S60 D5 SE Lux Geartronic
youre a dyed-in-the-wool
fan or youve
never considered one
like the stylish looks
certainly find Volvos
S60 a real eye-opener...
AS YOU CAN SEE FROM THE LOOKS, they're about as far from 'boxy'
as you can get and do far more than just hint at the S60's driveability.
The crouched, hunkered-down body has a stylistic edginess about it that keeps
your eye interested and coming back for more. And black becomes it
our Ember Black test car really did look well-groomed, its coupe-like tail and
sharply-raked C-pillars being particularly striking.
Comfort has long been a Volvo constant. Thankfully this is a core value that's
been retained and refined through successive models and generations. Open the
door and slide into one of the S60's welcoming leather seats the
driver's, preferably and you immediately feel that all's well
with the world. Shut the door; a gentle pull is all it takes and it latches
with satisfying mechanical integrity.
The cabin is a bespoke-looking piece of work, with high-grade trim and detailing;
a slim and graceful centre stack flows up to meet the uncluttered fascia below
the recessed 7-inch SatNav screen a marked step-up over the previous
'pop-up' navigation units.
from the column stalks, the core switchgear is sited on the centre stack where,
angled towards the driver, it's easily accessible. Sharply styled dials with
satin alloy bezels are illuminated with a soft white light that's easy on the
eyes, and many of the functions such as one-touch triple indicators, voice control
settings and navigation buttons (to name just a few) can be personalised.
cabin is a bespoke-
looking piece of work,
with high-grade trim and
detailing; the eye is
naturally drawn to
the slim and graceful
The steering wheel matches the centre stack for Swedish elegance and houses
remote buttons for the audio and a number of other key functions. The leather
rim is smooth and hard all the better to hold it
and adjusts for reach and rake. The power seat adjusts eight ways and has the
added benefit of three memory settings. The backrest features manually adjustable
lumbar support. All this is really fine-tuning as the basic seat is already
well shaped, well padded, supportive and immediately comfortable. Side bolstering
is also fine and adds a sporty bucket-seat edge while the leather upholstery
is soft and welcoming.
All drivers will definitely appreciate the fine view of the road ahead, framed
by slim A-pillars. And when you need to use the door mirrors, they give a good
view of what's going on behind the nearside one helpfully 'dips'
for a view of the kerb when parking. If you don't want it, it's easily turned
off. The three-stage seat heating is first rate, delivering an even wave of
heat all the way from mid-thigh to middle-back.
An electronic parking brake frees up space between the driver and front passenger
and a neatly-integrated centre front armrest makes good use of the extra room
without cramping the driver's left elbow. Applying and releasing the parking
brake is done using the button in the fascia to the right of the steering column.
And so long as you're belted up, it disengages automatically as you drive off.
The S60 is well-specced when it comes to life's little luxuries. Standard equipment
on the SE Lux includes cruise control, four one-shot up/down electric windows,
Bluetooth, USB audio input, rain-sensing wipers, City Safety, electronic climate
control, driver's information centre, multi-function steering wheel, auto-dimming
rear-view mirror, power-folding door mirrors (on demand and on locking and leaving),
high-performance sound system, rear parking sensors (you'll definitely be glad
of these!), 17-inch alloys, power driver's seat with memory, leather upholstery,
active bending headlamps that 'see around corners' and headlamp washers.
a change, travelling in the back is not the banishment forced on rear passengers
it is in many cars. Considering the sloping roofline, getting in and out of
the rear passenger compartment is not a problem and there's good headroom once
you're seated. Given the choice between travelling in the rear or the front
passenger slot, you'll be hard pushed to choose.
between travelling in
the back or the front passenger slot,
youll be hard pushed
The two outer rear chairs are as shapely and supportive as those in front, even
down to the anti-whiplash headrests. Outer armrests are wide, knee room is helped
by hollowed-out front seatbacks and there's room for parking your feet under
the front seats. Overall it's pleasantly airy and the views out are pretty good.
You can't do this in many of today's cars but in the S60 you can travel with
the windows down and not be blown to the Land of Oz.
Two adults in the back can share the nicely padded centre armrest with built-in
cupholders and enjoy that 'sitting in your favourite chair' feeling. If needed,
the front armrest can be flipped back 180 degrees to act as a handy tray serving
the rear pasengers. Outer armrests are padded and canted up at a relaxing angle.
Three can be accommodated better, though, if the third is a youngster
but even then adults using the outer seats will likely resent their cosy personal
space being invaded.
With four aboard there's room for 339 litres of luggage in the easily accessible
boot and for those occasions you need to carry more cargo and less passengers,
the 60:40 split rear seats can be folded. The front passenger seatback also
folds, should you need to transport longer items. No spare wheel but that's
no surprise these days; you do, of course, get a can of 'temporary repair' goo.
