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2012 Volvo S60 Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Good looking car, but lower price betrays flaws by kostyalevin



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The S60 is a nice car with a few annoying flaws. Positives: great looks, inside and outside, great handling, plenty of power. Negatives: poor quality trims on the interior, so-so fuel economy, no room for a spare tire. The positives outweigh the negatives, but the poor trim quality is a very big annoyance.

Reviewed: 2012 Volvo S60

4dr Sedan turbocharged 250hp 2.5L I5 6-speed shiftable automatic FWD

Why the 2012 Volvo S60?

Exterior styling

Gorgeous exterior styling and aerodynamic looks. Aggressive front and elegant rear. The car looks great from all angles. High quality body. The doors close with a satisfactory thump. However, the front grill is feels cheap and is very flimsy.

Front seat support & comfort

Very comfortable driving position. Visibility is outstanding in all quarters. I've taken this car on frequent road trips (>300 miles) and I've been very comfortable throughout the trip.

Warranty, maintenance cost

5 years, 50,000 miles all-inclusive. Very good value there!

Powertrain performance

No complaints here. The car has an immense amount of torque, which makes it accelerate very well. Curiously, it is difficult not to accelerate quickly. Power is more than sufficient. The car has very good acceleration 0-60, 40-60, and 60-90. I've never felt a lack of power and I've always had at least as much as I've needed. Caveat: I've never driven the car faster than 95 mph. The transmission shifts quickly in normal mode. The car behaves much more aggressively in sport mode. Manual mode was a disappointment, with slow upshifts and downshifts. It was not really usable. However, Volvo upgraded the software, and manual mode is now truly outstanding! The up- and down-shifts are very fast, and it is easy to drive the car in city traffic in this mode.

Safety & braking

Excellent safety features. The S60 is built like a tank. Also, the car comes equipped with a standard city-safety, which is collision-avoidance laser sensor technology. This works to bring the car at a full stop when traveling between 2 and 19 mph. It is of particular use in stop & go traffic, or to prevent collisions when parking. It has helped me avoid a collision on one occasion.

Why Not the 2012 Volvo S60?

Materials & workmanship

The internal workmanship is where I have many issues with the car. The shifter feels cheap, as does the center console on which the shifter sits. The brushed aluminum center console that houses the A/C controls (among other controls) looks great, but is very fragile. Drop anything on it and it will ding and scratch. The aluminum metal trim on the steering wheel and center console is cheap and poorly made. It will ding and scratch very easily. The metal trim on the steering wheel will flake. The metal flakes are very sharp and can cut you. I had this part replaced four times on my car.

Ride smoothness

The ride is very firm, especially on Californian roads. I suspect this car was built for driving on the Italian autostrade. You can feel every bump.

Feature availability

No spare tire, and no room to put a spare tire!!! This has been a cause of significant concern for me. If you get a flat in the middle of the desert in the middle of the night, you're in for an adventure. Having said that, many manufacturers are doing away with spare tires in order to improve fuel economy. I'm just surprised that Volvo have removed the room for the spare.


I like the S60, but I was expecting to love it and I do not. While the car does all the basics well of handling and driving and braking and has great safety features, the poor quality of the trim material is very disappointing. The fact that there is no spot for a spare tire in the trunk is outright ridiculous.

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