This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Volvo S60 Saloon review.

Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

There are a lot of engines to choose from and with different power outfits so there is plenty of choice when it comes to Volvo S60 performance.

Petrol engines

The T3 and T4 turbo petrol engines in the Volvo S60 are both based on the 1.6-litre engine and come in 148- and 177bhp forms respectively.

The T3 offers 0-62mph in 9.4 seconds when attached to the six-speed manual gearbox or 10.2 seconds with the auto six-speeder.

For brisker performance, the T4 has 180bhp and sees off 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds as a manual and 9.0 seconds in automatic form. Both engines work well in the S60, though the T3 needs to be worked quite hard.

No such trouble for the 236bhp T5 that is a 2.0-litre turbo unit. It serves up 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds for the manual and 7.5 seconds for the auto. It feels much like other faster Volvos by being quick in a straight line but not so composed in the corners.

However, the 300bhp T6 model gets round this by having four-wheel drive instead of the front-wheel drive of other S60 models. This six-cylinder model manages 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds and comes with a six-speed auto transmission as standard. It’s quick and grippy but not as involving as a BMW 3 Series to drive in twisty terrain.

Diesel engines

The Volvo S60’s diesel engines come in D2, D3, D4 and D5 forms.

The 1.6-litre D2 kicks things off with 114bhp and 0-62mph in 10.9 seconds (12.9 for the auto) and is a good bet for those who value economy over performance. It also has low emissions to appeal to company drivers, while the 2.0-litre D3 with 134bhp can match the D2’s 114g/km emissions yet provides zestier performance of 0-62mph in 10.2 seconds.

The 161bhp D4 with a is quicker still with 0-62mph in 9.2 seconds and its 114g/km emissions are still good for a car of this size and pace.

Top of the diesel pile is the D5 that has 212bhp 2.4-litre engine and 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds with a manual gearbox and 7.7 seconds with the auto. It’s a swift performer, though the engine is a little gruff at idle and when revved hard.

Parkers recommends

Our choice is the D3 turbodiesel with manual gearbox as it offers the best blend of performance, economy and emissions.

Volvo says it designed, developed and engineered the S60 to be the sportiest car it has ever made. So how does it measure up to the talented BMW 3-Series and Mercedes C-Class? Not too well. If you’re a real driving enthusiast, pick one of the Germans, but, that said the S60 is still good to drive.

The D3 offers a decent drive, with agile handling, some balance and plenty of grip on the cars with big wheels we drove. The T6 is even better, benefiting from all-wheel drive to help catapult it from corner to corner.

We have a few gripes though. We wished Volvo hadn’t bothered with three steering weighting settings and the manual gear lever is mounted poorly for those who like to sit close to the steering wheel. Other than that the S60 is a good, if not great small executive saloon.