Lifestyle

The little engine that can

Searching for European styling and performance for under $50,000? You would be hard pressed to do better than the S60 T4.
Searching for European styling and performance for under $50,000? You would be hard pressed to do better than the S60 T4.

SIZE no longer matters. That's what car manufacturers the world over are proving.

Just take a look at one of the new additions to the Volvo line-up.

The entry-level mid-size S60 sedan is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine, which Volvo is aiming at the eco-conscious who don't want to skimp on space or the premium finish.

And best of all, it starts from under 50 grand.

But surely a turbocharged four-potter pushing 1.5-tonne of car would be lucky to pull the skin off a rice pudding?

Comfort

Despite sitting at the base of Volvo's S60 tree, it doesn't feel like a poverty pack derivative of the sedan.

Soft leather seats which have good bolsters at the base and lateral support, along with electric adjustment of the driver's seat and a steering wheel with rake and reach movement makes for a welcoming environment.

Leather on the doors along with shimmer graphite inlays on the centre dash deliver a chic ambiance - the wood décor for an $700 isn't worth the extra money.

We have enjoyed the interior set-up of the S60 previously with a different engine, and our opinion hasn't changed.

The driver has two main dials, speedometer and revs, which flank a digital trip computer in the middle. Readability is good, although a digital speedo would be a handy option in the computer menu like is available in many other marques.

Four adults would appreciate the cabin surrounds, aided by dual zone air-conditioning up front and also vents for the back mounted in the B-pillars.

On the road

The powerplant is a version the EcoBoost which has been employed in the Ford Focus.

On paper the statistics don't speak volumes. A 1.6-litre four-cylinder pushing nearly 1.5 tonnes.

Yet the turbocharged four-potter is peppy and responsive. Most drivers will find the performance excellent in varying circumstances.

Acceleration is impressive, although particularly strong from 2000rpm.

At low speeds we found the T4 could be difficult to drive smoothly without feathering the throttle for easy gear shifts, and on a few occasions there was some torque steer when accelerating hard.

When traversing steep hills its worthwhile making use of the manual style shifter and maintaining revs to ensure the S60 doesn't get bogged down and lose momentum.

Although when up and running the sleek sedan moved along wonderfully and was up to every overtaking challenge on the highway.

The steering feel borders on light, yet it was fine when things got willing in the corners and was required to change direction quickly.

What do you get?

Complimentary on the spec sheet is a power driver's seat, auto wipers, rear parking sensors, 17-inch alloys, High Performance Multimedia with Bluetooth audio streaming and a seven-inch screen, three-spoke steering wheel featuring a décor inlay and a grocery bag holder in the luggage area.

Five-star safety includes stability control and anti-lock brakes, as well as the City Safety which can automatically stop the car to avoid a collision at low speeds.

You do have to fork out a reasonable amount of coin to get some options, with rear parking sensors costing $795, the sunroof is $2650 while sat nav is a hefty $4175.

Other options

The Volvo does have an edge in the pricing department, with the closest premium competitors the BMW 320i ($57,600), Mercedes-Benz C200 CGI ($58,900) and Audi A4 TFSI ($58,700). Some cheaper options include the Skoda Superb 118 ($38,990) and Volkswagen Passat 118 ($38,990).

Running costs

Volvo has run some impressive specials of late, the most recent including free registration, free CTP, free stamp duty plus three years scheduled servicing, three years warranty and three years roadside assist.

Fuel consumption is not too thirsty, the official average claims just over seven litres/100km and our test proved only slightly higher.

Practicality

With four adult capacity, five at a push, the S60 has a wide appeal. There is easy access to the child seat anchorage points on the back parcel shelf, while the back seats fold quickly courtesy of a lever in the boot.

Space in the boot isn't massive, but you'll easily accommodate the weekly grocery trip.

Funky factor

The S60 is an attractive sedan. Coupe-like lines at the rear make it among the more appealing offerings in the genre, even up against the big guns from Germany.

The lowdown

Searching for European styling and performance for under $50,000?

You would be hard pressed to do better than the S60 T4.

While good value, it's only an extra $3000 to get the T5, which provides a useful boost in power and torque. The S60 T4 is an extremely likeable premium package, with good looks, lovely interior and solid performance from a small engine.

Vital statistics

  • Model: Volvo S60 T4
  • Details: Four-door front-wheel drive mid-size luxury sedan
  • Engine: 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol generating maximum power of 132kW @ 5700rpm and peak torque of 240Nm @ 1600-5000rpm
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Performance: 0-100kmh in 9.0 seconds; top speed 225kmh
  • Consumption: 7.4 litres/100km
  • CO2: 173g/km
  • Bottom line: $48,990

Topics:  road test volvo



Look My Way into ArtExpress

Ruby Sullivan of McAuley Catholic College has had her major HSC artwork accepted into the annual ArtExpress exhibition.

McAuley student's HSC artwork selected for exhibition

'That's not a brown!': Rare snake found lurking

Snakes have an inoffensive nature and are reluctance to bite

Spotify Summer tour kicks back in the Clarence Valley

David Harrison, Thom Moore and Beatrice McBride pose in the back of their truck for #spotifysummer

Head down to Minnie Water and Wooli to meet the crew from Spotify.

Local Partners

Dakota's world beating spectacular performance

Dancer helps break world record at School Spectacular performance


Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Ready to rumble: Boxing makes long-awaited return to Grafton

DETERMINED: Grafton Amateur Boxing Club members Zac Cotten (Cruiserweight), James Morrison (Jnr Featherweight), Eddie Debono (Super Heavyweight), Rhys Walters (Light Heavyweight), Joseph Pigg (Jnr Welterweight), Jamie Mansfield (Cruiserweight) are prearing for upcoming fight night in Grafton.

Five North Coast title belts up for grabs

Cyclist's 24 hours of pain for mental health

International endurance mountain-bike rider Morgan Pilley is used to pushing through the elements, but this weekend he'll push on to raise money for local mental health services in a charity ride at Junction Hill.

Ride For Youth to raise money for local youth mental health services

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Carrie Fisher says Ford will be bugged by affair confession

Carrie Fisher is sure Harrison Ford is annoyed at her

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with childhood sweetheart

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with ex

Jennifer Lawrence apologises to the people of Hawaii

Jennifer Lawrence sorry for 'offensive' story

Cruz Beckham's single a 'one-off'

He is not planning to launch a full-time music career yet.

Louis Tomlinson's mother dies aged 42

Louis Tomlinson's mother has died.

Five South Grafton houses that won't break the bank

Check out these South Grafton houses for sale

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Give a little more this Christmas

TIME TO GIVE: Lee Johns, Courtney Smith and Daniel Kelly of Ray White Yamba promote their Little Ray Of Giving Christmas gift appeal.

Call out for presents, big or small

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!