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The 2021 Volvo S60 is one of the best entry-level luxury cars you can buy under $50,000. It scores extremely well in several categories, including value and safety. This midsize sedan also packs enough performance to keep driving enthusiasts happy. Let’s take a closer look at why the S60 is such a highly recommended choice.
What’s New for 2021?
Already among the most secure sedans in the class, the Volvo S60 receives more standard safety features for 2021. Blind-spot monitoring and curve-adapting headlights further help drivers to avoid danger. Every trim level also now features keyless entry and a power trunk.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 Volvo S60 – The Pros
1. Superior Value for the Money
In terms of quality, the 2021 Volvo S60 is neck and neck with its main European rivals. However, it undercuts the competition by thousands of dollars. Prices for the new S60 begin at around $37,000, which is excellent for such a well-made automobile. By comparison, BMW lists the new 3-Series with a starting MSRP of $41,350. Another direct competitor is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which starts at $41,600. Drivers who are seeking a superior value shouldn’t hesitate to choose the S60.
2. Complementary Factory Scheduled Maintenance
The cost of maintenance can gradually add up. Fortunately, the new S60 benefits from Volvo’s Complimentary Factory Scheduled Maintenance Program. This perk will help drivers to save a lot of extra money over the course of their ownership. It lasts for up to 36,000 miles, which is quite a long period. Important services, like oil and filter changes, are covered. Volvo’s service department will also perform a free diagnostic check, thus giving drivers extra peace of mind.
3. Serious Amount of Standard Equipment
When it comes to standard equipment, the 2021 Volvo S60 ranks among the class leaders. This is yet another reason why this car is considered to be such a splendid value. Even the base model comes equipped with many premium amenities, including a panoramic sunroof and memory seat functions. Drivers will also appreciate the S60’s customizable digital gauge cluster. Featuring a vertical touchscreen, Volvo’s latest Sensus infotainment system is yet another standard nicety.
4. Powerful T6 Engine
While the S60’s base engine is great for daily commuting, the available T6 four-cylinder engine delivers more performance. It’s one of the few engines is the world that features both a supercharger and a turbocharger. Volvo rates it to develop a more than fulfilling 316 horsepower. Drivers will enjoy effortless acceleration at all speeds. A rapid 0-60 mph time of 5.2 seconds proves the S60 is a serious contender. Fuel economy tops out at a satisfying 32 mpg.
5. Handles Well Without Sacrificing Comfort
Volvo did a fine job of tuning the S60’s standard suspension. Not only does the new S60 hug curves like a sports sedan, but it also has a smooth ride. When taking extended road trips, passengers will enjoy how well this car manages to absorb rough asphalt. Drivers who prefer more aggressive handling should choose the more performance-oriented R-Design model. It comes equipped with a lowered sport suspension, which helps to further minimize body roll on twisty roads.
6. Beautiful Swedish Styling
The 2021 Volvo S60 has a distinctive look. Its front fascia features a signature Volvo grille and elegant LED “Thor’s Hammer” lights. Meanwhile, a sweeping roofline and short rear deck highlight the sedan’s sleek profile. On the rear, wide taillights emphasize the S60’s sporty stance. This year, new 18-inch alloy wheels and LED fog lights come standard. Drivers who desire a bit more flair will prefer the sportier R-Design model. Blacked-out exterior treatments and optional 19-inch wheels give the S60 R-Design a stronger road presence.
7. Beautiful-Sounding Bowers & Wilkins Audio System
Some drivers will want to upgrade from the S60’s standard stereo system. Available as an option, the S60’s Bowers and Wilkins premium audio system will mesmerize music fans. It gives passengers the feeling of being at the front-row of a symphony. This system surrounds the cabin with 15 state-of-the-art speakers. An 1,100-watt amplifier ensures crystal-clear quality at all volume levels. From rap to classical, this premium audio system makes every genre of music sound amazing.
8. Well-Executed Interior
In previous years, this sedan suffered from a rather cramped rear seat. However, this is no longer an issue for the latest generation. Every passenger can now enjoy good legroom. The sedan’s heavily bolstered sport seats feel remarkably plush. While even the base model gets top marks for its passenger comfort, higher trim levels come equipped with more pleasures. Quad-zone automatic climate control and heated/ventilated seats take relaxation to the next stage.
9. Class-Leading Level of Safety
For decades, Volvo vehicles have held a reputation for providing elite crash protection. Families can also count on the 2021 Volvo S60 to offer great security. All trims are loaded with advanced safety tech. Volvo’s standard City Safety system monitors for pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles in the road. If the driver fails to react in a timely manner, the system will automatically activate the brakes. Remember, no longer will buyers have to pay extra for blind-spot detection and adaptive headlights.
10. Pilot Assist
Volvo’s semi-autonomous Pilot Assist system will make life on the road less stressful for drivers. By combining smart cruise control and active lane control technology, this system is able to create a more relaxing drive on the freeway. The system constantly monitors the flow of traffic to keep a safe distance between you and the next vehicle ahead.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 Volvo S60 – The Cons
1. Below-Average Reliability Rating
Unfortunately, the 2021 Volvo S60 does not rank among the most dependable cars in the segment. In fact, it has a below-average reliability rating. J.D. Power gives the S60 a 2.5 out of 5.0 scores in long-term dependability. This could be a factor for drivers who desire a bulletproof luxury sedan. Keep in mind that the S60’s original warranty lasts for 50,000 miles.
2. Sensus Infotainment System Not for Everyone
Some drivers love Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system, which features a portrait-style touchscreen. However, others are not too fond. They may prefer a traditional infotainment screen that doesn’t sit vertically. Before buying a new 2021 Volvo S60, car shoppers should first test out the Sensus system to be on the safe side.
3. Small Trunk
The 2021 Volvo S60 has one of the smallest trunks in the class. It provides only 11.6 cubic feet of cargo space. While this is enough room for groceries and shopping bags, some people will need more space to accommodate luggage when traveling.
4. Base Engine Does Not Offer All-Wheel Drive
Many buyers will likely choose the S60’s base 250-horsepower. It has good pep while returning up to 34 mpg. However, Volvo only offers this powertrain with front-wheel drive. To enjoy the enhanced grip of an AWD system, buyers must move up to a pricier model.
5. Rather Expensive Polestar Engineered Model
Volvo offers a high-performance hybrid version of the S60. Not only does the S60 Polestar Engineered develop 416 horsepower, but it also boasts a 22-mile electric driving range. While the S60 Polestar Engineered model brings a lot to the table, prices start at around $65,000 before adding options. This may be a bit too much money for some people.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
2021 Volvo S60 vs 2021 BMW 3-Series
The BMW 3-Series is a fine driving machine. Great handling and strong engine choices make the 3-Series an extremely rewarding car to drive. It also has a luxurious cabin with lots of passenger room. While the 3-Series is a solid sedan, car shoppers will find the 2021 Volvo S60 to be a better bang for the buck. A lower MSRP and a more extensive list of standard equipment give the S60 the upper hand.
2021 Volvo S60 vs 2021 Genesis G70
Drivers seeking a fun car will love the 2021 Genesis G70. This sedan is fast and comfortable. Like the Volvo S60, it proves to be a very strong value. Genesis’ 100,000-mile powertrain is hard to beat. However, expect the S60 to feel a bit more luxurious on the inside. This is especially true for the higher trim levels.
2021 Volvo S60 vs 2021 Audi A4
Another key competitor to the S60 is the 2021 Audi A4. Many car reviewers rave about the A4’s excellent interior quality and standard Quattro AWD system. However, the standard A4 has a rather basic look. Many people find the S60 to be more visually appealing. Volvo also equips the S60 with some exclusive standard features. Highlights include a digital gauge cluster, a panoramic sunroof, and lane-keep assist.
Folks who are seeking a more value-packed alternative to the BMW 3-Series and the Mercedes C-Class should definitely consider the 2021 Volvo S60. Drivers can have a lot of fun behind the wheel of the S60 R-Design model, which comes standard with all-wheel drive. As always, safety is a focal point for the new model.
Although the new S60 shines brightly in several key aspects, drivers should take note of the sedan's smaller trunk. Volvo's Sensus infotainment system also may not be ideal for some drivers.
• Why buy a 2020 Volvo S60? w/ pros vs cons