2001 Volvo S60 2.0T S 2.0 turbo 20v petrol from UK and Ireland


A bargain for the performance and quality on offer


Bulb failure warning on dash caused by a loose fitting bulb in one of the double tail lamps.

Centre console cubby hole lid doesn't close properly.

Otherwise fault free.

General Comments:

What we have here is all the build quality, refinement and longevity of an Audi A4 with better handling (not difficult, admittedly), better looks (IMO) and the screen price of a Mondeo.

My car is Maya Gold which won't appeal to everyone, but to my eye accentuates the almost coupe-like lines beautifully. It's a very pretty car which in styling terms has not dated at all to my eyes. Obviously a Volvo, but understated, sleek and classy in a way one wouldn't necessarily associate with the brand.

The build quality is beyond criticism. The dash doesn't rattle, everything works, the doors still close with a reassuring, well damped "thunk", the paint is still deep and lustrous, and the engine still idles sweetly and pulls like a train.

The 20v turbo five pot is a peach of an engine, with a lovely smooth, but hard edged growl as the revs build. The gearbox and clutch are a little clumsy, but familiarity makes them more than acceptable. Performance is effortlessly rapid, the light pressure turbo responding instantly and piling on the speed at a rate which, while feeling quite ordinary, will get you into ban territory almost comically easily.

Handling is fine, although you'd never call it a drivers car. The steering is overlight, and lacks feel, particularly around the straight ahead. Compared to the rubbery numbness of the A4 though, it's a big step-up, but don't go chasing BMWs around the lanes.

This is the entry level S model, and comes with one of the best standard fit stereos I've ever heard (complete with CD AND tape - remember them?), electric windows, electric mirrors, dual zone climate control, cruise control, half leather, ABS and an electric sunroof.

The interior ambience and quality is so far ahead of my previous Mondeo, the two can barely be mentioned in the same sentence. Even at this mileage, the seats look barely sat in, and there's no wear on the gearknob or wheel rim. Everything feels as taut and crisp as the day it left the factory. Only the flimsy, ill-fitting cover on the central stowage box lets it down which is strange when you look at the impeccable quality and durability of the other fixtures and fittings. Oh and the seats are probably the best fitted to a mass produced car anywhere.

On the road, the suspension works quietly, and the distant warble from the 5 pot engine is beautifully judged in terms of volume. It's never intrusive, but well worth turning the stereo down just to hear it sing its mellow, tuneful song when you work it hard. It's utterly smooth and vibration free right round to the 6,000 RPM redline, and the car can make excellent, rapid progress changing up at 5k. The slow witted gearbox does hamper acceleration off the line, but once over 50 mph, leave it in fifth, and use that muscular engine to pull you through.

Economy is averaging around 32 mpg, but you can knock 10 mpg off that without trying too hard. It's difficult to be sensible with an engine that sounds so superb at high revs, and which responds so eagerly to small throttle openings regardless of revs or gear.

I bought this car in January with a full Volvo history, clear HPI report, one company and one private owner, and 11 months MOT for just UKP 2500. It feels, sounds and looks like it's worth ten times that, and if you stuck a private plate on it, only an anorak would fail to be fooled. Brilliant car, and recommended to anyone.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th March, 2008

6th Nov 2009, 10:17

Quick update to the review above.

Now on a whisker over 150,000 miles. Just two problems to report:

1) The indicator stalk has become temperamental, with the function of the right hand indicator being decidedly a matter of pot luck. Can buy them new on Ebay for £40 or used for £15 so it's hardly gonna break the bank.

2) I had to replace the top engine mount (£40 and 30 minutes work).

Other than that it's had two routine services since the report (132 and 144k), a new set of tyres, a couple of bulbs and that's been it. Doesn't use oil, never fails to start, never lets me down, everything works as intended, and still has enough grunt to embarrass a BMW 320i.

Drove it 400 miles in a day last month and not a twinge of stiffness, fatigue or pain. Supremely comfortable.

Still a great car.

2001 Volvo S60 SE 2.0T from UK and Ireland


You get a lot of car for your money, but don't expect it to be worth much when you sell it on


Front lower suspension bushes failed.

Top engine mount failed

Main brake master cylinder failed (both circuits!)

Alarm played up

Door locks failed

Chewed up edges of front tyres.

General Comments:

I bought this car knowing that it had it's foibles but didn't think they would all hit me. Sure enough the door locks played up and I had to replace the lower wishbone bushes along with the upper engine mount. Neither were hugely expensive jobs, but in a car only 4 years old and from a manufacturer as Volvo I expected a little better quality.

That said, I have never driven a more comfortable car over long distances. I drove it non stop back from the Lake district to the South Coast. The car is a very nice place to be in and is very well built from a passenger point of view. The seats are amazingly comfortable and the cabin well designed although not in such a contemporary way as a BMW or Mercedes.

The worst thing about the car though was the depreciation. The spec of the car I bought was around £25k when new. I bought it 4 years later for £9k and struggled to get near £4k 2 1/2 years later on a trade in.

The fuel consumption was not great, around 28mpg generally which was the main reason we sold the car for a diesel engined car. You could get up to 35mpg on a gentle motorway run, but you had to have a light right foot. If I had the chance to re think I would have gone for the D5 model.

Unfortunately Volvo do not have the badge prestige to hold values which is a shame. The car is fundamentally vary good and I enjoyed driving it and was sad to see it go. I would consider another Volvo, but only if the depreciation issues were not so much of a factor.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 31st October, 2007