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back to article Volvo S60 DRIVe

Putting small capacity turbo-diesel engines in large cars seems to be becoming all the rage, so hard on the heels of Peugeot’s 508 e-HDI comes Volvo’s take on the concept, the S60 DRIVe. Volvo S60 DRIVe S60: the best looking Volvo to date? On paper, the similarities are clear: four doors, a 1.6 litre turbo-diesel engine; six- …

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K1
FAIL

stop-start

"If, like me, you are in the habit of simply pushing the clutch pedal down at lights - something the absence of a footrest in the S60's rather cramped driver footwell encourages - the system never engages. This rather defeats the point of having it."

I have the same habit but it doesn't defeat the point at all. It gives me full control over whether to let the engine stop or not. If the traffic lights have just changed to red when I stop, I put my foot on the brake, put it in neutral and take my foot off the clutch and the engine stops. If the lights are probably about to change to green when I stop, I keep my foot on the clutch and the engine keeps running. Complete control.

Mines a BMW 118d rather than a Volvo but it behaves the same!

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FAIL

Nice, but...

Most cars have a device that gives you full control over whether the engine stops or not. It's called the ignition key.

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WTF?

Hmmmm

"S60: the best looking Volvo to date?"

Er, no. It looks blobby and saggy to me. Nice interior, though.

"the start/stop system only comes into play when the car is in neutral and the driver's foot is on the brake."

That sounds like the world's most stupid system. Drivers who sit at the traffic lights with their foot on the brake, shining their high-intensity brake lights into my eyes should be shot. Unfortunately it's all too common.

BMW's start-stop works when the gearbox is in neutral and your foot is off the clutch. That's more sensible. Does the Volvo system work with the handbrake on instead of the brake pedal?

"Surprisingly for a car in its class, the S60 doesn’t have a lights-left-on warning buzzer."

Have Volvo changed how they do their headlights? All the Volvos I remember turn the headlights off when you turn off the engine, so no buzzer required. Does the app mean headlights or interior lights?

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Quoted For Truth

"That sounds like the world's most stupid system. Drivers who sit at the traffic lights with their foot on the brake, shining their high-intensity brake lights into my eyes should be shot. Unfortunately it's all too common."

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Anonymous Coward

No lights-on buzzer?

I have had a few Volvos and none of them has a lights-on buzzer; they don't need one as they turn off the lights for you. I've always considered this a better system; why warn about something when it's straightforward to deal with it automatically?

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WTF?

@A/C Lights on Buzzer

"don't need one as they turn off the lights for you"

Please say I've misunderstood that that. They turn the lights off???

Please tell me there is an overide.

Dark country lane, parked on edge, no lights?

Scrreeechhh...BANG

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Lights

All Volvos have had DRLs - daylight running lights - since the 1970s or earlier. No need for a buzzer therefore.

They do have parking lights, which would work in your scenario; a warning buzzer for these would be superfluous and irritating!

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Anonymous Coward

Parking lights

They do have parking lights for this very reason. Like every other car.

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Isn't that

what hazard warning lights are for?

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FAIL

No...

That is for when you have broken down and are causing a hazzard.

Being parked on a dark lane you do not want lights that go on and off, you need a constant low power light to be seen.

The sidelights are there for this reason. My V50 does have a buzzer for those IIRC (but it's that long since I have changed the switch position from 'on' I can't actually remember)...

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Trollface

Nope

The role of hazard lights is to allow German cars to park on double yellow lines, keep clear zig-zags and directly adjacent to cash points.

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Joke

iOS and Android?

Surely something called a S60 would support a Nordic OS as well?

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Torvalds?

If only Symbian were Nordic and not English.

Linux, though, I believe was born at the University of Helsinki.

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Silver badge

I'd like to see

an analysis of how far you need to drive to recover the extra initial outlay of a diesel engine. In (most of) Europe where diesel is substantially cheaper than petrol, I suspect it's a reasonable figure. In the UK where diesel is a few p *more* expensive then petrol, I suspect you need to be a pretty high mileage driver.

Back of the envelope: if you get 40mpg with petrol and 60mpg with diesel and petrol is around £6/gallon then you're saving about 4.5p a mile. If you pay £2k more for a diesel, you'll need to drive 45,000 miles to recoup your initial expenditure. Of course, different servicing intervals and costs as well as residual values also need to be taken into account.

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And

Diesel engines typically last longer, anyone buying a second hand car would be somewhat dubious about a petrol over 100K, but not think anything of it for a diesel engine over 100K.

The rest of the car attached to it however is another story.

45,000 miles is not alot for someone like a sales rep, they'd clock that mileage up in a couple of years and benefit greatly from the high MPG the car delivers.

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WTF?

So now it's OK to drink (coffee) and drive.

