2002 Volvo S60
By Dan Jedlicka of MSN Autos
A new all-wheel-drive version enhances the appeal of Volvo's midsize S60 sedan lineup, and may attract folks who want the security of such a drive system but don't want a four-wheel-drive truck.
The S60 is likely the last Volvo car model that will be made with an all-Swedish platform. Ford has bought the automaker and future Volvos will probably share parts with other Ford-owned car producers—to hold down costs.
The S60 model is called the 2.4T AWD because it has a turbocharged 2.4-liter engine with 197 horsepower and the advanced electronic all-wheel-drive system introduced in a racy Volvo concept car at the 2000 Paris auto show.
How the AWD System Works
The all-wheel drive system should be especially appreciated in Snow Belt areas of the country. The three other S60 models have front-wheel drive, which is fine for other areas.
All S60 trims have an inline 5-cylinder engine, which is a step up from a four cylinder but isn't as smooth as a six cylinder.
Prices range from $27,125 to $34,025, with the S60 AWD costing $33,375.
For 2002 the spotlight falls on the S60 AWD, which has the same slick body as other S60s. The sedan's styling probably surprised many veteran Volvo owners accustomed to the boxy, old Volvo shape—although Volvo has been building stylish cars for several years.
The rigidly built S60 looks and feels solid, and the AWD trim has a wealth of standard equipment and safety features, including inflatable side curtains for head protection of outboard occupants. In fact, all S60 trims are loaded with safety features.
The base S60 has adequate acceleration, especially with a manual transmission, but the more potent S60 AWD is considerably livelier. The power-boosting turbocharger causes a little lag in acceleration, but highway cruising is relaxed.
There are 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmissions, but the S60 AWD comes only with the responsive automatic, which has a manual-shift feature
The all-wheel-drive system eliminates the annoying torque steer of the front-drive S60s and improves dry-road traction. But it adds weight, so fuel economy is just 19 mpg in the city and 26 on highways. Premium gasoline is needed to provide the best performance, but Volvo says regular-grade fuel can be used.
Not A Sports Sedan
Actually, even the T5 is more of a hot rod than a sports sedan because its front-drive layout causes nose heaviness that adversely affects handling. All S60 models have a supple ride, but the T5's ride is on the firm side.
Impressive Cargo Space
There is good room up front in large, supportive seats for two tall adults. But legroom gets tight for a tall rear occupant if the driver's seat is moved back more than halfway.
The S60 AWD enhances Volvo's reputation for safety, and is an intelligent addition to the S60 lineup.