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2018 vs. 2019 Volvo S60: What’s the Difference?

  • The Volvo S60 compact luxury sedan is all-new for 2019.

  • Highlights of the new model include the Pilot Assist driver assistance technology suite, a sharp new look inside and out, and more standard features.

  • The S60 has the distinction of being front-wheel drive while most of its competitors are rear-wheel drive.

The Volvo S60 is a quirky Swedish alternative to more mainstream luxury sedans like the BMW 3 Series, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Audi A4. While its German rivals pride themselves on athletic driving dynamics, the Volvo puts more of a priority on safety and all-whether driveability with standard front-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive. That said, the S60 is still an enjoyable car from behind the wheel.

The S60 got a big redesign for the 2019 model year, giving it a more modern look, a nicer interior, and more modern technology to keep it competitive with the big guys. Let’s take a look at the differences between the 2018 and 2019 Volvo S60.

2018 Volvo S60 vs. 2019 Volvo S60 exterior


The S60 got a little bigger with the 2019 redesign. The new model is four inches longer, seven inches wider and an inch shorter than the outgoing model giving is a much more athletic stance than its predecessor. The new S60 adopts the new design language that’s been spreading through the Volvo lineup and we think it works very well in the form of a compact sedan. The previous generation was starting to look a bit dated in 2018 and now this Volvo looks thoroughly modern.

2018 Volvo S60 vs. 2019 Volvo S60 interior


The visual modernizing didn’t stop with just the exterior. The interior of the S60 also got a big overhaul. A few of the weaknesses of the old model have been remedied, most notably the cramped back seats and a frustrating infotainment system. Now that the S60 is quite a bit longer, it means more room for everyone which the back seat passengers will appreciate. See the 2018 Volvo S60 models for sale near you

The overall interior design of the new S60 is much nicer-looking than the 2018 model, especially in the center stack. Gone is the strange rectangular panel of buttons to control too-small of an infotainment screen and in its place is a nice big screen with much simpler controls. The learning curve on this new system is nothing like it was on the old one. The finer details in things like the steering wheel, shifter and dashboard are also much more modern-looking in the new model making it look and feel truly premium. See the 2019 Volvo S60 models for sale near you

2018 Volvo S60 vs. 2019 Volvo S60 mechanicals


The 2018 and 2019 S60 each have three different engine options available. They both come standard with FWD and are available with AWD for better traction.

2018 Volvo S60 Engines

  • 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four (T5); 240 horsepower, 258 lb-ft of torque; 25 miles per gallon in the city and 36 mpg on the highway

  • 2.0-liter supercharged and turbocharged inline-four (T6); 302 hp, 295 lb-ft of torque, 22 mpg city/32 mpg hwy

  • 2.0-liter supercharged and turbocharged inline-four (Polestar); 362 hp, 347 lb-ft of torque; 20 city/27 mpg hwy

2019 Volvo S60 Engines

  • 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four (T5); 250 hp, 258 lb-ft of torque; 24 city/36 mpg hwy

  • 2.0-liter supercharged and turbocharged inline-four (T6); 316 hp, 295 lb-ft of torque; 21 city/32 mpg hwy

  • 2.0-liter hybrid supercharged and turbocharged inline-four (T8); 400 hp, 472 lb-ft of torque; 74 combined MPGe

The base T5 engine and the upgraded T6 engine are largely carryovers from the previous generation with both getting a bump in horsepower, but the top engines are quite different in the two cars. In the 2018 S60 Polestar, it’s a more performance-tuned version of the S60 engine, but in the 2019 model, it’s a plug-in hybrid that is not only efficient but beats the performance of the outgoing Polestar by a significant margin, especially in torque. It has electric motors that help give it those impressive performance numbers plus it can go up to 22 miles on electricity alone and has a combined rating of 74 MPGe. When the electric battery dies, it still gets a respectable combined fuel economy of 31 mpg.

2018 Volvo S60 vs. 2019 Volvo S60 technology


Technology was a bit of a weak point for the 2018 S60 as you read about with the infotainment system. The new Sensus system has a lovely 9-in screen, a 10-speaker audio at the base level, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and two USB ports. It’s upgradable with navigation, a head-up display and premium audio. The 2018 model has a 7-in screen with frustrating controls, no Android Auto nor Apple CarPlay, one USB port, and a base eight-speaker audio. Simply put, the infotainment system in the new S60 is better in every way.

The 2019 S60 also outclasses its predecessor in terms of driver assistance tech. The 2018 model came standard with the City Safety system, which includes low-speed automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warning, and pedestrian detection. The 2019 model is more advanced. On top of standard City Safety, it comes standard with run-off road mitigation, road sign recognition, and lane-keeping assist. It’s upgradable with more tech including Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving tech, adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlights, a 360-degree camera, rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and parallel park assist.

2018 Volvo S60 vs. 2019 Volvo S60 pricing


The big improvements in the new S60 bring along with them a modest price increase. The 2018 S60 had a starting MSRP of $34,100 and the all-new 2019 model starts at $35,800. Both models can get into the high $50k range when you get into the higher trims, which we think is actually a bargain for the 2019 S60 T8 with its plug-in hybrid powertrain providing impressive performance and AWD. The T6 model can be had starting in the low $40k range.

2018 Volvo S60 vs. 2019 Volvo S60 conclusion


The Volvo S60 was overdue for an update and the one it got for 2019 was more than enough. It retains all of its Swedish quirkiness while getting more luxurious, more technologically modern, and in our opinion, much better looking. The S60 is more competitive with German rivals than ever and it beats all of them on price, making it an attractive bargain to anyone looking for an entry-level luxury sedan. Find a 2018 Volvo S60 for sale or Find a 2019 Volvo S60 for sale

Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt is an author specializing in Oversteer content, new car reviews, and finding the best car, truck, and SUV deals each month. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Eric can often be found exploring the north woods on his 1983 Honda Gold Wing when the weather allows it. Father of four, husband of one, and unapologetic minivan enthusiast. Eric mastered driving stick by having a 3-cylinder Chevy... Read More about Eric Brandt

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