2021 Volvo S60 vs. 2020 Honda Accord

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/24

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo S60 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Honda Accord doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

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

Both the S60 and Accord have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The S60 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Accord’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The S60 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The Accord doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The S60 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Accord doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The S60 offers optional CTA Auto Brake that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Accord doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The S60 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Accord doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The S60 offers an optional 360° Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Accord only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the S60 and the Accord have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and driver alert monitors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the S60 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 82 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Accord is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.

Warranty

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The S60 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Accord’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The S60’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Accord’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the S60 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Honda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Accord.

Reliability

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The battery on the S60 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the S60’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Accord’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

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The S60 has more powerful engines than the Accord:

Horsepower

Torque

S60 T5 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

250 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

S60 T6 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder

316 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

S60 Recharge 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid

400 HP

472 lbs.-ft.

Accord 1.5 turbo 4-cylinder

192 HP

192 lbs.-ft.

Accord 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

252 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the S60 T5 is faster than the Honda Accord 1.5 turbo 4-cylinder (automatics tested):

S60

Accord

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

7.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.2 sec

19.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7 sec

8 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.5 sec

4 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.7 sec

5.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98 MPH

91 MPH

Top Speed

131 MPH

121 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the S60 Recharge running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Accord with its standard engine (70 city/68 hwy MPGe vs. 30 city/38 hwy).

The S60 Recharge can drive on battery power alone for up to 22 miles. The Accord must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the S60 T8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Accord doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the S60’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Accord doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The S60 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Accord (15.9 vs. 14.8 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

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

S60 T5

S60 Polestar

Accord

Accord 2.0T/Sport

Front Rotors

12.7 inches

14.6 inches

11.5 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

12.6 inches

11.1 inches

11.1 inches

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

The S60 stops much shorter than the Accord:

S60

Accord

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

176 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

135 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

139 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the S60 has larger tires than the Accord (235/45R18 vs. 225/50R17).

The S60’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Accord’s standard 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S60 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Accord.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S60’s wheelbase is 1.7 inches longer than on the Accord (113.1 inches vs. 111.4 inches).

The S60’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (55% to 45%) than the Accord’s (58.9% to 41.1%). This gives the S60 more stable handling and braking.

The S60 R-Design AWD handles at .91 G’s, while the Accord EX pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The S60 Polestar executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.3 seconds quicker than the Accord EX (25.4 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the S60’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Accord’s (37.1 feet vs. 38.1 feet). The S60’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Accord Sport Manual/2.0T’s (37.1 feet vs. 39.4 feet).

Chassis

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The S60 is 4.8 inches shorter than the Accord, making the S60 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the S60 Momentum is quieter than the Accord Sport:

S60

Accord

Full-Throttle

75 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

68 dB

70 dB

Cargo Capacity

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To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the S60’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. The Accord’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the S60’s optional rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Accord doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

The S60’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Accord LX’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S60’s power trunk can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Accord doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Towing

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The S60’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Accord’s (2000 vs. 0 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The S60 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Accord uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Accord EX-L/Touring, the S60 R-Design/Inscription has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The power windows standard on both the S60 and the Accord have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the S60 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Accord prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The S60’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Accord’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The S60’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 Accord’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the S60 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Accord doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The S60’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Accord’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Marginal.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The S60 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Accord doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the S60 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Accord doesn’t offer cornering lights. The S60 also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The S60’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Accord Sport 2.0T/EX/EX-L/Touring.

The S60’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Accord offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

On extremely cold winter days, the S60’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Accord doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The S60 Inscription offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Accord.

Both the S60 and the Accord offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the S60 has available rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Accord doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The S60’s optional Park Assist Pilot can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Accord doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the S60 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the S60 with a number “5” insurance rate while the Accord is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

The S60 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the S60 will retain 40.05% to 43.62% of its original price after five years, while the Accord only retains -377.8% to 54%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the S60 is less expensive to operate than the Accord because typical repairs cost much less on the S60 than the Accord, including $13 less for a starter, $81 less for fuel injection, $37 less for front struts and $533 less for a power steering pump.

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

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