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Review: New Volvo S60
Volvo’s reputation for being one of the safest cars on the road may seem a little dull, but it’s very reassuring when faced with bad weather.
Which, of course, is the case most of the time in this country. So the fact that we have the highest number of convertibles in Europe always baffles me.
Anyway, I drove the all-new eco Volvo S60 DRIVe (pronounced ‘drive-ee’), which offers very low CO2 emissions from a 1.6-litre turbo diesel engine with a modest 115bhp. This ensures that there is no first year road tax and thereafter only a £30 a year road tax bill – good news for retail and business users.
It is fitted as standard with Volvo’s City Safety system, which can avoid low speed impacts with other vehicles up to 19mph.
It also has Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake, which uses a mixture of radar, laser and camera technology to recognise a human over 80cms tall and will brake automatically if it calculates an impending impact.
Start/Stop technology helps to reduce fuel consumption by up to five per cent in the combined cycle by automatically switching off the engine when the car is at a standstill. A particularly useful feature was the small lights on the inside of the wing mirrors that alerts you to overtaking cars passing through the vehicle’s blind spot.
The S60 is available in all trim levels – ES, SE, SE Lux and the newly launched R-Design specific-ation.
A quiet and refined drive with handling characteristics never seen before in a Volvo, the driver-orientated dynamics allow the vehicle to be enjoyable to drive while offering a commanding road presence and total predictability, no matter what road conditions it encounters.
There’s plenty of grip, although building up speed wasn’t as quick as I expected.
Inside, the cabin is modern and spacious and the seats are incredibly comfortable, which is perfect for long journeys.
I found the keyless entry to be extremely handy, as I just kept the key in my pocket the whole time.
Its competitors in the saloon market include the Audi A4, BMW 3-series and Mercedes C-class. Volvo may seem like the less exciting choice, but in my opinion it probably offers the best value for money.
Car: Volvo S60 DRIVe R-Design
On the road: £21,495
0-62mph: 10 seconds
Top speed: 121mph
CO2 emissions: 114g/km