What is it?

The original S60 T6 AWD we drove back in 2010 was a car of two halves. The smooth ride, uncompromising interior quality and comfortable seating gave this saloon a major thumbs up, but the lack of performance and overall metal for the price was a definite sore point.

Volvo has at least tried to rectify one of those problems by offering customers a Polestar ECU upgrade. At £660 it’s not cheap, but Volvo says tinkering with the car’s internal software can increase horsepower from 304hp to 325hp and boost torque to 355lb ft. 

What is it like?

Has it worked? In a word, no. There’s certainly more power from the 3.0-litre six and more boost from the turbo but the whole car is still hampered by the gearbox. 

Problems from the original model aren’t addressed either: the steering still has very little feeling from the road and the low-speed ride is too firm.

There are good points, however, and as you’d expect from Volvo comfort is paramount. Fully adjustable leather seats and a multi-function steering wheel make the T6 a relaxing drive. Passengers enjoy excellent rear legroom, too, and the interior quality is unparalleled. 

The upgrade doesn’t affect emissions either, and on our test run we still averaged 27mpg.

For those moments when you want to make full use of the extra performance the gearbox can be neutered, too, and the sequential manual option is perfect for such an occasion.

Should I buy one?

Unfortunately, the T6 still feels out of place in the sporty saloon market and thanks to the Polestar upgrade the price falls well over the £40,000 mark. Considering that rivals such as the BMW 330d cost considerably less, and can offer roughly the same performance, I believe our original verdict remains valid. This is simply an S60 too far.  

Darren Moss

Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design

Price £40,250; 0-62mph sub-6.0sec; Top speed 155mph; Economy 28.5mpg; (combined); CO2 231g/km; Kerb weight 1684kg; Engine 6 cyls in line, 2953cc, turbo, petrol; Power 325hp at 5400rpm; Torque 355lb ft at 3000-3600rpm; Gearbox 6-spd auto

Join the debate

Comments
13

Going the Saab's way

1 year 45 weeks ago

Volvo has a traditional buyer base but it does not seem to be gaining many new customers. Unless you drive in the harshest of cold icy conditions the offerings from the competition beat Volvos in price, efficiency, looks and running costs. Unless the bosses do something revolutionary Volvo may be going the Dodo's way.

Not so sure about that

1 year 45 weeks ago

Post Chinese takeover Volvo has given us the V40 . The best Volvo in years in my opinion . What may be a weak point is their borrowed engine range from Ford and Peugeot .

Hopefully newer models will address these issues

 

Going the Saab's way  1 hour

1 year 45 weeks ago

Going the Saab's way

1 hour 15 min ago

Volvo has a traditional buyer base but it does not seem to be gaining many new customers. Unless you drive in the harshest of cold icy conditions the offerings from the competition beat Volvos in price, efficiency, looks and running costs. Unless the bosses do something revolutionary Volvo may be going the Dodo's way.

I dont want to seem bias (im a Volvo driver myself) but I reakon they have a pretty strong line up at present.  Volvo hold some of the lowest c02 figures in the class, i think the V40 S60 and XC60 look pretty stunning compared to its nearest rivals. I cant see them going bust any time soon now Geely owns them. There business rates are very competitive and the S80 keeps getting the Virgin VIP contracts. Smile

Not dead just yet!

1 year 44 weeks ago

The running costs of my Volvo are rather good, and some of us do prefer the styling (especially over BMWs).

The V40 vs A-Class test by AE results in the Volvo coming out on top.

Not dead just yet!

Why compare a

1 year 44 weeks ago

Straight 6 petrol engined AWD Volvo with a straight 6 Diesel RWD BMW, surely the comparison is the less powerful 335i which is a lot more expensive when equipped to the same level, and parked up in the winter...The BMW may well be the better car, I do not for one minute doubt that, however, you might as well be driving a 316D, no one will notice, and there lies the problem, the 3 series is a victim of its own success and is far too popular to be noticed, the S60 on the other hand, (especially in Rebel Blue, sorry Jaguar, Volvo got there first), and as stated its just as well built,  but more comfortable, who cares if it is slower round a track, Volvo owners dont..

Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design

1 year 44 weeks ago

" Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design Polestar ". Quite a mouthful. Whatever happened to short and sweet ?

www.KOOOLcr.com

 

Polestar diesel makes more sense?

1 year 44 weeks ago

Pay the £600 for the Polestar upgrade on the D5 and it begins to make more sense. Ups power to 230bhp, big gain on torques, tho emissions stay at 119CO2s plus 60+mpg. 

 

Come on Autocar, who really buys big petrol turbos these days, report on what we really drive please!

This is Autocar, where

1 year 44 weeks ago

This is Autocar, where certain brands are never given good reviews.

Take the V40 for example.  Every other magazine has placed it near the top, including Auto Express.  This is what exposes Autocar as the second rate magazine it has become.  Aside from interesting articles from Mr Holloway, this publication holds zero credibility anymore.

Volvophile wrote: This is

1 year 44 weeks ago

Volvophile wrote:

This is Autocar, where certain brands are never given good reviews.

Take the V40 for example.  Every other magazine has placed it near the top, including Auto Express.  This is what exposes Autocar as the second rate magazine it has become.  Aside from interesting articles from Mr Holloway, this publication holds zero credibility anymore.

...and yet you keep coming on their website. :/

I do like this car and I'm impressed with the current Volvo line up. It's a shame that its D5 engine has proven to be very unreliable from my experience from the workplace. I'd love a 5-pot petrol but cannot afford the fuel bills! 

www.thecarexpert.co.uk/forums

Well, I am one of Volvo's new

1 year 44 weeks ago

Well, I am one of Volvo's new customers (and probably from a target demographic).  I'm currently an Audi S3 Sportback driver, but have been forced into a company car.

As others have mentioned, the real star of the S/V60 range is the five-pot 2.4 twin turbo diesel D5, which comes with 119/120g Co2 depending on manual variant.  I think a car like this is a real sweet spot for Volvo: distinctive, different and occupying a niche somewhere between a 325d and 330d. 

Frankly, there's nothing else out there that I can see with higher performance for lower Co2 than a D5, but the rest of the engine line up looks good too.  As a company car user, that has a massive impact. 

The whole Volvo range looks very strong at the moment - perhaps more the fruits of past Ford ties than Geely collaboration, but strong nonetheless. 

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