When the Volvo S60 rolled off the assembly lines in Belgium in 2000, auto-enthusiasts all over the world were very excited. It abandoning its traditional signature boxy style for a curvier, streamlined exterior design that melded the qualities of a luxury sedan with the confidence of a sport-tuned roadster. The Volvo S60 replaces the S70 sedan as Volvo’s midlevel model, sliding nicely in between its entry-level S40 and top-notch S80.
As a testament to its speed, agility, and compact size, the Volvo S60 quickly became a favorite of law enforcement across Europe but especially in the U.K. The S60 was easily altered with better suspension, disc brakes, alternators, peppier engines, and a stronger clutch. A larger battery was also installed since police issued vehicles will sometimes sit with just lights or radio on for extended lengths of time. In addition, the Volvo S60 maintained a consistent speed of 135 mph over a 24-hour period at the Millbrook Proving Ground vehicle testing center.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 2.4-liter five-cylinder, 2.3-liter five-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: Volvo S60 2.4, Volvo S60 2.4T, Volvo S60 T5
The 2001 Volvo S60 is completely new and serves as a replacement for the discontinued Volvo S70.
The 2001 Volvo S60 attempted to combine the sporty feel of the entry-level S40 with some of the more luxurious elements of the S80. The boxy styling of the S70 has been altered in favor of a sleeker looking exterior look. A low flung hood, shortened front end/rear overhang, and sloping back roof pillars give the curvy S60 sedan the look and styling of a coupe that stands out as a marked departure from the S70 it replaces. In fact, Volvo even refers to the S60 as a coupe with four doors. The trademark grille is also a bit more compact, flanked by aerodynamic headlamps while the vehicle is wider overall (71 inches), featuring a longer wheelbase (107 inches) and a lower height (56 inches). It also comes in 10 exterior colors including some unusual tones like Maya Gold and Platinum Green.
The 2001 Volvo S60’s top strength is in its roomy comfortable interior, and its ergonomically-designed center console/dashboard pitted with buttons and knobs that are large and easy to use. With plenty of cabin seating for five, it enjoys more leg, head, and shoulder room than the previous S70 model but falls a bit short when it comes to the available trunk space (a scant 14 cubic feet). Some of the on-board features include cruise control, power doors/mirrors, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, AM/FM stereo system (six or eight speakers) with a CD changer (T5 only), and an optional navigation system across the three trim levels.
Performance & Handling
The 2001 Volvo S60 features three distinct engine choices. The base 2.4 sedan comes with a 2.4-liter that’s good for 168 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque; the 2.4T sedan turbo ups the output, delivering 197 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque; while the top-notch T5’s 2.3-liter turbo gives drivers the biggest engine bang for their bucks at 247 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. As a truly athletic ride, it offers a zippy experience that’s equally reliable and confident.
The 2001 S60 is equipped with several safety features, which include dual-stage front airbags, side airbags, head-protection airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, front and rear height adjustable headrests with whiplash protection, and child seat anchors and rear door safety locks. Traction and stability control are options on all the trims except for the T5.
EPA Fuel Economy
Volvo S40, 2.4-liter: 19/25 mpg city/highway
Volvo S40, 2.4-liter turbo: 18/26 mpg city/highway
Volvo S40, 2.3-liter turbo: 18/26 mpg city/highway
- Lots of standard features
- Plenty of safety features
- Good fuel economy
- Powerful sport engine in the T5
You Won't Like
- Optional equipment can be pricy
An excellent marriage of a sleek luxury sedan with a quick-footed sporty roadster.
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