2021 Volvo S60 vs. 2020 Lexus LS 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 2020/10/29

Both the S60 and LS 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 LS 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 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 LS Series doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the S60 and the LS 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, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors and available around view 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 LS Series has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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The S60’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the LS 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 LS 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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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 S60’s reliability 11 points higher than the LS Series.

Engine

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The S60 Recharge’s 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 30 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 442) than the LS 500’s optional 3.4 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the S60 Recharge running on electricity running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the LS 500h:

MPGe

S60

AWD

Electric Motor

70 city/68 hwy

LS 500h

MPG

RWD

3.5 V6 Hybrid

25 city/33 hwy

AWD

3.5 V6 Hybrid

23 city/31 hwy

On the EPA test cycle the S60 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the LS 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

LS Series

RWD

500h 3.5 V6 Hybrid

25 city/33 hwy

500 3.4 turbo V6

19 city/30 hwy

AWD

500h 3.5 V6 Hybrid

23 city/31 hwy

500 3.4 turbo V6

18 city/27 hwy

The S60 Recharge’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 22 miles, about 37 times as far as the LS 500h’s .6-mile range.

Regardless of its engine, the S60’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Lexus only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the LS Series Hybrid.

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 LS Series doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Volvo S60 higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the Lexus LS Series (3 to 7). This means the S60 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the LS Series every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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The S60 stops much shorter than the LS Series:

S60

LS Series

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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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 LS Series’ standard 50 series tires. The S60’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the LS Series F Sport’s 45 series front tires.

The S60 has a standard space-saver spare (not available on Recharge) so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the LS Series; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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The S60 R-Design AWD handles at .91 G’s, while the LS 500h AWD pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The S60 Polestar executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the LS 500h AWD (25.4 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 27 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

Chassis

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The Volvo S60 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 to 1050 pounds less than the Lexus LS Series.

The S60 is 1 foot, 6.7 inches shorter than the LS Series, making the S60 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Volvo S60 amounts to more than styling. The S60 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is lower than the LS Series (.27 to .3) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the S60 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The S60 has .1 inches more front headroom and 1.3 inches more front legroom than the LS Series.

Cargo Capacity

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The S60’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The LS Series doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

Towing

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

Ergonomics

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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 LS Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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 LS 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 LS Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the S60 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the S60 will cost $1150 to $8425 less than the LS Series over a five-year period.

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 LS Series only retains 36.5% to 38.48%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Volvo S60 will be $26658 to $41284 less than for the Lexus LS Series.

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 2020/10/29

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its January 2019 issue and they ranked the Volvo S60 R-Design AWD higher than the Lexus LS Series 500 F Sport.

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 LS Series isn’t in the top three.

The Volvo 60 Series outsold the Lexus LS Series by almost four to one during 2019.

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