Volvo, that mainstay of Scandinavian safety and quality may now be owned by the Chinese. But nothing has changed…just yet! To make sure we jumped in a D4 S60. This is the newly revised D4 engine, the one we sampled briefly earlier in the year.
It puts out 178 BHP and 400 Nm of torque from a 2.0 litre twin turbo diesel engine. 0-60 is a rather respectable 6.9 seconds, with a top speed of 143 MPH. No slouch!
Our car was in the top spec ‘R Design Nav’ trim loaded with nearly £8k of extras, most notably the driver support pack at £1,900 and the winter illumination pack at £1,500. All together our S60 came in at a rather pricey £38,795.
We have always loved the look of the S60, sleek, modern and muscular. R-Design adds sportier front and rear bumpers, larger alloys and silver mirror caps. You also get a rather smart fixed rear spoiler on the boot, it looks very sporty – as do all the R Design models.
The new D4 engine has had parts of its internals tested in BTCC cars, friction has been reduced, and efficiency increased in almost every other aspect of the engine, it’s also made in Sweden.
All of these tweaks make the new D4 expel only 99g of CO2 per kilometre, pretty astounding for a car that has 178 BHP, oh it also means you don’t have to pay any road tax.
Performance is excellent, plenty of power on tap with bucket loads of torque. Plant your right foot at any speed and the S60 picks up pace quickly, the only thing you will notice is the frequent gear changes due to the rather thin power band.
Steering is pretty disconnected in sensation, you can change the weighting through the S60’s settings but for us it was either ultra-heavy, or just heavy, even when set to normal.
Show the S60 some B roads and you soon find that it’s just a little bit wallowy through the corners, this is where that Mondeo chassis and suspension rears its head. Ride is otherwise excellent and over a 5 hour round trip to Goodwood we felt suitably fresh stepping out after such a long drive.
Inside the S60 is all very Volvo, solid build quality and great looking plastics. The centre console is slightly angled toward the driver, allowing easy reach to all the buttons. It still retains that rather old fash looking dial pad, but the sleek silver trim is very smart.
A black headlining makes you feel cocooned and secure, especially when being cosseted by the ultra-comfy black leather seats.
All of the infotainment and speedo screens are modern and well laid out. There is a plethora of settings that can be adjusted on the S60, from driver support systems to the ambient lighting. You can really personalise almost every way the Volvo drives, sounds or looks.
One of the great optional extras fitted was the radar guided cruise control, it makes driving on the motorway effortless. Stick it in 6th gear, set your maximum speed and steer. Braking and acceleration are all looked after by the S60. If someone pulls in front of you the car slows to maintain the pre-determined gap you set.
Rear seat legroom is good, as is headroom. Four adults could easily travel in comfort over long distances. Those rear seats also fold down flat if the slightly smaller than average 339 litre boot isn’t big enough.
One gripe we have though is the MPG, over a long distance journey and a few short trips in town we had clocked up nearly 400 miles, yet we only managed 46.6 MPG. Volvo claim Urban MPG as 65.7 whilst combined is 74.3. We couldn’t get anywhere near these figures over real world driving, and this shows that whilst you can have that performance your MPG will be severely dented.
Volvo show that once again they can stand toe to toe with the big boys in the premium sector. The S60 looks far better than its uber common rivals, and it has build quality that matches, if not surpasses its competition.
If you are after an S60 and want it for long motorway munching commutes then go for the automatic, the frequent gear changes that you have to make in the manual can get tiring. As for trim level the basic ‘Business Edition’ is well kitted out but SE Lux adds the niceties such as the LCD speedo and the upgraded stereo system.
You can bag yourself an automatic S60 D4 in SE Lux trim for £32,395, perfect!
Volvo S60 – Best looker in class, poor MPG, no road tax!
Owner / Editor of Carwitter – French car fiend, hot hatch lover. Follow @car_witter