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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

NEW feature to this blog... Want to get your car reviewed?

Greetings, I decided to invite ANY 3 years old onwards car owners. I will "take some photos", test drive your car AND WRITE A REVIEW on it.

The cost? RM50 only, 1 time fee bank in my Maybank a/c (a form of Donation) per car (Malaysia only). Note that, this is a "FREE WILL Donation".

1) Must be AT LEAST stock engine and gearbox
2) Presentable/clean condition
3) Ideal if you are selling your car. FREE PUBLICITY. Will classify as "FAREWELL REPORT". Dealers welcome to feature your car...

Alternatively, you can write your own review (FOR FREE at the time being). I will post it here and acknowledge and "Harvard Reference" your work. Limited to 1000 words and unlimited photos.

A: 200+ hits per day (see below for statistics - double click it to enlarge). And I'm talking about "Unique visitors" not page clicks.

Also, no room for plagiarism here... I give credits, reference and/or sourcing in ALL MY "COPIED" work.

E-mail me:

Any takers?

Monday, March 30, 2009

On Plagiarism...


I strongly against Plagiarism. Plagiarism is THEFT. In this blog, I challenge you to read "EACH and EVERY" post of mine. Spot any plagiarism WORK? No right?

Yes, I admit I "copied" in 2/3 of my blog. BUT most of them I practiced either "HARVARD REFERENCING" or "Declaring the Source I extracted from" I'd also ACKNOWLEDGE / Gave credit to ALL THE WORK which was NOT DONE BY ME. Of the 140+ posts, only 43 were "MY ORIGINAL WORK".

For your reading pleasure:

What is Plagiarism?

Many people think of plagiarism as copying another's work, or borrowing someone else's original ideas. But terms like "copying" and "borrowing" can disguise the seriousness of the offense:

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to "plagiarize" means

1. to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
2. to use (another's production) without crediting the source
3. to commit literary theft
4. to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.

In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward.

But can words and ideas really be stolen?

According to U.S. law, the answer is yes. The expression of original ideas is considered intellectual property, and is protected by copyright laws, just like original inventions. Almost all forms of expression fall under copyright protection as long as they are recorded in some way (such as a book or a computer file).
All of the following are considered plagiarism:

* turning in someone else's work as your own
* copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
* failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
* giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
* changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
* copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not (see our section on "fair use" rules)

Most cases of plagiarism can be avoided, however, by citing sources. Simply acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed, and providing your audience with the information necessary to find that source, is usually enough to prevent plagiarism.



Here's a letter from THE STAR. Regarding Plagiarism:

Monday March 30, 2009
Let it be known that plagiarism is theft

I BELIEVE most academicians share the same apprehension and hope that were expressed in “Plagiarism among students worrying” (The Star, March 27).

The best way to instil good ethics in academic exercises, particularly in plagiarism, is to conduct a lecture on the issue as early as possible such as during the orientation of first year undergraduates besides stating the issues in handbooks.

The definition of plagiarism - how to avoid using quotations, citations and acknowledgements - should be explained clearly. A simple definition could be “Taking other people’s work and ideas without acknowledgment”.

Plagiarism in a broader perspective is not just cut and paste either from the Internet, printed resources or among fellow course mates, but also stealing people’s idea; and that is quite difficult to detect in an academic assessment.

Although there are software tools that can assist academics to check similarities of students’ work from online resources, such tools are not intelligent enough to detect similarities where ideas are concerned.

Once we have explained the issue to students at the early stage, we must enforce and penalise them accordingly, as a deterrent to others, In fact plagiarism is as bad as stealing.

Academicians who are the supervisors play the main role. They should encourage their students to submit their works early. This will enable supervisors to detect plagiarism much earlier and warn the students at the early research stage.

Unfortunately some academicians do not take the matter seriously in their own research or academic exercise let alone enforce it on their students. For example, they give talks or lectures using presentation slides without indicating the sources of materials derived from other people’s work.

Academicians should practice what they preach to be role models to their students.

Besides, with the emergence of the Internet, plagiarism in its simple definition should be explained as early as possible to pupils at primary schools. It was a surprise when my Year Five child did her portfolio on computer history within five minutes.

She said the teacher asked them to do a web search and print the material to be submitted as part of the portfolio on the use of computers in education.


