Volvo S60 2.0 - Your thoughts? - Wales Forester
I'm hoping to be in a position to change my car in the spring and I am toying with the idea of a Volvo S60 2.0 T manual in S or SE spec.
The vehicle won't be new, probably Y/51/02 plate.
I've been a Ford Mondeo man for many years now so it's time for a change.

Can anyone who owns/drives or has any other knowledge of the S60 give me some input as to what to expect. I'm especially interested in service and parts costs as well as fuel consumption etc.

I've read HJ's thoughts but there are no 'bad' points listed.
The only things a trawl on the net have brought up is central locking and climate control problems.

Any input positive or negative welcomed.

PP

Volvo S60 2.0 - Your thoughts? - Marc
I test drove one about a year ago having been tempted by the styling.

The engine (2.0T) is belt driven, the boot is tiny - you post your luggage (!) and the centre console was high and therefore intrusive (IMO)

If I'd gone for one it would have been the SE as it came with leather and larger alloys. The larger (17" I think) alloys really set the car's lines off IMO. The design also seems to suit light colours such as gold and silver as opposed to darker shades.

Volvo parts have always been pricey in my experience - find a good specialist if it's over three years old/out of warranty
Volvo S60 2.0 - Your thoughts? - SjB {P}
In my eyes, the Volvo S60 is the most beautiful saloon car in current production, bar none. I therefore had my eyes set on one, in fabulous Maya Gold, with Tethys alloys.

Thankfully, however, before parting with my cash, I tried one.

What did I find?

Indeed a fantastic car, but the rear legroom is for amputees, and you really do post your possessions in the boot, as Marc so accurately describes.

For the full story that culminated in me buying a V70 2.4T SE that I am absolutely delighted with, read here: www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?v=e&t=92...1

BTW, cambelt change interval is at nearly 100,000 miles, and I have never, ever, known one fail despite many of my Swedish friends and colleagues running Volvo five pot engines to intergalactic mileages.


Good luck.
Volvo S60 2.0 - Your thoughts? - Adam {P}
I'm finding myself warming incredibly to the V70 SJB - I think that's the nicest looking estate. If I was getting a Volvo, it would be a toss up between an S80 and a V70 definitely.
--
Adam
Volvo S60 2.0 - Your thoughts? - machika
As has been said, much to cramped in the back (for children only), and I would dismiss it out of hand for that reason alone.
Volvo S60 2.0 - Your thoughts? - SjB {P}
Yes, I must admit, Adski, I also find it the most handsome estate that money can buy, especially with the optional rear tailgate spoiler (does nothing except look very good), the lowered chassis (drops it just enough for wheels to fill arches whilst remaining practical), and 17" Amalthea rims (18" Nebulas suit the S60, but not the V70, though ruin the ride on both, and dent easily).

Having received very positive feedback from friends and colleagues in Sweden who have done it to their S60/V70 2.4T engines already, I've just given myself an early Christmas present in the form of a BSR tuning upgrade that I ordered yesterday. 252BHP and 410NM. Peak power of 200BHP currently arrives in a band between 5500 and 6000RPM, but with the BSR programme, this amount of power is delivered at just 3500RPM. Can't wait for this OBDII downloaded box of tricks to arrive.

More here for anyone interested in doing the same: www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?f=4&t=27...5 and the power curve at www.bsrab.se/bilder/_/ev_94_1_l.png/?PHPSESSID=d1a...7
Volvo S60 2.0 - Your thoughts? - Adam {P}
Can I come around to Chez SJB then and see if it's money well spent?

;-)
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Adam
Volvo S60 2.0 - Your thoughts? - Wales Forester
Just to cover a few points raised so far.

Rear legroom is not a problem as I very rarely carry back seat passengers.

Boot space isn't really too much of a concern on a day to day basis but I fear the occasional airport run may become awkward.

I do like the 17" SE allys, but I have read of owners complaining of very bad tramlining compared with the 16" versions.

I must admit to disliking what Volvo have done to the S60 recently, it's gone a bit S80 in the looks department which IMHO is a bad thing.

Oh and I think that metallic gold colour is hideous!
Keep the comments coming please.

PP

Volvo S60 2.0 - Your thoughts? - SjB {P}
> Rear legroom is not a problem as I very rarely carry back seat passengers.

Same here (1 up 50% of the time, 2 up 49.9% of the time, and more than 2 up 0.1% of the time), but when I do take rear seat passengers, I expect them to be able to travel in comfort.


> Boot space isn't really too much of a concern on a day to day basis but I fear the occasional airport run may become awkward.

One of my friends with an S60 resorts to a Thule 'roof boot' for exactly this reason.


> I do like the 17" SE allys, but I have read of owners complaining of very bad tramlining compared with the 16" versions.

