Volvo certainly has a reputation for safety features in their automobiles, so when I was told I would have a new Volvo S60 T5 for a week-long test-drive, I was pleased. This would be an opportunity to really put this sedan through a lot of driving experiences. The plan was to find out if Volvo had the driving dynamics that would offer a consumer more than just a safety reputation to look over.
The test-drive vehicle was a Bright Silver Metallic color, 4-door mid-size sedan. It is classified as luxury sedan and most would consider it an entry-level vehicle into the luxury group of cars. It was outfitted with a long list of standard equipment and had two packages added on, for additional costs, of course. The Premier Package a moon-roof, leather seats, and a few other items. The Sport Package added sport seats, paddle shifters, a more dynamic chassis, and 18-inch Titania alloy wheels. The initial appearance was great.
Everyone knows that the Volvo is a Swedish vehicle and has a circle of popularity. That circle is not very large when measured against other car manufacturers. So, Volvo is attempting to increase their market share and sell more vehicles. The proven way to do that is to manufacturer terrific cars, add a lot of safety features, increase the performance level, bump up the mileage as much as possible, make the car look good, add on a lot of innovative technology, and a more fun driving experience. That might be considered too much to bite off at one time, but it appears that Volvo has accomplished their goal.
The ‘new’ S60 T5 was first introduced in 2012 with an optional All Wheel Drive feature at a media event in Utah. I was among the journalists invited to experience this new model and it has continued to win praise from critics as well as experienced automotive journalists. The S60 has long been the value leader of the Volvo brand and this is the fifth generation of the popular car. Offering the AWD feature is important and provides instant traction on roads, whether they are wet, dry, sandy, or otherwise slippery. My test-drive model did not have this feature, however.
The T5’s engine is the same basic 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder that was introduced in the 2012 model. Volvo engineers have increased the compression ratio and a reduction of internal friction that combine for faster gear changes and quicker acceleration. The 2.5-liter five-cylinder provides 250 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque.
The test-drive model was a joy to drive. It is comfortable and holds the road extremely well. It looks good and feels good when you are behind the wheel. It is EPA rated at 30 mpg highway and 24 mpg overall. For the week of my driving, I averaged 26 mpg which included a lot of back country roads and fewer highways. The MSRP was shown as $32,400, but with those extra packages, heated seats, special paint, and destination charges added on, the bottom sticker price came to $38,065.
A slight downside to the Volvo S60 is the long-time reliability factor. For many years, the Volvo S60 was considered one of those vehicles that would last for hundreds of thousands of miles. This new version uses a different engine and according to quite a few of our readers, they do not have the same reliability as the ‘old’ model S60’s.
You do not have to travel to Sweden to experience the wonder and enjoyment of this special luxury mid-size sedan. All those safety features are still there. In fact, the S60 T5 was the only European midsize luxury sedan to earn the IIHS Top Safety Pick. So, instead of dusting off your passport, visit a Volvo dealership in the U.S. and check out the S60 T5 yourself. I think you will be as pleased and surprised as I was with the ease of driving, comfort level, and simple enjoyment of driving.