VOLVO S60 T6 REVIEW
Vehicle Style: Prestige Sedan
On test fuel efficiency: 11.9 l/100km
The 2011 S60 is arguably Volvo's most polished product ever and, if you can put your badge snobbery aside, makes a fine alternative to the C-Class, 3 Series and A4.
In T6 guise, the S60 also delivers exceptional power and an excellent driving experience.
- Quality: It's difficult to find fault with the S60's interior. Everything feels durable and solid, and the leather upholstery is soft and supple.
Our only complaint lies with the button-heavy centre stack, and the un-intuitive interface for the on-board multimedia sat-nav system.
- Comfort: The electrically adjustable front seats offer good comfort, and the steering wheel adjusts for reach and rake.
The back seat might not be quite wide enough for three adults, but there's plenty of legroom for the outboard passengers. Headroom, however, is limited by the sloping roofline.
- Equipment: As standard, the S60 T6 gets rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone climate control, parking sensors, xenon headlamps, power folding wing mirrors, a trip computer, a premium sound system with USB/auxiliary inputs, cruise control, Bluetooth phone integration, 18-inch alloy wheels and a boot spoiler.
Our test car was also equipped with the optional Teknik Pack ($4500), which adds a rear view camera, active bending lights, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection and a collision warning and auto-brake system.
- Storage: Boot volume measures in at 380 litres, with the 60/40 split rear seatbacks folding down to free up even more cargo room. A retractable cargo barrier helps keep smallish items in place when the boot is mostly empty.
ON THE ROAD
- Driveability: With 224kW to call on, and 440Nm of torque, the T6 never lacks grunt no matter what part of the rev range it's in and the tractable powertrain provides neck-straining acceleration (0-100km/h in a claimed 6.1 seconds). It also comes with the security of all-wheel-drive grip.
The six-speed ‘adaptive geartronic’ automatic transmission has a good spread of ratios, and is intelligent enough to hold gears longer when the accelerator is mashed.
The tiptronic mode is handy should you want manual control, but in our opinion it works best when left to its own devices.
- Refinement: The T6 is serene inside. A silky-smooth powertrain helps keep the cabin peaceful, and there's little intrusion from tyre noise. We did notice a slight whistle from the left wing mirror, but it wasn't intrusive.
- Suspension: The suspension tune is a touch firm, but not uncomfortable. Grip is excellent, but while the steering is light and responsive it lacks a little feedback.
- Braking: The big brakes perform well, with good feel from the pedal.
- ANCAP Rating: Not yet tested.
- Safety features: In addition to Volvo's City Safety system, the S60 is equipped with six airbags, anti-whiplash front seats, ABS, EBD, brake assist, traction control and stability control.
Our car also had the optional blind spot warning system and adaptive cruise control.
WARRANTY AND SERVICING
- Warranty: 3 years/unlimited kilometres
- Service costs: Service intervals are set for every 15,000km/12 months. Service costs are not provided by Volvo Australia. Before purchase, check with your Volvo dealer.
HOW IT COMPARES | VALUE FOR MONEY
- Mercedes-Benz C300 sedan ($90,850) – Considerably more expensive, the C300's V6 can't hold a candle to the Volvo's turbo six, and the Benz's interior is smaller. (see C-Class reviews)
- BMW 335i sedan ($110,900) – BMW's 335i has a superb turbo-charged inline six and an outstanding chassis, but the back seat is cramped in comparison to the S60. The price of entry is also very hefty indeed. (see 3 Series reviews)
- Audi A4 3.2 quattro ($91,000) – The A4's V6 has solid numbers, and, like the S60 T6, it takes power to all four wheels but is also much, much more expensive than the Volvo.
Note: all prices are Manufacturer’s List Price and do not include dealer delivery or on-road costs.
TMR VERDICT | OVERALL
As a prestige medium sedan Volvo’s S60 T6 offers everything: power, comfort, refinement and good driving dynamics - and at a reasonable price.
In fact the only thing it lacks is the brand cachet of its competitors, but that doesn't mean the S60 T6 falls short. If anything, the opposite is true. It gets a big tick from us.