I have driven many S60 and V70 models with just about every combination of wheel size and chassis option, and the only ones that I've found to tramline are the plain daft 18" Nebulas. The 16" wheels on standard suspension give the most compliant ride, but the plot is lost pretty quickly when pressing on. The lowered chassis with 17" wheels sacrifices a little compliance at lower speeds, but as speeds rise, ride quality is good, and handling responses much improved.


> Oh and I think that metallic gold colour is hideous!

Each to their own. If you were talking tarty Seat Cupra yellow, then I'd agree, but sprayed on an S60, Volvo Maya Gold is sheer heaven! :-)


> I must admit to disliking what Volvo have done to the S60 recently, it's gone a bit S80 in the looks department which IMHO is a bad thing.

Here's something we are agreed on!
Volvo S60 2.0 - Your thoughts? - NickDM
- I bought a 1-year old dark grey S60 2.0T last May and it has been absolutely faultless. It's a lot more accomplished than my previous V40. Yes I miss the boot space of the hatchback, but as saloon cars go the boot is impressively long, if a little shallow. I don't recall the 3-series boot being any better?

I've driven it all over Europe, averaging low 30's mpg. Seen 140mph on the speedo in Germany late one night!

Original front tyres should just about last 20k miles, and a main dealer 12000-mile service in France cost just 140 quid.

On the downside, a Mondeo must be cheaper to buy and run but I guess you pay for the brand/image/reputation? Insurance group 14/15 is a bit of a sickener though..!

The equivalent V70 costs a fair whack more than an S60 which for me, ruled out that avenue.
Volvo S60 2.0 - Your thoughts? - Martin Wall
What are the warranty implications of this upgrade?

Surely you can't get something for nothing and this must put a greater strain on the other components of the car - yes?

I see they do an upgrade for the the 140bhp model to 188bhp which consists of:

ECU upgrade
Performance air filter
Filter oil

How easy would it be to get this fitted in the UK and how easy would it be to remove prior to taking the car to a Volvo dealer? :-) Is it 'Volvo Approved' or would it be case of 'tough' if the kit caused something to go wrong?

thanks!
Volvo S60 2.0 - Your thoughts? - SjB {P}
In essence, the engine and drivetrain are very over engineered to start with, since pretty well the same setup can be sold in any extreme of market, be driven by everyone from a chauffeur to a complete head case, and be subject to similar warranty conditions that Volvo are expect to honour.

It's also worth noting that the length of time a typical road car spends with the pedal buried in to the carpet is a mere fraction of total running time.

In my case however, I have done the honourable thing and waited before purchasing this upgrade: I imported my V70 from the Netherlands, and although it is to full UK spec, the warranty is about to expire at 2 years, not 3 as for Volvo UK cars. I will not therefore pull a crafty flanker on Volvo should anything go 'pop'. I don't expect it to though, because BSR have an exemplary reputation for intelligent, well engineered, tuning, and the Volvo five pot is an excellent base to work on. As well as ensuring that emissions never exceed stock values at any point, BSR modulate the torque allowed in each gear, and also stop well short of the point when the turbocharger becomes heat stressed. Remember the 2.4T is a low pressure turbo, high engine compression setup, not a high pressure turbo with low engine compression setup like the T5. Without mechanical or exhaust work, 250 odd horsepower is the safe limit for a 2.4T, whereas the smaller 2.3 T5, with its larger turbo, forged pistons, and other benefits that it has from original manufacture, can very safely approach 300 horsepower through chip tuning alone.

When it comes to demonstrated, rather than theoretical, reliablity, as I previously wrote, I spend a lot of time in Sweden, where friends and colleagues have software tuned their Volvos without a single problem between them, over many years. Most have even experienced small fuel consumption improvements because of increased efficiency in the cruise. Note however that ALL of the engines I write of are turbocharged. Gains through chip tuning the five pot normally aspirated engines are much smaller.

BSR don't have a UK distributor, hence me buying directly, but an alternative that I considered is the excellent dutch RICA upgrade, albeit with gains being a little less. The UK disrtibutor is www.volvotuning.co.uk in Bromsgrove, and because of this very fact, I came close to taking this option. In the end, the equally good reputation of BSR, plus the fact that I am not reliant on anyone else for future changes (I can download from the web to the car, via laptop and handheld OBDII device) or if a garage accidentally returned my car to standard settings (I simply download again), swung it for me.

Since you asked the question, both RICA and BSR upgrades are undetectable by Volvo VADIS kit in normal servicing, though as with any software, there is no such thing as undetectable if you set your mind to digging deep enough.

Finally, if you do chip your 2.4 170, don't waste your money on the panel filter. The standard Volvo one is perfectly fine.

HTH.
Volvo S60 2.0 - Your thoughts? - Martin Wall
Thanks - it's a 140bhp which seems a bit gutless at times....

