2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid

2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid Review: Hybrid Swede-Heart

by Adam Lynton

The S60 Sedan has the honor of being labeled as the first Volvo to be produced in the United States; it rolls off the South Carolina factory floor in its top-most guise as the range-topping S60 T8 Plug-In Hybrid with two trims available - the sporty R-Design, or the elegant Inscription, both of which are equipped with the same 2.0-liter hybridized engine, capable of producing an impressive 400 horsepower and 472 lb-ft of torque. A high-performance Polestar Engineered version was also released, but the only available twenty units were snatched up and spirited away soon after its launch. We don't miss too much though, as the S60 Hybrid has a great deal to offer; a superlative cabin design, brilliant powertrain, and comprehensively specified equipment list make for an above-average small luxury sedan. Marred only by an unintuitive infotainment system and less-than-stellar handling dynamics, the S60 Hybrid stands alone in the segment until such time as the new 3 Series Plug-In arrives, leaving only the likes of the Honda Accord Hybrid capable of rivaling it.

Read in this review:

2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2018 S60 Hybrid?

The entire S60 range benefits from a total redesign for 2019, serving as the start of the third generation. It is built from the ground up on the Volvo SPA (Scalable Platform Architecture) platform, which was first introduced for the XC90 and now underpins the 60 and 90 cluster vehicles. With electrification as its main aim, the platform was designed to house all batteries in the central tunnel. Both trims feature a broad range of standard safety features and the Volvo Sensus Connect infotainment setup.

Pros and Cons

  • Immaculate interior design
  • Powerful, enthusiastic powertrain
  • Extensive list of standard safety features
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard
  • Smooth ride
  • Usable electric range
  • Sensus system is not as intuitive as newer rivals
  • Handling is mediocre

2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Hybrid T8 R-Design
2.0-liter Twincharged Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$54,400
Hybrid T8 Inscription
2.0-liter Twincharged Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$55,400

S60 Hybrid Exterior

The distinctive exterior styling of the S60 Hybrid is characterized by sleek lines, an assertive grille, and an elegant contemporary rear emblazoned with the Swedish brand's logo. A standard moonroof, Thor's hammer LED headlights, 18-inch wheels, and trim-specific fascias and accents comprise exterior elements: the R-Design trim features sporty, gloss black highlights, while the Inscription offers bright chrome around the grille and windows. 19-inch wheels are optional.

2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid Front View Volvo
2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid Rear View Volvo
2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid Front Angle View Volvo
See All 2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The assertively-stanced S60 rides 5.8 inches from the ground and stretches 187.4 inches in length - its dimensions making it slightly shorter than the likes of the Lexus ES 300h and the Honda Accord Hybrid. With a maximum width of 80.3 inches including the mirrors, and standing 56.6 inches tall, the S60's dimensions are generally par for the course. It does have a fractionally longer wheelbase than its immediate rivals, though, at 113.1 inches.

  • Length 187.4 in
  • Wheelbase 113.1 in
  • Height 56.6 in
  • Max Width 80.3 in

2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid Exterior Colors

  • Crystal White Pearl Metallic
  • Osmium Grey Metallic
  • Denim Blue Metallic
  • Pine Grey Metallic
  • Fusion Red Metallic
  • Birch Light Metallic
  • Pebble Grey Metallic
  • Black Stone

S60 Hybrid Performance

2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid Front View Driving Volvo
2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid Side View Volvo
2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid Taillights Volvo

Engine and Transmission

Equipped with a 2.0-liter twincharged (turbo and supercharged) inline-four driving the front wheels and an electric motor driving the rear, the S60 Hybrid produces a combined output of 400 horsepower and 472 lb-ft of torque. It is mated, as standard, to an eight-speed Geartronic automatic transmission, and is the range-topping choice in the S60 lineup. A rare Polestar Engineered variation was also developed, but only twenty units were produced (and sold out in under forty minutes from release), which produced 415 hp and 494 lb-ft. For the standard S60 Hybrid, the Swedish sorcerers have gone all out to create an efficient, yet powerful, hybrid plug-in that possesses the ability to chew up the miles in an impressively short time - 60 mph comes up in only 4.3 seconds for the Polestar version and 4.4 for the regular T8. The instantly available electric torque and supercharged initial induction help the sedan surge forward with no turbo lag, making for an incredible sucked-back-in-your-seat experience. This is a sedan that does equally well in town, and on the open road, with the crank-integrated starter generator seamlessly switching between electric and combustion propulsion.

  • Engine
    2.0-liter Twincharged Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    AWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

With quite a substantial amount of power under the hood, the S60 Hybrid promises something which it doesn't quite deliver on: although it provides enthusiastic take-off and acceleration, the excitement wanes just a little in the wake of a less dynamic drive than the compact luxury sedan segment is renowned for. Still, Volvo has ticked the boxes for adequate grip and handling, although tackling any corner too hard will induce default understeer. The low center of gravity (due to clever battery placement and smart weight distribution) means that very little body roll shows up around winding roads, and the S60 T8 hides its extra weight well. The brakes lack finesse and communication but are a minor fault in an otherwise exemplary drive that soaks up road imperfections with aplomb.

The S60 Hybrid also has four hybrid-exclusive drive modes: Pure, for fully electric driving; Power, which combines the optimal outputs from the turbocharged gas engine and electric motors for instant acceleration; AWD, to enhance traction; and Hybrid, the default setting for automatic optimization of efficiency and power.

S60 Hybrid Gas Mileage

With only one powertrain available, the S60 Hybrid has a reported 22 miles of pure electric range available from the 10.4 kWh lithium-ion battery. Combined with the combustion motor, the S60 T8 yields EPA estimates of 27/34/31 mpg, while on electric power alone the EPA claims a 74 MPGe value. With a 15.9-gallon gas tank, in ideal conditions, it should manage a range of up to 520 miles with a full tank and a full charge. A full charge requires three hours on a level two charging system, while a level one system will take six hours in ideal conditions.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    15.9 Gallons
* 2019 Volvo S60 T8 R-Design eAWD Plug-In Hybrid

S60 Hybrid Interior

2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid Central Console Volvo
2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid Central Console 1 Volvo
2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid Infotainment System Volvo
See All 2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The interior of the S60 is sublime, to put it plainly. Able to seat five relatively comfortably, the S60 Hybrid doesn't have loads of space, to be honest, but it has been utilized very efficiently. Although headroom is average for the segment, and legroom only marginally more than immediate rivals, even taller passengers would fit comfortably. Those blessed with more than six feet of height, however, may struggle to sit in the back with the front seats extended all the way. However, the incredibly comfortable and beautiful interior mitigates most negatives in this regard; it is advisable, however, to reserve the back center seat for adults below six feet, or stick to two passengers only.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 42.3 in
  • Front Head Room 37.4 in
  • Rear Leg Room 35.2 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.2 in

S60 Hybrid Trunk and Cargo Space

13.8 cubic feet of trunk space is available in the trunk of the S60 Hybrid, which isn't massive, lagging behind the almost 17 cubic feet offered in the mid-sized Lexus ES 300h. Traditional cargo volume is pegged at 11.6 cubes in the S60, without the use of the under-floor storage. The forthcoming BMW 330e doesn't do any better though, with only around 13.2 cubic feet to fill with bags, groceries, and other items. Rivals such as the Lexus don't have rear-folding seats, but the S60 offers this convenience to allow loading of items up to 70.7 inches in length, with a 26-inch liftover height and a square luggage compartment measuring 39 inches across and deep.

In-cabin storage is comprised of a center armrest console, average-sized door pockets, and a passenger-side glovebox, which isn't sufficient for larger items but will do fine to hold your phone, keys and a slim purse.

