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Best Bets get average or better mpg, have average or better reliability, good crash-test ratings, and our experts' recommendations.
By Jim Flammang
September 8, 2005
Vehicle Overview Volvo's S60 sedan slots between the company's entry-level S40 and top-of-the-line S80. Based on the S80's platform, the S60 bears a family resemblance but is shorter. An all-wheel-drive model is available.
A high-performance S60 R sedan that featured a Four-C adaptive chassis and a 300-horsepower engine debuted in 2004. (Skip to details on the:
For 2005, the T5's engine got an additional 10 hp, for a total of 257 hp. The T5 also gained a standard sport suspension and could be equipped with 17- or 18-inch wheels. Volvo's Four-C chassis became optional on all turbocharged models and standard on the R. Exterior freshening included body-colored moldings and a softened front nose.
The non-turbocharged 2.4 sedan will disappear in 2006, leaving the 2.5T model, the T5 and the R. Volvo has modified the S60's option selection, dropping such stand-alone items as the moonroof, leather seating surfaces and rear park assist. A new Instant Traction system is installed in 2.5T AWD models. Volvo says it instantly sends up to 50 percent more torque to the rear wheels when necessary.
Only the T5 can be equipped with the Four-C chassis and Sport Body Package as stand-alone options. The Touring Package for the 2.5T AWD is gone. A new Convenience Package includes rear park assist and laminated side windows. Volvo is owned by Ford Motor Co.
Exterior A curvy shape, far removed from past Volvos, gives the four-door S60 the look of a coupe. Styling elements include a low hood, sloping rear roof pillars, and short front and rear overhangs. Volvo's hallmark square grille is more compact in this installation and is flanked by aerodynamic headlights. The optional Sport Body Package adds color-coordinated front and rear spoilers and lower body side sills.
Interior Up to five occupants fit inside the S60. A split, folding rear seat expands cargo capacity beyond the trunk's 13.9 cubic feet. A center tunnel includes a storage bin and flexible cupholder. Second-generation seats "are designed around orthopedic principles," according to Volvo.
Standard equipment includes power windows, a CD player, a tilt/telescoping steering column and a remote keyless entry system. Leather upholstery is available.
Under the Hood All S60 inline-five-cylinder engines are now turbocharged. A 2.5-liter develops 208 hp in the 2.5T and 2.5T AWD. The T5's 257-hp turbocharged 2.4-liter drives a six-speed manual or an optional Geartronic five-speed-automatic transmission. Both 2.5T models come only with a five-speed automatic, but Geartronic operation is optional.
Safety Volvo's safety package for the S60 includes standard side-impact airbags and whiplash protection for front occupants, side curtain-type airbags that protect front and rear occupants, and antilock brakes. Dynamic Stability and Traction Control is standard on the T5 and R models and optional on 2.5T sedans.
Driving Impressions Superior construction tops the list of S60 attributes, followed by refinement. Turbocharged engines are quiet and produce eager and energetic performance, albeit modestly. Even though the S60 rides smoothly most of the time, its taut suspension lets quite a few road imperfections get through to occupants. Still, the driver feels in complete control.
The tires adhere smartly to the pavement. Confident steering demands some effort, so this isn't a car that can be driven lazily. Automatic-transmission response varies from smooth to a bit abrupt, depending on throttle position and road speed.�
S60 R Built for high-performance operation, the S60 R sedan holds a 300-hp, turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-five-cylinder that drives a six-speed-manual transmission. Features include a Four-C adaptive chassis, Servotronic steering, Brembo brakes and Haldex all-wheel drive. Three driving modes are available: Comfort, Sport and Advanced Sport.
For 2006, a six-speed-automatic transmission with Geartronic operation is optional. A Convenience Package replaces the prior Touring Package, and the new all-wheel-drive system features Instant Traction. Back to top
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