Volvo S60 Leasing

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Volvo S60 Reviews

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Volvo's improved S60 saloon has the compact executive elite in its sights. Jonathan Crouch reports.

Sportier and more stylish, this improved second generation S60 addresses the areas where previous Volvo executive cars have ultimately failed to deliver. Crucially, key variants also get the brand's new generation 'Drive-E' 2.0-litre diesel and petrol engines. Larger than the German models it will count as rivals and packing Volvo's usual plethora of safety kit, it must be in with a chance.

Does life really begin at sixty? If you're a potential Volvo owner, the answer may well be yes. The Swedish maker's second generation S60 saloon is, we're told, the most dynamic Volvo ever, both to look at and to drive, something of a departure for a brand that has built its reputation on substance and safety rather than style and sportiness. But then something pretty radical was needed to break the German stranglehold on the BMW 3 Series-dominated compact executive market where this car must compete. This MK2 S60 has provided it and has now been improved with a carefully thought out package of improvements. If in buying a Volvo, you expect all the design flair of a chartered accountancy firm, then this car will come as quite a shock, with sharper styling that sets it apart, both inside and out. The promise is that this will be matched with a greater emphasis on driver involvement than any model the company has produced in more than eighty years of history - a much harder thing to deliver. Particularly if, as we're promised, all this has been achieved without sacrificing the substance and safety part of the brand value proposition. Does it all add up? Let's put this car to the test.

Volvos have tended to feel like the safe cars they are when you get them out on the road but with this S60, more emphasis than ever before has been placed on instilling some excitement. Interestingly, there are three chassis set-ups available to buyers which govern how the car performs on the road. The Dynamic chassis is fitted as standard in the UK. Then there's a firmer, more sporting set-up offered with the R-Design Lowered Sport Chassis option. The final option is the Volvo FOUR-C (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept), an active suspension that allows drivers to select their preferred settings when on the move. Volvo has at last developed its own range of 'Drive-E' 2.0-litre engines after years of relying on Ford and PSA units. These powerplants will take some time to filter through though. The first 181bhp Drive-E diesel unit is fitted to the popular D4 model. In the rest of the diesel line-up though, the older engines still continue. So the baseline D2 carries on with its 115bhp 1.6-litre PSA unit, while the D3 and D5 variants continue with the five cylinder Ford engine in either 2.0-litre or 2.4-litres guises putting out either 136 or 215bhp. There's a Drive-E petrol unit too, but it's only fitted to the top of the range T6 where it comes with 306bhp. Since this engine can only work with 2WD, the older 306bhp 2.0-litre turbo also continues in a 4WD model but is nothing like as efficient. Most customers of petrol-powered S60 models though, will be looking at the 1.6-litre GTDi petrol engine that offers 150bhp in the T3. At the top of the line-up is the Plug-in Hybrid D6 version which mates the D5's 2.4-litre diesel engine with a 70bhp electric motor. All S60 models get a six speed manual gearbox as standard but with selected engines, there's the option of a Geartronic automatic or the clever Powershift dual clutch transmission.

This is one of the best looking Volvos we've seen for a good few decades, so few aesthetic improvements have been necessary with this facelifted version. There are what Volvo describes as 'more focused and determined-looking headlamps', added to create what's intended to be a more 'expressive' front end. The S60's horizontal lines have been emphasised at both the front and rear. Together with details such as a wider grille and daylight running lights, they give the car a more striking, squat presence. The cabin has also been lightly redesigned, with smarter materials and silk metal frames around the air vents and light controls. You now get the Adaptive Digital Display we first saw in the smaller V40 hatch: this lets you change the look and feel of the instrument dials via three 'themes' - 'Elegance', 'Eco' and 'Performance'. Plus there's also the option of a 'Sensus' infotainment system that allows you to add connectivity and internet access into the car. This set-up turns the 7-inch infotainment display into a state-of-the-art infrared, beam-scanned touch screen that can be used even when wearing gloves - a world first in cars. The driver can go online either via a car-mounted 3G/4G dongle or a personal mobile phone and features include the industry's first in-dash, fully integrated, voice search Spotify application. The voice-activation system works on all music sources connected to the Connected Touch. It is also possible to share a WiFi network with everyone in the car.

