Volvo just a little naughty
The range starts at $51,950 for the T5, $57,950 for the D5 diesel topped off by the T6 at $64,950. The first is front-wheel driven; the others get allpaw traction.
Irritatingly, the T5 (in fact, a directinjection, turbocharged four with a twin clutch auto, not a five pot as the name suggests) isn’t due until early in the New Year.
THE S60 is bursting with technology, most of it safety related, almost all of it optional. Not all the wizardry revolves around stopping the car, however.
Drive-enhancing devices attached to the dynamic stability and traction control vary torque in the ever-alert all-wheel-drive system and even permit some loosening of the restraints, though the electronic chaperones are never entirely absent.
HERE’S a Volvo that invites you to look again. While the C30 is funky only from the C-pillar back, the S60 has flowing lines that are something of a revelation for Volvo.
Inside, the now-familiar floating centre console is shrouded with too many buttons and dials for the sake of elegance, though materials and finish rival the Audi benchmark.
THERE is no spare tyre— not even a well in which one can be accommodated. Nor, as is the case with BMW, are the standard tyres of the run-flat variety. Your solution in the event of a flat or puncture? A can of sealant, a call to roadside assist and a wait for a suitable replacement.
Volvo reckons this suffices. It doesn’t. Cars in this country need a spare. The failure to grasp this reveals a fundamental failure to appreciate Australia’s driving conditions and must be considered a significant reason not to buy.
Against that, the standard fitting of City Safety, which automatically stops the car if the driver fails to react to an imminent low-speed bingle, is outstanding.
The equally effective adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection system, blind-spot information system and lane-departure warning can be bought in an optional $5000 package.
UNTIL January we’re talking of the two AWD variants. Dynamically, as with the design, these are an obvious step forward for a brand that has previously been regarded as rather stolid and dull.
You need some faith in your car to showcase it on Tasmania’s Targa roads. The S60 goes some way to rewarding the faith with AWD that sends all the torque either forward or aft, a quick-witted system that imbues you with confidence and permits rapid cornering with complete surety.
The T6 makes by far the best of it, with almost instant response as it launches on to the straights.
Ride is exceptional while delivering ample feedback through a fist-filling steering wheel that weights up meaningfully with speed.
But the Geartronic automatic just isn’t with the program, reacting especially slowly with the diesel, hunting for gears in drive and not entirely satisfactory, even when held in sport mode and prodded manually.
It’s lamentably behind the best of its competitors, the cause hardly helped by the lack of shifting paddles.
A LEAP forward for Volvo that doesn’t advance the game.
Good-looking: the S60’s flowing lines are a revelation for Volvo.