Review: 2012 Volvo S60 T5

Posted on 23. May, 2011 by in Auto News

Quite a few of you balked at the idea of a $ 47,610 not quite midsize Volvo sedan. Well, for 2012, a T5 joins the S60 range. While the T6 might venture a bit deep. In Audi and BMW territory with a $ 31,850 base price, the T5 is in range of similar semi-premium front-drive Acura TSX and Buick Regal But how much of the self-proclaimed naughtiness T6 have to do without? Is the more affordable T5 a match for the Acura and Buick, especially Germans?

Silver is the new S60 best color, and the standard 17-inch wheels do not even long noses, high-belted outside any favors. Paint with "ember black metallic" and delicate 18-inch alloys, the previously tested T6 was significantly more attractive. As tested, the T5 appears less upscale than some decidedly non-premium compacted. Not that saw a 240 upscale, either. But Volvo loyalists do not recognize the object of their worship in the S60 coupe-like roofline sweeping. If the new S60 … where?

The T5 has the same oh-so-Scandinavian interior as T6, but without the $ 1,900 premium package of the former seats (on both T5S photographed) in the T-Tec (think soft-sided luggage) are padded. The optional leather has an attractive heavy grain, and looks particularly warm "Beechwood." Add the $ 800 climate package and the seats feel too warm. Heated or not, these seats are finding the comfortable and well supportive. The Acura front buckets are not far behind, but the Buick is. The Regal regains points for material and workmanship. A particularly sore point within the Volvo: the oversized shifter feels clunky and literally sounds hollow. Although none of the cars in this class are primarily four-friendly, the Volvo aft cabin is especially close.

Unlike GM Volvo realized that 220-or-so horsepower is not enough for street cred. Sun ye olde increased five kicks of 250 hp at 5,500 rpm in the latest iteration. While this is only ten more than the naturally aspirated six-cylinder offered in other Volvos, the maximum torque of 266 T5 outgrunts pound-feet at 1,800 rpm, the six by 30 On paper, the superior engine. Take a half a liter and AWD, and the EPA ratings of the T6 is 18/26 to improve the T5 to more respectable 20/30. This is better than the TSX V6 (18/27), Regal 2.0T (18/28) or the slightly larger Volvo S80 when using the naturally aspirated six (19/27), but is not quite as good as an Audi A4 2 , 0 T (22/30).

The problem is increased five not deliver his numbers with the smooth feel and lusty sounds expected of a premium sport sedan. Despite the early peak torque at low revs the engine feels responsive soft and lazy. Even the turbocharged four in the Buick feels and sounds better. The attractive, well-sounding six in the TSX is incomparable.

Handling similar to a goal. When I drove the T6, the seller said that Volvo was concerned that driving the car was too hard. The tires were a breath Thumpy, but the car felt like no Volvo sedan in the recent past were alive. With the standard suspension, the S60 T5 dominated body movements so well. There are more and more lean in corners bobbling over bumps. The Acura has a little better here, the Buick much better. The T5 is the steering, but still satisfactory fast, feels less direct and less precise than the T6. Partly because of the Michelin Primacy tires lack grip, stability control cuts in too early. There is no practical button to choose it back, but this must be done through menus (think iDrive, but the controls high up and to the right on the center console). The Dynamic Package, with the T6's 18-inch wheels, all selectable effort steering and firmer suspension, would the handling gap with the Buick. It is a must for anyone who makes about driving. But also swells the price to $ 900. Also with this package, the T5 lacks the extra handling flexibility through the T6 all-wheel drive is provided.

Even with the base suspension, the S60 T5 will not go as smoothly or as quiet as the Acura or Buick. Compared to the car it seems little raw, and not in a good way. The ears report a lesser car.

"Naughty" posturing despite continuing to push Volvo safety. "City Safety", which can completely prevent hitting objects in front of the vehicle up to 9 mph and minimize damage up to 18 mph, is standard on all S60s. I again did not have the courage to try it. A wide range of safety features more commonly found is also standard, of course.

Creating a S60 T5, the functions of a $ 32,000 Buick Regal 2.0T or a $ 36,000 Acura TSX V6 match, and ends at $ 37,300 MSRP. So not far from the latter, and very close to a similarly equipped $ 37,100 Audi A4 2.0T. Discounts should be larger on the Volvo, though.

Above all, the Volvo S60 T5 starts a substantial $ 7,725 lower than the T6, but how much are you really saving? Equip both with heated leather, sunroof, adaptive xenon headlights and the Dynamic package, and the difference shrinks to $ 4,625, $ 36,250 vs. $ 40,875. (Add another $ 2,700 to either nav plus a 650-watt surround sound system.). Volvo charges $ 2,000 for all-wheel drive in the XC60 crossover, so figuring out $ 2,625 for the T6 engine A little steep for just an additional cylinder, but in this case it is a must. Even if the six-cylinder in the extra power is not needed, the larger engine sounds and feels so much better than the cobby five adds ten grand to. The perceived value of the car The Germans have certainly charged a lot more for less.

Dwyer and Sons Volvo in Commerce Twp, MI, provided. The car for this review They can be reached at (866) 759-0593.

Michael Karesh operates True Delta, an online source of automotive pricing and reliability data.