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Woman Motorist Review Volvo S60


Volvo's four-year turnaround has been nothing short of amazing, and the new-for-2001 S60 sedan marks its zenith. Herein lies the best of the old and the best of the new. Head-turning styling complemented by a thoroughly modern interior, razor-sharp handling and lustful power, comfortable seats,a control layout beyond reproach, and, of course, anunswerving dedication to safety. This is the car that is going to keep BMW execs awake at night.

The mid-size S60 would hardly remind you of the S70 it replaces. Straight lines have given way to luscious curves to tie in with the styling of the new V70 wagon and the flagship S80 sedan. The view is complemented by eye-opening colors like Maya Yellow and Cosmo Blue. Tucked inside this package is the most artistic and modern Volvo interior ever. We especially like the "space ball" gearshift, executed in brushed chrome, as one of the coolest-looking shifters we've ever seen! But the S60 doesn't suffer for its art: the control layout is easy on the eyes and the seats are unbelievably comfortable. These attributes are what we have come to expect from the Swedish automaker.

Volvos are known for safety, but they've also become known for performance, and the S60's power does not disappoint. Buyers can choose from a pair of 2.4 liter 5-cylinder engines, a 168 horsepower version or a turbocharged variant good for 197 horsepower. For drivers who demand the ultimate, there's the T5, with a 2.3 liter five-cylinder turbo that whips up 247 horsepower, mated to either a 5-speed manual or the Geartronic system, anautomatic transmission that allows the driver to selectgears manually.

Naturally, the S60 is a rolling Who's Who of safety gear. Active safety features To help avoid accidents start with the S60's responsive handling and four-wheel antilock disc brakes. When a collision is inevitable, the Volvo protects passengers with carefully designed crumple zones, a rigid passenger safety cage, front and side airbags for the front seats (no side airbags in the rear as they pose a danger to children), seatbelt pretentioners that pull extra slack out of the belts, side curtain airbags to cover the side windows in a side impact or rollover, head restraints for all fivepassengers, and an innovative whiplash protection systemfor the front seats. There simply is not better protection than this without getting elected to the White House.

The S60 is the sedan built to please both heart and mind. It performs like a thoroughbred, protects like a sentry, and pampers like a grandmother. The challenge is to find another car that offers the S60's combination of safety, performance, comfort and practicality at this price. From what we can see, nothing else even comes close.
[This message has been edited by InDy (edited 12-31-2000).]
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