2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid Rear Passenger Seats Volvo
2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid Side View 1 Volvo
2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid Rear Angle View Volvo
  • Trunk Volume
    11.6 ft³

S60 Hybrid Infotainment and Features

Features

Like all other offerings from Volvo, the S60 Hybrid is jam-packed with useful, necessary, and thoughtful features. Most notably, the City Safety suite equips the S60 with automatic braking, pedestrian detection, front collision mitigation, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring and driver alert control. The Pilot Assist suite can also be optioned on for more semi-autonomous driver aids. For convenience, Volvo has added hill start assist, cruise control, a power liftgate, engine stop/start technology, dual-zone climate control and a digital driver display with adaptive brightening technology. Further fitted with voice controls, Wi-Fi hotspot capability, and Volvo On Call app, the S60 offers almost everything you may need. A head-up display can be added separately. Finally, a surround-view camera, parking assist, and leather upholstery are standard too, while power-adjustable seats with lumbar support and thigh extensions ensure your drive is comfortable.

Infotainment

A nine-inch touchscreen is mounted in the dashboard within easy reach of the driver; powered by Volvo's Sensus Connect infotainment system, this setup offers full Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration and comes factory-fitted with navigation displayed on clear graphics. The screen itself has an anti-reflective coating to minimize glare in direct sunlight, making it easy to see. The system is, sadly, not the best: slow navigation through menus, and a lack of intuitive functioning make the Sensus Connect system a chore to learn. Voice command is available but doesn't fare much better. Both trims feature a standard 14-speaker Harman Kardon sound system with an amplifier, which can be swapped out for a premium Bowers & Wilkins 15-speaker system, featuring an open-air subwoofer.

S60 Hybrid Problems and Reliability

The S60 Hybrid was part of a recall involving 8,266 S60s for a faulty rear suspension toe link that could be loose. No other recalls have been logged, and there have been no reported issues with the S60 T8. Volvo offers an impressive twelve-year/unlimited-mile corrosion and perforation warranty, as well as a basic warranty and powertrain coverage for four years or 50,000 miles. The hybrid components including the battery are covered for eight years/100,000 miles, while four years of roadside assistance is also provided. Scheduled maintenance is also covered by Volvo for the first three years or 36,000 miles of ownership.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    12 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Hybrid/Electric Components:
    8 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Maintenance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

S60 Hybrid Safety

While the Hybrid variant hasn't been uniquely tested, the IIHS has rated the standard 2019 Volvo S60 sedan with top scores of Good in all crashworthiness tests, as well as awarding it a Superior ranking for front crash prevention technology. The NHTSA has not evaluated the current-generation S60 range at all.

Featuring the comprehensive City Safety suite, the S60 Hybrid comes equipped with automatic braking, pedestrian (as well as cyclist and large animal) detection, frontal collision mitigation, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic alert and driver alert control. Whiplash-minimizing seats are installed, as well as a full complement of six airbags, and the optional Pilot Assist system together make this one of the safest sedans on the road.

Verdict: 🏁Is 2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid a good car?

As far as plug-in hybrid sedans go, the Volvo S60 T8 plug-in offers the best of the many worlds it seeks to represent. Firstly, as a plug-in hybrid, it manages an average all-electric range of 22 miles and an above-par gas mileage figure of 32 mpg in mixed driving styles. As a family carrier, the S60 Hybrid excels, with superior safety features, sufficient cargo space for school bags or grocery runs, and seating for up to three kids in the rear - LATCH car seat anchors are also notable inclusions in this regard. And finally, as a luxury sedan, the S60 Hybrid is arguably one of the finest on the market. The sublime cabin, comfortable seats, beautiful finishes, and attention to detail make a trip in this vehicle something to look forward to. It is only in terms of the fun-to-drive factor that the S60 Hybrid comes up a little short, with many rival sedans providing a few more thrills. Still, it has sufficient grunt to get going without batting an eyelash, so we feel this is less of a complaint and more of an observation. Overall, the S60 Hybrid is a brilliant vehicle to invest in.

