2018 Lexus GS Series vs. 2018 Volvo S60

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Lexus GS Series are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Volvo S60 has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the GS Series helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The S60 doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the GS Series and the S60 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, available all-wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the GS Series 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.

Reliability

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 GS Series’ reliability 43 points higher than the S60.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the GS Series first among midsize premium cars in their 2017 Initial Quality Study. The S60 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 15th in initial quality. With 36 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 30th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 57 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Volvo is ranked 19th.

Engine

As tested in Consumer Reports the GS 350 3.5 DOHC V6 is faster than the S60 T5:

 

GS Series

S60

Zero to 30 MPH

2.6 sec

3.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

7.9 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

3.8 sec

5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

16.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

99 MPH

90.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the GS 450h gets better city fuel mileage than the S60 T5 FWD (29 city vs. 25 city).

Transmission

The GS 450h has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The S60 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

GS Series

S60

Front Rotors

13.1 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.9 inches

The GS Series’ standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the S60 T5 are solid, not vented.

The GS Series stops much shorter than the S60:

 

GS Series

S60

 

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

193 feet

Car and Driver

Suspension and Handling

The GS Series 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 GS Series’ wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the S60 (112.2 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

The GS Series’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (51% to 49%) than the S60’s (61.7% to 38.3%). This gives the GS Series more stable handling and braking.

The GS 350 handles at .88 G’s, while the S60 T6 pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the GS Series’ turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the S60’s (36.8 feet vs. 37.1 feet). The GS Series AWD’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the S60 Polestar’s (37.4 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the GS 350 is quieter than the S60 T5 Drive-E Inscription (40 vs. 41 dB).

Passenger Space

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

The GS Series has 6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the S60 (99 vs. 93).

The GS Series has .4 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 3.3 inches more rear legroom, .6 inches more rear hip room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the S60.

Cargo Capacity

The GS Series has a much larger trunk than the S60 (18.4 vs. 12 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the GS Series offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The S60 doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the GS Series is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the S60. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the S60, the GS Series offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The GS Series’ 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 GS Series’ instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The S60 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The GS Series offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation 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 down on the GS Series the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. (This window function must be activated by your Lexus service department.) The driver of the S60 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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

Optional air-conditioned seats in the GS Series 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.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the GS Series owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the GS Series with a number “1” insurance rate while the S60 is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GS Series is less expensive to operate than the S60 because it costs $252 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the GS Series than the S60, including $85 less for a water pump, $30 less for front brake pads and $333 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Lexus GS Series and the Volvo S60, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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