Interior and Passenger Space Rating:
While not as gorgeous as more recent Volvo interiors, the S60’s cabin holds its own against rivals in this matchup with well-bolstered seats, a unique floating center-stack control panel, and great outward visibility.
Interior Space Comparisons
Both the front and back seats in the S60 offer acceptable head- and legroom, but the Inscription and Inscription Platinum models are stretched by about three inches. That extra length provides rear-seat occupants with a spacious 36.9 inches of legroom.
Front-Seat Passenger Space
Back-Seat Passenger Space
The S60’s cabin is not up to the industry-leading standards of the latest generation of Volvos, but Volvo is rectifying this with the introduction of an all-new S60 for the 2019 model year. Still, the 2018 S60’s interior materials are of high quality. A neat floating center stack is proof that the latest generation of minimalist-designed Volvos isn’t the first time Volvo employed Scandinavian creativity in the styling of an automotive interior; plus, it creates an additional lower storage bin behind the panel. The center stack in our Inscription Platinum test vehicle was covered in a lovely walnut wood trim that also graced the door panels.
The driving position is good, but ergonomics could use some improvement. The buttons throughout the cabin are very small and sometimes hard to find at a glance. On the other hand, the giant knobs for volume, infotainment, and climate control are welcome and easy to use. Supportive and deeply cushioned seats are offered both front and rear, but seat adjustability is lacking, and features such as thigh support and power lumbar adjustments are conspicuously missing.
Our Inscription Platinum test car sported a reconfigurable high-resolution gauge display with clear, easy-to-read fonts in colors that match the various driving modes; this feature is standard on all but the base Dynamic trim.
Interior Sound Level
To measure a vehicle’s interior quietness, we use a sound meter to take two measurements at the height of the driver’s ear while traveling at 70 mph. We then average the results. As illustrated by the graphic below, decibels are a logarithmic unit, so a rating of 60 decibels isn’t 1.5 times the sound pressure of 40 decibels; it is 10 times the sound pressure.
Test Results: Interior Sound Levels at 70 mph
Seating and Step-In Height
To accurately measure seating height-the distance from the road to the driver’s hip-we use an H-Point Machine (HPM), a precisely engineered device marketed by SAE International. This versatile tool, in conjunction with a laser device, reveals the width and location of roof-pillar visibility obstructions (blind spots). Our HPM and laser measurement tools determine the length of road obscured by the hood as well as the road obscured by the trunk or hatch (as seen through the rearview mirror).
Test Results: Seating Height
Test Results: Step-In Height
Blind Spots, Visibility, and Obscured Roadway
Both forward and rearward visibility are good, with a big rear window and roof pillars that aren’t overly wide. Blind-spot monitoring is available across the S60 range via the $1950 Vision package on the base Dynamic trim or the $925 Blind Spot Information System package on R-Design, Inscription, Inscription Platinum, and Cross Country trims; high-performance Polestar models have this feature as standard.
Roof pillars protect occupants in a rollover crash, but they also create blind spots. We determine visibility by measuring the location and width of each pillar using an H-Point Machine and a laser beam (surrogates for a driver and eyeball, respectively). Front and rear visibility are calculated by subtracting the viewable area blocked by the pillars from a perfect 180-degree score.