Volvo S60 T4 Review
Entre level

Story by Raymond Lai Photos by Yang and Raymond Lai
9 Jul 2011

Volvo downsizes the S60 to the increasingly crowded Cat A COE category. Raymond Lai finds out if a smaller engine makes the S60 a lesser car.

Introduction, styling

Back in 2007, when Volkswagen launched the twincharged 1.4-litre Golf GT, its marketing literature said that its 1.4-litre motor packs a punch that is roughly equivalent to a 2.5-litre engine in other models. At that time, I was tasked to find out if the 1.4-litre Golf GT could really challenge the performance of a 2.5-litre model for a story in a print publication. The car we chose to compare the Golf GT with was the naturally aspirated 2.4-litre Volvo S40. As claimed by Volkswagen, the twin test revealed that the 1.4-litre Golf GT was more than quick enough to match the 2.4-litre S40 in a straightline.

More than four years on, Volvo has joined Volkswagen in intensely downsizing its engine range and hence introducing new variants of its models with smaller engines. The S60 saloon is the latest model in the range to receive the downsized treatment. Just like its V60 estate sibling and the recent S80 T4, It now comes in a 1.6-litre T4 variant. This is in addition to the 2.0T and 3-litre T6 variants that are available since the S60's local debut late last year.

More importantly, the introduction of the T4 means that the S60 can now be had with a Cat A COE, which is an important factor these days as Cat A COEs currently cost significantly less than Cat B certificates these days (roughly $18k less at the time of writing).

The first generation S60 revolutionised Volvo styling when it was launched back in 2000. It ditched its 850 predecessor's right angle and boxy lines for curves and flowing lines. The second generation model, launched last year once again proved that Volvo could do style.

The new T4 variant can be differentiated from the 2.0T by the ‘T4' badge on the boot lid instead of ‘2.0T' as well as different ‘Balder' 17-inch alloy wheels which incidentally are shod with narrower tyres than the 2.0T's. Everything else on the exterior is similar to the 2.0T's. The S60 remains as one of the prettiest cars in its class even though it's been around for more than half a year now.




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Engine Capacity 1596cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 10:1
Bore x Stroke (81.4 x 79)mm
Power 180bhp @ 5700rpm
Torque 240Nm @ 1600rpm
Power to Weight 122.4 bhp per ton


Acceleration 9s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 225 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 13.5 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Six-speed Powershift transmission
Drive Type FF


Body Type Sedan
(L x W x H)
(4628 x 1865 x 1484) mm
Wheelbase 2776 mm
Kerb Weight 1470 kg
Boot Capacity 380 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 67.5 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs