2018 Acura RLX vs. 2018 Volvo S60

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The RLX’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The S60 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the RLX and the S60 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights and available around view monitors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Acura RLX is safer than the Volvo S60:







5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Stress

222 lbs.

268 lbs.




5 Stars

5 Stars




Chest Compression

.6 inches

.6 inches

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Acura RLX is safer than the Volvo S60:





Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.7 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

175 G’s

299 G’s

Hip Force

275 lbs.

419 lbs.


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars





Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

16 inches

Hip Force

678 lbs.

682 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.


Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RLX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Volvo covers the S60. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the S60 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.


The engines in the RLX have a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engines in the S60 have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the RLX’s reliability 22 points higher than the S60.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Acura vehicles are better in initial quality than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Acura 19th in initial quality. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 30th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Acura 20th in reliability. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 22nd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Acura 7 places higher in reliability than Volvo.


The RLX has more powerful engines than the S60:





310 HP

272 lbs.-ft.

RLX Sport Hybrid 3.5 SOHC V6

377 HP

341 lbs.-ft.

S60 T5 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

240 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

S60 T6 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

302 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

S60 Polestar 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

362 HP

347 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the RLX Sport Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the S60 T5 AWD (28 city/29 hwy vs. 22 city/33 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the RLX’s fuel efficiency. The S60 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The RLX has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The S60 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Acura RLX higher (3 to 7 out of 10) than the Volvo S60 (1 to 7). This means the RLX produces up to 47 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the S60 every 15,000 miles.


A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Acura RLX V6, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the S60.

The RLX offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The S60 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the RLX’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the S60:




Front Rotors

12.3 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.9 inches

The RLX stops much shorter than the S60:





70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

193 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the RLX has larger tires than the S60 (245/40R19 vs. 235/40R19).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RLX has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the S60.

Suspension and Handling

The RLX has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The S60’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the RLX’s wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the S60 (112.2 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the RLX is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than on the S60.


The RLX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The S60 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the RLX is rated a Mid-size car by the EPA, while the S60 is rated a Compact.

The RLX has 9.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the S60 (102.1 vs. 93).

The RLX has .4 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front hip room, 2.6 inches more front shoulder room, 5.3 inches more rear legroom, 1 inch more rear hip room and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the S60.

Cargo Capacity

The RLX has a much larger trunk than the S60 (14.9 vs. 12 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

The RLX has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The S60 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.


The RLX’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The S60 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The RLX Sport Hybrid has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and tachometer readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The S60 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the RLX the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the S60 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The RLX’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The S60’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the RLX has standard extendable sun visors. The S60 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the RLX Sport Hybrid keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The S60 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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