🚘What's the Price of the 2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid?

With two trims to choose from, entry to the S60 Hybrid lineup comes in the form of the S60 Hybrid T8 R-Design, with an MSRP of $54,400. For the less sport-oriented T8 Inscription, expect to pay $1,000 more; these prices exclude licensing, registration, taxes, and Volvo's destination fee of $995.

See All 2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid Trims and Specs

🚗What Volvo S60 Hybrid Model Should I Buy?

There isn't a vast difference in price between the two trims available, with the T8 R-Design focusing more on sporty aesthetics, while the T8 Inscription offers a more elegant, classy profile. Major differences between the two are limited to exterior trim accents - which are blacked out in the R-Design and chrome-accented on the Inscription - as well as interior finishes. For the R-Design, embossed Nappa leather sports seats, a perforated leather steering wheel with paddle shifters, sports pedals and a lowered sport chassis are standard. By contrast, the Inscription boasts leather seats with a genuine driftwood interior trim, and an optional tailored dashboard to complete the lounge-like interior setting. While the sporty theme may appeal to the younger generation - which was a smart move on Volvo's part, in terms of doing away with the "old-man-mobile" heritage of Volvo vehicles - we prefer the sheer class and opulence of the Inscription, with its magnificent interior.

2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid Comparisons

Infiniti Q50 Hybrid Infiniti
Lexus ES Hybrid Lexus
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Volvo S60 Hybrid400 hpTBC$55,400
Infiniti Q50 Hybrid 360 hp27/32 mpg$50,600
Lexus ES Hybrid 215 hp43/44 mpg$41,810

2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid vs Infiniti Q50 Hybrid

There isn't a vast difference in price between the two trims available, with the T8 R-Design focusing more on sporty aesthetics, while the T8 Inscription offers a more elegant, classy profile. Major differences between the two are limited to exterior trim accents - which are blacked out in the R-Design and chrome-accented on the Inscription - as well as interior finishes. For the R-Design, embossed Nappa leather sports seats, a perforated leather steering wheel with paddle shifters, sports pedals and a lowered sport chassis are standard. By contrast, the Inscription boasts leather seats with a genuine driftwood interior trim, and an optional tailored dashboard to complete the lounge-like interior setting. While the sporty theme may appeal to the younger generation - which was a smart move on Volvo's part, in terms of doing away with the "old-man-mobile" heritage of Volvo vehicles - we prefer the sheer class and opulence of the Inscription, with its magnificent interior.

See Infiniti Q50 Hybrid Review

2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid vs Lexus ES Hybrid

More than $12k separates the base model Lexus ES Hybrid from the Volvo T8 in either of its guises, with even top-of-the-range ES Hybrids remaining under the $50,000 mark. Fitted with a 2.5-liter engine and electric motor that produce about half the horsepower that the Volvo does, the slower, less powerful Lexus does offer the advantage of superb fuel economy in return. With EPA estimates of 44/45/44 mpg decimating the Volvo's 27/34/31 mpg, the Lexus is definitely more budget-friendly but lacks the ability to move under electric propulsion alone. It does offer 16.7 cubic feet of cargo space and four inches more legroom in the back seat, giving it the edge over the S60 Hybrid in terms of practicality. Additionally, Volvo doesn't hold the monopoly on opulent cabins, with the Lexus offering high-quality finishes, upscale materials, and plush design inside, too. The S60's charm lies in the thoughtful design and Swedish minimalist elegance though, just beating the Lexus - even with the much lower pricing point on the latter. Be thankful if your choice is governed by finances, though, as it makes it easier to just pick the cheaper option for the sake of saving money. Still, if money wasn't a concern, the Lexus wouldn't even be considered here - the Volvo is by far superior.

See Lexus ES Hybrid Review

Volvo S60 Hybrid Popular Comparisons

2019 Volvo S60 Hybrid Video Reviews

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