Volvo has redefined the market demands through many of its models, but it is the S60 that stands out among the rest. Despite the S70 and V70 being released after as an upgrade, the S60 continued to retain its long-term practicality as a vehicle.
The latest S60 offers a several engines in its compact size. The 1.6-litre T3 petrol engine packs in 148bhp motor, while the 2.0-litre T5 goes at a stronger 237bhp. There’s also the 1.6-litre T4 at 177bhp or the 3.0-litre T6 at 300 bhp. Variety is also found within the S60’s different designs: there’s the R-design’s sportier look or any of the trim levels from ES, Lux, Lux Premium, Premium, SE, R-Design or the R-Design Premium. T6 versions of these models offer the all-wheel drive.
The Volvo S60 features an alternative look care of its designer, Orjan Sterner. Although a saloon, its profile appears as a coupe. This manages to work thanks to the pronounced shoulder line giving a more dynamic spin. Each element eases into each other: the shoulder line goes into car centre, but just before it rises over the wheel archs. The streamlined curves bring your attention to the wheels and their power. The coupe like line is accentuated by the rear’s C-pillars as they extend right. Then there’s the evolutionary engineering: its similarity to the Ford Mondeo or the BMW 3-series makes the S60 a serious contender. Overall, the S60’s latest design evolves from the previous design’s subtle, minimalist look and distinguishes itself from competitors.
The interior guarantees all around comfort. The broad space of the seats and adjustability of the front assures the driver of the best driving position. Even the steering wheel is adjustable, and has a smaller size that makes it ideal.
The driver will have no problem dealing with grip and will enjoy the crisp handling of the car. Body movement is controlled well, the suspension firm, and the steering reacting quickly for twisted roadways.
The interior is not without flaws: form is prioritized over function in a few aspects. Some of the rotary dials look too similar that you can confuse the ventilation and stereo controls for one another. Although the centre console doesn’t look off, its form doesn’t justify the lack of function. The electronic handbreak lever sports a surround that doesn’t have a specific purpose. And although the seats are quite comfortable, they lack that much needed lateral support.
On isolation, the S60 retains a quiet atmosphere but could still use some improvement when compared to its competitors. There’s still some wind noise heard at certain speeds. The manual gearshifts keep things unclear, and the five-cylinder diesel engines tend to release boom noises when used with the automatic Geartronic gearbox.
In terms of engine performance, the petrols are overshadowed by the diesels. The T6 is just a little faster next to the T5. The gearlever, although offering a smooth and light shift, does not provide fast enough maneouvres due to a lengthy throw.
Nonetheless, the S60 assures passenger safety with its Brake Assist. Hydraulic pressure allows for a counter fade that makes the driver unaware of the straining brakes. As a result, the pedal continues to be consistent and automatic braking can occur in case of an accident.
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