2016 Volvo S60 T5 AWD - 1 Year Review
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    1. #1
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      2016 Volvo S60 T5 AWD - 1 Year Review

      I purchased a new 2016 Volvo S60 T5 AWD almost a year ago. I originally test drove a 2013 AWD back to back with a 2016 FWD. As many of you know, the AWD driving experience is much more rewarding. Stability, agility, take-off are all improved. After driving the AWD, I decided that was the car for me, and went ahead with a new purchase.

      I was first exposed to the 2.5L T5 in a 2009 C30, and the S60 appears to retain all the motor's virtues while improving on its smoothness, power, and reduction in turbo lag. The transmission has many of the kinks worked out, and while it's not perfect, it's very enjoyable in regular driving. I like that the car has a real oil dipstick, and that all the fluids are easily accessed for assessment.

      The best part of the car is the driving experience. The Touring chassis with the lighter T5 makes for a great daily driver. I also enjoy taking the car on the twisty roads. The car is extremely stable even in the snow. With proper tires, the car is exceedingly difficult to break loose. It gives you a great sense of confidence on the road. My car came with the Michelin Primacy MXM4, and I've used Pirelli Sottozero 3 for winter.

      This car has a level of practicality to it that makes it a good compromise between sporting car and sedan. It is lively to drive, but has room for 5 passengers and a sufficiently sized trunk. It is comfortable to ride in. There are small changes too, that reduce issues - lots of initial criticisms of the S60 have been addressed as time has gone on.

      As far as issues go, the in-car internet connection has stopped working, and I'm working with the dealer in attempting to repair it. But that's a *very* small annoyance as far as things go, and so far it's the only one. So far, there are no rattles or squeaks. The car appears to have very good build quality. The sunroof trim did come down once, but it was easily fixed by putting it back up, and it hasn't come down again.

      Sensus isn't the greatest but it's far from the worst. I particularly dislike the long time it takes switching between the camera and the rest of the interface when the car starts to move forward, or the startup time when the car is turned on. But for the most part the interface makes sense, and lag is not bad once the interface comes up.

      Cross-referencing a number of other vehicles, I believe the S60 T5 AWD sits in a sweet spot of engineering compromises - fun to drive, more than enough power, safety, comfort, and value. Particularly when the safety component is looked at, I think this is a very under-rated car as things go. It feels like a step up in every single way from the C30 I had, and is simply more fun to drive than my old S80 V8. I think this car is great, and maybe a little under appreciated by the purchasing public. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

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    3. #2
      Member Bmo Pete's Avatar
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      Nice review of your car! Thank you for writing, and supporting the excellent 5 cylinder AWD option!
      Rebel Blue, the new red! Intro & Updates Link
      Current: '15 V60 T6 3.0 AWD RD Plat | '15.5 XC60 T6 3.0 AWD Ocean Race Plat
      Prior: '15 S60 T6 3.0 RD Plat

    4. #3
      Thanks for the update! I bought a 2016 V60 T5 AWD about a month ago and I'm loving it so far. I try to make lots of excuses for road trips. So far the only thing I really dislike is the halogen headlamps - they are awful! Otherwise the car is fantastic. BTW what kind of gas mileage have you been getting? I'm doing about 23.5 mpg on 87 octane right now, but planning on switching to 93 soon to see what that does.

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    6. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by bomgd3 View Post
      Thanks for the update! I bought a 2016 V60 T5 AWD about a month ago and I'm loving it so far. I try to make lots of excuses for road trips. So far the only thing I really dislike is the halogen headlamps - they are awful! Otherwise the car is fantastic. BTW what kind of gas mileage have you been getting? I'm doing about 23.5 mpg on 87 octane right now, but planning on switching to 93 soon to see what that does.
      That's great! I thought long and hard about the wagon, but in the end just liked the style of the sedan better (which is not to say that the wagon isn't also awesome!). I agree that the halogen lights are meh.

      As for MPG my overall average is 23.9 MPG, with a low of 19.3 and a high of 27.6. This puts me almost exactly at the revised EPA estimates. I use nothing but 93 Octane. The Pirellis seem to have caused a hit, as I haven't had a tank over 22.6MPG since I put them on. I'd guess the cold has something to do with that too, and my driving style has more city trips in the winter. Once the weather gets better, I try to bike for all my short trips. I did have a low of 21.1 MPG once with the Michelins in the summer. FWIW, I'm on 215/50 R17 tires. I do try and keep the PSI around 38.

    7. #5
      Member Wayne T5's Avatar
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      Nice review and right around the corner from me!

      Regarding the internet issue, did you continue the subscription with AT&T or does it not work with your cell phone? Some cell providers do not allow tethering so the issue may be with your phone and not the car.

