Volvo S60 long-term test review: report three

Volvo's answer to the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series sells in much smaller numbers, but are the masses overlooking a hidden gem?...

Volvo S60 Assist

The car Volvo S60 T5 Inscription Plus Run by Jim Holder, editorial director

Why it’s here To discover if you can break away from the Germanic norm without any compromises

Needs to Be different without major compromises; beat rivals for comfort and space and still be good to drive

Mileage 2672 List price £38,835 Target Price £35,575 Price as tested £45,535 Test economy 26.9mpg Official economy 39.8mpg (combined) 

26 March 2020 – Volvo Assist shines when a (well-known) issue strikes

You might question the wisdom of getting up at 6am on a Saturday to take a 12-year old swimming at the best of times, but there I was, a little bleary eyed and very much ready to zone out by the pool, when a noise that sounded not unlike an electric cutter being ground against metal made me leap from my seat.

We were about 500 metres from home and in a nearly new car, which made me question whether the noise could really be coming from us. Suffice to say, at that time there was nobody else on the road to blame.

I leapt out and looked underneath the S60, heart pounding; had I run over a piece of metal unknowingly, which I was now scraping down the road?

Seemingly not, but I had no choice but to pull up. The noise implied something was about to imminently shear off the car; I was worried for our safety, and the locals were angrily twitching their curtains.

LT Volvo S60 front wheel

I rang Volvo Assist for help, and I have to say they were as good as you could hope. Yes, I had to wait an hour for my knight in shining armour, but when he arrived I knew I was going to be in good hands immediately.

“I knew it would be a Volvo or Saab – always is,” he smiled, enjoying my puzzlement. “It’ll be a stone caught behind the brake caliper. There’s something about the way they are designed in Sweden. Always a Volvo or Saab, no matter what age they are. I’ll have you going in 15 minutes.”

And, sure enough, he did. Wheel off, a quick waggle of the steering wheel and a feel about around the mechanicals and we were on our way again, swimming a distant memory but a soothing cup of tea now on the horizon.

Hot drink in hand, I pondered the negatives. Bad luck it may have been for a stone to pop its way into somewhere it shouldn’t be, but in truth, it’s a surprise that such a problem should become well-known among mobile mechanics before being addressed properly by Volvo.

Positives? Volvo Assist worked reasonably smoothly and the help they sent was first-rate. We’ll call it a score draw, inconvenient though it was.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Read more on our long-term Volvo S60 >>