2014 Volvo S60 Review
The Volvo S60 has always impressed many with its sweeping lines and athletic performance. Taking a huge gamble of targeting the niche few, Volvo was undeterred of what its cold rivals offered. All their cars aptly reflect the Scandinavian culture.
A premium sedan which looks far better than its contemporaries and offers certain uniqueness in a herd is the Volvo S60. Not that this young flag bearer looked dated making Volvo give it a chin up treatment. Instead, they made the S60 more appealing than before by getting its lines sorted and increasing its sheer presence.
The new S60, they say is enjoyed by the self driven. Should you fire your chauffeur and get one? We help you decide
I am a big fan of Red and insisted that Volvo gives us a Red S60 to review, which also happens to be its most exciting colour shade. The S60 doesn’t try hard to look the best of both worlds. Instead it is one fast sporty looking sedan.
The new changes aren’t very drastic. Perhaps the whole idea was to enhance its design and not change it completely as it still enjoys a strong following for its flowing lines. The vertical day time running strips beside the grill have been shifted lower on the front bumper. This has given the headlights more area to stretch. Even the radiator grille has got a more pronounced feel to it.
There are interesting bulges carved on the front hood. These muscular lines give it a stronger and wider profile. All these profiles collectively create a distinct V-profile. Interestingly, a similar design language is seen on all Volvo cars still all of them manage to look distinct and just mere clones of different sizes.
The best addition comes in the form of dull matte grey alloys. The S60 is the only premium sedan in its range to get such amazing looking racy alloys in standard version unlike other manufacturers who act snobbish by offering the best only on insanely expensive upgrades.
The flow of its shoulder line from a lower front to a visually higher rear is impressive. The roofline flows in a wavy manner before gradually meeting the boot lid along a subtle C-Pillar. Let me tell you, this one looks good in all angles, but personally, the rear quarter view scores the best with its higher rear profile, boot lip spoiler and how can one possible ignore the boomerang shaped tail lamps which gives it a unique Volvo feel.
The interiors of the new S60 are not any different from the earlier offering except for the Adaptive digital display which uses a TFT screen. Our S60 was clad in black leather. They look fit for a gentleman on a mission and score high on being ‘cool’ which shadows its lack of premiumness.
Thanks to its Crossover cousin, the V40, the instrumental panel has got a modern transformation in the form of a digital display which is spread across the TFT screen. The backlight and other functions can be set to three different options which include Eco, Elegance and Performance. While the rest two modes will find takers, we stuck on to the performance mode for obvious young and immature fancies of flashy display. The drama of numbers getting bigger with an adventurous tacho needle brings life into the cluster.
This one too gets a floating central console with a large combined air conditioning vent. Not that it gets our thumbs up for its layout but seems that was the only way to get the ignition button planted along with the key holder on the front dashboard. It gets all the necessary features of in-cabin entertainment.
Front passengers enjoy maximum attention with the convenient positioning of buttons and knobs. These seats can be electrically controlled to the desired position. Both seats also get auto memory function which can store up to three different seating positions. The rear passenger space manages to ditch criticism with a larger knee room area. The attractive sloping window lines aren’t helpful in giving an airy feel to the rear occupants. Both row seats are reasonably comfortable.
Front doors have bottle holders along with cup holders on the central console. There are cup holders on the rear armrest too. Also, you can be assured of a generous boot to take all the weekend and further luggage with much sufficient area which extends with folding rear seats.
This Volvo will be picked up by torque seekers as it remains the selling point for this 2 litre engine. With so much of razzmatazz on outside and a cool driver centric cabin, it still might not tickle the enthusiastic side. For that, one has to shell an excess of Rs.3.3 lakhs over the D4 to get a D5 Summum 2.5L diesel which produces 215Hp of power and 440Nm of torque.
We, however, chose a saner and simpler 2L engine which makes 163PS and 400Nm of torque. Least powerful compared to Germans? Yes. But, this one gets a torquey heart which is more than its rivals making more sense in real world conditions. Get the engine pumped up and post some initial lag, the engine is all set to deliver.
In tight traffic conditions, the lag is evident as the engine takes its sweet time to haul the vehicle across. If you can manage to foresee it, the smooth nature of the engine can indeed impress you. It might sound contradictory to its sporty image but the S60 is a brilliant commuter on highways if you let the engine rev gradually. The ride quality is smooth unless there are uneven undulations. The suspension setup is good at making sure the vehicle feels stable at higher speeds.
In terms of handling, the S60 handles really well especially at higher speeds around corners. Since, it does not get a free revving peppy heart; the potential of the suspension is not fully utilized. It makes use of torque vectoring which basically varies torque delivered between front wheels on an individual basis. The advantage of which is felt when the vehicle enters a corner. It remains high on traction even though the surface is rough or uneven making the vehicle remain firmly grounded.
In terms of overall performance, the S60 has a different character of ride and handling. Not necessarily if a sedan takes corners at high speeds and is very agile makes it the best of the lot. There are many who like a sorted ride which handles in a balanced way. The S60 is agreeably not a track scorcher...instead; it is for the mellowed kind.
|Ex-Showroom Price||Rs. 34,40,000|
|Power in bhp / RPM||163 / 3500|
|Torque in Nm / RPM||400|
|Wheel base mm||2776|
|Fuel tank capacity L||68|
|Tyre Spec||235/40 R18|
|Dynamic Stability and Traction Control DSTC||Yes|
|Cornering Traction Control||Yes|
|Active Bending Lights||Yes|
|Emergency Brake Assist||Yes|
|LED Day Running Lights||Yes|
|Adaptive Digital Display||Yes|
|Park assist sensors, rear and front||Yes|
|Daytime Running Lights with daylight sensor||Yes|
|Multifunctional door mirrors||Yes|
|Automatically dimmed inner rear-view mirror with compass||Yes|
|Illuminated vanity mirror||Yes|
|Power Parking Brake (PPB)||Yes|
|Reinforced passenger compartment||Yes|
|Energy-absorbing frontal structure||Yes|
|Side Impact Protection System (SIPS)||Yes|
|Roll-Over Protection System (ROPS)||Yes|
|Safety belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters||Yes|
|Dual-stage airbags, driver and front passenger||Yes|
|Passenger airbag cut-off switch||Yes|
|Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS)||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||D4 Summum||Grand Edition CDI||320d Luxury Line||35 TDI Technology Pack|
|Ex-Showroom Price||Rs. 34,40,000||Rs. 40,50,000||Rs. 37,90,000||Rs. 39,74,000|
|Power in bhp / RPM||163 / 3500||170 / 4200||184 / 4000||177 / 4200|
|Torque in Nm / RPM||400||400 / 2800||380 / 1750||380 / 1750|
|Wheel base mm||2776||2960||2810||2808|
|Fuel tank capacity L||68||66||65||63|
|Tyre Spec||235 / 40 R18||205 / 55 R16||225 / 50 R17||225 / 55 R16|
It is a Volvo which has a tank like built and comes with a long list of safety features which include Active Bending Lights, Anti-locking brakes with Emergency Brake Assistance, Whiplash Protection System and Side Impact Protection System. With more focus on safety, the S60 is one of the most secure feeling sedans around.
Why a S60? Like we mentioned earlier, it brings a certain uniqueness compared to its rivals. The new S60 gets a more sorted and balanced design. In terms of performance, this Volvo drives as good with impressive handling. Let your chauffeur go on a permanent vacation as the S60 does it job in the best way possible.