What have your insurance company made of the upgrade? Did you get stung with a big premium increase?
Volvo S60 2.0 - Your thoughts? - runboy
Do a search of this forum-I asked a similar question not long ago as I was looking at buying a used S60 2.0 SE Auto. I had a few posts from people so may be worth digging it out.
Volvo S60 2.0 - Your thoughts? - SjB {P}
Ah, the 140. Yes, I forgot about that, earlier. This model IS upgradeable to the same 188bhp as the 170, for the simple reason that they are an identical engine bar the software programming. So, the 170 can only be marginally tuned further by software alone, but the 140 can gain a whopping 34% increase because it is artificially strangled to begin with.

No big premium increase, in my case at least.
Volvo S60 2.0 - Your thoughts? - pd
> I do like the 17" SE allys, but I have read of owners complaining of very bad tramlining compared with the 16" versions.

> I have driven many S60 and V70 models with just about every combination of wheel size and chassis option, and the only ones that I've found to tramline are the plain daft 18" Nebulas. The 16" wheels on standard suspension give the most compliant ride, but the plot is lost pretty quickly when pressing on. The lowered chassis with 17" wheels sacrifices a little compliance at lower speeds, but as speeds rise, ride quality is good, and handling responses much improved.

Not sure I'd agree 100%. I had 16" on the last V70 and 17" on the new. The steering on the old one was noticably better - the 17"'s lack feel and progression in the steering compared to the 16" and can tramline a fair bit on typcial UK roads. I've never tried the lowered chassis.

That caveat aside I'd still recommend the SE models. The S versions are hardly poverty spec but used the SE's cost little more and are worth it for the improved stereo alone.

The S60 is basically a very nice car. It's an excellent motorway cruiser - quite, refined and relaxing. It is fantastically comfortable and is well equipped.

However, only go for the S60 as long as it is significantly cheaper than the equivalent V70 as they depreciate heavily compared to the V70. Go for the newest, lowest mileage model you can find as there have been several design changes to some aspects of the S60/V70 during its prouduction run. The 2003 year on models are the best.
Volvo S60 2.0 - Your thoughts? - WipeOut
I can't comment on the 2.0T as I have a D5; however I do own an S60 and have done so for two years.


Things I like:

I've done 42k in my car, 30k of which was done in 9 months! The car is very comfortable and is excellent for long distance crusing. Quiet, fast, easy to drive and comfortable. The seats are ergonomics of the car are among the best, and near faultless. Reliability has been very good. Beige interiors are suprisingly hardy. Come with good selection of useful options/toys; I have an S and it's very well specified compared so say a 320d. Audio system very good. Safety features are good. Volvo take wider view of car safety than just trying to do well in NCAP test.

Things I don't like:

Volvo dealers are expensive; in the South of England expect to pair £275 aprox for a basic 12k service. When my car comes out of warranty I will find an independent. Not as good handling as the 5 series I had before, but still good; so not as much fun to drive but grip is still excellent. I have 16" wheels and would avoid anything wider as the ride becomes too harsh.

Don't buy metalic black, looks great, but chips very easily.

My conclusion:

The car gets the thumbs up from me. I had a BMW 523 (last body style) before which was a nightmare ownership and I sold it after 9 months due to constant reliability issues. The S60 ownership has been far more satisfying.

WipeOut
Volvo S60 2.0 - Your thoughts? - Wales Forester
Thanks to all for your input, plenty for me to consider on top of the homework I've already been doing.

Can anyone give me realistic fuel consumption figures for the 2.0T or confirm whether or not Volvo's own figures are reasonably accurate?

PP
Volvo S60 2.0 - Your thoughts? - JoseBlanco
Hey!
Fuel Consumption is dependent on your driving style. In london, allowing for your right foot to have the occasional spasm (i'm 23!) i can get it down to 20 or so! Currently i'm on motorways and fast A-Roads daily and @ about 80mph, i'm getting 28.8mpg quite easily!
With regards the suspension debate, i think it's worth mentioning that the seats are typically volvo, (in fact its their quality and comfort which makes them a bit bigger and so contributes to the lack of rear passenger space!) and so you never arrive somewhere drained, however firm your ride. I have 17" alloys and lowered suspension and think that the compromise is spot on. Yes, the ride is busy but it is still pliant. Other combinations i tryed were just the wrong side of "wallowy" imho.
The only other thing worth mentioning is that independent specialists are not that cheap! i had one with my previous S40 T4 and found him to be very good (and cheaper than a main dealer!) but more expensive than a mainstream (in my case vauxhall!)main dealer. The main reason is that everything on the car is synchronised to the ECU! From the auto-dimming mirror to the electric window panel, it all needs a software module to allow it to speak to the ECU! i tryed to replace the in-dash cd changer with my old mini-disc head unit and the dash lit up like a christmas tree, traction control wouldn't work and i couldn't centrally lock!
In 8000miles i have had not a single fault and i am absolutely chuffed! good luck!
Jose B
 

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