2015 Volvo S60

T5 FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4 auto trans

2015 volvo s60 Reviews and News

2015 Volvo S60 Front End
Riverside, California -- Sweltering in the blazing desert sunlight outside the 110-year-old Mission Inn, it seems pretty dumb to be getting ready to drive the 2015 Volvo S60 Polestar. Just minutes ago, we were shown a picture of this all-wheel-drive car in its natural environment, an icy road in Sweden. We have looked carefully, yet can see no signs of frozen Arctic tundra in the vicinity of the Mission Inn.
But then we kind of get it. As we’re told, the Volvo S60 Polestar is supposed to be the same kind of specialty car as a BMW M3 sedan, only it’s meant for every day, not just Sunday. This is a smart thing to say, since there are days when you’re not profiling your Audi, BMW, or Mercedes-Benz hot rod outside some cafe (the natural environment for such cars, our experience suggests), and instead actually want to drive somewhere far away.
2015 Volvo S60 Polestar Rear Three Quarter Static
Some days it might be a place north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden. Other days it might be a 10,000-foot mountain overlooking the Mojave Desert in California.

Like the Germans, only really bad dressers

The Polestar people have added a lot of snap to the Volvo brand in a short time, which is something of a miracle, since you could fit all 45 of them into a small neighborhood bar in Gothenburg, Sweden, where Volvo and Polestar are both located. First Polestar developed street-legal performance chips for the ECUs of various Volvo models, then it put a broader array of specially tuned hardware on display in the limited-production Volvo C30 Polestar. It even created a handful of Volvo S60 sedans powered by a 508-hp tuned engine.
Now the 2015 Volvo S60 Polestar and 2015 Volvo V60 Polestar are leading Volvo into the same place where Audi Quattro, BMW M, and Mercedes-Benz AMG do business. Yet Polestar couldn’t be more different than its rivals. It’s really just a small racing team that has kept Volvo on the top step of the podium in the Swedish Touring Car Championship the last few years, and it cleverly uses Volvo’s own research and development labs and manufacturing facilities to create and produce specialty tuned cars.
Polestar is more like Alpina than BMW M -- more focused on racing, more dependent on its manufacturer’s production lines to build the products it creates. Just like the Swedes themselves, the Polestar people are like the Germans, only more modest and practical, even as they make plans that are anything but.

Setting out for the Arctic tundra

Last spring, our man had a chance to drive the 2015 S60 Polestar in Sweden, but this is the all-wheel-drive car’s first outing in America, and we can’t think of a harsher test than pounding down a concrete freeway in the unfashionable 909 telephone area code near Riverside. Our spirits are high because we’re headed toward Big Bear Lake in the San Gabriel Mountains, where it will be cooler by about 30 degrees compared to the Mission Inn.
Unexpectedly this Polestar drives like a Volvo, not a racetrack monster. Sure, you can hear the persistent drumming of the track-ready 245/35R-20 95Y Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires on the concrete, but the chassis remains poised and the suspension is supple. For all you know, you’re driving one of Volvo’s own R-Design models, not a car with low-profile 20-inch tires, springs that are 80 percent stiffer, double-adjustable Ohlins dampers, and some racing-style trickery in the bushings. This S60 Polestar is actually comfortable.
Mostly you notice that the seats feel plush in the usual Volvo style, only these are actually supportive. The hydraulic-assist steering can be adjusted to three different effort levels, though only by pulling to a stop and diving into the electronic menu displayed on the 7.0-inch touchscreen on the dash. (There will be no distracted driving, the safety-conscious Swedes say.)

