to be noticeable on the road. In fact, the Volvo feels smaller to drive than its size would suggest.

Volvo V60 vs Audi A4 Avant

The S60’s attractive, traditional saloon car proportions do away with the more hatchback-esque look of the old model, but still leave enough space inside for decent passenger space and a useable boot. It’s not quite as curvaceous or dynamic in its styling as the latest BMW 3 Series, but you won’t mistake it for anything else.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

The S60 is a fine place to spend time as a passenger, front or rear. Six-footers can easily sit one behind the other with plenty of knee and headroom, but those consigned to the central seat will have to straddle a hefty tunnel in the car’s floor. As with the V60, foot room can get a little tight if the front seats are set to their lowest position, but otherwise there’s space to get comfortable on a longer trip. The are Isofix child seat points included in each outer rear seat.

Boot

The S60 gets 442 litres of boot space versus the 529 litres in the V60 estate. There are more practical saloons out there and this falls a little short of the BMW 3 Series’ 480 litres, but the boot itself is well-shaped, just over one metre deep and boasts a wide opening with a relatively low lip for a saloon car. Optional 60/40 split rear seats are offered to expand the boot for larger loads. Storage space elsewhere is great; a sensibly sized central cubby, four large door bins and a decent glovebox all feature.

Towing

A retractable towbar can be specified for around £1,000 and comes as standard with Volvo’s Trailer Stability Assist system. This can help prevent snaking at speeds over 31mph by manipulating the car’s brakes.

Volvo quotes a braked towing capacity of 1,800kg and an unbraked towing weight of 750kg. Volvo notes that unbraked towing weight must not exceed 50 per cent of kerb weight up to a maximum of 750kg.

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