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Used car focus Volvo S60 – 2000 onwards

Volvo’s old image as a maker of boxy estate cars is no more. The S60, one of the models that helped change it, has a stylish, sophisticated body which is more discreet than a BMW 3-series or Audi A4. It’s sporty too, thanks to a competent chassis and range of turbocharged engines.


S60 went on sale in October 2000 and is well equipped. S has ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, front and side airbags (including curtain bags), air-conditioning, cruise control, electric windows and 16-inch alloy wheels.

SE models add climate control with Air Quality System (AQS), front fog lights, wood trim, a four-CD audio system with Dolby surround sound, sports leather trim and 17-inch alloy wheels. T5 gained EBA (Electronic Brake Assist) and DSTC (Dynamic Stability Traction Control) in Oct 2001.


All models are front-wheel driven and handle smoothly, but wheelspin is an unavoidable feature of driving the sometimes hairy T5. The S60R is the exception, as it has four-wheel-drive and adjustable electronic suspension, which can be altered to suit your driving mood.


One of the S60’s biggest strengths is an outstanding driving position. The steering wheel adjusts for reach and rake and it has a multi-adjustable seat. And, being a Volvo, the seat supports you in all the right places.

Thoughtful touches make life behind the wheel easier and all the controls fall easily to hand. It’s larger than competitors like the 3-series, but not as roomy in the rear as you’d expect – tall passengers will be cramped.


Every one of S60’s engines is turbocharged and all have five cylinders. The range starts with the 180bhp 2.0T. The 2.4T is more than enough for most people with 200bhp. But if you’re after more power, the 2.3 T5 has 250bhp. The range tops out with the S60R – a rocketship with 300bhp.

The sole diesel option, the 2.4 D5 turbo with 163 bhp, is smooth, quiet and delivers a combined fuel consumption figure of 47.1 mpg – impressive for a car of this size. In October 2001, the 2.0T and T5 units were upgraded to enhance efficiency and emissions.


Safety credentials are reassuring, as you would expect with a Volvo. Driver and passenger airbags are complemented by a side impact protection system and it has four stars in the Euro NCAP crash test. Security includes alarm, immobiliser and deadlocks. The 2005 MY cars have passenger airbag cut-off switch, and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS).

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