Storage space inside the cabin is pretty thorough with soft pockets on the front
seat squabs, big sturdy door pockets, twin dual-usage cupholders, a box under
the front armrest and a fair-sized glovebox.
The slim lozenge-shaped key slots into its own dock to the left of the steering
wheel. Once it's in, just press the Start-Stop button above it
the five-cylinder turbodiesel fires instantly, its mechanical soundtrack excluded
from the interior. The 2.4-litre D5 packs a manly punch of power
202bhp but the key to its driveability is the strong torque: 309lb
ft at a very exploitable 1,500-3,250rpm. Easy to see why nine out of ten S60s
on UK roads fill up at the diesel pump.
turbos help it zip to 62mph in 7.8 seconds (and on, where legal, to 143mph)
while emitting 166g/km of CO2. Another reason why nine out of ten S60 customers
'go derv' is the official 44.8mpg average consumption (60.1 for the extra-urban
cycle and 31mpg urban).
you plan to rack up
more miles than
the D5 will be just
week-long test average worked out to 37.1mpg despite a week driving in snow
and ice (see the picture gallery). Sitting in your plush seat with a full tank,
it's gratifying to check the range-to-empty readout 616 miles
when we first looked knowing you could better that cruising serenely
on a long motorway run. So if you plan to rack up more miles than 'Airmiles
Andy', the D5 will be just the job.
Given the purposeful looks you'd expect the S60 to be a dynamic handler. For
that you need a sympathetic drivetrain and the D5's good showing of low-down
and mid-range torque combined with the smooth-shifting six-speed Geartronic
auto 'box makes light work of cut-and-thrust city driving.
For country roads, more hands-on control and responsiveness is available by
using the manual mode. For the record, the winter mode setting proved its worth
in the snowy test conditions; pulling away cleanly in third. Not everybody loves
paddle-shifts on the steering wheel and in the S60 you don't get them anyway
nothing wrong with using the selector 'stick' (flick it to the
left side of the gate then nudge forwards for up-shifts and pull back for down)
and it feels more 'natural', in particular when driving at night.
All of which is good news when you want to step on the gas. While not an out-and-out
sports saloon, the front-wheel drive S60 is nevertheless a competent and predictable
handler. Body movements are well controlled, grip is strong and it always feels
firmly planted enough to partner you safely during those times
you want to press on across country, where it can be as quick as you demand
through corners. As Yogi Bear might say, it's sportier than the average Volvo.
Backing up the D5's reassuring character is a set of powerful brakes. Discs
front and rear (ventilated at the front) deliver smooth and progressive slowing
and stopping while the decently weighted steering is sharp enough to keep the
S60's real party trick, however, is in managing to ride so well while proving
that Volvos can be about much more than just safety. The ride is especially
composed; good over most surfaces and with none of that tedious and unwanted
feedback that's usually the penalty for 'alloying-up' executive cars
our test S60 was running on optional 18-inch alloys with 40-profile 'rubber
band' tyres but inside the cabin you'd never have guessed it from the peaceful
does exactly what it says.
If a pedestrian walks
into your path and you
dont react immediately,
the S60 will apply
the brakes for you with
is a Volvo so you just know it's going to be packed full of safety kit. And
it is. Aside from the full set of airbags and the upgraded standard-fit stability
and traction control, the S60 also comes with Volvo's City Safety anti-collision
handy 'app' helps avoid shunts at speeds below 19mph. Using a laser sensor,
it constantly scans the road ahead. If it calculates that the S60's driver is
in danger of running into the back of another vehicle it automatically brakes
Top billing, though, has to go to the Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake
system part of the optional Driver Support Pack that also includes
lane departure warning (alerts you if you stray out of a lane on the motorway
without the indicators being used), a blind spot warning system and adaptive
cruise control (keeps a set distance between you and the car in front; if they
slow, you automatically slow too in order to maintain that essential safety
gap). If you're not 'in the cruise' then there's always Distance Alert that
warns you if you get too close to the vehicle in front.
As the name implies, Pedestrian Detection does exactly what it says. So if a
pedestrian puts themself in harm's way by walking into your S60's path and you
don't react immediately to the audible alarm and red lights flashing in the
head-up display on the windscreen, then the system will act for you, automatically
applying the brakes with maximum force if you're travelling below
20mph, be very thankful: you'll stop in time to avoid an impact. Obviously,
at faster speeds the aim is to minimise any collateral damage.
The new S60 is undoubtedly the safest-ever Volvo. It's also the most dynamic
to drive and makes a great all-rounder and anyone seeking a realistic alternative
to the prestige German triumvirate should call in at their local Volvo showroom
Volvo S60 D5 SE Lux Geartronic | £32,130
Maximum speed: 143mph | 0-62mph: 7.8 seconds | Overall Test MPG:
Power: 202bhp | Torque: 309lb ft | CO2 166g/km