When compared to a BMW 330d, this is an S60 too far

What is it?

This is about as far as Volvo thinks it can push its latest compact executive car, the S60. A model that starts at a whisker over £23k ends up here with the T6 AWD Geartronic Premium, at almost £36k (or £37k if you go the whole hog and have this tech spec in Luxury trim). It’s safe to assume that this will not be the volume seller in the range.

For this kind of money you get the uprated version of the firm’s turbocharged straight-six petrol engine, capable of producing 300bhp and 324lb ft. This is transferred to the road via a six-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive.

What’s it like?

In theory, that means this is the ‘hot’ S60. In practice, however, it’s a swift, soothing saloon that likes a drop of unleaded (28.5mpg claimed, 24mpg in real-world driving) – and nothing more than that.

The S60’s key strengths – its fine cabin, comfortable seats and compliant ride – remain. And the six-pot lump has decent low-down torque and is happy to fade into the background at motorway speeds.

Just don’t see the ‘T6’ badge on the bootlid and assume that this car is in any way an S60 R, because the overall focus of this Volvo is still on comfort.

The S60’s steering is accurate and nicely weighted once you’re away from the straight ahead, but there’s next to no feel.

Should I buy it?

The S60 remains an impressive package, and certainly Volvo’s best car for years. But this flagship petrol version’s problem is that it doesn’t offer scintillating performance or a lot of metal for the money.

When you consider that a BMW 330d oil-burner is a grand cheaper – and that it’ll be less expensive to run – you may well conclude that this is, in fact, an S60 too far. I have.

Volvo S60 3.0 T6 AWD SE Geartronic Premium

Price: £35,695; Top speed: 155mph; 0-62mph: 6.2sec; Economy: 28.5mpg (combined); CO2: 231g/km; Engine: 6 cyls in line, 2953cc, turbocharged petrol; Power: 300bhp; Torque: 324lb ft; Gearbox: 6-spd automatic


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jerry99 4 September 2010

Re: Volvo S60 T6 AWD

Not so many years ago Volvo were talking about letting buyers specify there own cars.

They suggested someone who wanted a powerful engine without 4WD, sports suspension and not much else would get that at a lowish price whilst another who wanted a middling engine with lots of leather, a fancy ICE system and all the gadgets could have that for more money.

I assume that the Volvo realised that this would not give them the same profit margin and gave it up? .

julianphillips 1 September 2010

Re: Volvo S60 T6 AWD

I wonder if the DrivE has exactly the same suspension/stiffness settings as the R-Design? For example, mine has a nice looking but totally unnecessary strut brace under the bonnet.

Dan McNeil v2 1 September 2010

Re: Volvo S60 T6 AWD

julianphillips wrote:
Dan McNeil v2 wrote:
my current (soon to be handed back) C30 has the lowered suspension and 17" alloys
This would probably be the same spec as my V50. I thought that perhaps the crashing ride of my car vs yours might be down to excess weight of the estate, but according to Autocar the V50 2.0D sport tested in 2006 weighs 1404kg whilst the C30 2.0D also tested in 2006 weighs 1425kg. Surely the C30 isn't heavier than the V50?!?
Ah...mine's the 1.6 DrivE in SE Lux spec, with 17" alloys. Official kerbweight for this model is 1356 kg. I tried a C30 2.0 D R Design (lowered by same amount as DrivE) with 18" wheels over a few hundred miles, and the ride was terrible. I suspect the weight you quote for the C30 2.0 D is correct, which makes me think my 1.6 D is better balanced front to rear. It certainly felt a lot different to the 2 litre diesel, and not really any slower at higher speeds. The 15-20 mpg difference in average consumption clinched it;)