For 2005, the Volvo S60 receives an attractive restyling, more safety features, an upgraded interior and more horsepower and torque on the turbocharged model.

The restyled S60 is less boxy than its predecessor, with smooth, sexy lines and new headlights that use plastic instead of glass; in the rear, there are new taillights with transparent glass and visible bulbs, and a new light pattern. The traditional headlight wipers have been replaced by high-pressure washers. Inside, there’s a new centre console.

As well, the S60 benefits from changes made across-the-board to all Volvos in 2005: new one-piece flat-blade wipers, and water-repellent glass that’s standard on all side-view mirrors and optional or standard on side glass, depending on the model. As well, every line will have all-wheel-drive available, either as standard equipment or an option, and a Dolby Pro-Logic II 5.1 Surround Sound audio system either standard or optional.

The S60 offers three engine choices: a 2.4-litre, inline five-cylinder naturally aspirated model on the 2.4, a 2.5-litre inline five-cylinder turbocharged model on the 2.5T and 2.5T AWD, and a 2.4-litre inline five-cylinder turbocharged version on the T5. Four transmissions are available.

The 2.4 comes very well equipped, including a five-speed manual gearbox, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, electronic brake distribution and emergency braking assistance, 16-inch alloy wheels, headlight washers, heated cloth seats, leather-wrapped wheel, folding 60/40 rear seat and folding front passenger seat, CD player with six speakers and wheel-mounted controls, tilt and telescopic wheel, dual-zone electronic climate control, power windows with auto up/down on all, power heated mirrors with puddle lights, and cruise control.

The 2.5T offers the same list of features, but with the turbocharged engine and a five-speed automatic transmission. The 2.5T AWD adds all-wheel-drive, five-speed automatic with manual mode and a power driver’s seat with memory positions.

The T5, in addition to a more powerful turbocharged engine, also adds a six-speed manual (the manual-mode automatic is optional), fog lights, leather interior, power passenger seat, aluminum inlays, six-CD stereo with nine speakers, and auto-dimming rearview mirror.

All S60 models feature superb handling and decent road manners; the higher-horsepower turbo provides a sports sedan experience even when coupled to the Geartronic automatic, which works very well, transmitting input as quickly and accurately as if you were sliding the gears yourself. The T5 also comes with bigger brakes. Still, while it’s fun to look at the higher end, the base 2.4 provides smooth and competent performance that’s unmistakably Volvo.

The S60 is built in Ghent, Belgium.

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