George Town.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Longtermer #2: Volume 9: Honda Civic 2.0IVTEC

Longtermer #2: Volume 9: Honda Civic 2.0IVTEC

This month is the 9th update of Longtermer #2, Honda Civic 2.0iVTEC FD2.

On March 16, my mum spilled "CURRY CHICKEN" on the Car boot carpet. I took it for cleaning, paid RM50, the stain's gone but the "Smell" and "Oil"'s still there. I managed to get rid of the "smell" by using "FAB" detergents + "TESCO dishwasher" + PANDAN LEAVES. BUT the OIL's still there. Called my "Pharmacist" friend, he said use: "Baking Soda + Vinegar". I faithfully obeyed and the "Oil's" removed.

Also, went to IKEA with this car. Do check out the capability of the BOOT (picture). 6 "Herman" white chairs (flat packed), 4 pillows, 2 "POANG" Cushions. ALL WITHOUT SPLIT FOLDING THE REAR SEATBACK! The rest, seeked IKEA for delivery. Ie. Dining table for 6, Sofa 3 seater, "POANG" frame, 4 beds + 4 mattress etc...

Year of manufactured: 2008 (Duh!)
Current Value: RM113,000
Purchase price: RM126,000 (less NCB)
Mileage when bought: 0008km

Mileage last month: 13033km.

Mileage NOW: 14244km
Average mileage per month: 1583km

Fuel consumption: 33L worth of petrol good for 400km (12.1km/L) mix driving of 70% city, 30% highway.

Interesting observation: 33L worth of petrol only good for 360km (10.9km/l) when I drove the car. Why? It's because of my "Heavy-footed" nature. BUT I tend to kickdown and woke up the i-VTEC a bit too often especially during traffic light start. Note: It's 70:30 city and highway driving.


1) Fill up twice, spent extra RM8.50 per fill up, buying Shell "FERRARI" model car.
2) RM50, "remove" spilled curry in boot.

Here's a parting shot before I sign off...

Parked at "MAPLE, SENTUL WEST" parking lot.

AN ORIGINAL JEFF LIM Production. That's all folks, thanks for reading...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

LONGTERMER #1: Update 9: Ford Telstar i4 DOHC 16v

In this blog entry, I am updating my Ford Telstar i4 Ghia. This is the 9th update. What's up in the month of March?

Not much to highlight in the first 3 weeks of March. Let's proceed to the 4th week.
On 23 March, we took this Telstar for a trip down to (and fro) Melaka.

There were 4 of us in the car. It only took us 1 hour and 30 mins each trip, to and fro. Travelling speed: 110km/h to 130km/h. Why so slow? It's because it's NOT DRIVEN BY ME. Instead, it's by a 60+ years old Auntie (mum's friend from Melaka).

Here's some photos of the Melaka trip:

Above, Melaka special "Satay Babi" with "Pineapple satay sauce".

Above, Melaka River.

The Telstar benefitted from the trip. NICE EXERCISE. It's this trip that the Telstar recorded THE BEST mileage (since February 2007 Penang trip) @ 8.8km/l.

One day later, I drove the Telstar to and from KL International airport sent my Hong Kong visitor Desmond Yip back to Hong Kong. Averaged speed 130km/h when I send him and his luggage, averaged speed 150km/h on my way back. Maximum speed I drove 175km/h, because the gearing is too "tall". 3rd gear 170km/h @ 5300rpm, 4th (overdrive) gear 170km/h @ mere 4200rpm.

So at my "maximum" speed, it's either 5300rpm (roaring) in 3rd gear or 4500rpm in "4th gear"(lazing), takes an EXTRA LONG TIME at 4th gear to gain anymore speed. I believe in can achieve it's "Claimed" maximum speed of 198km/h, except it REALLY Takes time and need LOTS OF STRAIGHT ROADS. Perhaps, the car's already "A BIT OLD" to travel faster. Note that it's a "10 years old" car.

As I typed this, I'm glad to say that the car already reached 240km and still 1/3 tank to go. TWO MONTHS AGO, 240km = 1/5 tank left (280km per tank only). Will see how far it can go this time...

Without further ado, let's proceed to Logbook:

Year of manufactured: December 1998 (registered January 1999)
Purchase price: RM42,000 (Aug 2005)
Current value: RM16,000 (As at January 2009)
Depreciation per year (averaged): RM6,500
Mileage last month: 141277km

Mileage now: 142,465km
Fuel consumption (so far):
BEST: 8.8km/l (24 March 2009)
WORST: 5.9km/l (November 2008)

Fuel consumption improved DRASTICALLY... Last month, full tank of 44.444L good for 340km (ie. 7.8km/l). 1/2 highway, 1/2 city. If HEAVY FOOTED and 80% city driving, still good for 310km => 7.2km/l.

