2008 Volvo S60 Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
July 22, 2008

The 2008 Volvo S60 is a comfortable, safe all-weather sedan, but if you want top sport-sedan performance, you should look elsewhere.

To bring you the best information on the 2008 Volvo S60, the experts at TheCarConnection.com perused a wide range of available reviews, then included notes from their own firsthand driving experience with the S60 and its sporty T5 variant.

The mid-size 2008 Volvo S60 sedan sits at the middle of Volvo’s sedan lineup, between the compact S40 and the larger S80. The roster now consists of a base 2.5T front-wheel-drive model, 2.5T all-wheel-drive model, and the sporty, front-wheel-drive T5 model; the highest-performance T5 R model has been discontinued.

The 2008 Volvo S60 continues the same swoopy styling that was first introduced in the 2001 model year, though updated with a new front end in 2007. Inside, the S60 doesn’t have the fashionable interior theme or the thin, "floating" center console setup of the S40 and S80.

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A turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine, making 208 horsepower, is standard on the 2008 Volvo S60, and it produces brisk acceleration and responsive performance with the five-speed automatic transmission. A Premium Package, which also includes a moonroof and leather upholstery, upgrades to Geartronic manual shift control. The T5 models upgrade to a 247-horsepower, 2.3-liter turbocharged five with Geartronic.

The 2008 Volvo S60 has excellent front seats that are some of the best contoured and most supportive in their class, but in back, it’s a different story; rear passengers will find it short in legroom and possibly headroom, due to the sloped roofline. The cabin is especially well isolated from road and wind noise, though, and is otherwise a very pleasant place to be.

All of the 2008 Volvo S60 models ride quite smoothly and steer responsively, but they fall short around sharp corners, especially on rough surfaces. Torque steer—a pull to the side under hard acceleration—can be an issue on the front-wheel-drive T5, though the T5 AWD model remedies that.

The T5 models include some significant upgrades, including larger 17-inch wheels, leather seating, a power sunroof, and MP3/WMA functionality on the CD player. An Imola two-tone interior is a no-charge option on vehicles with the Advanced Package, and available for a fee on the T5. Top options include a Dolby ProLogic II sound system with 13 speakers, heated seats and headlamp washers, and a navigation system. The high-technology safety features that are offered on several of Volvo’s other models, such as the blind-spot warning system, adaptive headlamps, and a backseat integrated booster seat, are not offered on the 2008 Volvo S60.

The 2008 Volvo S60 includes a list of safety features comparable to that offered by rivals, including stability control, anti-lock brakes, front side airbags, front-seat whiplash protection, and side-curtain bags. The 2008 Volvo S60 attains four-star ratings (out of five stars) for frontal impact and five stars for side impact, along with top "good" ratings for frontal and rear impact but "acceptable" ratings for side impact from the insurance-affiliated IIHS.

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