2006 S60 New Car Test Drive
The Volvo S60 combines excellent performance and a great shape with outstanding safety features. It feels like a tight European sedan and does a good job of smoothing out rough roads.
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.
Its interior is handsome and the available leather has a high-quality look and feel. Notable improvements for '06 include a revised all-wheel-drive system for better performance, newly designed wheels and simplification of the options and packages.
Four models are available for 2006: S60 2.5T ($30,270), S60 2.5T AWD ($32,045), S60 T5 ($32,045), and S60R ($37,920). The S60 2.4 has been deleted. Revisions for '06 include reorganized options packages, newly designed wheels and a new exterior color.
The 2.5T uses a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine rated at 208 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque stretching from 1500 to 4500 rpm. A five-speed automatic is standard, while a five-speed Geartronic automatic with Auto-stick is part of an option package.
Standard equipment for the base 2.5T is copious and includes central power door locks with keyless entry, power windows, front and rear fog lights, power heated outside mirrors with memory, tinted windows, a pollen filter, cruise control, dual-zone electronic climate control, trip computer, leather gearshift knob and tilt/telescoping steering wheel with illuminated cruise and audio controls, illuminated glovebox and vanity mirrors in the sunvisors, power driver's seat with memory and lumbar support, spilt/folding rear seat, 16-inch wheels and tires. A 100-watt stereo with in-dash CD player is the standard audio system across the S60 lineup.
Options for the 2.5T: Convenience Package ($995) adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror, grocery bag holder, Homelink remote garage door opener, rear parking assistance, sunglass holder and laminated side windows. For increased security, a Run Flat Package ($1,375) consists of self-supporting tires, a tire pressure monitoring system, 17-inch Orestes 10-spoke alloys with 235/45-17 run-flats, plus Dynamic Stability and Traction Control. The 2.5T Premium Package ($2,995) adds leather upholstery, power passenger seat, power tilt/slide moonroof, wood dash inlays, and rear shelf speakers. The 2.5T Sport Package ($795) requires the Premium Package and adds sport seats, Geartronic auto-stick control for the transmission, and 17-inch Thor multi-spoke wheels with 235/45R17 tires. Stand-alone options include metallic paints ($475), Dynamic Stability and Traction Control ($695, as part of a package), Interior Air Quality Sensor ($175), DVD-based navigation system ($2,120), satellite radio prep ($75), bi-xenon headlamps ($700 but requires the climate package), a wood steering wheel ($325), and a 3425-watt Dolby Pro-Logic II stereo with six-disc in-dash CD changer ($1,200).
The 2.5T AWD boasts an improved version of the sophisticated Haldex electronic all-wheel-drive system for 2006 models. Volvo calls it Instant Traction, and it provides better acceleration by instantly delivering up to 50 percent more torque to the rear axle when needed. The 2.5T AWD is equipped similarly to the 2.5T and has the same powertain choices as well as similar option packages but is equipped with specific Echo 17-inch seven-spoke alloys. Because all four wheels are driven, stability and traction control isn't required.
The sporty T5 uses a 2.3-liter inline five-cylinder engine with a high-pressure turbo producing 257 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque for much quicker acceleration. A five-speed manual transmission is standard. The T5 also gets a sports suspension, 17-inch Orpheus wheels and tires, Dynamic Stability Traction Control (DSTC), speed-sensitive steering, HomeLink, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, wood trim, sport seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather parking brake cover, power adjustable passenger seat and other interior upgrades.
Options for the T5 include the Geartronic automatic transmission ($1,200), the Climate Package ($675), Premium Package ($2,400) with leather upholstery, aluminum mesh inlays, power tilt/slide sunroof, and black mesh inlays, and the Four-C chassis ($1,100) with driver-selectable Sport and Comfort settings. The Run-Flat Package ($975) is available but not with the Four-C chassis. The T5 Convenience Package ($795) delivers a grocery bag holder, rear parking assistance, sunglass holder, and laminated side windows. Other options inc.