Volvo S60 D5 | Shed of the Week

Feel the need for Swede? Here's the Shed for you

By Tony Middlehurst / Friday, 26 May 2023 / Loading comments

The Swedes have traditionally been better at ploughing their own furrow than taking on the opposition, but in the 2000-on S60 Volvo really hit the dinger at the top of the ‘try your strength’ hammer-hitting thing that they used to have at fairgrounds. Mrs Shed had a go on one of those once. She smashed it so hard that the bell actually fell off and clonked the stallholder on the noggin. Fairground barkers are not known for their shy, retiring nature but as soon as he copped an eyeful of Mrs Shed’s biceps he opted to overlook the matter, for which Shed was pathetically grateful.

Anyway, the S60 was a fine challenger for roost-ruling millennial German tackle such as the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class. The D5 2.4-litre straight-five diesel engine in this one was an absolute peach and remains so nearly a quarter of a century later. With normal maintenance it should keep on keeping on until the saints come marching in, so the 119,000-mile reading of our Shed is nothing. Belt services are one of the few things you need to keep on top of. The pressure pipe from the turbo to the intercooler can split and that is not a quick or cheap job. Nor is replacing a diesel particulate filter if it fails, which they sometimes do. The fabric on the A-pillars is known to lift but that’s a pop it off and pop it back on again job. Not forgetting the gluing bit in between of course. Our Shed seems to be fine in that respect. Otherwise, it’s all good unless you get one with electrical problems, but that can happen with any car.

In 2003 examples like this one, the D5 lump had 161hp. A mod to the turbo a year later lifted that to 183hp, although the lower-rated engine had 251lb ft of torque from 1,750rpm which was more than enough to move the S60’s 1,515kg along in a swift but relaxed manner, while returning a still topical in 2023 combined fuel consumption figure of 43.5mpg. They’ll be in the 40s however clumsily you drive them.

This £1,499 example is a manual, bypassing the uncertainty that goes with Geartronic Volvos. It’s in a lovely colour and has an equally smart black leather interior. From the forum thread on a D5 S60 Shed brought you last year we discovered someone among the PH massive who didn’t like Volvo seats. A deputation armed with pitchforks was immediately sent out to correct that view and cancel their membership.

She’s no Lotus Elise through the twisties, but the aforementioned seat comfort plus an excellent stereo equals superb long-distance cruising. Turning the thing around in a hopefully empty car park will involve long distances too but that’s one of the few downsides. S60s do seem to be well looked after and both the appearance and the MOT reflect that. The only note on last February’s test was for a loose nearside headlamp but again the clever Volvo system for headlamp removal should make sorting this out child’s play.  

Interestingly the dealer is offering contactless delivery. Wonder how they do that? Shed likes the sound of a contactless relationship with Mrs Shed but a quick Google suggests that making that a success would require an awful lot more technology than currently exists in the Shed household.

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