2012 Volvo S60 T5 Review and Road Test | CarShowroom.com.au

6 Jul 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2012 Volvo S60 T5 Review and Road Test | CarShowroom.com.au

2012 Volvo S60 T5 Review and Road Test

Volvo S60 Overview

The 2.0-litre turbocharged T5 model was a recent addition to the Volvo S60 line-up – it was not available when the first drove the new S60 at its launch in Tasmania last year. In many ways the turbocharged, direct injection 2.0-litre variant, the S60’s is actually the star of the S60 line-up.

Sized between Volvo’s S40 and S80 models, for us the S60 T5 is just right a nicely packaged, high quality European four-door sedan with more interior space than its predecessor and very handy performance enthusiasts will appreciate.

Why should mid-size European buyers look at the Volvo S60? Well apart from its sporty driving dynamics, the Volvo S60’s stylish ‘Scandinavian-ness’ stands out from the crowd the coupe-style looks and beautifully crafted interior are very contemporary and different from the Germans.

Volvo S60 Engine

Volvo S60 The Interior

And unlike some in this segment, the Volvo S60 delivers enthusiast drivers a seat-of-the-pants feel they demand, but usually only get in high performance vehicles. That means not only supportive seats but also the relationship between pedals and steering wheel which is conducive to sporty driving.

And the Car Showroom juniors were comfortable in the back (extra knee room in the current Volvo S60 addressed criticism of the previous model’s crowded rear seat).

Volvo S60 Exterior Styling

Volvo S60 On The Road

While up-scale Volvo S60 models employ all-wheel-drive and a six-speed automatic, the T5 models are front wheel drive via a six-speed sequential auto. Blend that with the turbocharged, direct injection, 177kW/320Nm 2.0-litre and Volvo’s slick chassis dynamics and the result is sporty sedan enthusiast drivers will enjoy.

Volvo S60’s chassis is similar to the S80, V70, XC70 and XC60, but tuned for a sporty dynamic. During development, Volvo benchmarked the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 and actually undertook on-road testing on windy British B-roads with Scottish touring car racer John Cleland calling the shots.

Corner Traction Control a development of the Dynamic Stability and Traction Control – uses torque vectoring to brake the inside front wheel under power for reduced understeer and improved precision. Compared to the previous S60, Volvo firmed-up the dampers and bushes and sharpened the steering ratio by 10 per cent (and fitted a smaller, sportier steering wheel) for an overall dynamic which is much more akin to sporty driving.

The result, over our high-speed mountain roads loop, was right up there with the BMW and Audi duo. Our Volvo S60 was balanced, turned-in nicely, wasn’t overly perturbed by mid-corner bumps and responded nicely under full acceleration.

Back in the city, the Volvo S60 was a handy performer light, easy to drive and of course with abundant acceleration for freeway merging. In our tight CBD car park, the 11.9-metre turning circle was not the smallest we have tested but good all-round visibility assisted parking.

Volvo S60 Challenges

For the Volvo S60 T5, a reversing camera remains a $795 option while even Mitsubishi now includes this undoubted safety feature as standard form across a raft of its models.

Volvo S60 Verdict

Back when we first drove the Volvo S 60 we said this vehicle could be a game changer for the Swedish marque. History and our automotive media colleagues now agree with our view.

The recent addition of the 1.6-litre turbocharged T4 model, priced at $48,990, is a smart move by Volvo to broaden the S60s appeal. However the 2.0-litre turbocharged T5 as tested – stickered at $51,950 – is still remarkably good value when shopped against rival European sedans.

And of course you can#039;t overlook Volvo#039;s commitment to road safety and – despite the reversing camera still being an option – the massive list of standard safety features included in the S60.

But best of all the Volvo S60 just looks so darn good on the road and that#039;s not a claim you can make about some Volvos of yesteryear.

Volvo S60 The Competition

In considering the rival Europeans you must take into account the $51,950 Volvo S60 T5’s 177kW/320Nm, 2.0-litre engine to get a true value comparison.

Audi’s A4 starts at $52,100, but that buys you a 118kW/250Nm, 1.8-litre powerplant. To get close to the Volvo#039;s output you are looking at a 2.0-litre turbocharged A4 (155kW/350Nm) which starts at $69,300.

It#039;s a similar story with sister brand Volkswagen with the 118kW/250Nm Passat competitively priced at $38,990, while the $55,990 V6-powered Passat Highline actually leapfrogs the Volvo S60 in both price and output with 220kW/350Nm.

For the BMW 3 Series you#039;ll need $71,900 for the 325i with its 160kW/250Nm, 2.5-litre, six-cylinder engine (starting price $56,100 for the 115kW/200Nm 320i).

Mercedes-Benz C-Class starts at $58,940 (135kW/270NmC200) while the 150kW/310Nm C250 starts at $65,900.

Looking excellent value compared to all is the Lexus IS 250 with its 2.5 L V6 (153 kW/252Nm) starting at $53,400.

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