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  • William Maley
    William Maley
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    Quick Drive: 2014 Volvo S60 T5 Premier Plus

      Saying Farewell To The Turbocharged Inline-Five

    Volvo is known for a few things: Safety, boxy designs, and wagons. Volvo also happens to be known for a specific engine, the T5. Introduced in the 850 in the mid-nineties, the T5 was a turbocharged and intercooled five-cylinder engine unbeknownst to the company, this engine in its various forms would go on to power a number of models and take number of race wins in Europe. The T5 engine would become part of a rarified company of engines that have long lives such as GM's 3800 V6 and Nissan's VQ engine family.

    But with all things, there has to be an end. Before too long, the T5 engine will be retired. In its place will be a new range of four-cylinder engines called Drive-E which will come turbocharged or turbo/supercharged to provide the performance of a bigger engine while getting the fuel economy of a smaller engine. So before Volvo retires the T5 from their lineup, I decided to take one last spin with it in a 2014 S60.

    Lets begin with the engine itself. The T5 in current Volvos is a 2.5L inline-five engine that makes about 250 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. Volvo made some tweaks to the T5 last year which included new pistons, crankshaft, and engine management system to improve performance and drivability. This is paired to six-speed automatic that sends power to the front wheels. All-wheel drive is optional.

    2014 Volvo S60 T5 13

    While the T5 doesn’t have the same exuberance of the S60 T6 R-Design I drove last year, it has a couple of traits that make it a standout. For starters, the T5’s torque band is available from 1,800 to the peak of 4,200 rpm. This means the T5 provides very satisfying power from any speed. The six-speed automatic also deserves some credit here as well. It’s very responsive and isn’t so quick to upshift in a effort to improve fuel economy. Speaking of that, the 2014 S60 T5 is rated at 21 City/30 Highway/24 Combined. My week average landed around 24 MPG.

    This S60 came equipped with the optional sports package which includes eighteen-inch wheels and a dynamic chassis. The chassis is very stiff which makes the S60 a really fun vehicle to throw around in the corners as it provides limited body roll and excellent grip from the tires. It also means the S60 tends to communicate every single road imperfection. This is one of those times where I would say drive the sports package and standard model back to back to see whether or not you can stand the suspension tuning.

    Aside from the engine and suspension, not many things have changed since we last reviewed the S60. The front clip has been changed to feature a wider grille. Inside, the 2014 S60 has a new instrument cluster that can switch between three different modes to show varying amounts of information.

    Much like the Volvo S60 T6 R-Design, the S60 T5 is a sleeper among the compact luxury sedans. The T5 engine is the sweet spot as it provides almost the same power feeling as the T6 while delivering better fuel economy. Other traits such as the fun to drive nature are shared between the two. Like I said in the S60 T6 R-Design, if you don’t like to follow the leader, then the S60 deserves a closer look.

    As for the T5 engine, it’s amazing that it has lasted as long and been powering a number of Volvo’s vehicles throughout. Even more impressive is how much Volvo was able to improve the engine over time. While the end is near, Volvo has given the T5 something that very few automakers do; given it a swan song in the S60.

    Disclaimer: Volvo Provided the S60 T5, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2014

    Make: Volvo

    Model: S60

    Trim: T5

    Engine: 2.5L Turbocharged Inline-Five with Intercooler

    Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive

    Horsepower @ RPM: 250 @ 5,400

    Torque @ RPM: 266 @ 1,800 - 4,200

    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/30/24

    Curb Weight: 3,528 lbs

    Location of Manufacture: Ghent, Belgium

    Base Price: $32,400.00

    As Tested Price: $38,715.00 (Includes $915.00 Destination Charge)


    Premier Plus - $3,150.00

    Sport Package - $1,800.00

    Metallic Paint - $550.00

    Heated Front Seats - $500.00

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    It's getting a bit long in the tooth, but I still like the S60/V60 family very much... Had the pleasure of driving a few powertrain combinations in Sweden during my business travels there over the last 2 years, and I have to say it is still a very good automobile.

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    The current V60 really catches my eye these days. I wish we had more wagon options and I'm glad that Volvo still offers them.

    William, would you buy one of these if you could?

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    Wagon or Sedan? What would be the competition in your mind if you were allowed to pick from the field? Would you pick this over the others?

    I haven't seen the V60 in person yet.. Ask me later this summer as I'm working to try to get one for review.

    As for close competitors, I would say Audi A4, Lexus IS, and Buick Regal would be it. I would likely pick the S60 over the first two. Need to get behind the wheel of the Regal before I say which one I would have.

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    I don't post on here very often but I figured I would when I saw this review. I just leased an S60 T5 Premier last week. It's a 2013 so there are a few differences but so far I really, really like the car. It's the first Volvo I've owned but it may not be the last! Great review.

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    To put it in perspective, the Volvo 5 cylinder went in production at the same time as the Northstar V8. I guess it is somewhat impressive that it has lasted this long, but also you realize how dated it is also.

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