      You can try upgraded bulbs to make the halogens a little more tolerable. I think we put Silverstar Ultra's on our XC60 and they make it a little better.

      Winter fuel mix also contributes to lower mileage.

      I love the 5 cylinder motors from this era - best combination of performance, economy and character, IMO.
      Past Volvos: '94 854, '99 S70 T5 SE, '99 S70 GLT, '04 S60RM, '12 S60 T5, '13 S60 T5, '15 S60 RD
      Present Garage: '16 MX5 Club, '95 854 T-5R, '05 V70RGT, '15.5 XC60 T6, '16 V60 P*

    8. #6
      Junior Member rumyn's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by bomgd3 View Post
      BTW what kind of gas mileage have you been getting? I'm doing about 23.5 mpg on 87 octane right now, but planning on switching to 93 soon to see what that does.
      My S60 is all over the place with MPGs. It really depends on the weather... this past weekend, when it got much warmer - it was 30 MPG (mostly highway). Usually, in winter, it hovers around 23.5-24 MPG mixed (doesn't matter whether it's on 87 or 93, it makes no difference at all).
      During summer it's in high 20's mixed. Mostly 27.5-28.

      It's been 14 month that I've had the car so far.
      His: 2017 V60CC Platinum AWD, Osmium Grey, Climate Package, BLIS
      Hers: 2016 Volvo S60 T5 Premier AWD, Ice White, Beechwood seats, Urbane Wood Inlays, BLIS, Tech package, Keyless Drive, Heated Seats

    9. #7
      Nice review! Another T5 (5 cyl) AWD fan here. I have a T5 (4 cyl) AWD XC60 loaner today while my car is in for its 10k service. Plenty of power but it just doesn't sound the same.
      2016 S60 Inscription T5 AWD Platinum w/Climate and BLIS Osmium Grey/Soft Beige
      2007 c70 T5 Magic Blue
      Previous:
      2013 S60, 2003 xc70, 2002 v70, 1998 s70

    10. #8
      Quote Originally Posted by Wayne T5 View Post
      Nice review and right around the corner from me!

      Regarding the internet issue, did you continue the subscription with AT&T or does it not work with your cell phone? Some cell providers do not allow tethering so the issue may be with your phone and not the car.

      You can try upgraded bulbs to make the halogens a little more tolerable. I think we put Silverstar Ultra's on our XC60 and they make it a little better.

      Winter fuel mix also contributes to lower mileage.

      I love the 5 cylinder motors from this era - best combination of performance, economy and character, IMO.
      I really like the 5 cylinder engine overall. It makes a nice subdued sound and MPG isn't awful. I came from a Focus ST which did about 25 MPG average, so this isn't a huge difference and the V60 is heavier, AWD, and more luxurious.

      I'm about to order the Silverstars (low beam) on Amazon. I know this is a tough thing to quantify, but how noticeable was the difference?

    11. #9
      Member Wayne T5's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by bomgd3 View Post
      I'm about to order the Silverstars (low beam) on Amazon. I know this is a tough thing to quantify, but how noticeable was the difference?
      It's definitely noticeable but nowhere near what you would get with HIDs like I have with the V60 and V70 in my sig. I'd say it's definitely worth the $50 or so that they cost.
      Past Volvos: '94 854, '99 S70 T5 SE, '99 S70 GLT, '04 S60RM, '12 S60 T5, '13 S60 T5, '15 S60 RD
      Present Garage: '16 MX5 Club, '95 854 T-5R, '05 V70RGT, '15.5 XC60 T6, '16 V60 P*

    12. #10
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      Very nice review! I've had my FWD T5 5 cylinder for over two years now and it has 65,000 mostly trouble free miles so far. It still drives and feels like new and I average over 28 mpg in mostly highway driving on 93 octane. The interior still looks mostly new, aside from some creasing and stretching of the leather on the driver's seat which is expected. I fully agree these cars can be a steal, huge discounts can be had and while the technology is a bit dated, the savings available compared to the Germans more than make up for the shortcomings IMO. Wishing you many more trouble free and enjoyable miles!
      Current: 2014 Volvo S60 T5 Premier / Caspian Blue

    13. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by bomgd3 View Post
      Thanks for the update! I bought a 2016 V60 T5 AWD about a month ago and I'm loving it so far. I try to make lots of excuses for road trips. So far the only thing I really dislike is the halogen headlamps - they are awful! Otherwise the car is fantastic. BTW what kind of gas mileage have you been getting? I'm doing about 23.5 mpg on 87 octane right now, but planning on switching to 93 soon to see what that does.
      While I agree that, compared to the Xenon units, the halogens leave much to be desired, I've yet to drive a car with properly adjusted headlamps from delivery. Our V60 CC's lights were adjusted so low that it was dangerous to drive after dark...memories of Lucas electrics come to mind. All headlamps are adjustable. It just takes some time and patience to get them "just right". I carry a 6mm nut driver in the car for that purpose and am not shy about stopping for a minor adjustment along the way.
      2016 V60 CC T5 AWD, Platinum, Climate, BLIS