Mountain driving without reindeer

We’re climbing the San Gabriel Mountains through a pine forest, and it’s not something you’d see in Sweden, not the least because the primary obstacle to forward progress is a tourist bus, not reindeer. Fortunately the intercooler and twin-scroll turbo help the 3.0-liter inline-six engine make enough power to speed us on our way, as the broad powerband works with the six-speed automatic to ensure the car is always ready for speed even if you are not. Once past 4000 rpm, the Polestar exhaust system will even growl louder for you.
You’ve got plenty of power here, and the Polestar-calibrated automatic transmission makes quick work of things through shift paddles on the steering wheel. Of course, if you look at this car’s specifications, you’ll be reminded that it is not a BMW M3. First, the turbocharged engine makes 345 hp @ 5,250 rpm and 369 lb-ft of torque @ 3,000-4,750 rpm, and this is just 20 hp more and 15 lb-ft more than the Polestar-tuned Volvo S60 R-Design. The BMW M3’s 425-hp turbocharged inline-six is simply in another league.
And yet as we corner through the switchbacks down the hill after reaching Big Bear Lake at 6,752 feet, we realize that we have no complaints. (Perhaps we are becoming Swedish.) All the dynamic performance of this car -- speeding, steering and stopping -- has been so well blended together that you’re aware only of driving, not specifications. This is what you want from a mature, well-developed sporting sedan, and it is as if the Volvo S60 Polestar has taken all the best aspects of the Audi S4, BMW M3, and Mercedes-AMG C63 and stitched them together.

On the track if you must

Polestar has won three STCC titles in a row, so we feel obligated to drive the S60 Polestar on the infield circuit of Auto Club Speedway just to recognize that it can be done, especially since Polestar’s Thed Bjork -- who won the STCC title for the second time this past year -- is here to show us how it should be done.
And this car will definitely go when you adjust the stability control, which not only becomes more permissive but also biases the drivetrain torque to the rear. (Launch control is here too if you want it.) The racing-style, 14.6-inch, floating brake discs with six-piston Brembo calipers deliver predictable (not sudden) bite from the Brembo SPS-1000 brake pads, and the 20-inch Michelins will not wimp out in the corners. The torque-vectoring rear differential of the Haldex all-wheel-drive system does its magic, though it’s fair to say that this car still feels like a front-wheel-drive car in the corners, as most AWD cars do. There are no easy-peasy electronically adjustable chassis calibrations available, but if you’re serious about track duty, the racing-spec, double-adjustable Ohlins dampers await you.
But the whole point of the 2015 Volvo S60 Polestar really has nothing to do with the track. When the weather is a challenge, a driver wants a car that delivers predictable dynamics, and this means softer responses from the steering, throttle, and brakes than what might seem thrilling at 45 mph in an empty parking lot behind some café. (If you want proof, just bring your C36, M3, or S4 to Detroit in February; remember to pack your snow boots.)

Not available in stores

At $60,225 with destination, the 2015 Volvo S60 Polestar is priced right on top of the $62,925 2015 BMW M3, and the Volvo’s engine falls 80 hp short in the process. This doesn’t sound so good, except then you remember that BMW charges you $2,900 more for a dual-clutch automatic, $1,900 more for a package that includes a simple backup camera, and $1,200 for 19-inch wheels. (And what about the tires, eh?) And then there’s the question of all-wheel drive.
Sadly, it’s likely that there are few examples of the 2015 Volvo S60 Polestar (and its companion, the 2015 Volvo V60 Polestar wagon) left on the shelves of the 56 Volvo dealerships that are Polestar outlets across the country. That’s because only 750 examples of these two cars have been built, and only 120 of them will reach the United States. The Polestar people tell us that its label will only trickle out of Gothenburg until 2017, when there will finally be a Polestar for everyone.
But we’re interested in this car nevertheless. It proves that there are a useful number of people who still believe that Volvo continues to have a unique identity. And even better, Volvo has the resources and the corporate will to take advantage. As for us, we like the idea of a car that can tear across the tundra at a time of year when only the reindeer are there to see.

2015 Volvo S60 AWD Polestar Specifications

On Sale: Now
Base Price: $60,225
Engine: 3.0-liter DOHC 24-valve I-6; 345 hp @ 5,250 rpm, 369 lb-ft @ 3,000-4,750 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Layout: 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, AWD sedan
EPA Mileage: 18/26/21 mpg (city/highway/combined)
L x W x H: 182.5 x 73.4 x 58.4 in
Wheelbase: 109.3 in
Weight: 3,684 lb
0-60 mph: 4.7 sec
Top Speed: 155 mph (electronically limited)
2015 Volvo S60 V60 Front End In Motion
Häckeberga Castle, Sweden -- Volvo is a company on the precipice. The Swedish car company has been searching for a new direction ever since it left the Ford umbrella to become a part of Geely Automotive, a Chinese car company.
It has previewed a new styling direction during this past auto show season with a trio of bold concepts that have got every designer on the planet in a sweat of envy. Later this year, the redesigned Volvo XC90 crossover will appear, the first of a slew of products being developed on an all-new architecture.
Of course, it was proving a little difficult to think about this, since we were roaring around the southern tip of Sweden in the 2015 Volvo S60 Polestar and 2015 Volvo V60 Polestar, two high-performance cars that would make even a Swede forget to be sober and sensible for a few moments.

