2004 Volvo S60 SE
2004 Volvo S60 SE. Click image to enlarge

Related articles on Autos
Test Drive: 2004 Volvo S60 SE
Test Drive: 2004 Volvo S60R
First Drive: 2003 Volvo S60R
Test Drive: 2002 Volvo S60 AWD
First Drive: 2002 Volvo S60 AWD
Test Drive: 2001 Volvo S60
Test Drive: 2001 Volvo S60
Buyer’s Guide: 2009 Volvo S60
Buyer’s Guide: 2008 Volvo S60
Buyer’s Guide: 2007 Volvo S60
Buyer’s Guide: 2006 Volvo S60
Buyer’s Guide: 2005 Volvo S60

Manufacturer’s web site
Volvo Cars Canada

Join Autos’s Facebook group
Follow Autos on Twitter

By Chris Chase; photos by Greg Wilson

In 2000, the Volvo S60 was the second model to sport the brand’s new 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.

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.

2004 Volvo S60 SE
2004 Volvo S60 SE. Click image to enlarge

In 2002, an all-wheel drive version of the 2.4T was added to the line-up; 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.

In 2004, the 2.5-litre turbocharged engine was given a home in the front-drive turbo model. The base, 2.4-litre S60 was dropped in 2006, though this engine was still offered in the V70.

While the the V70 was redesigned for 2008, the S60 carried on in a streamlined, two-model range including 2.5T and T5, with all-wheel drive being an option on the 2.5T.

2004 Volvo S60 SE
2004 Volvo S60 SE
2004 Volvo S60 R. Click image to enlarge

In 2009, the T5 was dropped, leaving just the 2.5T, in front- and all-wheel drive forms. Leather was made standard, and a Luxury Package replaced the previous year’s option packages. The S60 was discontinued for 2010, in preparation for the arrival of the 2011 in late 2010.

Transmission choices were five-speed manual and automatic for base, 2.4T/2.5T and early T5 models; the T5 got a six-speed manual as standard in 2005, though a five-speed auto was offered. The R models got a six-speed as standard too, as well as a five-speed auto option.

With such a wide variety of motors, drivetrains and body styles, fuel consumption figures were all over the place. Here’s an overview: city consumption ranges from 11 L/100 km to 13.5 L/100 km, while highway consumption starts as low as 7.5 L/100 km and stretches up to almost 9.0 L/100 km. Like most cars however, you’d be dreaming if you think you could match these figures in real-world driving, particularly in all-wheel drive versions. Don’t expect to do much better than 14 L/100 km in the city and 10 or 11 L/100 km on the highway, unless you’re really good about watching your speed.

Connect with Autos.ca