    14. #12
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      Our Saab 9-5s were both FWD so when we started shopping replacements we were drawn to FWD Volvo S60. So that's what we ordered in 2014, the last chance to get FWD with the 5-cylinder engine. After buying our CPO 2015.5 V60CC AWD and driving it, I now wish we had gone ahead and ordered the 2014 S60 with AWD. I think it was $2000 option at the time. AWD is one of those things you don't think you need until you experience it.
      Last edited by AeroDan; 03-23-2017 at 03:36 PM.
      2015,5 V60CC Savile Grey met, BLIS, heated front seats, convenience pkg, rubber mats
      2014 S60 T5 Premier Plus w/sport, xenons, eBLIS, heated front seats, SCT w/nav (hers)
      2004 Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon (sold)
      2003 Saab 9-5 Aero Sedan (sold)
      1996 Saab 900S (sold)

    15. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by Wayne T5 View Post
      Regarding the internet issue, did you continue the subscription with AT&T or does it not work with your cell phone? Some cell providers do not allow tethering so the issue may be with your phone and not the car.
      I did continue the subscription. The internet went out in June of last year after a little more than 4 months of having the car. I assumed I'd hit some kind of data limit, and at that time it wasn't a priority to get it fixed. I signed up with AT&T right away in December, but it still didn't work, so that was when I started trying to get it fixed. Last Friday a tech and I sat in the car for about 2 hours with an AT&T rep on the phone trying to get it to connect (all that happens is the 3G says "connecting"). The rep wound up putting a network tech on the phone, and we were getting into things like "is there an outage in your area." Which there wasn't. For some reason, the car just wouldn't communicate with the network.

      What's weird is that the Sensus Connect with my iPhone works. I extended that plan in August, and it has no issues. *However*, there is a screen in my Sensus that asks for a Sensus Connect activation code. Does *that* make a difference? Dunno yet. The dealership has ordered a telemetrics unit on the theory that there's not much else left to try.

      So it's here that the confusing morass of technologies Volvo put into this car with little apparent integration becomes a problem. It has been a really hard thing for Volvo to figure out who is responsible for fixing it. I've had Volvo NA tell me it's up to the sales people to configure it, sales people tell me it's VNA, techs tell me it's sales people, and then a service rep tell me it's AT&T's issue. Only persistence and knowing a little bit about IT has seen me through and prevented me from becoming "that customer." If I had no idea what was going on I'd be furious. And am, a little.


      You can try upgraded bulbs to make the halogens a little more tolerable. I think we put Silverstar Ultra's on our XC60 and they make it a little better.
      What's the lifespan of those bulbs?

      I love the 5 cylinder motors from this era - best combination of performance, economy and character, IMO.
      So how are you liking the P*?
      Last edited by mateo319; 02-22-2017 at 04:48 PM.

    16. #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by dmc79 View Post
      Very nice review! I've had my FWD T5 5 cylinder for over two years now and it has 65,000 mostly trouble free miles so far. It still drives and feels like new and I average over 28 mpg in mostly highway driving on 93 octane. The interior still looks mostly new, aside from some creasing and stretching of the leather on the driver's seat which is expected. I fully agree these cars can be a steal, huge discounts can be had and while the technology is a bit dated, the savings available compared to the Germans more than make up for the shortcomings IMO. Wishing you many more trouble free and enjoyable miles!
      That's awesome! With the C30 I could tell what kind of motor this was - especially having just come from a rotary engine! So long as you top up the oil and take care of it, the T5 motors won't die. The '12 bug with motor 62 was so weird.

    17. #15
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      Quote Originally Posted by AeroDan View Post
      Our Saab 9-5s were both FWD so when we started shopping replacements we were drawn to FWD Volvo S60. So that's what we ordered in 2014, the last chance to get FWD with the 5-cylinder engine. After buying our CPO 2015.5 V60CC AWD and driving it, I now wish we had gone ahead and ordered the 2014 S60 with AWD. I think it was $2000 option at the time.
      It makes a difference doesn't it? I was shocked.