Polestar is a car, not what you think it is

Polestar refers not to a package or trim level but rather to an independent company that has run Volvo racing teams since 1996, and which has just made a race-winning debut in Australian touring car racing. Polestar is a very small operation with about thirty-five employees, but it harbors ambitions of challenging German performance sub brands. It tempted us with a souped up C30 in 2011 that very nearly made production, then teased us with the radical 508-hp 2013 Volvo S60 Concept, which was built in a limited quantity for Volvo fanatics around the globe.
Polestar has been contributing assorted hot rod pieces to special editions of Volvo cars for some time, including engine computer chips, but now it’s serious. The 2015 Volvo S60 Polestar and 2015 Volvo V60 Polestar represent the first production cars from the company. These all-wheel-drive cars look very much the same as the S60 Concept, riding low on twenty-inch wheels and wearing the same Smurf-like shade of blue paint (other colors will be offered).
Both these all-wheel-drive Polestar cars feature Volvo’s turbocharged, inline-6 engine, only it makes 345-hp, some 20 hp more than even the R-design versions of the S60 and V60 that carry Polestar chips in their engine computers. This is a sensible amount, although it doesn’t blow us away. “You’d need 100 horsepower more to impress people at the bar,” admits Polestar managing director Hans Bååth.
The powertrain does impress from the driver’s seat. The formerly subdued 3.0-liter inline-six now rumbles through a new exhaust system—a muffler bypass opens above 4000 rpm or whenever the automatic transmission is in sport mode. A prominent whoosh announces the upgraded turbo’s contributions during hard acceleration. The six-speed automatic has been upgraded to provide quicker, sharper shifts in sport mode.
The S60 and V60 Polestar models even incorporate a launch mode. You put your left foot on the brake, right foot to the floor, then left off the brake and off you go to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds (5.0 in the wagon). Bååth coyly points out that drivers will be able to do this as much as they want without voiding their warranties.

So you think you can dance?

Both the S60 Polestar and V60 Polestar ride on not only stiffer springs but also Öhlins high-pressure gas dampers that offer no fewer than ten settings, a level of overkill that would have impressed Tim Allen on “Home Improvement.” Polestar suspects few owners will ever fuss with the adjustments, which must be made manually on the shocks themselves. (On the wagon, you’d actually have to lower the rear shocks from their mounts.) The factory setting calls for halfway between hard and soft, and this suited us just fine on the narrow roads in southern Sweden. The cars felt planted and stable in quick transitions, a real feat considering the curb weights for both sedan and wagon hover around 4000 pounds. Lush fields of yellow flowers blur by, and we strain to see if a Scania truck or tour bus is coming the other way before diving through the next corner. No, this is definitely not what one pictures when hearing the words “Volvo” and “Sweden.”
Polestar also let us loose on the Knutstorp Ring, a small race track that hosts the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship. Nevertheless, Baath warned us, “It’s important for us to stress this is not a track day car,” says Bååth. This sandbagging seems to reflect the pride and prejudice of a company that’s still primarily a race team rather than any actual shortcomings in the cars.
The Polestar twins have their steering calibrated to the same specification as the Volvo S60 T6 R-design, but the front suspension has been reinforced with stiffer strut mount bushings and a strut tower brace. This, in combination with more body control from the Öhlins dampers and bigger tires, delivers a satisfyingly immediate response. The ratio is quick enough that you can negotiate a hairpin without shuffling the steering wheel through too many turns. Meanwhile the turbo six delivers 369 lb-ft of torque, so the car rockets away from the slow corners. We’d like more brakes, though, as despite an upgrade to a new brake booster and big front brakes from Brembo, the brake pedal still went soft after a couple laps. (Well, maybe we went deeper into the corners than we should have.)
Turning off stability control activates Polestar’s own programming for the all-wheel-drive system, sending more power to the rear wheels. Stability control will still intervene if a driver loses control, but that would take some doing, as the Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires grip tenaciously. Push hard enough and the V60 will understeer, particularly in sharp turns where it can’t rely on all-wheel-drive trickery to rotate the rear end. Bååth recommends setting the rear dampers firmer and the fronts softer for more neutral handling on a tight road course.