TODAY, As at 26 March, I'm glad to say that the Telstar managed 390km with 44.444L "Shell" petrol. A staggering 8.8km/L. A figure last seen in 2007 February (Penang Chinese New Year trip). This was achieved during my trip to Melaka (to and fro including a bit of travelling round Melaka). 80% highway, 20% city.

From my observations, I think this car needs more "EXERCISE", Ie. Long distance driving.

Expenses (this month)
1) Petrol and toll charges.
2) STP Treatment oil (Blue can). RM15. Mixed into engine oil.
3) Extra RM8.90 per fill up, bought SHELL "FERRARI" Car as I top up fuel.

Before I go: here’s a parting shot:

The comfortable, inviting, rear seats. Check out the generous LEGROOM.

End of Update, thanks for having the patience to read it...


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Please run-in your new car before speeding dragging... Or else..

TO all new car owners, please ensure your car's run-in before attempting the TOP SPEED... When I took delivery of my Honda Civic FD2, the salesman said "Run-in" for the 1st 2000km. MAKE SURE RPM below 3500rpm. Reason? All I know is "Fuel consumption, lower in the long run" AND engine not strained.

Else, I'll post your car no. plate here... To get the ball rolling, here's the 1st one:

1) Toyota Vios J: WSG 3756, Black, 24 March 2009, 4.20 to 4.45pm.
- KLIA all the way to NKVE Damansara toll.

The owner's insane, tailgating my Telstar @ 160km/h. Guess what? The car's barely "3 WEEKS OLD". Ie. Not running in... Interesting note, 3 WEEKS OLD Vios J 1.5 manual vs 10 YEARS OLD Telstar 2.0i Auto. I "WON" the "FRIENDLY RACE". Both at toll booth (KLIA and Damansara), Managed to keep a distance 3/4 of the journey from KLIA to Damansara Toll. Telstar's acceleration and high end speed prevails though on paper very close in acceleration. 0-100km/h 10.8secs (Vios manual) vs 11.2 secs (Telstar).

Topspeed (claimed) 185km/h vs 200km/h. Though, fastest I've driven that day's 177km/h. At that speed, 3rd gear => 5300rpm (roaring), while 4th gear @ a relaxing 4200rpm. That's why the Vios J can keep up with me.

Note that, I always ended up the loser, never won "race" before since 2002 It's because, my "opponent" ended up overtook from the left, ZIG-ZAGGING (eg. from RIGHTMOST lane to LEFT junction), often right before the Divider AND finally, from the emergency lane. until today, THIS CAR... SORRY, got carried away...


And the lists will go on and on...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Re. RM5000 "discount" for >10 yrs car in exchange of NEW National Car

Friend's opinion: The announcement to scrap 15 years old car and get a rebate of 5K to buy a new NATIONAL car. But why new "NATIONAL" cars only. This seems like unfair to NEW Non-National car makers. What about used car dealer that sell 10 years old cars, who is going to buy it assuming the life line remain to 5 years (15 years) while the price stated by used cars dealers are base on market value.

Another problem will be the car price, our cars selling price are one of the most expensive through out the world due to high tax rate. Many people are unable to pay for the car installments despite having all kinds of downpayment discount and car loan offer.

Base on the report, there are about 1 million cars that were more than 15 years old on the road, why is this group of car owner not wanting to change new cars. There should be a study on this as well but I believe the reasons behind no doubt will include some of the above.


Cars that are 15 or more years old can still good and useful. My friend's car a 1979 Datsun 120Y is 30 years old (same age as me) this year and gives no problems at all. There are absolutely no reasons at all to scrap these old cars.

Unlike Singapore, the public transport in Malaysia is terrible. Without a car, no matter how old, it is very inconvenient to travel around. With good public transport, there is less need to own cars. As their old cars are scrapped, the owners can use and depend on public transport.

Typically, These old cars are fully paid and car owners are no longer burdened with payment installments.

Many of the owners of old cars are pensioners and retirees who can't afford to pay a few hundred Ringgit monthly installments. Even if they wanted to, no bank would lend them the money to buy a new car.

