2021 Volvo S60 vs. 2020 Toyota Prius Prime

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 2020/10/22

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 Toyota Prius Prime 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 Prius Prime doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the S60 and Prius Prime 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 Prius Prime’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 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 Prius Prime 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.

The S60 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Prius Prime 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 Prius Prime 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 Prius Prime 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 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 Prius Prime last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 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 Prius Prime’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 Prius Prime’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the S60 for 1 year and 11000 miles longer than Toyota pays for maintenance for the Prius Prime (3/36,000 vs. 2/25000).

Engine

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The S60 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 129 more horsepower (250 vs. 121) and 152 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 106) than the Prius Prime’s 1.8 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The S60 T6’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder produces 195 more horsepower (316 vs. 121) and 189 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 106) than the Prius Prime’s 1.8 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The S60 Recharge’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 279 more horsepower (400 vs. 121) and 366 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 106) than the Prius Prime’s 1.8 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

As tested in Car and Driver the Volvo S60 is faster than the Toyota Prius Prime:

S60 T5

S60 T6

Prius Prime

Zero to 30 MPH

2.3 sec

n/a

3.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

5.2 sec

10.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.2 sec

12.8 sec

30.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7 sec

6.1 sec

10.2 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.5 sec

3.2 sec

4.7 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.7 sec

4.2 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

13.8 sec

17.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98 MPH

103 MPH

79 MPH

Top Speed

131 MPH

131 MPH

115 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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The S60 FWD’s standard fuel tank has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Prius Prime (14.5 vs. 11.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The S60 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 4.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Prius Prime (15.9 vs. 11.4 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 Prius Prime doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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

S60 T5

S60 Polestar

Prius Prime

Front Rotors

12.7 inches

14.6 inches

10 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

12.6 inches

10.2 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 Prius Prime are solid, not vented.

The S60 stops much shorter than the Prius Prime:

S60

Prius Prime

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

139 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

© 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 2020/10/22

For better traction, the S60 has larger tires than the Prius Prime (235/45R18 vs. 195/65R15).

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 Prius Prime’s standard 65 series tires. The S60’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Prius Prime’s 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S60 has standard 18-inch wheels. Only 15-inch wheels are available on the Prius Prime. The S60 offers optional 19-inch wheels.

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 Prius Prime; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S60’s wheelbase is 6.8 inches longer than on the Prius Prime (113.1 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the S60 is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 2.4 inches wider in the rear than on the Prius Prime.

The S60 R-Design AWD handles at .94 G’s, while the Prius Prime Limited pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The S60 Polestar executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 3.1 seconds quicker than the Prius Prime XLE (25.4 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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The S60 has 4.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Prius Prime (96 vs. 91.5).

The S60 has 1.6 inches more front hip room, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.8 inches more rear legroom, 1.8 inches more rear hip room and 1.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Prius Prime.

Cargo Capacity

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Pressing a switch automatically lowers the S60’s optional rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Prius Prime 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 Prius Prime’s hatchback body style, non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the S60. The Prius Prime doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

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 Prius Prime doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Servicing Ease

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The S60 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Prius Prime 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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When three different drivers share the S60, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver and front passenger’s seat positions and outside mirror angle. The Prius Prime doesn’t offer a memory system.

The S60’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Prius Prime’s parking brake has to released manually.

The power windows standard on both the S60 and the Prius Prime 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 Prius Prime prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 Prius Prime LE/XLE’s 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 Prius Prime 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 Prius Prime’s headlights are rated “Acceptable.”

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 Prius Prime doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The S60 has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Prius Prime has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the XLE/Limited.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the S60 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Prius Prime 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.

When the S60 is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Prius Prime’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

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 Prius Prime offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the S60 and the Prius Prime offer available 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 Prius Prime.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the S60 Inscription keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Prius Prime doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 Prius Prime.

The S60’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Prius Prime doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the S60 and the Prius Prime 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 Prius Prime doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the S60 is less expensive to operate than the Prius Prime because typical repairs cost much less on the S60 than the Prius Prime, including $215 less for a water pump, $125 less for front struts, $823 less for a timing belt/chain and $136 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 2020/10/22

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 Prius Prime isn’t in the top three.

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