The latest S60 has been launched at the Geneva Motor in March 2010 and is a well shaped, sporting 4 door sedan with a coupe like styling, which – at least in our eyes – has succeeded admirably. The chassis is made for spirited driving, and is made to steal the hearts of many, who like to “feel” the road and want to know how and where they are going. We tested the car again with the impressively frugal 1.6 DRIVe Diesel engine, and find out for you how it all matches out.
Hans Knol ten Bensel
Beautiful inside and out
Sliding behind the very good looking three spoked wheel one is overwhelmed by the superb styling and quality of the used materials. The “floating” centre console remembers the C30, but the execution and the quality of the used materials is much better and the result is even more pleasing. Again we find excellent front seats in this Volvo, a discipline wherein the marque truly excels.
Also the ergonomics are well thought out in the S60, as in its bigger brethren. We also found ourselves at home with the big round dials for rev counter and speedometer. The gearlever lies nicely in your hand, and the other controls are too. The infotainment screen gives you all the necessary (music) and navigation information at your fingertips. The command pad on the centre console lets you be always in total control. The buttons are also intuitive to use, and every user finds him(her)self immediately at home in this Volvo.
We like also very much the clear and tout styling of the exterior, every angle of this car breathes the expertise and talent of its designers. The shape of the rear lights is a very well sculpted, and is a good artistic variation on the shapes we find on the other Volvo’s, cleverly establishing a family resemblance.
Frugal and willing
We do not have to comment very much any more about the 1.6 Diesel DRIVe engine we already met in the bigger S80. Again we were surprised by its outstanding pulling power, and its total absence of any harshness at motorway cruising speeds.
It is most in its element in the medium rev ranges, and its responsiveness to any throttle movements was very good in our test car. The unit develops 115 hp at 3600 rpm, and 270 Nm torque between 1750 and 2500 rpm. Again, the S60 is no sluggard with this engine. 0 to 100 is absolved in 10.9 seconds, and the top speed is an impressive 195 km.
We had no difficulties, in mixed town and country/motorway driving, to stay around 5 litres/100 km, and even below it. According to the factory, fuel consumption is 4,3 l/100 km (EU Combined), corresponding to CO2 emissions at 114 g/km.
Clings to the road.
Volvo’s can be (very) fast, and not only on straight roads. The car is wonderfully responsive in slow and fast bends, and has uncanny balance.
All this goes not at the expense of comfort: the suspension does not get harsh in any circumstance. Of course safety is always a priority with Volvo, and it is nice to know that now the Volvo S60 also features City Safety as standard. With City Safety, the car automatically brakes if the driver fails to react in time when the vehicle in front slows down or stops - or if he or she is driving too fast towards a stationary object.
The system can lessen or even entirely avoid low-speed rear-end impacts at speeds up to 30 kilometres per hour.
We noticed this when we were driving into our familiar parking lot with an automatically opening beam. We know it opens rather late when you approach it. But our Volvo was more cautious, and surprised us with a very energetic stop!
Of course Volvo ahs a host of other safety systems on the S60.
To name a few, Driver Alert Control is a unique technology to detect and alert tired and distracted drivers.
Blind Spot Information System helps detect vehicles in the offset rear blind spot on both sides of the car.
Lane Departure Warning alerts the driver if the car runs across the lane markers without the turn indicator being used.
To sum it up, the S60 pleases with a very pleasant interior, responsive road behaviour and above all good comfort, with good suspension and last but not least the truly armchair-like comfort of the (front)seats.
The good ergonomics, the timeless styling, the safety features, all this should inspire you to take this Volvo S60 into serious consideration…
Hans Knol ten Bensel
The S60 remains a true Volvo with its typical qualities: style, sportiness, comfort and safety...