1 Jan 2001
By CHRIS HARRIS
The S60 embraced the qualities with which Volvo earned its reputation - safety, comfort, safety, practicality, safety and eco and family friendliness.
And it delivered on sexy good looks inside and out, with a comfortable and inviting cabin. But even a quick drive revealed this as no BMW threat.
The problem was the front-wheel drive P2-Platform Volvo’s overly light steering and at times hard ride.
The base 2.4’s 125kW/230Nm 2435cc five-cylinder engine was lightly turbocharged for the 147kW/245Nm 2.4T and strongly turbocharged for the scrabbling S60 T5, which pumped out 184kW/330Nm.
Gearbox choices are a five-speed Geartronic auto or a five-speed manual. Perhaps the best S60 is the AWD (All Wheel Drive), that uses a mildly turbocharged 147kW/285Nm version of the 2.4, driving the front or all wheels when traction is required via a Haldex clutch system.
Although uneven in its steering feel and ride/handling bias, the AWD is an improvement on the regular S60.
A mild re-specification and model reshuffle occurred in mid-’03 across the S60 range, with the 154kW/320Nm 2.4 turbo Activ replacing the S60 2.4T and T5, in preparation for the hard-edged S60 R slingshot – which features AWD, an active suspension system, luxury car cabin levels and a new 2.5-litre 2521cc 220kW/300Nm five-cylinder turbocharged engine tied to a five-speed automatic or, in the six-speed manual model, the same motor but mustering 50Nm more.