Swedes Are Sober and Sensible

It’s quite an accomplishment that Polestar has turned up the performance heat in the 2015 Volvo S60 Polestar and 2015 Volvo V60 Polestar without ruining the things about them that make them Volvos.
Ride quality doesn’t seem to suffer, even though the progressive-rate springs are dramatically stiffer than stock. Under part throttle, the inline-six proves as smooth and refined as ever. In other words, the S60 and V60 Polestar still feel like Volvos. The vehicles are built on the regular production line to Polestar specification, so they shouldn’t suffer in quality. Of course, the interiors are finished with the usual black suede upholstery and carbon- fiber trim in the cabin, and we’re pretty tired of this cliché, even in a performance car.
We can’t help but be a little disappointed that these Polestar cars aren’t quite up to meeting the BMW M-cars on a level playing field, but we recognize that the Polestar people are right when they point out that Volvo buyers aren’t looking to own a hotrod.
Volvo has not yet announced pricing for the 2015 Volvo S60 Polestar and 2015 Volvo V60 Polestar, but says to expect a 15-20 percent premium over a loaded version of the S60 T6 R-design and V60 T6 R-design. Production of these cars will be very limited at first. Only 120 Polestar cars will make it to the United States, and most of these will be wagons.
The good news is, as Volvo ramps up its product onslaught, we can expect to see more from Polestar. “My friends are already working on a ’16 model,” Bååth tells us.

2015 Volvo S60 Polestar, 2015 Volvo V60 Polestar

Base price $57,500 (est)
Engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged I-6
Power: 345 hp
Torque: 369 lb-ft
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: 4-wheel
Fuel Economy: 18/27 (city/highway) (est)
2015 Volvo S60
2015 Volvo S60

New for 2015

The Volvo S60 receives a number of changes for the 2015 model year, including the new Drive-E engines (a turbo and turbo/supercharged I-4) and a new eight-speed automatic for front-wheel-drive models, a limited run of Polestar high-performance versions, and minor trim changes for all models.

Vehicle Overview

The Volvo S60 is a compact sedan available in front- and all-wheel-drive trims, and for 2015 the sedan is also available as a V60 wagon. The capable duo comes in various forms from the efficient T5 with the new Drive-E engines to the high-performance R-Design models and the exclusive Polestar. The S60 is the smallest vehicle in the Volvo lineup, sitting below the S80 and XC70 crossover-wagon.


The 2015 Volvo S60 introduces a new line of Drive-E engines. They are currently available with front-wheel drive, but all-wheel-drive models continue on with the same inline five- and six-cylinder mills.

Model: T5 Drive-E
Engine and Transmission: Turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 — eight-speed auto
Power: 240 hp/258 lb-ft
EPA-rated fuel efficiency: 25/37 mpg

Model: T6 Drive-E
Engine and Transmission: Turbo and supercharged 2.0-liter I-4 — eight-speed auto
Power: 302 hp/295 lb-ft
EPA-rated fuel efficiency: 24/35 mpg

Model: T5 AWD
Engine and Transmission: Turbocharged 2.5-liter I-5 — six-speed auto
Power: 250 hp/266 lb-ft
EPA-rated fuel efficiency: 20/29 mpg

Model: T6 AWD R-Design
Engine and Transmission: Turbocharged 3.0-liter I-6 — six-speed auto
Power: 325 hp/354 lb-ft
EPA-rated fuel efficiency: 19/28 mpg

Model: AWD Polestar
Engine and Transmission: Turbocharged 3.0-liter I-6 — six-speed auto
Power: 345 hp/369 lb-ft
EPA-rated fuel efficiency: 18/26 mpg
As with the Volvo's German competitors, the S60 offers plenty of features, including the Sensus infotainment system (7-inch touchscreen, built-in music apps, built-in Wi-Fi hot spot, navigation, and Volvo On Call smartphone connectivity), engine stop-start technology, adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera system, active high beams (automatically switches to low beams when other vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists are detected), park assistance, blind-spot warning, lane-keeping assist, forward collision warning, and an optional Harman Kardon premium audio system.
The 2015 Volvo S60 received a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars) and is considered a 2015 Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS.

