2021 Volvo S60 vs. 2020 Mercedes A-Class

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

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Volvo S60 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Mercedes A-Class doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the S60 and A-Class 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 A-Class’ 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 A-Class 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 A-Class 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 A-Class doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To help make backing safer, the S60’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The A-Class doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the S60 and the A-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, 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 A-Class has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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The S60’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the A-Class’ (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. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the A-Class.

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 A-Class’ battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

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The S60 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 62 more horsepower (250 vs. 188) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 221) than the A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The S60 T6’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder produces 128 more horsepower (316 vs. 188) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 221) than the A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The S60 Recharge’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 212 more horsepower (400 vs. 188) and 251 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 221) than the A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Car and Driver the S60 T6 is faster than the Mercedes A 220:

S60

A-Class

Zero to 60 MPH

5.2 sec

6.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12.8 sec

16.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.1 sec

6.8 sec

Quarter Mile

13.8 sec

14.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

103 MPH

94 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 A 220 4MATIC (70 city/68 hwy MPGe vs. 24 city/34 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the S60 Recharge running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the A 220 4MATIC (28 city/33 hwy vs. 24 city/34 hwy).

The S60 Recharge can drive on battery power alone for up to 22 miles. The A-Class 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 A-Class doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The S60 FWD’s standard fuel tank has a gallon more fuel capacity than the A-Class (14.5 vs. 13.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The S60 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the A-Class (15.9 vs. 13.5 gallons).

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 A-Class doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Volvo S60, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A-Class.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the S60 Polestar’s brake rotors are larger than those on the A-Class:

S60 T5

S60 Polestar

A-Class

Front Rotors

12.7 inches

14.6 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

12.6 inches

11.6 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 A-Class are solid, not vented.

The S60 stops much shorter than the A-Class:

S60

A-Class

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the S60 has larger tires than the A-Class (235/45R18 vs. 205/55R17). The S60’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the A-Class (235/45R18 vs. 225/40R19).

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 A-Class’ standard 55 series tires.

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

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 A-Class; 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. Some tire options on the A-Class don’t have a run-flat feature, either.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S60’s wheelbase is 5.7 inches longer than on the A-Class (113.1 inches vs. 107.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the S60 is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than on the A-Class.

The S60 R-Design AWD handles at .91 G’s, while the A 220 pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The S60 Polestar executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the A 220 (25.4 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 26.5 seconds @ .68 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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The S60 has 3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A-Class (96 vs. 93).

The S60 has .5 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear legroom and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the A-Class.

Cargo Capacity

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The S60 has a much larger trunk than the A-Class (11.6 vs. 8.6 cubic feet).

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

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the S60 offers cargo security. The A-Class’ non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the S60 has a standard power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The A-Class doesn’t offer a power trunk, so its trunk has to be closed manually.

Towing

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The S60 has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The A-Class 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 A-Class doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Consumer Reports rated the S60’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the A-Class’ headlights, which were rated “Poor.”

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 A-Class doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Both the S60 and the A-Class offer optional heated front seats. The S60 T6/Recharge also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the A-Class.

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 A-Class.

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

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 A-Class isn’t in the top three.

The Volvo 60 Series outsold the Mercedes A-Class by 14% during 2019.

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