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Volvo S60 T5 AWD - First Drive

The S60 is currently outperforming its competitors in the market.

Greg Emmerson
Oct 10, 2012 SHARE
Epcp 1211 01+volvo s60 t5 awd+cover Photo 1/1   |   Volvo S60 T5 AWD - First Drive

Shortly after driving the S60 Polestar, we were invited to sample a new offering from Volvo: the S60 T5 AWD. Previously, its all-wheel drive system had only been available with the range-topping 3.0 T6 engine. However, this new model would drop the entry level from $38450 to $33750 (plus destination), making it far more appealing to buyers in the northern winter states who are looking for a premium sedan with 250hp and good traction.

As the best-selling Volvo model, the S60 is currently outperforming its competitors in the market thanks to its combination of design, technology and good driving dynamics.

We had a chance to explore the sedan’s abilities on some amazing Utah mountain roads that made good use of its 10sec over-boost function that takes maximum output from 266 to 295 lb-ft at wide-open throttle. This extra verve was ideal for overtaking or hauling out of hairpins, with Torque Vectoring helping you rotate into the turns and smaller 5th gen Haldex getting you out of them.

As a competitor to the Audi A4 2.0T quattro and BMW 328ix, the S60’s 2.5L engine is both bigger and more powerful than either, although at 20/29/23mpg, it’s not the best performer. Nor is it the fastest, with 0-60mph in 6.6sec, but this is an improvement thanks to a revised engine that sees new crank, pistons, shorter rods and higher compression. Changes to the software also see quicker shifting that shaved 0.4sec off the acceleration.

It’s six-speed automatic isn’t the best in class, with its rather labored shifts. It also needs paddle shifters. As it is, you have Sport mode and can shift the lever manually.

Standard equipment levels are good, with the auto, 17" wheels, Sensus 7" screen, steering wheel controls, Sirius, audio streaming, USB port, Bluetooth and a comprehensive five-year warranty. The cars we drove were listed at $38k thanks to a Premier package, different wheels, paint, etc. However, you can drop down to $31750 for the basic price of the S60 T5 FWD model, if heavy winters aren’t a problem.

Every time we drive a new Volvo, we’re surprised at both how well it performs and how well its put together. As an intelligent option to the mainstream competition, the Volvo S60 is definitely worth a test drive.

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By Greg Emmerson
1075 Articles

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