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Volvo S60 D5

Broadcast date : 10th September 2006

Volvo is a solid car with a solid following in South Africa, and despite a rather small range, there always seems to be something new on offer from the Swedish manufacturer.

Ahead of the still-awaited new S80 sedan, Car Torque checked out a new addition to the S60 range.

The S60 comes with petrol engine options ranging from 132 kiloWatts to a whopping 220 kiloWatts, all of them five-cylinder configurations. So this five-cylinder diesel version has a lot to live up to.

The smaller S40 won the 2005 Car of the Year title as much for its style as fine dynamics and good pricing. The S60 isnít as clean-cut, although a recent facelift has tidied things up a tad.

In fact the understated elegance of the new S60 D5 blends in perfectly with the surroundings of the famous Palazzo Hotel, bordering on Monte Casino. 

The Volvo has a quintessential European flavour that conjures images of art galleries and solid financial institutions, and if you drive an S60 you may not stop the traffic, but youíll be seen as someone who has made "the sensible choice."

As for the diesel engine, that too is sensible, and very unobtrusive once its above idle speed.

In fact the five-cylinder engine is one of the smoothest oil-burners on the block, with an appealingly gentle ramp-up onto the turbo powerband.

And with a claimed 8,2 second 0-100 and a top speed of 230 km/h, performance, as they say in the classics, is "adequate".

We have mixed feelings about the S60ís choice of trim materials. On the one hand we applaud the solidity of every single component, from the cup-holders through to the excellently-supportive seats and the logic-before-flash design of the dashboard and its switch-gear.

On the other hand, weíd like to tell Volvoís designers to lighten up, add some fun to the plot, like they did to the S40. Still, the S60 IS easy to operate. 

If we had to describe the S60 in one word it would be "mellow" rather than "manic".

One thing Volvo hasnít really sorted on the S60 is itís rather remote feel, particularly regarding the steering and the overall weightiness of the car. The slick-action on the six-speed manual gearbox is in contrast to the rest of the carís dynamics.

How good is the S60 D5? Our overall verdict would be, to use that term again, a "solid", both in terms of the car as a whole and its pricing. 

Volvo S60 D5

  • Engine: Five-cylinder turbodiesel, 2 401 cc
  • Power: 136 kW @ 4000 rpm
  • Torque: 400 Nm @ 2 000 rpm
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 8,2 seconds (claimed)
  • Top speed: 230 km/h (limited)
  • Fuel consumption: 7,8 litres/100 km (estimated)
  • Price: R303 000


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