Expect to pay from just over £20,000 for this S60, so it's much better value than comparable BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 compact executive models. Try the 1.6-litre D2 before moving on to the pokier diesel options: you may just find it's all you need and you can spend the money you'll save on one of the plusher trim levels - sporty 'R-Design' perhaps? If you need more space, Volvo's V60 is essentially the estate version of this car. Technology features available on the S60 include the ACC Adaptive Cruise Control system that can maintain a set gap to the vehicle in front, a parking assist camera with front and rear sensors and a further camera on the front grille to help the driver see out of blind junctions. The specially developed infotainment system brings the various functions together on a five or seven inch screen mounted high on the dashboard and the Sensus connectivity options now available on it are impressive. Further safety features include freshly developed Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection technology which scans the road ahead and, if necessary, helps you to brake when a person or a bike veers into your path. There's also an upgraded version of Volvo's City Safety system that automatically brakes at up to 31mph to avoid low speed traffic collisions. And Active High Beam Control to dip your lights for you at night.

The launch of the 'Drive-E' Volvo diesel unit in the S60 D4 creates a little confusion here. After all, the 99g/km CO2 figure of this 181bhp unit is better than the 103g/km reading returned by the 115bhp entry-level D2 diesel model. So much for technology. The combined cycle fuel returns for both variants are pretty similar: for reference, the D2 manages 72.4mpg while the D4 returns 74.3mpg. The D5 diesel engine can return 62.8mpg on the combined cycle and 119g/km of CO2, which isn't bad considering the performance it offers while both D3 and D4 2.0-litre diesel units chip in with 65.7mpg and 114g/km of CO2. As for the volume 1.6-litre petrol variant, expect 48.7mpg and 135g/km. As for the AWD petrol T6, the figures are 28.5mpg and 231g/km. Experts predict that this second generation S60 will retain its value more in line with the likes of BMW and Audi than Ford and Volkswagen. Insurance groups range between 28 and 39.

Volvo executive cars have usually been safe, reliable and practical but sporty and stylish? In the past, buyers with those things as priorities may have felt inclined to look elsewhere. This second generation S60 has been changing that kind of thinking though, a process that'll be aided by this careful package of changes. It incorporates the vibrant design that's been creeping into other Volvo products for a while now and accentuates it in a sleek four-door package with a driver-focused chassis and a range of high-tech engine options highlighted by the latest 2.0-litre 'Drive-E' diesel. There's a roomy cabin and the bundle of advanced safety equipment we've always expected from Volvo is also in evidence, setting the S60 up as an intriguing alternative to the compact executive mainstream.

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Why lease a Volvo S60?

Swedish car makers Volvo have given us the Volvo S60 which is a saloon model that combines sophistication, comfort and reliability as well providing you with a spacious area to drive in and ensuring you have an effortless, great value for money drive for years to come!

Key Volvo S60 Features

The Volvo S60 is available in trim types SE, SE Lux, R-Design, R-Design Lux and a Nav version. Engine sizes are named D2, D3 D4 and D5 and can be manual transmission or geartronic (automatic). The Nav version includes a 7” colour display screen with a DVD player, internet and music, plus European mapping and lifetime map updates. As standard you will get 17” alloy wheels, automatic rain sensors and folding wing mirrors, as well as a full safety kit. Being a winter car, the Volvo S60 is designed to fully take on whatever weather the UK roads will give us and that’s what gives it its 100% reliability.

Reasons to lease a Volvo S60

  • Classy
  • Spacious
  • Comfortable
  • Generous standard kit
  • Effortless drive
  • Perfect for either Business car leasing or Personal car leasing

Conclusion

The latest model of the S60 is a stunning example of sheer quality, innovation and attention to detail, with Volvo's impeccable safety and reliability credentials, this car will be good no matter what specification you get - it's a Volvo.

For more information on how to lease a Volvo or to simply ask us a question, please call us on 01565 880880, or alternatively, choose your favourite S60 and click the big green button to enquire online.

For our full range of cars see our Special Offers and our current car leasing Manager's Specials.