Competition in the luxury sedan segment is increasingly becoming hard with manufacturers introducing elegant and irresistible offers. There are a number of varieties to choose from in the segment stretching from the Volkswagen Passat, BMW 3-series, Audi A4 and Volvo S60. But the Volvo S60 offers a compelling alternative.
What stood out for me with the S60 D4 were the unmatchable safety features that come with the vehicle. The new Active High Beam Control makes every trip in the dark safer and more comfortable. The technology eliminates the need to switch between low and high beam. Instead, Active High Beam Control makes it possible to keep the headlights on full beam continuously.
When another car approaches from the opposite direction, the system helps to prevent dazzling the oncoming driver by shading out only as much of the beam as necessary. This is done by an ingenious projector module mechanism integrated into the headlamp.
The new Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with full auto brake is equipped with an advanced sensor system that scans the area ahead. If a cyclist heading in the same direction as the car suddenly swerves out in front of the car and a collision is imminent, there is an instant warning and full braking power is applied.
The Driver Alert Control is designed to detect and warn tired drivers. The system can also cover other situations where the driver is distracted.
The City Safety keeps an eye on traffic in front with the help of a laser sensor that is integrated into the top of the windscreen at the height of the rear-view mirror. The car automatically brakes if the driver fails to react in time when the vehicle in front slows down or stops – or if the car is approaching a stationary vehicle too fast.
The Distance Alert is another safety feature that helps the driver to keep a safe distance to the vehicle in front. The driver can chooses between five different time gaps via buttons on the steering wheel. The selected gap is shown in the speedometer display. A light in the heads-up display informs the driver if the gap to the car in front becomes too short.
The Volvo S60 D4’s cabin looks very elegant. It features, paddle shift and leather steering wheel, leather gear knob, state of the art digital display, and easy to use instruments and controls.
The powered and heated front seats are comfortable and keep you in your position all the time. They can be adjusted up to 3 different driver’s settings into a memory system linked to the central locking remote controls. The heating can be operated using buttons on the centre console.
The model I tested featured the piano black decor inlay which I did not like – it looks a bit dull. The car features Bluetooth technology, CD/radio/MP3 player with USB and auxiliary port. The high performance multimedia audio system features 7″ colour display screen.
The S60 D4 has a boot capacity of 380 litres.
The S60 looks bold and features a wider grille, daylight running lights, a new LED light guide on the tail lamps and emphasised front and rear horizontal lines. These features enhance the S60’s road presence.
Its lockable wheel bolts help reduce the risk of aluminium wheels being stolen. The wheel lock features one uniquely coded socket enabling only the driver to remove the wheels.
The new R-Design 19” Ixion II alloy wheels have an overtly sporting, forward-thrusting design.
Its visual presence is complemented with R-DESIGN unique rear exhaust pipes.
On the road
The Volvo S60 D4 handles sharp curves very well. The car is very solid, feels safe on the road and offers superior fuel economy.
The S60’s new gearshift paddles for the automatic transmission adds more fun behind the steering wheel. They offer faster and more precise manual gear changes.
- Power: 133kW at 4250rpm
- Torque: 400Nm at 2500
- 0-100 km/h: 7.4 seconds
- Top speed:230km/h
- Fuel consumption: 4.2 litre per 100km
- Fuel type: Diesel
- Fuel tank capacity: 68L
- Price: From R352 900
What we like about the car:
- Superior fuel economy
- Rear park assist sensors
- It handles well on the road
- It feels safe
- It is solidly built
- Great performance
- Advanced audio system and sound quality
- Modern interior design
- Unique features and latest technology
- Pedestrian and cyclist detection technology
What we don’t like about the car:
- The dashboard (Piano black decor inlay) looks a bit dull
Five-wheel rating: 4/5.