Fleet News

Volvo S60 T5 SE

VOLVO at last has a car to compete in the aspirational premium upper-medium sector against the likes of BMW and Audi, leaving the worthy-but-dull S40 and V40 to tackle offerings from the volume manufacturers.

But while you can buy a 3-Series or A4 saloon with a choice of petrol and diesel engines ranging from 1.6 or 1.8 to 3.0 litres, the Volvo S60 only has a range of engines spanning 2.0 to 2.4 litres.

Not enough, you would think to tackle its established rivals' flagship saloons. Step forward the S60 T5, which should be more than capable of holding its own against prestigious six-cylinder competition.

Soon to become an established pursuit vehicle with police forces across the country, what the T5 lacks in cylinders, it makes up for in raw horsepower. A substantial turbocharger boosts the power of the 2.3-litre five-cylinder engine to 250bhp - 20bhp more than in its previous incarnation in the last V70 estate.

The T5 SE model we have chosen for this test lines up against three new cars. The most expensive of these is the BMW 330i Sport and is 19bhp short of the Volvo's maximum power output. Next in line is the new Audi A4 - a masterpiece of understated modern design. Finally, the newest of its rivals - and distantly related to the Volvo in the Ford empire - is the Jaguar X-type 3.0 Sport.

This is stiff competition, so can the Volvo make a strong enough case for fleet managers to include it on their choice lists over the more obvious range-topping compact executives?

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