Some are people who just don't want to pay installments month after month. There are people like my friend (1979 Datsun 120Y owner) who don't see any value in a new car, other than to show off. An old car is perfectly fine to travel around.

A car/s is not an asset but the fastest depreciation liability. What else could lose 10% to 15% of its value after the 1st year? For a relatively cheap car of RM60K, this means a loss of RM6K - RM9K for the year or RM500 - RM750 per month.
How can a car ever be called an asset when there is absolutely no way for it to gain value but only to lose value?

Some old cars have very little residual monetary value left. Many of them are not even worth RM5K. But a RM1000 old car (such as Datsun 120Y) is good enough to travel around town.

BUT WHAT ABOUT GOOD RESALE VALUE CARS? Example "Honda Civic EK 1998". Guess what, this car I mentioned is STILL WORTH RM39,000. Isn't it CRAZY to offer JUST "RM5000 to scrap it? In my opinion, it's NOT JUST CRAZY but INSULTING as well. Another example is "MY CAR" 1999 Ford Telstar Ghia (longtermer in this blog). For your information, my car's STILL WORTH around RM18,000. MY SUGGESTION: Give RM5k for MORE THAN 20 YEARS OLD CAR INSTEAD OF 10 YEARS...

Like my friend, an owner of 1979 Datsun 120Y, Mr.Chieng said: "I'd prefer buying a property for investment over investing on a "New National car" (which this "package" is all about) and ended up paying $$$ INSTALLMENTS".

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Sheep (Civic) takes on Wolf (Lynx RS)..

In this blog entry, I dug out a Comparison test from my collection of Malaysian car magazines. It's a "WELL WRITTEN" Shoot-out between a Sheep and a Wolf. This is sourced from CARS.MY, Issue 24, 2004. It's written by Faisal Shah and Photography by Uncle Mel Lee. Though it's NOT WRITTEN by me, but I painstakingly SCANNED and typed it out for you guys/girls reading pleasure.

Sheep: Honda Civic 2.0iVTEC and
Wolf: Ford Lynx RS (A)


Try double-clicking the picture to read page 1 of the article:

A dogfight?

Unfortunately, we come to the bit there this review ceases to be a competitive exercise and turns into a rout, and one in the losing end is the newer and more expensive car. Dynamically, the Civic 2.0i-VTEC is so far off the pace of the Lynx RS that it isn’t even in the same country, let alone the same class, and I’m not talking about chassis dynamics only.

In standing start, the Honda gradually loses ground to the Ford, despite having a healthy power advantage. The gap is maintained all the way until about 170kph, which is when the Ford shifts up into its overdrive 4th gear and ceases to accelerate meaningfully anymore. It’s here that the Civic finally makes its extra power and gear ratio tell as it easily tops 200kph. But you have to wonder how often most drivers will go that quickly.

Head for the hills and the Lynx RS shows off the next bit of its talent, which is to deliver high levels of entertainment to its driver. It starts with a steering that is well weighted and accurate and continues with fine body control that allows you to take liberties with its cornering attitude. For a family sedan, there’s little bodyroll, and front end grip is stronger than you might imagine, which encourages you to press on, clipping apexes along the way.

Try the same with the Civic i-VTEC and the nose washes out very early on. You can actually hear and feel the tyres wilting under the pressure, which is frustrating because you need to back-off with so much performance potential left untapped. The steering fares similarly; although we have become accustomed to Honda EPS, when combined with a chassis that is much too soft for some spirited driving, it just fails to inspire confidence at the wheel.

Making matter worse is that in this type of real-world driving, the Ford also has the upper hand in acceleration as its fatter torque curve launches it out of corners with more gusto. The Civic I-VTEC is left waiting for its top-end rush to arrive, and when it does, it’s time to brake for a corner. At least this is where both cars are evenly matched – powerful stoppers – but again, the Honda loses points for too much dive when you really lean on the left pedal.

That leaves the final dynamic discipline of ride comfort. If you think the penalty for such fine handling in the Lynx RS is a harsh ride, you are wrong. Ford have managed to find a rare balance for their sports sedan. This is where comfort and cornering ability are not opposing aims. Yes, it is firmer than average family car, but it is also pliant and absorbent in a way that doesn’t irritate over long distances. The Civic on the other hand is soft throughout, and nearly wafts over rough terrain, but the drawback for this is too much float at high speeds and over undulating roads.

