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2023 Volvo S60 Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.

2023 Volvo S60 Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: Core vs Plus, Ultimate and Polestar

What 2023 Volvo S60 Trim Should You Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

When shopping for a new entry-level luxury sedan, car shoppers should strongly consider buying the 2023 Volvo S60. Although this Swedish model may not be as sporty as its European counterparts, it’s still rather satisfying to drive. In terms of comfort and passenger safety, the new S60 certainly stands among the class leaders.

For the 2023 model year, the S60 receives some notable upgrades. To spruce-up the car’s exterior appearance, Volvo gave it a subtle styling refresh with revised bumpers. On the inside, there’s a new Google-powered touchscreen. New trim names arrive as well. Here’s a comparison of the Core, Plus, Ultimate, and Polestar Engineered trim levels.


Compare the S60 Core vs Plus Trims. What is the difference?

The base S60 Core is more affordable than many of today’s other entry-level European luxury sedans. Prices start at a tad over $41,000. With the S60 Core being such a well-appointed car, it definitely packs a lot of value.

Like most trims, the S60 Core is motivated by a mild-hybrid powertrain. A turbo 2.0-liter, turbo four-cylinder engine helps it to press out a pleasing 247 horsepower. Power is smoothly dispatched to the wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Expect a good 0-60 mph time of around 6.2 seconds.

To further aid fuel efficiency, Volvo equips the sedan with a regenerative braking system. When coming to a stop, kinetic energy is sent to a 48V battery for later use. According to the EPA’s fuel economy estimates, the front-wheel-drive S60 will return a combined 30 mpg on premium gasoline. Opting for all-wheel-drive lowers this rating to a combined 28 mpg.

A stronger Recharge T8 plug-in hybrid powertrain is optional. It dials up the sedan’s performance by generating a muscular 455 horsepower. With the extra power comes a noticeably quicker 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds. Not only does this powertrain have a combined fuel economy rating of 31 mpg, but it also boasts an all-electric driving range of 41 miles. Keep in mind that all-wheel-drive becomes a standard feature.

The S60 Core’s suspension is tuned for maximum comfort. Passengers are unlikely to experience any jarring road vibrations. It’s also sporty enough for drivers to experience good control on curvy roads.

As previously mentioned, the S60’s exterior styling has been revamped. Even the Core trim receives adaptive “Thor's Hammer” LED headlamps and 18-inch alloy wheels. Just a few of the color options include Fusion Red, Denim Blue Metallic, Platinum Gray Metallic, and Black Stone. For drivers who desire a more attention-grabbing stance, Volvo offers an optional set of 19-inch alloy wheels.

The S60 Core doesn’t sacrifice any passenger comfort. Its standard front seats are extremely relaxing. Buyers can choose between simulated leather and City Weave Textile upholstery. In contrast to some other base models in the segment, the S60 Core comes standard with a panoramic sunroof. Other nice amenities include automatic temperature control, interior ambient lighting, and keyless ignition.

A big change for the 2023 S60 is the arrival of Volvo’s new Google-based infotainment system. While the system still uses a 9.0-inch vertical touchscreen, its graphics have been improved. When traveling, drivers can take advantage of Google Maps. As expected, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto ensure easy smartphone pairing. Four USB-C ports come standard as well.

Another nice tech feature is the S60 Core’s digital gauge cluster. It features a 12.3-inch screen with personalized settings. Fortunately, music fans can enjoy good sound quality. The sedan’s standard 10-speaker unit will keep passengers entertained while on the road.

Boasting an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating, the S60 Core is just as secure as the higher trim levels. A plethora of accident-avoidance technologies come standard. Even at night, the car’s forward collision mitigation system can detect pedestrians and large animals. When another vehicle is approaching in the next lane over, Volvo’s blind-spot intervention system can help prevent a crash. Other driving aids include slippery road alert, a driver attention monitor, lane departure prevention, and rear automatic braking.

Drivers who live in cold areas may want to invest in the S60 Core’s optional Climate package. This package’s heated front seats and heated steering wheel promote enhanced comfort during frigid conditions. Headlamp cleaners help improve visibility by washing away road salt and other grime.

Priced at around $44,000, the S60 Plus is another notch up the trim ladder. It offers the same powertrains as the entry-level Core trim. However, it tacks on an additional number of premium luxury features.

One of its biggest upgrades is Volvo’s excellent Pilot Assist system. It combines lane-keeping assist with intelligent cruise control. When activated, this system enables drivers to experience reduced stress on the highway. Steering, speed, and braking are all assisted.

On the inside, the Plus trim upgrades to genuine leather upholstery. Power-folding rear headrests and backrests make it easy to free up extra cargo space. Meanwhile, an upgraded interior ambient lighting enables drivers to set a relaxing mood.

When behind the wheel of the S60 Plus, parking will be an easier task. Volvo equips it with a 360-degree camera system, thus giving drivers a better view of their surroundings. Front parking sensor also helps you to steer clear of nearby obstacles.

