A history lesson…
Volvo has been building its reputation as a manufacturer of smaller cars for some time, which was quite a difficult task given that Brits used to associate it with its big, safe, boxy saloons and estates.
When the Volvo S60 arrived in 2000, it was clear that the company had decided to give its German rivals something to think about.
On its first appearance it looked very much like the S80, albeit in a more condensed form factor. Plenty of power was on offer from the turbocharged petrol engines, with the base model offering 180bhp and the top tier T5 equipped with a 250bhp 2.3 litre power plant.
In 2001 Volvo took the sensible decision to introduce a diesel engine to the S60 range, while 2003 saw the arrival of the fastest S60 yet, with the R edition packing an impressive 300bhp.
In 2006 the first generation used Volvo S60 received a few more tweaks across the board, with the whole package benefitting from enhanced sportiness in the suspension and exterior styling.
Two diesel engines were now on offer alongside the petrol powered S60s and the longevity of this range was impressive, with the first generation being phased out in 2009 to make way for the second in 2010.
A heavily altered aesthetic design and a choice of four petrol and three diesel engines made the new S60 the best yet.
Bang for your buck
Volvo didn't mess around when it looked to capture the compact executive car market with the S60 and as such you'll be impressed with the overtly aggressive and sporty styling.
It instructed the designers to come up with something that looked like a coupe, but had the benefit of being a full four door saloon. Of course they could only go so far and you'll never forget that this is a Volvo, but the first and second gen S60s are undeniably attractive and quite a bit curvier than their brick-like predecessors.
On the inside things are kept to a similar level of quality and style, with crowd-pleasing details arrayed throughout the cabin.
Although the Volvo S60 is compact, it doesn't feel it. You'll really notice the roominess in the rear, where long distance comfort and space is assured for passengers of all sizes.
Safety has always been a priority for Volvo and so the S60 upholds its reputation with unsurprising assuredness. Side impact protection, dual air bags up front and side airbags for further security are included as standard across all models.
If you're concerned about safety then investing in a Volvo is one of the best things you can do. Meanwhile the Volvo S60 for sale lets you enjoy your protection in sporty style.
What you'll pay
The used Volvo S60 has been around for a while now, so some used bargains are starting to pop up. You'll get a good quality early model for £1000 to £2000 while those from the mid to late first generation will cost from £3000 to £7000.
If you want one of the second generation S60s used then you'll pay anywhere from £10,000 to well over £20,000 depending on the trim and age.
What to check
It's difficult not to get complacent about the reliability of a Volvo, because this is a company that has always produced hard working, long running cars.
The S60 doesn't have any major problems to worry about, but you should be aware that some of these cars will have covered many miles on the road, so some aesthetic damage is to be expected.
You'll pay a similar price for Volvo's used parts as you would when servicing the equivalent model from BMW or Mercedes. Brakes pads are £40 to £60 for a pair, while the clutch assembly will set you back £190.
How it drives
The benefit of choosing a used Volvo S60 over a competing car from another manufacturer is that you'll be getting much more value for money, mostly because the badge just isn't quite as desirable.
There's plenty of power available even on the 2.0 litre turbocharged base model, while the T5 and R offer serious performance for petrol heads. Of course the diesel engines are more efficient and great for people who will be burning through fuel on a regular basis, so there's something for everyone.