And by the looks of the video it's OK to stare out of the side windows while driving around busy urban streets. And that's some serious smearing when the wipers operate, pretty bad for a new car.

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lights + engine size

Volvo lights are permantley on when the key is turned to power-up There aren't that many situations where you would sit with all the electricity off but the lights turned on, so an alarm is hardly necessary; in contrast to my volvo. Likewise on my saab the lights are on- it's possible to overide this to be off or sidelights only when the engine is off; but this does have an alarm.

I'm also intrigued that the engine size plays such a part in the economy, surely if driven in the same way, a modern diesel in the same weight of vehicle consumes the same fuel no matter the engine size, isn't it the engine management system that is making the difference here?

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Econonomy? Pah!!

I'll stick with my 850 T-5R if it's all the same to you thanks.

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bah!

"S60: the best looking Volvo to date?"

its got to be the amazon. give me one of them with a modern TD.

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Bronze badge
Mushroom

Pedestrian detection system? I'm not sure that this is such a good idea.

In the same way that Sat Nav means people switch their brains off and find themselves wedged in one-way streets, at the top of mountains or in rivers because their Sat Nav told them to do that, there's a very real danger that people will stop looking out for pedestrians and cyclists because the car's doing it for them. Given how some drivers already act, I don't think that's a good idea.

Further, with all this electronic gadgetry we aren't far away from the car simply driving itself. Now while that will be welcome for many and (once there are automated roads and cars) you'll never have to think about driving again, I for one will miss driving.

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remind me not to buy one of your old cars

Leaving your foot on the clutch at traffic lights - doesn't do the clutch any favours and is probably to be considered dangerous.

(a) You will be busy compressing springs and pushing the clutch against the bearings

(b) any problem - from a clutch fluid leak/cable break to someone shunting you from behind could lead to you shuffling out into a junction.

Just slip the car back into neutral, then into first when its time to move on, it really doesn't take enough time to be worth worrying about, it also is less stressful for your left foot.

Oh and one more thing...

Most modern cars are like modern motor bikes, sensible use of the gear lever and you don't even need to use the clutch over gear changes. I have to admit the 1959 Morris Minor takes a lot of care, but the 1966 Vauxhall Viva and the more modern Zafira don't need a clutch during gear changes unless you are trying to be Stirling Moss up a mountainside.

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Thumb Up

RE: remind me not to buy one of your old cars

"Leaving your foot on the clutch at traffic lights - doesn't do the clutch any favours and is probably to be considered dangerous."

It is, it's a driving test failure for the very reasons you mention, or at least was when I did mine.

Clam.

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Flame

don't buy one of mine either

coz at traffic lights having my left foot on the clutch, and my right foot on the brake and hovering to stamp down on the accelerator means I'm quite good on the traffic light grand prix as I do my Jezza Clarkson rubber burning take off.

off course the above is wasteful of petrol, rubber , clutch springs, clutch plates , but then I don't care :)

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Bronze badge

driving test

I'm guessing you learned to drive quite a long time ago. When I took my test over ten years ago, it was quite acceptable to sit with your car in gear, feet on clutch and break ready to go at the lights. This is how I was taught and how everyone I know who has learned to drive recently is taught.

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Z80
Thumb Down

a descriptive heading or caption

So, this pedestrian detection system can prevent daft bints from being run over when they step out into the road without looking and can stop cocks who drive around while slurping a coffee from having their car dented by the impact with said bint? I don't approve of such a system.

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FAIL

a flaw in find my car?

there you are parked up in nice Ikea's multi-floor, mega carpark and you forget where you parked the new motor....so does GPS work through x meters of concrete & steel?

I guess it will guide you to the last known GPS position.....at the entrance.

Or is it much, much smarter than this and can calculate all the left and right turns you made to get to your parking spot.

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Possibly not

The factory installed system in my car has additional sensors that allow it to track the vehicle quite accurately even when there is no GPS signal (e.g. in tunnels and car parks) or before the system has a GPS lock when I first start out.

So it's not beyond possibility that this car will have the same capability.

I'm not sure how it would cope with going up and down the various levels in a multi-story, though.

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Silver badge

Rather clever radar

What will it do when one comes upon a moose in the dark of night? Will it pick up four spindly trees or realize there is about a ton of steak overhead? I'd hope it would try to stop for either but it could get confused and the film does seem to imply it would be ok with you running down your neighbors dog. You know, that miserable cur that digs up your garden and shits on your walkway... oh dear, did I say that out loud.

