The Volvo S60 sedan does a nice job of combining elegant luxury and a sports sedan concept. While it won’t compete with the athleticism of a BMW or Lexus and isn’t quite as luxurious as a Mercedes-Benz, it does offer a lot in standard form as far as luxury goes and there is some performance to be had. Being a Volvo it comes with an extensive list of safety gear and as long as options are avoided, it is actually at a reasonable price, given the company it keeps. For Volvo fans seeking a sporty car, this is a great choice, but the rivals beat it for all-out performance or luxury.
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
For 2002 the S60 gets a new model: the S60 2.4T AWD (all-wheel drive) and the aforementioned AWD is electronically controlled. All S60 models get Emergency Brake Assistance (EBA), enhanced traction control performance and improved throttle management that gives a quicker response in everyday driving situations. Volvo's Dynamic Stability Traction Control (DSTC) system is now standard in T5 models and optional for the 2.4T AWD. Other model-specific alterations include satellite controls on the steering wheel and a memory function for the power seats and mirrors in 2.4T and T5 models. The All models get revised rear headrests, ISO-FIX child restraint attachment points and an emergency trunk release handle.
The 2002 S60 comes in four trims: 2.4, 2.4T, 2.4T AWD and the performance minded T5. The 2.4 starts off with 15-inch alloy wheels, heated door mirrors, power door mirrors, intermittent wipers, rear window defroster and four-wheel independent suspension. The 2.4T includes 16-inch alloy wheels, while the 2.4T AWD adds the electronically controlled all-wheel drive. The T5 adds front fog lights, 17-inch wheels and stability control.
On the inside the S60 2.4 comes with a solid list of standard features including air conditioning, speed control, power windows, remote keyless entry, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, AM/FM and cassette stereo with steering wheel mounted controls, power steering and cloth upholstery. The 2.4T and 2.4T AWD add power moonroof, automatic temperature control, memory seat, power driver seat and leather trim on the shift knob. The T5 then throws in power passenger seat, leather steering wheel trim, garage door transmitter, auto-dimming rearview mirror and a cd player. Options for all trims include navigation system, remote cd player, rear window blind, leather upholstery and heated front seats. Some features on higher trims can be added to lower trims as options.
Performance & Handling
The S60 2.4 uses a 2.4-liter, five-cylinder engine that develops 168 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque. The 2.4T is turbocharged, hence the ?T,? it cranks out 197 horsepower and 210 lb-ft of torque. The new 2.4T AWD features a technologically advanced, electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system. Under normal circumstances the system directs power to the front wheels; when it senses wheel slippage, it transfers power from the front wheels to all four wheels until both the front and rear axles are rotating at the same speed. The T5 has 247 horsepower, 2.3-liter, turbocharged engine that produces 243 lb-ft of torque. The engines in both the 2.4 and T5 can be mated to either a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission, while the 2.4T and 2.4T AWD are available only with the automatic. The T5 runs the 0-60 mph sprint in 7.3 seconds and all of the S60 models will handle traffic situations well enough, but watch out for turbo lag and don’t expect them to bolt off the line.
While body lean is more than average, the S60 does handle confidently. The T5 tries to be a true sport sedan, but given that this class includes offerings from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, the T5 doesn’t quite make it.
In keeping with Volvo’s philosophy of superior safety, the S60 comes with standard safety gear that includes dual-stage front airbags, side airbags, head-protection airbags, whiplash-reducing head restraints, seatbelt pre-tensioners, all-wheel antilock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, remote anti-theft alarm system, rear center 3-point belt, traction control and ISO-FIX child-seat attachment points. In NHTSA testing the S60 earned five out of five stars for side-impact safety and four stars for driver and passenger safety. In IIHS tests the S60 received the highest rating of ?Good? for frontal offset crash safety. Like all Volvo’s the S60 takes occupant protection to another level.
EPA Fuel Economy
Volvo S60 2.4: 19/25 mpg city/highway
Volvo S60 2.4T: 18/26 mpg city/highway
Volvo S60 T5: 18/25 mpg city/highway
- Standard safety features
- Luxury interior
- T5’s turbocharged engine
- Speedy 2.4T engine
- Optional all-wheel drive
You Won't Like
- Handling not up to sports sedan standards
- Options get pricey
- T5 suffers from the dreaded torque steer
Nice combination of an elegant luxury sedan and sport sedan.
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