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.
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
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