Volvo S60 and V60 -

Used Car Review

Volvo S60 R-Design, side, action
Volvo S60 R-Design, rear
Volvo S60 R-Design, dashboard
Volvo V60, front
Volvo V60, rear
Volvo V60, interior

THE latest Volvo S60 saloon and V60 estate are superb cars right up there with the best in the premium sector.

But the previous models that were replaced in 2018 were also very good to drive and of course, among the safest cars you could buy, in the Volvo tradition.

That safety really was top of the class, with electronic stability control, loads of airbags, anti-whiplash seats, and the company's latest innovations - Pedestrian Protect and City Safety.

City safety is standard on all and it detects impending accidents and checks to see whether the driver is reacting properly.

If they are not taking action, the system takes over automatically and will perform an emergency stop at any speed up to 20 miles an hour.

At higher speeds, if a collision is likely it acts to help lessen the damage and give maximum protection to the occupants.

Pedestrian Protect was an extra, but will have been fitted to many secondhand models It uses a radar system to detect pedestrians in the car's path and again, if the driver doesn't react, it will apply the brakes and bring the car swiftly to a stop.

So these are clever cars that will save you in many situations even if you haven't realised you're in trouble.

I have driven a number of V60 estates and S60 saloons over the years and enjoyed them all, and since most of them have very low emissions, they are more reasonable to run, with low road tax, plus good economy.

The vast majority on the secondhand market are diesels as far as I can see, probably because most were originally bought as company cars, and many also have the mainly optional six speed automatic gearbox.

The diesels start with a D2 1.6 turbo that has 115 or 120bhp and reaches 60 from rest in 10.6 seconds while being able to do around 60 miles per gallon.

Next comes a 2.0-litre with either 136 or 163bhp in the D3 and D4 and these cover the sprint in 9.9 or 8.9 seconds respectively, while still being capable of 60mpg.

Most powerful is the 2.4-litre D5 with 215bhp. This gets to 60 in a swift 7.5 seconds and should still better 50 miles per gallon.

The petrol models are quite often cheaper secondhand because they aren't so sought after, and if you don't do too many miles, they may be the better bet.

Smallest T3 is again a 1.6 turbo, but this time with around 150bhp, and the same unit is used in a higher state of tune for the T4, which has 190.

The T3 reaches 60 in 9.1 seconds and is rated at 42mpg while the T4 takes 7.4 seconds and could do 40mpg.

The range topping T6 is a 3.0-litre with a standard auto and all wheel drive. It gets to 60 in 5.9 seconds and will give a best of 25mpg.

The 1.6 diesels are fairly slow, but all the others have decent to excellent performance and all have surprisingly good handling and roadholding.

But performance is not usually what most people buy these big Volvos for of course. Rather, they are looking for the large size, either for the family, or for business.

All are very family friendly, even down to 40/20/40 split fold back seats and built-in booster seats in many. Comfort is excellent except for an unsettled feel at low speeds in town.

These are cars built to last a lifetime with classy, durable materials throughout the cabin, among the best seats on the market and an enviable reputation for reliability.

But make sure you get full service history. No such originally expensive car should be bought without it.

The big cabin has excellent legroom front and rear and while the saloon's boot is only average that in the V60 is enormous.

Entry ES trim brings alloys, remote audio controls, cloth seats, traction control, heated electric mirrors, loads of seat and column adjustment, cruise control and an excellent stereo. From the wide range of other models, many have electric leather seats, sat nav, parking sensors and more.

Pay about £6,800 for a '15 15-reg D2 SE manual, or £14,000 for an '18 18-reg D4 R-Design Nav SE auto.

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