Our Volvo S60 T5 just arrived for a year- long test drive. Although tradition maintains it should be treated as a safe four-door family sedan, the reality is the S60 also competes in the performance car arena. Delivered to us with less than 100 miles on the odometer, it packs a 2.5-liter, turbocharged five-cylinder engine capable of 250 horsepower and 266 pound feet of torque.
Fresh off a complete redesign, this generation of the S60 is more refined than its predecessor, with increased features and performance enhancements to make it a true competitor among the other sporty sedans in its class.
So far, after our first two hundred miles, the initial drives are impressive. We did however; suffer a slight setback during a time when the heat in the Washington, D.C. area reached a record 100 degrees in June. The air-conditioning was not flowing from the front vents and our S60 made its first trip to the dealer’s service department.
Hopefully, this isn’t a sign of things to come.
The redesigned S60 is a little larger and sportier than the previous generation of the car. Our T5 comes with front wheel drive, while the all-wheel drive T6, which has a turbocharged inline-six, boasts 300 horsepower. Both come standard with a six-speed automatic transmission. The exterior look of the new S60 exemplifies Scandinavian design, with sharp and curvy body lines, nicely matched by its brilliant gold exterior color. This is a Volvo that stands out among the crowd. The black interior is a perfect contrast to the graphite interior inlays.
Our S60 T5 features sport seats with eight-way power adjustments for the driver and four-way for the passenger. Safety features include five three-point safety belts with height adjustment, force limiters on the front belts and pretensioners on all five.
The Volvo is reinforced both for sporty driving and safety with unibody construction, high strength steel, and a passenger safety cage. While we don’t plan on testing its crash safety, it’s good to know the Volvo whiplash protection system provides an added safety feature for both the driver and front passenger.
Our S60 T5 came equipped with a high performance multimedia audio system with a complimentary six-month subscription to Sirius Satellite radio. A 4x40 watt amplifier with eight speakers, an in-dash single CD and DVD player with WMA, MP3, HD Radio, USB, and auxiliary audio inputs.
Although S60 pricing starts at an MSRP of $30,975, our long-term S60 is retailed at $34,795. Our options include the Dynamic and Sports Appearance packages, which got us 18-inch wheels and all-season tires, speed sensitive steering with driver settings, and a metallic paint job. The sticker says we can count on 20 MPG in the city and 30 on the highway, depending on the way it’s driven. Stay tuned for more; we’re going to spend an entire year reporting on how this newest Volvo sedan performs.