So far in my life I've owned two Volvos and test driven many. My first taste of Volvo was in about 2003 when I bought for myself a second hand first generation S40. I still reckon it was one of the best cars I've ever owned. Sadly, my next encounter with Volvo was a 1999 Volvo S80. This was full of problems and it left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth.
In 2007 I began to regain trust for the manufacturer when I started receiving regular test drives from them. This week I'm looking at the Volvo S60. My test drive was a 1.6litre D2 version, and it reminds me of why I am fond of this brand.
Volvo’s mission for 2020 on safety is amazing and I really hope they make it. Their goal is that no new Volvo will be at fault for an accident from 2020. This is a noble goal. Instead of explaining all of the safety features that comes with Volvo, I'm going to give you a list of what's on offer with the S60 instead - if any particular feature stands out for you follow this link and you’ll find out all about it. http://www.volvocars.com/ie/all-cars/volvo-s60/specifications/Pages/features.aspx. Trust me, it's easier this way!! Here's the list:
City Safety, Driver Support Package, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Queue Assist, Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, Driver Alert Control (DAC), Lane Departure Warning (LDW),Lane Keeping Aid (LKA), Road Sign Information (RSI), Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) and Cross Traffic Alert (CTA), Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) with Advanced Stability Control (ASC), Corner Traction Control (CTC), Engine Drag Control (EDC) and Sport Mode, Anti-locking brakes with Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA) and Ready Alert Brakes (RAB), Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Active Bending Lights (ABL) with Dual Xenon Technology, Cornering Light, Active High Beam (AHB), Inner and outer rear view mirrors with Auto Dim, Side-marker lamps, Emergency Brake light (EBL), Water-repellent front side windows, Warning triangle, Reinforced passenger compartment, Energy-absorbing frontal structure, Side Impact Protection System (SIPS), Roll-Over Protection System (ROPS), Restraint technologies, Safety belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters, Dual-stage airbags, driver and front passenger, Passenger airbag cut-off switch, Side airbags, Inflatable Curtain (IC), Collapsible steering column, Pre-prepared restraints, Energy-absorbing interior, Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), Head restraints, Anti-submarining protection, Protection of unprotected road-users, Volvo On Call, First-aid kit, Passenger airbag cut-off switch, Power child safety lock, Alarm, Remote controlled panic alarm, Remote-controlled central locking system, Automatic door locking, Private Locking, Global locking and closing, Immobiliser and theft-protected locks, Personal Car Communicator (PCC), Volvo On Call, Approach and Home Safe lighting, Power retractable door mirrors with ground lighting, Laminated side door windows, and Lockable wheel bolts.
The S60 is a very attractive car that spells business to all passers-by. The lines stretching from the nose to the rear of the S60 ooze sophistication. Interior comfort is fantastic - even with minimum specification on the inside it still feels like you're sitting in a luxurious machine. Road noise is minimal, the seats are very comfortable and the dash is nicely laid out and easy to use. The model I was driving was basic enough in terms of infotainment but there is plenty available to bulk up the infotainment and the interior. Optional extras will obviously start adding to the cost, but some of them are worth a look.
The model I tested was the D2 version which features a 1.6 litre diesel engine. It offers 115 bhp and 270Nm of torque at 1750-2500rpm. This S60 will give you 0-100km/h in 10.9 seconds and a maximum speed of 195 km/h. Annual road tax for this particular S60 will set you back €190 at today’s motor tax rates. If it’s more oomph you’re looking for, and if you can afford pricing of up to over €45,000 there is options available including a D4 version offering 181hp or a D5 version giving up to 215bhp.
One of the nicest things about driving a car of this ilk is that you know that it will handle well. Some may find it boring, but when you have more safety equipment than you knew existed - you know that it's turning well and handling bumps as they come. Everything about the S60 is precise, and this becomes abundantly clear while driving.
The CBG.ie verdict
It’s hard not to like a car like this. I’m a fan of precise technology and driving.