Our cars: Volvo S60 - January
I’m in good company. When I decided to run a new Volvo S60 I was unaware the company’s UK promotions people had been handing out a few to selected celebs (they won’t tell me who) to help get it noticed. Your star status is no longer measured by the number of paparazzi camped outside the door, it seems, but by whether you’ve got an S60 on the drive.
My reasons for choosing one are nothing to do with trying to get into the pages of Heat magazine. Seven years ago I ran the previous S60 when it was fresh on the scene, and although it wasn’t the most engaging thing to drive, it was ideal for my frequent long motorway trips: comfortable, refined and reasonably frugal.
The new one is said to be all of those things, but with a bit more sparkle when there’s more than just a mild bend in the road.
With a new five-cylinder 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine promising strong performance and low running costs, there seemed an added incentive to put the S60 through a year-long test.
I’m not the most patient person in the world, so rather than spec
a car to my exact requirements and wait for it to be built, I hunted around the dealer network for one that was in stock. I found one at Volvo Cars London (020 8200 9797) – an SE Premium in Caspian Blue metallic with a Sandstone beige leather interior.
Besides the optional metallic paint it also has the driver support pack (lane-departure and blind-spot warnings plus pedestrian detection with active cruise control), winter pack (heated headlamp washers and front seats) and the exterior styling pack (front and rear skid plates that make it look a little
like a soft-roader). It also has a two-tone sports steering wheel and the no-cost 17-inch Njord alloy wheels. All of this took the list price of £27,295 up to £30,265.
Aftersales director Frank Fisher took me through the car’s lengthy list of features – but we hit a snag when trying to pair my five-year-old Nokia mobile phone to the car’s Bluetooth. I’ve no desire to upgrade, so I’ll just have to remain incommunicado while driving.