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Meh

sigh

yet another common sense idea that probably won't make it to the US and California. And once again, not due to some shadowy conspiracy of rich white men in an oil company boardroom, but due to misguided, junk science based, emotional rather than logical environmental regulation,

It's practically easier to smuggle drugs than to get a TDI. All those tasty small turbodiesel pickups Chevy makes in Mexico? It's ten times easier, and has less legal repercussions, to smuggle actual Mexicans than a fuel efficient parts hauler from the South.

that's just not right. I demand commonly available high compression high efficiency oil burning goodness. And not have to do an old 70's conversion to do it.

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Silver badge

Amen brother

Here it the Southland life is bittersweet. Sure cheap meds and tequila are a fairly quick drive to TJ, or Mexicali when I have to visit the plant, but damn it would be cheaper to do it with TDI.

Is Cali and the US the only people who still measure emissions in ppm? It seems to me that g/km or even grains/hectofurlong makes infinitely more sense. I know it's harder to measure than the part idle/simulated load, make stuff up, that they use now but they can cry me a river.

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Alert

Start/Stop and lights

I should point out I'm not defending keeping my foot on the clutch at lights, but I do a lot of urban driving and without a footrest to slide my left foot onto - something my manual S80 had - it's something I ended doing a lot in the S60 unless I knew I was in for a long wait.

Granted it's not safe and it's not clever but a lot of people do it and it takes the wind out of the start/stop system's sails.

As for the lights, I managed to leave them on twice in the space of a week, the first time a neighbour let me know, the second time I noticed before I turned in for the night. My point is, it is possible to leave the lights on, lock up and walk away. That wasn't the case in the S80 (keys out = lights off) and if you try that same trick with my current car a buzzer sounds that could wake the dead.

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Looks alright

Looks like a pretty decent motor

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Why?

If they wanted to make a ecanomical car why not just stuff the 1.6 or 1.8 TDi engines in and leave out all of the electrical stuff?

Lighter, faster and more ecaomical without lugging around all that extra weight. Plus they could probably get it on the forecourt for under 20K.

I don't know about everyone else but I couldn't give a hoot about pedestrian awareness or stop-start systems and from what I've heard volvo's sat nav is a pile of crap.

As long as it had PAS, ABS and AC for the summer months I'd be more than happy.

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WTF?

Because this car is about economy and not performance maybe...

It's nice of you to share that you don't give a crap about those around you, as long as you have the things that make you feel safer.

If you look at the economy it delivers and compare it to the little standard diesels that you can get in the same car, I think you will find that the economy is far better. This is not a hybrid where you are lugging batteries and electric motors around, this is a 'normal' diesel designed to be very economic.

Why not simply stop innovation altogether - after all you have the three things you need in life, so further R&D is obviously pointless. Personally I think the padestrian awareness system is far more important than the ABS (which lets face it, only lulls people into thinking that they can tailgate even closer). That system will hopefully help in built up areas when someone runs out from between parked cars - the car can react faster than you can in those situations.

As for the Satnav, I don't know what peoples problems are with it, but mine in my V50 got me from Amsterdam to the Italian Riviera (sp?) - +/-1300kms - without me going wrong a single time. It's a fantastic piece of kit that is so easy to use.

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Missed the point?

You must have missed the amazing demonstration of the pedestrian awareness technology a few months ago then.

That'd be the one where the car plowed the test dummy down.

After seeing that I wouldn't care how many times Volvo said they'd fixed and improved the system, I just wouldn't trust it.

So yes I guess I do care about those around me, enough not to put any trust in a system that 'should' stop the car should someone walk into the road. IMO it's just encouraging people to take their mind off what they are doing.

You also missed the point of economy - if Volvo wanted to make an economical car, then leaving out the additional extras would save a good amount of weight and give more economy.

Or they could achieve the same economy as this car but using a larger engine - giving better drivability.

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Old Top Gear

I remember them reviewing an early Proton and the test driver took out the fuse of the circuit that beeps when you leave the lights on and threw said fuse in the river. I emptied the battery on my dad's old car at least once because it didn't have a buzzer. My car does have a buzzer and I've never emptied the battery for leaving the lights on. My mum's car has a buzzer for when you don't put on your seatbelt. Very annoying when simply moving the car from the yard into the garage.

Parking brakes should always be controlled by a handy lever between the seats. How do hill starts or, more importantly, handbrake turns work otherwise?

To be honest, I think this S60 is fairly good looking, but I do prefer the previous model XC70 that Branagh's Wallander drove, where I think it's one of the few cases that non-body-coloured bumpers looks better. But then I thought the 440 was good looking. (and no-one's done a really good two-tone since the Toyota Corolla AE86)

Obligatory tangential Seinfeld reference: but why get a 2011 S60 when you could get _John_ Voight's LeBaron convertible?

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Devil

Looks like a very nice car

But I do prefer my 100% UK tax deductable pickup truck!

Also Very relatively low taxable benefits in kind.

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Bronze badge

Dammit, I must be getting old

I just read a Volvo review.

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