2004 S60 New Car Test Drive
The Volvo S60 offers more than a Swedish-modern alternative to BMW's 3 Series sedans. It offers a style all its own. The S60 combines excellent performance and a great shape with Volvo's outstanding safety features. It feels like a tight European sedan, with a smooth ride.
For 2004, there's a new engine option and a new rack-and-pinion steering system, improving on its already good acceleration and precise handling.
The S60 fills the middle range in Volvo's lineup: It's larger than the S40, but not quite as large as the premium-luxury S80. Not surprisingly, the S60 also fits between those models in price.
No less than five 2004 models are available: S60 2.4 ($26,960), S60 2.5T ($29,610), S60 2.5T AWD ($31,385), S60 T5 ($33,285) and S60R ($37,250).
S60 2.4 comes with a 2.4-liter, five-cylinder engine that produces 168 horsepower and 166 pounds-feet of torque. (A 165-horsepower, super-low-emissions, or SULEV, version is sold only in California.) A five-speed manual transmission is standard. A five-speed automatic transmission is optional ($1,000). A Sport Package ($795) adds fog lights and 16-inch alloy wheels. The Premium Package ($2,995) adds leather upholstery, wood trim, electronic climate control, a trip computer, a moonroof, and a power driver's seat with adjustable lumbar support and memory.
The 2.5T gets a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine for 2004 that produces 208 horsepower and 236 foot-pounds of torque. The 2.5T comes standard with the equipment included the S60 2.4 model's Sport and Premium packages. The 2.5T Sport Package ($795) adds sport seats, Geartronic auto-stick control for the transmission, 17-inch Thor wheels with 235/45R17 tires. A Premium Package ($2,595) for 2.5T adds leather upholstery, trip computer, moonroof, power memory front seats with adjustable lumbar support, and rear hat shelf speakers.
The 2.5T AWD comes with Volvo's sophisticated electronic all-wheel-drive system and the five-speed Geartronic automatic, which offers a mode for manual operation.
The S60 T5 uses a 2.3-liter inline five-cylinder engine with a high-pressure turbo to produce 247 horsepower and 243 pounds-feet of torque for much quicker acceleration. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, with the Geartronic automatic optional ($1,200). The T5 gets the same equipment and package options as the 2.5T, and adds Dynamic Stability Traction Control, or DSTC, or as standard equipment.
New to the lineup is the ultra high-performance S60R, which boasts 300 horsepower and 295 foot-pounds of torque beginning at just 1950 rpm. It comes with a choice of a new Volvo-built six-speed close-ratio gearbox or five-speed automatic with a manual mode, and high-performance brakes.
Convenience features common to every S60 include air conditioning with a pollen filter; power windows, trunk release and door locks; illuminated visor mirrors; a trunk light; a tilt/telescopic steering wheel wrapped in leather; headlight wipers; power folding headrests; 60/40 split-folding rear seat; cupholders front and rear, steering-wheel controls for the audio system; and remote keyless entry. The Climate Package ($495) includes Rainsensor wipers, which automatically adjust wiper speed based on the amount of water on the windshield. A Dolby Pro Logic Surround Sound stereo ($1,200) is available on 2.4T, 2.5T AWD, and T5. Volvo's new On Call Plus telematics/mobile phone ($835) is available for all models.
Volvo is a leader in safety and all S60 models get a raft of safety and security items: front, side and head airbags up front; five head restraints; seats that move on impact to reduce whiplash injuries; an immobilizer and an alarm; a Safe Approach and Home Safe Lighting System; and anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brake distribution.