Volvo S60

The Essentials

  • Price from £22,785
  • What Car? says: 3 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 65.7mpg
  • What is it? The Volvo V60 aims to stand out from all the Audi A4s and BMW 3 Series in the company car park

Great

  • Fabulous quality without a huge price
  • Comfortable inside and enjoyable to drive
  • Generous standard and safety equipment

Gripes

  • Not quite as hushed inside as an Audi's A4 or BMW 3 Series...
  • Petrol versions are expensive to buy and to run
  • Not particularly exciting to drive
  • Drive

    It's no sports car, but the Volvo S60 is enjoyable to drive thanks to agile handling and responsive steering

  • Inside

    Driver gets an incredibly comfy seat, great view out and all the dash controls in the right places

  • Safety

    Aims to keep you out of trouble, with warning systems galore

  • Reliability

    The Volvo S60 feels well put together; Volvo has a decent, if not dazzling reliability track record

  • Space

    Four will be very comfortable, but a fifth in the middle rear passenger seat won't be so impressed. Boot is big, but not as big as an Audi A4's or that of a BMW 3 Series

  • Standard and extras

    All get alloy wheels, climate and cruise control; top trim includes leather and electric seats, plus lots of optional goodies

  • What's it like to drive?

    Volvo touts the S60 as its sportiest model ever. It's certainly engaging to drive, with powerful engines, plenty of grip and a controlled ride, but don't expect white-knuckle thrills. Comfort still takes centre stage, unless you're travelling very rutted roads. There's an engine to suit all pockets; we like the 1.6 DRIVe diesel, which promises the best fuel economy; the T3 petrol is a more refined alternative but nowhere near as cheap to run. The V60 is quiet inside, if not as refined as the best compact executive cars.

  • What's it like inside?

    Volvo's seats are legendarily comfortable, and the S60 is no exception. The dash is a triumph of clean minimalist design and visibility is great. Four adults can stretch out in comfort, but the central rear passenger draws a short straw due to the sculpted shape of the rear bench. The boot is a decent size if not as big as that in an A4 or BMW 3 Series saloon. All trim levels get alloy wheels, cruise control and climate control, with SE adding smarter trim, Bluetooth and an upgraded stereo. SE Lux adds leather, electric seats and active headlights. R-Design is the sporty version while R-Design Lux more useful gizmos. Most trims are also offered with an additional Nav option including sat-nav.

  • How reliable is it?

    The S60's cabin isnt overly flashy, but the quality of the materials used and the solid construction give the car the air of a high-quality product, while Volvo's reliability record is generally good, if not up with the best.

  • Should I buy one?

    The good news is that the Volvo S60 is cheaper than rivals, however resale values are also lower. Average fuel economy for the diesel engine is a respectable 53mpg; we'd go for the cheaper D3 version rather than the D5. We'd also recommend the SE model, which adds Bluetooth, bigger alloys and a snazzier stereo to the standard cruise control, climate control and City Safety System. This detects obstacles and can stop the car to prevent low speed collisions. Optional extras include even more advanced safety kit.