The 2004 Volvo S60 makes a rather unusual entry into the luxury sedan market. The S60 straddles the line between a luxury sedan and sport sedan with remarkable grace. From body design to performance, the S60 shows a different take on this style of car that can appeal to some drivers.
The Volvo S60 strikes an excellent balance between performance and luxury, without becoming prohibitively expensive in the process. It makes a nice, affordable compromise for drivers in this price bracket. Most sport sedans at a similar price offer better performance, but also have a smaller interior and fewer features. More luxury-oriented sedans have larger interiors and some more unusual features, but do not get the same performance due to the larger bodies.
Ultimately, the Volvo S60 does not appeal to every driver, but it makes an excellent choice for drivers looking for comfort, luxury, and performance at a reasonable price. Most similarly priced competitors can do one of those things better than the S60, but few of them strike a good balance between all of those areas.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 2.3-liter five-cylinder, 2.4-liter five-cylinder, 2.5-liter five-cylinder
Transmissions: six-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: Volvo S60 2.4, Volvo S60 2.5T, Volvo S60 T5, Volvo S60 R
The 2004 Volvo S60 remains largely the same as the 2003 model. The 2.4-liter engine has been upgraded to a 2.5-liter engine. Speed-sensitive steering becomes a standard feature for the optional sports package on the S60 2.5T. Bi-xenon headlights provide an optional feature for all models.
Volvo refers to the S60 as a ""coupe with four doors."" With a sleek, curvy body, this gives a good description of the 2004 Volvo S60. It shows a nice change of pace compared to some of the more traditional, blockier Volvos. The distinctive chrome grille helps to distinguish it from other vehicles, as well.
The interior of the Volvo S60 feels comfortable and spacious. While not quite as large as some other luxury sedans, it offers more than enough room to comfortably seat five. The rear seats also fold down, allowing drivers to increase the cargo space of the 2004 Volvo S60. This makes a nice feature for drivers who might have been considering a larger vehicle for the rare instances they need more storage space than a typical trunk would provide, but still prefer a sedan. Dual-zone climate control comes standard on all models.
Performance & Handling
The 2004 Volvo S60 competes with luxury sedans and sport sedans, two types of vehicles with different baselines of performance. The smallest available engine, the 2.3-liter five-cylinder, still gives ample power to maintain above average acceleration and top speed. The Volvo S60 handles quite well, allowing the driver to feel completely in control.
Comparatively speaking, the Volvo S60 handles more like a slightly above average luxury sedan than a sport sedan, in most instances. The S60 feels a little lighter and smaller than many luxury sedans, which allows it to perform a little better. However, smaller, more performance-oriented sedans in the same price range usually outperform the Volvo S60. Overall, the S60 offers very good performance across the board, but does not reach quite the same level as many sport sedans in this area.
The 2004 Volvo S60 includes all of the safety features most drivers expect in a luxury sedan. Dual front, side-curtain, and rear airbags; an engine immobilizer; four-wheel anti-lock brakes; and electronic brake force distribution come standard on all models. Volvo’s Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) comes built into the driver and front-passenger seats. In the event of a crash, the WHIPS moves the front seats backwards to reduce the chance of whiplash. A stability control system remains available as an optional feature. This system automatically reduces torque to the tires when it detects a loss of traction, allowing the driver to maintain greater control of the vehicle.
EPA Fuel Economy
Volvo S60 all-wheel drive, 2.5-liter five-cylinder, automatic: 18/25 mpg city/highway
Volvo S60 front drive, 2.3-liter five-cylinder, manual: 18/25 mpg city/highway
Volvo S60 front drive, 2.3-liter five-cylinder, automatic: 18/26 mpg city/highway
Volvo S60 front drive, 2.4-liter five-cylinder, automatic: 19/28 mpg city/highway
- Good performance
- Smooth, comfortable ride
- Good balance between traditional sport and luxury sedan features
You Won't Like
- Weak handling compared to most dedicated sport sedans
- Not as many luxury features as most dedicated luxury sedans
- Slightly overpriced options
Sport sedan performance with luxury sedan elegance.
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