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Volvo S60 T6 Polestar 2014 review

EXPERT RATING
8

Volvo has made substantial changes to its most potent road car, the S60 Polestar and cut the price at the same time. It now retails for $99,950 which seriously undercuts direct all-wheel drive competitors like Audi's S4 and S5 as well as the forthcoming BMW M3/4 which will likely be around the $160-170 grand mark and is now a turbo six cylinder just like the Polestar. The Bimmers don't get all wheel drive however.

Volvo would be rubbing its hands together because in the handsome Polestar they have a car that takes it right to the top of the European sports sedan segment offering performance to keep the front runners honest with safety and driver assistance functions to beat them. And the price is super sharp.

We drove the first version last year in Sweden and were quite impressed particularly with the Ohlins spec' suspension and the Polestar's ride and handling. It needed better brakes, paddle shift and sports seats all of which have been delivered this time around with a substantial $10 grand price cut.

ENGINE / TRANSMISSION

The engine remains the same – a 3.0-litre straight six cylinder turbo petrol with 257kW/500Nm output. It's based on the S60 T6 unit, Polestar optimised with a bigger turbo, intercooler and engine computer remap along with a sporty exhaust. Polestar is the outfit responsible for Volvo's surprisingly effective V8 Supercar that's wreaking havoc among the established players this year.

With the new fluid auto transmission comes launch control and super sharp shifts up and down the range. It helps the car click over a 0-100kmh sprint in 4.9 seconds as well as making the Polestar more engaging. 

DESIGN

Volvo/Polestar tweaked the car's aerodynamic using a wind tunnel to refine the front splitter and rear diffuser along with underbody air flow. The chassis was beefed up with various bracings to contain the power and torque without affecting handling.

  • 2014 Volvo S60 Polestar 2014 Volvo S60 Polestar
  • 2014 Volvo S60 Polestar 2014 Volvo S60 Polestar
  • 2014 Volvo S60 Polestar 2014 Volvo S60 Polestar
  • 2014 Volvo S60 Polestar 2014 Volvo S60 Polestar
  • 2014 Volvo S60 Polestar 2014 Volvo S60 Polestar
  • 2014 Volvo S60 Polestar 2014 Volvo S60 Polestar
  • 2014 Volvo S60 Polestar 2014 Volvo S60 Polestar
  • 2014 Volvo S60 Polestar 2014 Volvo S60 Polestar
  • 2014 Volvo S60 Polestar 2014 Volvo S60 Polestar
  • 2014 Volvo S60 Polestar 2014 Volvo S60 Polestar

FEATURES

Inside is typical Volvo luxury – classy and understated with goodies like a multi-function wheel, premium 10 speaker audio with multimedia connectivity and Bluetooth phone and audio. There's a 7 inch colour info screen and excellent bi-xenon headlights that have an active bending function to see around corners as well as auto high beam.

There's a reverse camera. front and rear parking sonar, keyless entry and start, and sports leather front seats. Driver assist features include adaptive cruise control, collision warning, queue assist, pedestrian and cyclist detection, city safety autonomous braking and road sign recognition. They will probably make it into other makes in another decade or so…

DRIVING

We really enjoyed this car because it's sensible with a wicked twist. Nobody needs more performance than the Polestar delivers but the actual drive feel is what it's really all about. Not too firm, not too soft, not too sharp, and the car has superb acceleration across a wide engine speed range. A tad more would be even better. It's not a razor sharp sports sedan/track car though, more of your sporty road car from behind the wheel.

Having all wheel drive via the latest Haldex system gives the Polestar traction advantages demonstrated when it's put through a set of tight corners at speed. It gives a well planted feel when pressed hard.

Then, when the brakes are required, Polestar owners will not feel under endowed as the new Brembos, with six pistons on the front no less, make light work of stopping this weighty, luxury sports sedan. It rolls on 19-inch alloys of reasonable dimensions, could be a tad wider for our liking.

The luxury interior is appreciated as are all the safety and assistance features. But it needs a more strident exhaust note to light an enthusiast's fire.

Verdict

BMW and Audi had better look out as this Volvo is nipping at their heels on most fronts, outpoints them on some and costs a bomb less. A more practical everyday device.

Pricing guides

$20,495
Based on 20 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$15,990
Highest Price
$38,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
D4 Kinetic 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $17,700 – 24,640 2014 Volvo S60 2014 D4 Kinetic Pricing and Specs
D4 Luxury 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $17,000 – 23,650 2014 Volvo S60 2014 D4 Luxury Pricing and Specs
Polestar 3.0L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $29,400 – 38,500 2014 Volvo S60 2014 Polestar Pricing and Specs
T4 Kinetic 1.6L, PULP, 6 SP DUAL-CLUTCH AUTO $16,300 – 22,660 2014 Volvo S60 2014 T4 Kinetic Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Pricing Guide

$32,990

Lowest price, based on 3 car listings in the last 6 months

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