From £20,520
Avoid the R-Design’s firm ride, but otherwise the DRIVe is the pick of the S60 range

Our Verdict

Volvo S60
The Volvo S60 is offered with an impressive new D4 diesel engine

An all-new diesel engine aims to give the S60 saloon class-leading stats

What is it?

This is the latest addition to Volvo’s eco line-up, the Volvo S60 DRIVe. Already established as an accomplished if less rounded competitor in the compact exec class, the S60 has been fitted with the company’s 1.6-litre turbodiesel motor in order to achieve headline figures of 65.7mpg and 114g/km, upping its company car ratings and its appeal to those simply wanting a more frugal Volvo.

What’s it like?

Essentially it’s just like most of the S60 models, only more frugal and more competitively priced, too. As we found out, it has the ability to do well over 800 miles to its brimmed 67.5-litre tank in real-world driving, and close to 1000 miles if economy motorway driving appeals. The diesel engine is one of the best small-capacity diesel engines you can get in this class, rivaling BMW’s 318d for refinement, and bettering its emissions (even if it falls short of the more expensive 320d ED).

The six-speed gearbox that comes as standard on DRIVe models has well-judged ratios that allow you to make the most of the available torque, making it a more responsive and relaxing drive than some rivals. Our test car came in R-Design trim, which gets stiffer anti-roll bars and springs than standard DRIVe models, which ride on the same suspension as the rest of the non R-Design S60 range. Though R-Design comes with good equipment levels and appealing styling tweaks, we’d recommend avoiding it due to the bouncy, occasionally thumping ride quality that you get at higher speeds even on some of the poorer motorway surfaces. On UK roads it certainly feels overly firm for a car that has its strengths in economy and refinement rather than driver reward.

Should I buy one?

There is no doubting that the BMW 3-Series is more enjoyable, but there’s still a lot to like about the S60 DRIVe. The strong powertrain means that it’s a pleasant drive and it isn’t compromised in the name of economy, it’s competitively priced and it looks sharp and modern on the inside and outside. It’s a happy medium between equipment levels, list price and running costs for both private and company car buyers. There are less high-end vehicles that will do the same job for less, but opt for the S60 DRIVe SE and you’ll be getting one of the most capable premium eco-saloons out there.

Volvo S60 DRIVe R-Design

Price: £26,100; Top speed: 121mph; 0-62mph: 10.9sec; Economy: 65.7mpg; Co2: 114g/km; Kerbweight: 1499kg; Engine type: 4cyl 1560cc turbodiesel; Power: 113bhp at 3600rpm; Torque: 199lb ft at 1750-2500rpm; Gearbox: 6spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
12

5 April 2011

A quick poke around Autotrader proves how vain most people are - despite in almost every model the R-design introduces compromises a sane person would avoid, it's been an incredibly successful trim level for Volvo - everyone wants big alloys, stupid suspension and spoilers it seems.

The R-design costs £2500 more than the ES, or £500 more than the SE. That makes the S60 DrivE about £23.5k. With the current discounts available that would be somewhere around £19.5k - not bad I'd say!

I'd take this over a 3 series, A4 or maybe even a c-class. I know I'm a bit weird, but I think this is a good looker and is different to the usual.

5 April 2011

[quote theonlydt]I'd take this over a 3 series, A4 or maybe even a c-class. I know I'm a bit weird, but I think this is a good looker and is different to the usual.[/quote] I thought I was the only one.

5 April 2011

[quote Autocar]

What is it?


This is the latest addition to Volvo’s eco line-up, the Volvo S60 DRIVe. Already established as an accomplished if less rounded competitor in the compact exec class, the S60 has been fitted with the company’s 1.6-litre turbodiesel motor in order to achieve headline figures of 65.7mpg and 114g/km, upping its company car ratings and its appeal to those simply wanting a more frugal Volvo.


What’s it like?


Essentially it’s just like most of the S60 models, ...Read the full article

[/quote] two exhausts and a diffuser for 113bhp, who are Volvo trying to kid?

6 April 2011

Seems like a very odd combination to me: basic diesel engine and top of the line sports trim with rock hard suspension!

6 April 2011

[quote theonlydt]A quick poke around Autotrader proves how vain most people are - despite in almost every model the R-design introduces compromises a sane person would avoid, it's been an incredibly successful trim level for Volvo - everyone wants big alloys, stupid suspension and spoilers it seems.[/quote]

You hit the nail on the head when you said vanity, that is exactly why Volvo sell so many R-designs, Audi S lines and various other manufacturers sport models.

Despite the lack of a sporting link for any of these producers, it is still clear "Sport" / "Performance" / "R" models still invoke a thought of dynamism for both the car and driver - a must for any thrusting individual.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

6 April 2011

[quote theonlydt]I'd take this over a 3 series, A4 or maybe even a c-class. I know I'm a bit weird, but I think this is a good looker and is different to the usual.[/quote] I just can't help thinking "Corsa" when I see the front due to those lights. With a little bit of front end tweaking I think it'd be a very good looking car.

Off subject, but the Renault Wind however is an aberration. Saw a bunch of pre-registered ones at the weekend at the local dealer. Oh dear it's horrendous.

6 April 2011

I passed one of the demi estate version on the road the yesterday and I thought it looked fabulous in the metal, has a real impression of quality to it that you still just don't get with a Mondeo even when its fresh off the transporter. I know from experience Volvo can put together a car really well.

It deserves to do well, as the enlightened Kuato says in Total Recall... open your mindddd...open your minddddddd....

6 April 2011

[quote TegTypeR]You hit the nail on the head when you said vanity, that is exactly why Volvo sell so many R-designs, Audi S lines and various other manufacturers sport models[/quote] I suspect a lot of buyers don't actually want the `sporty' suspension, but they're persuaded by the salesman waving the `residual value' wand. It's always bothered me that some people spend tens of thousands on a new car and spec it with the next owner in mind rather than buying what they really want.

 

 

jer

6 April 2011

[quote theonlydt]how vain most people are [/quote]

A couple of weeks ago in a BMW dealer I said to the salesman whilst sitting in a M sport car that I purchased SE in preference to M Spec. For a second he looked at me uncomprehending as if I was joking or an alien.

Still I'd take the styling add ons, drop the suspension changes and why not the same style wheel an inch less circumference and a bit narrower?

I know it's clean but it would'nt pull the skin off a rice pudding so this one is not for me. I really do like the look of the petrol 240ps one tho'

6 April 2011

[quote jer]Still I'd take the styling add ons, drop the suspension changes and why not the same style wheel an inch less circumference and a bit narrower?[/quote] That makes a lot of sense.

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