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Volvo S60 in depth

What makes the new Volvo S60 an Editors' Choice vehicle? It's not just the world-first safety features and value for money, but the little things, too.

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Derek Fung
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Pennies

What makes the new Volvo S60 an Editors' Choice vehicle? It's not just the world-first safety features and value for money, but the little things, too.

Prices begin at AU$51,950 for the T5, AU$57,950 for the D5 and AU$64,950 for the T6.

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Brrrrrrrrrrrrrm

The T6's turbocharged straight-six petrol engine has 224kW of power and 440Nm of torque on offer.

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Under the hood

A 177kW/320Nm four-cylinder turbo-petrol (T5) and a 151kW/420Nm turbo-diesel (D5) are also available.

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Watered down

It mightn't have the outright sex appeal of the S60 concept car, but it's still pretty good looking.

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AWD

All-wheel drive is standard on the T6 and nixes any worries that you might have about torque steer.

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Money ain't the thing

Want a bit more bling? There's an optional R-Design pack for the T5 and T6 that brings its own alloy wheels, interior styling tweaks and tons of little R-Design badges.

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Light my way

Optional xenon headlights not only shine a piercing light into the night, they also follow the driver's steering inputs. Next to the grille are the LED driving lights.

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Black box

Mounted in the grille is a radar for the car's active cruise control system and various safety features.

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Goal!

At night, the tail-lights form a very pleasing hockey stick shape.

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Sleipner

Gorgeous 18-inch Sleipner alloy wheels are standard on the T6.

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BLIS

Below the wing mirror is a camera for the blind-spot warning system (BLIS).

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BLIS

When the system detects a car moving in the same direction in your over-the-shoulder blind-spots, an orange light goes on.

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See more

Both wing mirrors feature a highly curved section at the far edge.

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Mind your head

Thanks to the coupe-like roofline, head room in the back is tight.

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Backseat driver

Leg room can be a bit tight, too, depending on who's sitting in the front.

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Splitting the atom

The rear seats split-fold 60/40.

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Doing the splits

Before you can utilise the 60/40 split-fold rear seats, you need to use the backrest release located in the boot.

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Left-hand drive, anyone?

The bonnet release is on the passenger's side.

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Here's lookin' at you

The T6's matte chrome finishings not only look nice, but avoid the glare issues of shiny chrome.

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Luggage space

Boot space at 380 litres is sufficient and no more.

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Flip it

There's a flip-up divider in the boot.

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Goop

Under the floor there's some tyre sealant, but no spare wheel.

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Flexible

Carrying long planks of wood? No worries, the front passenger's seat tilts forwards.

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Tie me kangaroo down, sport

The front seats feature a small storage pouch.

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Back it up

Rear parking sensors are standard, but a reversing camera is an AU$795 option on all S60s.

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The place to be

Audi levels of interior quality are matched with Swedish decorating flair.

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Turn it around

The leather-clad steering wheel is a pleasure to hold, but the power steering system doesn't feed much information back to your fingertips.

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Sit down

The leather seats do a wonderful job of imitating a sofa.

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Roughing it

Soft, supple leather of various grains is used throughout the cabin.

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Face time

Unlike many rear seat vents, the S60's aren't just for your feet.

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Remember me

A powered driver's seat with memory is standard throughout the S60 range.

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Air controlled

Climate control air conditioning is standard throughout the S60 and the V60 line-up.

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Safety switch

The bottom button not only disables all window controls except for the driver's, but also enables the child safety locks.

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A shark's tale

FM reception is fine, but listening to AM radio with the engine on is like trying to decipher an alien transmission through all the static and background noise.

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Safety margin

These buttons on the steering wheel's left spoke adjust the active cruise control's speed and safety distance settings, as well as the system that warns you if you're following the car in front too closely.

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Danger, Will Robinson

Lights at the base of the windscreen warn you if you're following the car in front too closely. Orange lights are the least severe warning, with flashing red lights and an audio warning, followed by computer-controlled braking.

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City Safety

City Safety utilises cameras and sensors mounted high on the windscreen, and if it detects an imminent rear-ender, it will brake the car. It is able to avoid accidents at speeds of up to 30km/h. City Safety is standard on all S60s and V60s.

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Great expectations

The premium sound system is standard on the T6, and sounds excellent, as it should.

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Self-shifting

All Aussie-bound S60s come with a six-speed auto. On the D5 and the T6, there's a sport mode available.

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Plug it in

With keyless start, you don't need to put the key in, but you can if you want to.

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Hide and seek

Behind the air-con and sound system controls is a small padded nook perfect for a pair of sunnies.

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Forget me not

The location of the electronic parking brake makes it incredibly easy to forget.

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Let it rain

Rain-sensing windscreen wipers are standard throughout the S60 range.

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Navigation

In the D5 and T5, navigation can only be specified if the optional 7-inch high-res screen is fitted. Both the 7-inch screen and nav are standard on the T6.

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Sensus

The Sensus entertainment and nav menu system can be navigated by this less-than-handy knob and button combo.

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Sensus

Alternatively, and more conveniently, too, there are these controls on the steering wheel.

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Sensus

The only way to switch between different functions on the Sensus entertainment and nav system is via the buttons on the dash.

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Watch me

The 7-inch screen is brilliant in its high-resolution glory and can play DVD video and DivX files on USB.

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Entertainment time

Navigating music and movies stored on USB is quick and easy.

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Waiting

Using iPods with large music libraries can be trying on one's patience.

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Voice control

Available voice commands are displayed on-screen.

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Voice control

The system will recognise names straight out of your phonebook without any training.

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Voice control

It won't let you enter new destinations via voice, though.

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Info centre

The displays in the instrument panel cram in cruise control, fuel economy and trip computer info, but there's no space for navigation instructions.

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