2004 Volvo S60 SE
2004 Volvo S60 SE; photo by Greg Wilson. Click image to enlarge

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Volvo Cars Canada

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By Chris Chase

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The Volvo S60 was the second model to sport the brand’s latest styling cues, and while it and the S80 (which was redesigned three years earlier) were significant departures from the boxy cars they replaced, these two models looked very similar. In fact, the S60 looked so much like the S80 that it can be hard to tell the cars apart until you get within spitting distance.

The S60 and S80’s broad “shoulders” at beltline level were a throwback to the venerable 240 series, an unlovely car (to many eyes), but one that earned a ton of respect during its long market run.

The S60, and its V70 station wagon variant (covered in its own review), replaced the S70/V70 of 1998-2000, which in turn, had replaced the similar 850 series. Like many European cars, the S60 was offered with a variety of engines in its home continent, but in North America carried on Volvo’s then-current trend (started with the 850) of five-cylinder power.

2004 Volvo S60 SE
2004 Volvo S60 SE; photo by Greg Wilson. Click image to enlarge

A 2.4-litre naturally-aspirated five (168 hp) was standard, and two turbocharged engines (a 2.4- and a 2.3-litre) powered uplevel 2.4T (197 hp) and T5 (243 hp) models.

In 2002, an all-wheel drive version of the 2.4T was added to the lineup; in 2003, this became the 2.5T, owing to a bump in engine displacement and a corresponding increase in horsepower to 208.

The 2003 model year also brought with it the potent “R” model (offered in both body styles), powered by a 2.5-litre, 300-horsepower engine mated to Volvo’s all-wheel drive system.

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