2000 Volvo S60 T5

Holy bat crapman - is this a 'modern' I see.? Yes young spotted Dick - indeed it is - well, by Marina standards anyway. I had always admired the look of the S60 as being the first Volvo to not resemble a brick. When I spotted this one up a friend's driveway I just had to ask about it.

Wolf in sheep's clothing..

My friend had been following it on Trademe until it sold, but in fact it didn't, and the owner contacted him as he had it on his 'watchlist'. My friend said he would take a look at it, and when doing so, asked why the winner had not bought it. The Agents had tendered a rather bad report saying it needed $3000 spent on the rear suspension. My friend - being a good mechanic - bought it for a suitably deflated price, then did all the work for a mere $365.00 himself. Seems the "Agents" are the people who give these cars a bad rap by charging extortionist prices for parts and labour. My friend was also rather impressed with how easy the car was to work on, and proceeded to replace the cambelt and do several other maintenance items simply because they were easy.

The most common view..

As he was preparing to sell it, I decided to do a little research about the various models. There were numerous variations of engine size and options available for the budding S60 owner in the early 2000's, but one version sounded most attractive. The T5 offered 5 cylinder smoothness in 2.3 litre turbocharged form, with 247bhp on tap. I took another drive past my friend's house to check out the badges on the Volvo. Sure enough it was a T5, and it was sporting the correct 17" alloy wheels and low profile rubber. I decided that I really should have it.

Seriously wicked.

I should state here that my friend is a connoisseur of cars. His most favourable impression of the Volvo was the luxury of the leather seats, and the awesome sound system. These were hardly criticisms of a car he had bought without really wanting it, and seemed like features that I might be wise to sample. We did the deal, and I drove off in my most modern ever - with computers for Africa. Horrors.!

The flight deck.

He was absolutely correct. The seats are simply the best. However - the gadgets were also a big hook. I bought a $5 sim card for the onboard phone, and found that Red could text the Volvo. The message showed up on the dashboard with an accompanying beep beep from the driver's headrest. Too cool.!

It transpired - during our first night-time test drive, that this thing was as mad as a box of frogs when you floored it. Volvo have prided themselves on their mastery of low pressure turbo systems for some years, but this is one of their high pressure jobs - so it suffers from turbo lag at low revs, but explores the limits of gravity once it is spinning at appropriate revs. That is to say - it goes like a mad thing when you give it full noise. I am of course a little reticent in using such power too frequently, as I feel sure it can only end in tears. It is early days in our ownership of such technical complexity, so we will explore our way into it cautiously. I have plumbed in an mp3 player, and we are finding that there are times when sheer luxury has a place. We are also finding that it has a price...