November 27, 2011

DRIVEN: Volvo S60 T4 !!!

If you've lost touch to the outside world since a decade ago, you will be filled with disbelief if I present the 2011 Volvo S60 to you and tell you it is a Volvo. The S60 is no doubt one of the best products had ever created by Volvo. Comtemporary and sleek styling, not to mention the safest Volvo to date, which is claimed by Volvo themselves. When Volvo says the S60 is the best, you wouldn't have to think hard to know how good the S60 is when it comes to safety...

S60 T4 (left) and S60 T5 (right)

While the Volvo XC60 is Volvo's best looking SUV, the S60 is Volvo's most attractive sedan to date. It has dynamic design that no one would ever possibly imagine a Volvo will be a decade ago. The low slung roofline promotes a coupe-like silhouette, but thankfully this is achieved without sacrificing the rear occupants' headroom.

Settling in the driver's seat and you'll find the driver-focused cockpit centre console and instrument panel looks upmarket and good build quality. Another worth mentioning is the comfortable and supportive seats, together with high quality leather make it one of the best seats I've ever sat in a car. Thanks to the supportive seat which feels like it is hugging you (in a comfortable way), I felt safe already even before the car started moving!

Being a Volvo, a mile long list of safety abbreviations are installed in the S60. For instance, Side Impact Protection System (SIPS), Fading Brake Support (FBS), Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC), Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), so on and so forth. Speaking of BLIS, I've experienced its effectiveness for the first time when the system informed me that a car appeared in my left side blind spot after I switched on my indicator. It saved my life!!! *exaggerating*

Volvo promises a more engaging drive with its S60, and yes, Volvo did it! Good handling accompanied by superb powertrain. The T4 was powered by a 1.6litre turbocharged engine with 180bhp and 240Nm of torque at 1600-5000rpm. The responsive powertrain is mated to a 6 speed Powershift with Geartronic, but the gear change was not as smooth as I've expected. The engine, however, provide strong pulling power thanks to the high torque figure and turbocharger.

While the brake felt strong and effective, I have to refrain my leg from stepping on the brake pedal too hard because the brake bites harder than some Japanese manufactured car.

The Swede has created a superior sedan that would give its competitors a run for their money. Priced at RM220,000 for the S60 T4, it is a sexy, sporty, sophisticated and safe car that you would never go wrong buying it.

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