From a styling standpoint, the Plus trim looks virtually identical to the base model. However, its adaptive LED fog lights promote better visibility on murky roads. On the Plus trim’s list of options is a cool-looking Black Edition package. It strengthens the car’s curb appeal by adding 19-inch black wheels and black exterior details. Keep in mind that this package is only offered in two paint colors: Onyx Black and Crystal White.

Like the lower Core trim, the Plus trim can be outfitted with a Climate Package and larger 19-inch wheels. However, only the Plus trim gives buyers access to a Harman Kardon premium stereo system. This sweet-sounding unit features a total of 14 speakers, which are powered by a Class-D amplifier.

Another one of the Core trim’s standalone options is Volvo’s advanced air purifier. It’s rated to remove up to 95 percent of hazardous particles that may enter the cabin. Many families will appreciate the healthier air quality.

Compare the S60 Plus vs Ultimate Trim Levels. What is the difference?

The S60 Plus is geared toward luxury car fans who demand a more upscale driving experience. It definitely gives buyers plenty of nice perks for the money. Amazingly, this plushier trim still has an attractive starting MSRP of less than $47,000.

Upon moving up to the Ultimate trim level, the Plus trim’s optional Harman Kardon premium sound system and advanced air purifier become standard equipment. Meanwhile, four-way power-lumbar adjustments for the front seats and quad-zone automatic temperature control further enhance comfort. A driver’s seat cushion extension is also found on the S60 Ultimate.

To give the cabin a high-end touch, Volvo adds a tailored dashboard. Furthermore, neither of the lower S60 trim levels feature a crystal gear shifter. Yet another highly beneficial feature is the trim’s head-up display, which makes it easier to view key driving information while on the road. A 12-volt power outlet is located in the trunk.

Although the S60 Ultimate has a similar appearance, it does come standard with 19-inch alloy wheels.

There are some enticing options available for the Ultimate trim. Like the Plus trim, the Ultimate trim offers a cold-weather Climate package. When opting for all-wheel drive, heated rear seats are included. Volvo’s handsome Black appearance package is available as well. Drivers who desire a racier atmosphere will be interested in the S60 Ultimate’s optional sport seats.

While the Ultimate trim’s standard Harman Kardon premium audio system is entertaining enough for most people, an even more compelling Bowers and Wilkins high-performance stereo system is offered. Its state-of-the-art speakers enable listeners to enjoy high-fidelity sound. This unit packs an impressive 1,410 watts of power.

Compare the S60 Ultimate vs Polestar Engineered. What is the difference?

For driving enthusiasts who desire the utmost performance, Volvo offers the S60 Polestar Engineered. It comes standard with the sedan’s available plug-hybrid T8 powertrain. Remember, this powertrain links to an all-wheel-drive system.

There are a few special performance upgrades found on the S60 Polestar Engineered. A lowered suspension with adjustable sport dampers enable it to offer enhanced road handling. Exclusive Polestar Brembo brakes also enable this more exciting trim to stop quicker.

When comparing the S60 Polestar Engineered to the other trim levels, prospective buyers will notice its more aggressive exterior appearance. A special set of 19-inch forged wheels come standard. Of course, everyone will immediately take note of this model’s yellow brake calipers. An exclusive grille enhances the car’s sportiness.

On the inside, the S60 Polestar Engineered receives a few race-inspired features. A high-performance steering wheel and Nappa leather front sport seats help make true driving enthusiasts feel right at home. Aluminum accents, a charcoal headliner, and gold-colored seat belts also help give the cabin an exclusive look.

Virtually all of the top amenities come standard on the Polestar Engineered trim. Highlights include a Bowers & Wilkins high-performance audio system, ProPilot Assist, and heated seats for every passenger.


Final Thoughts

S60 fans who are seeking a value-priced luxury sedan will find the entry-level Core trim to be a satisfying choice. It comes loaded with a new Google-based infotainment system, a panoramic sunroof, and a digital gauge cluster. Many highly effective safety technologies are also on the Core trim’s list of standard equipment.

Some drivers may desire the sedan’s more powerful T8 plug-in hybrid powertrain. However, most people will do fine by sticking with Volvo's standard powertrain. It enables you to experience rather lively acceleration and solid fuel efficiency.

The mid-level Plus trim brings a few more niceties. Volvo’s ProPilot Assist cruise control system is definitely a rewarding feature to have. Other Plus trim niceties include leather upholstery, a 360-degree parking camera, and power-folding rear seats.

Folks who are willing to invest a bit more money will like the more upscale Ultimate trim. On the other hand, drivers seeking a racier sedan will want the S60 Polestar Engineered. It by far offers the lineup’s best handling. As expected, the S60 Polestar Engineered does have a higher MSRP. Prices begin at more than $68,000.

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2022 Volvo S60 Trim Levels