What We Think

Although the incredibly capable 2015 Volvo S60 Polestar models are getting lots of attention, the regular S60 line is nothing to turn your nose up at. The new S60 and related V60 wagon are “better than any Volvo wagon [or sedan] you remember thanks to a livelier, premium-quality personality and a new Drive-E powertrain that squeezes out more mpg from its engine without squeezing out the fun in the process,” we noted in a 2015 Volvo V60 Driven Review. Practicality is still the aim, but now the S60 has set its sights on the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes Benz C-Class, moving up into the luxury sport sedan segment. In sampling the various available chassis setups, we found Touring to be the most comfortable for climes with less than ideal roads.
In a Driven Review of a 2015 Volvo S60 AWD Polestar, we said: “All the dynamic performance of this car — speeding, steering and stopping — has been so well blended together that you’re aware only of driving, not specifications. This is what you want from a mature, well-developed sporting sedan, and it is as if the Volvo S60 Polestar has taken all the best aspects of the Audi S4, BMW M3, and Mercedes-AMG C63 and stitched them together.” Volvo is back with a new sense of focus, and by what we’ve seen in the S60, we can’t wait to see what else they have waiting for us. When considering the possibilities of an S60, carefully choose a suspension/chassis tune that won’t damage your fillings because of your imperfect roads, and if you have inclement weather, think about pairing the Drive-E (and its have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too approach to performance and fuel economy) with a nice set of winter tires.

You’ll Like

  • Drive-E engines
  • High-quality interior
  • Adventurous styling for a Volvo

You Won’t Like

  • Drive-E engines cannot be had with AWD
  • Only 120 S60 Polestar models to be made
  • More aggressive chassis/suspension can be harsh over broken roads

Key Competitors

  • Audi A4
  • BMW 3 Series
  • Mercedes Benz C-Class
  • Cadillac ATS


2015 Volvo S60 V60 Polestar Front Three Quarter In Motion
Volvo Cars has purchased Polestar, the Swedish performance company with which Volvo first partnered in 1996. The deal means that Volvo will be able to double how many Polestar vehicles are sold each year, and also means that future Polestar performance models could take advantage of Volvo's new plug-in hybrid powertrains.
2016 Volvo XC90 D5 Front Three Quarter In Motion 01
Volvo has long been synonymous with safety in the car business. But the Swedish brand has drifted and strayed so much from its core brand image for more than a decade as its ownership careened between Ford and its present owner, Chinese automaker Geely, that's what it will stand for in the future as it ramps up to build cars in the U.S. is anyone’s guess.
2015 Volvo S60 With Drive E Powertrain Front
To achieve future fuel economy goals, Volvo will begin producing downsized three-cylinder engines later this decade.
2015 Volvo S60 V60 Polestar Rear Side By Side
The 2015 Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar editions will be exclusive, hot-ticket items in the United States. Volvo is now taking orders for these high-performance sedan and wagon variants of which only 120 total will come to our shores. If you’re interested in purchasing one, act fast, as many examples of the $60,225 sedan and the $61,825 wagon have already been spoken for at the time of this writing.

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2015 Volvo S60 Specifications

Quick Glance:
2.0L I4Engine
Fuel economy City:
25 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
37 MPG
240 hp @ 5600rpm
285 ft lb of torque @ 1500rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD
  • Navigation (optional)
50,000 miles / 48 months
50,000 miles / 48 months
Unlimited miles / 144 months
Unlimited miles / 48 months
36,000 miles / 36 months
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
NHTSA Rating Front Side
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
NHTSA Rating Overall
NHTSA Rating Rollover
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Best Pick
IIHS Rear Crash
IIHS Roof Strength
IIHS Front Small Overlap

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Five Year Cost of Ownership: $40,552 What's This?
Value Rating: Excellent