The Fastest Volvo Sedan and How It Stacks up to the Competition

The Volvo S60 T8 Polestar reigns supreme as the fastest-accelerating Volvo sedan on the market today. It makes 415 horsepower from its hybrid powertrain, and accelerates to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. Not bad for a carmaker always touting safety as its #1 priority. It starts at around $65,000, which is a fair price for a luxury car of the T8’s ilk, but can a consumer find better performance in the same class for the same money?

Acura RLX Sport Hybrid-SHAWD

Acura RLX on display in Utah
Acura RLX on display in Utah | Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Acura

When it was still around, the Acura RLX Sport Hybrid was e a contender for the fastest PHEV around the Volvo’s price range. The RLX started at $61,900 and made 377 horsepower. It could get to 60 mph between 4.9 and 5.4 seconds, depending on the tester and source. Around a racetrack the Acura might have a leg-up, as the Volvo is painted with heavy steering. 

In terms of safety, however, the Acura and Volvo are almost evenly matched. AcuraWatch, the suite of safety features included in most Acuras, has adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, lane keeping assist, and road departure mitigation. 

Mercedes-Benz E450 4MATIC

Mercedes-Benz E450 4MATIC parked next to the water.
Mercedes-Benz E450 4MATIC parked next to the water | Mercedes-Benz

Surprisingly, the Mercedes-Benz E450 makes the list. Though not as much of a PHEV as the Volvo, the Mercedes uses EQ Boost, which is a mild-hybrid system making 362 horsepower and starts at $62,000. Mercedes-Benz claims its 0-60 time sits comfortably at 4.9 seconds, though other sources cite 4.4 seconds. Official manufacturer numbers, however, still place the Volvo on top of the Mercedes. The next Mercedes in line that can match the Volvo is the E53 AMG, which starts at $73,900.

Volvo S90 Polestar

Volvo S90 on display in Brussels
Volvo S90 on display in Brussels | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

Ironically, the fiercest competition against Volvo is itself. The S90 T8 clocks in around the same price and lands its 60mph time within a second of the S60 T8. For its price point and performance, there’s no other PHEV that bests the S60 T8 in a straight drag race. Owners of the S60 T8 Polestar can rest easy, knowing they got the fastest PHEV for the money.

Volvos are almost unmatched when it comes to safety. All cars must pass a crash test to be sold for public street usage, but technology to improve safety is always advancing. For instance, the Volvo uses a Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), which will help steer the car out of the way of a car in its blind spot.

Non-hybrid cars are cheaper

Volvo S60 on display in Chicago
Volvo S60 on display in Chicago | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

If you’re after a performance hybrid, the S60 T8 is the way to go. However, if all you want is speed, then there are plenty of other cars to consider within the $60,000 range. The Kia Stinger, for instance, starts at $39,590 and gets to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. The Tesla Model 3 Performance, which of course is all electric and costs $51,190, gets to 60 mph more than a second faster than the Volvo at 3.1 seconds. Again, if you’re stuck on the idea of a PHEV, then the S60 T8 Polestar is the best option.

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