2001 Volvo S60: Volvo Gets in the Groove
|2001 Volvo S60|
Mar 17, 2005 19:41:50|
16 ( -2 -12.5% )|
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It used to be that you knew a Volvo on sight. The shoebox-on-wheels styling, the tank-like defensive handlingâ€¦the smiling occupants who knew they were safe. A Volvo was as unmistakable as a Swede on the beach. Thankfully, that's no longer the case. Nowadays, the Volvo looks downright curvy. Whoever said Swedes can't be sexy has never seen the 2001 Volvo S60? And that's not just sexy in a pig-tails and hot chocolate kind of way. The Volvo S60 is one Swede ready to rock the bod.
Could there be a little German in the mix? Aren't all mid-sized sedans influenced by the benevolent God of the mid-size, BMW's 325I? Yes, the Volvo S60 looks a bit like the BMW 3-Series. And baseball general managers are looking for pitchers who look like Nolan Ryan. Who cares except maybe BMW designers? Through the similarities, the Volvo stands up on its own with swooping lines and a very distinguished grill. The grill makes a big impact--in fact, it's a critical difference between competitive sedans. Think of the S60 as a 35-year-old with graying temples.
It almost drives as good as a 325, too, which is saying something. The difference isn't enough to bother most normal people, and those who notice probably wouldn't be in the market for a Volvo anyway. On long and straight highways, the S60 slides comfortably into a nice cruising speed. It's not a racer but a mid-sized sedan that can pick up her skirts and get down the road, or settle into a long and powerful gait. Passing power is more than ample. There's a 5 cylinder engine that standard on all models, and that's nice--but if you can, jump up to the 197-horsepower 2.4T. All S60s come with Multi-Port Fuel Injection. Late for a date on the other side of the Utah Red Rocks, I really pushed the S60's handling capability. And through pretty hearty twists and turns, the S60 kept its cool--even when I pushed it out on the corner and whipped past an 18-wheeler. Yeah. Imagine doing that in a Volvo.
It would never happen back in the old days, when the Volvo was square and you could trust your neighbor. Back then, amenities like comfort were limited to a seat that went back and a center console interior light. But that was back when Volvo owners used to say "â€¦yeah, but it's safe. And you know how long Volvos lastâ€¦" and everyone would nod their head and agree. Now look at how things have ended up. The S60 has one of the coolest cockpits around; the front seats are more comfortable than my living room sofa. But that's the front, and therein lies the key to comfort in the S60: don't sit in the back, especially if you're on the Hungry Big Man side.
If you're in the market for a notoriously safe mid-sized sedan with hot looks and enough kick to remind you of that mule trip down the Grand Canyon, put the Volvo S60 on your short list.
--By Brian Chee
The following systems are standard on all models:
5 Cyl Engine, Multi-Port Fuel Injection, Power Anti-Lock, 4 Whl Disc Brakes Driver/Psngr Air Bags, Strut Independent Suspension, and 2 Wheel Front Drive.
New for 2001
Volvo's new S60 sedan replaces the midsize S70 sedan. The S60 is available in three models: 2.4, 2.4T, and T5. The 2.4 is normally aspirated, while the 197-horsepower 2.4T and the 247-horsepower T5 are both turbocharged. An automatic transmission is required on the 2.4T model, but the both the 2.4 and the T5 models are available with either an automatic or a manual transmission. The turbo models are also available with Volvo's Geartronic shifting system. All S60's are equipped with front and side airbags, side-curtain airbags and 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. Optional upgrade packages provide features such as leather seats, a premium stereo, and traction control.