    18. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by halfast3 View Post
      While I agree that, compared to the Xenon units, the halogens leave much to be desired, I've yet to drive a car with properly adjusted headlamps from delivery. Our V60 CC's lights were adjusted so low that it was dangerous to drive after dark...memories of Lucas electrics come to mind. All headlamps are adjustable. It just takes some time and patience to get them "just right". I carry a 6mm nut driver in the car for that purpose and am not shy about stopping for a minor adjustment along the way.
      I hadn't thought about that. Any recommendations for appropriate height?

    19. #17
      Wait, so I can adjust the halogens on my V60?? That's complete news to me!

    20. #18
      Member Wayne T5's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by mateo319 View Post

      What's the lifespan of those bulbs?


      So how are you liking the P*?
      I can imagine the internet connectivity being a bit of a black hole on these cars with the techs pointing at the cell provider and vice versa. That would be more than a little frustrating.

      I have had the bulbs on the car for a year now. I would expect they would last for a couple of years - so far so good.

      I love the P* - have had it for a year and 6,500 miles, need to take it to the dealer for its first service. I am very happy Volvo/Polestar brought the car to this country. Combination of the suspension, brakes, and exhaust makes for a very enjoyable ride.
      Past Volvos: '94 854, '99 S70 T5 SE, '99 S70 GLT, '04 S60RM, '12 S60 T5, '13 S60 T5, '15 S60 RD
      Present Garage: '16 MX5 Club, '95 854 T-5R, '05 V70RGT, '15.5 XC60 T6, '16 V60 P*

    21. #19
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      Lots of info online but generally, after checking tire pressures, you park about 25' from a light-colored wall on level ground and adjust for a ~3" drop from the height of the center of the light to the low beam cut-off. That should get you in the ball park. Then drive on a dark road to check for shadow areas where you need illumination and tweak as needed. As mentioned, late model Volvos have a 6mm adjuster screw accessible through the upper core support.
      .
      In the old days, we'd just adjust them up until everyone flashed their high beams and then lower them until just half of the oncoming drivers did
      2016 V60 CC T5 AWD, Platinum, Climate, BLIS

    22. #20
      Junior Member msmith's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by bomgd3 View Post
      Wait, so I can adjust the halogens on my V60?? That's complete news to me!
      Just google adjusting headlights for your model. There are two white plastic nuts on each light. One for left/right adjustments (I think it's the front one) and one for up/down (the rear one). I parked my car about 12 feet from my garage and turned the car on. I put two pieces of green tape on the top lines of the main beam pattern and then adjusted them up about 1" to 1.5" then went for a drive. If needed you can always move them again until you are good with how they are projecting down the road. (and not blinding others).

      It's a relatively easy process.
      2012 S60 T6 AWD | Black/Beechwood | Premium/Climate Package | BLIS | Sunroof | Active Bending Bi-Xenon (mine)
      2006 S40 2.4i M56 | Barents Blue/T-Tec | Sports Package | Sunroof | OEM Tail | 3M Clearbra | Fogs | Parrot Mki9200 | K&N Air filter (sold to son)

    23. #21
      Quote Originally Posted by msmith View Post
      Just google adjusting headlights for your model. There are two white plastic nuts on each light. One for left/right adjustments (I think it's the front one) and one for up/down (the rear one). I parked my car about 12 feet from my garage and turned the car on. I put two pieces of green tape on the top lines of the main beam pattern and then adjusted them up about 1" to 1.5" then went for a drive. If needed you can always move them again until you are good with how they are projecting down the road. (and not blinding others).

      It's a relatively easy process.
      Thanks so much, I just did that last night and it made a huge difference. The stock setting is far too low. The brightness of the lamps still leaves something to be desired but at least now I feel safe driving in the dark. Previously even around 40 mph I didn't feel safe driving in the dark with low beams.

    24. #22
      Junior Member msmith's Avatar
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      Glad it worked. Not sure about the S60, but in my S40 I changed the bulbs from the H11's to an H9. The stock low beams are 55w H11 1250 lumens, and the upgrade option is 65w H9 2100 lumens.

      Provides much better light. Still not xenon, but better than stock. I used a dremel tool to grind down the little plastic tab inside the base of the light in order to make it fit. Pretty easy to do and a good upgrade to the lighting.

      Just not sure if that would work on the S60. I honestly don't know what the stock halogens are on the S60.
      2012 S60 T6 AWD | Black/Beechwood | Premium/Climate Package | BLIS | Sunroof | Active Bending Bi-Xenon (mine)
      2006 S40 2.4i M56 | Barents Blue/T-Tec | Sports Package | Sunroof | OEM Tail | 3M Clearbra | Fogs | Parrot Mki9200 | K&N Air filter (sold to son)

    25. #23
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      I adjusted my lights as well. It helped tremendously.

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      Just a followup, the replaced telemetrics unit fixed the problem with the internet. Apparently it just failed.

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