2021 Volvo S60 vs. 2020 Lexus GS Series

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 2020/10/26

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 GS Series doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the S60 and GS Series 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 GS Series’ 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 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 GS Series 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 GS Series doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The S60 offers an optional 360° Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The GS Series 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 GS Series 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, 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 vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, with its optional vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the S60 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The GS Series has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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The S60’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the GS Series’ (12 vs. 6 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the S60 for 2 years and 26000 miles longer than Lexus pays for maintenance for the GS Series (3/36,000 vs. 1/10,000).

There are over 16 percent more Volvo dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the S60’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the S60 has a standard 800-amp battery. The GS Series’ 580-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 GS Series’ battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

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The S60 T6’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder produces 5 more horsepower (316 vs. 311) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 280) than the GS Series’ 3.5 DOHC V6. The S60 Recharge’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 89 more horsepower (400 vs. 311) and 192 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 280) than the GS Series’ 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the S60 T6 is faster than the Lexus GS Series:

S60

GS Series

Zero to 60 MPH

5.2 sec

5.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12.8 sec

13.6 sec

Quarter Mile

13.8 sec

14.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

103 MPH

102 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/10/26

On the EPA test cycle the S60 Recharge running on electricity running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the GS Series:

MPGe

S60

AWD

Electric Motor

70 city/68 hwy

GS Series

MPG

RWD

350 3.5 DOHC V6

20 city/28 hwy

350 F Sport 3.5 DOHC V6

19 city/27 hwy

AWD

350 3.5 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

On the EPA test cycle the S60 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the GS Series:

MPG

S60

FWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/34 hwy

AWD

T8 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl. Hybrid

28 city/33 hwy

T6 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl.

21 city/32 hwy

GS Series

RWD

350 3.5 DOHC V6

20 city/28 hwy

350 F Sport 3.5 DOHC V6

19 city/27 hwy

AWD

350 3.5 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

The S60 Recharge can drive on battery power alone for up to 22 miles. The GS Series 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 GS Series 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 GS Series doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The S60 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 GS Series doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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

S60 Polestar

GS Series

GS Series F Sport

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

13.1 inches

14 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

12.2 inches

12.2 inches

The S60 stops much shorter than the GS Series:

S60

GS Series

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

137 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

139 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

© 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 2020/10/26

The S60 R-Design AWD handles at .94 G’s, while the GS 350 pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The S60 Polestar executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the GS 350 (25.4 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 26.1 seconds @ .72 average G’s).

Chassis

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The S60 is 4.7 inches shorter than the GS Series, making the S60 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the S60 Momentum is quieter than the GS 350 (75 vs. 79 dB).

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the S60 easier. The S60’s trunk lift-over height is 26 inches, while the GS Series’ liftover is 28 inches.

The S60’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The GS Series doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

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

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S60’s trunk can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The GS Series doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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The S60 has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The GS Series has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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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 GS Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 GS Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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 GS Series.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Volvo S60 offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The GS Series doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 GS Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the S60 is less expensive to operate than the GS Series because typical repairs cost much less on the S60 than the GS Series, including $111 less for a water pump, $345 less for a starter, $340 less for fuel injection, $17 less for front struts, $1342 less for a timing belt/chain and $1134 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 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 2020/10/26

J.D. Power and Associates rated the S60 second among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The GS Series isn’t in the top three in its category.

The Volvo 60 Series outsold the Lexus GS Series by almost six to one during 2019.

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

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