So far the Civic i-VTEC has been bloodied by the Lynx RS, but it scores some points when we compare interiors. While the Honda Interior is swoopy and modern, the one in the Ford is more upright and conventional, though they did try hard to jazz it up. A black-and-silver Nardi steering wheel, red-and-black seats with RS logos, and alloy pedals are perfect for such a sporting car, but they cannot match the muted good taste of the Civic Interior. Though it is more boring, the part-leather seats and steering wheel, as well as the red-ringed meter cluster and metallic inserts will probably be more appealing to those at this end of market.


It is not hard to conclude from this report that if you really want a sporty C-segment sedan, there is only 1 choice. The Ford Lynx RS is one of those rare cars that not only put the fun back into driving but also don’t ask you to accept compromises in comfort and practically in return. It is perhaps the most complete car in its class and as such deserves all the plaudits it receives.

Honda’s Civic I-VTEC is a very handsome and capable car, but calling it sporty is just setting up people for a disappointing experience because it is not set up to deliver even a remotely sporting experience. It is more of a fast highway cruiser. For Civic fans, it probably represents a pinnacle in Malaysia, but don’t expect it to be much fun on a winding road. For that experience, start lobbying Honda for Type-S kit for this car. FAISAL.

Monday, March 02, 2009

REVIEW: Volvo S60 2.3 T5 Sedan

In this Blog Entry, I'm covering Volvo S60, particularly the 2.3 T5. It's on sale in Malaysia from mid-2001 till TODAY. Back in 2001, it was priced at RM248,000 +/- OTR depending on NCB (for the T5). Today, the same car costs you RM259,000 +/- depending on NCB.

Today, a used Volvo S60T5 costs as at 1 March 2009:

Year: 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006** 2007 2008
Price RM: 60k 69k 83k 98k 115k 136k 160k -NA-

Note: ** => Facelift. Source from: 1) Motortrader, 2) The Star Metro Classifieds, 3) Random visit to dealers.

As usual, I don't have a PHYSICAL CAR to test and brag about, hence I dished up with a "Super test" from GOAUTO Australia.


(Source 1, Begins)

SUPERTEST: Volvo S60 T5 Sedan


THE S60 embraces the qualities with which Volvo has earned its reputation - safety, comfort, safety, practicality, safety, eco and family friendliness. And safety. But at long last, the Swedish marque has delivered a reason for the driving enthusiast and younger buyer to sit up and take notice. Not only is the sports sedan stunning to behold, it promises to perform like no other car in the Volvo stable - and be as involving to drive as its German rivals. Sadly, the promise is a false one.

The Car

THE S60 might be built on the same platform as the S80 sedan and V70 wagon but it is lighter, shorter and arguably the best looking car Volvo has ever produced. It has chief designer Peter Horbury to thank for that, who clung onto only the bare essentials in terms of Volvo styling cues and created a sleek, desirable coupe-ish sports sedan pitched directly at the driving enthusiast and younger buyer.
Did you know?
Front seat occupants are protected by six airbags, pyrotechnic self-tensioning seatbelts with force limiters and Volvo's WHIPS whiplash protection system

The Car - Seat Plan

THE S60 might look like a bit like a coupe, but there is sedan-like room and comfort on the inside. All five occupants have a three-point seatbelt and head restraint and benefit from the usual array of passive safety features. Leather upholstery and a woodgrain insert on the doors and glovebox lid are standard across the range. Useful storage facilities are also dotted throughout the cabin, though in typical Volvo style, many are optional.

Did you know?
Volvo claimed a number of firsts for a car manufacturer with its launch of the S60 in January 2001, including being the first to advertise on Palms and Internet Broadband (a modern internet connection method), the first to fly a banner (21m x 21m) from a helicopter and the largest 24-sheet poster outdoor advertising spend on the Eastern seaboard

The Car - Seats

A RANGE of interior colour schemes is available for S60, ranging from dark sports-inspired leather to a lighter shade of tan. All seats have leather, with the T5 featuring extra sculpting and more side support for both front and rear occupants. Adjustable lumbar support is standard across the range, while the 2.4T adds heated seats and driver's seat electric adjustment with memory. T5 goes the whole hog with full electrics for both front seats.

The Car - Dash

THE S60 dash draws heavily on the design created with the S80 sedan and V70 wagons. It's angled slightly toward the driver, presenting all controls within easy reach and using a wide variety of controls. The instruments are contained in a large, sweeping binnacle and are easily read day or night. An LCD display is set within the instrument cluster, providing trip computer details (where fitted) and warnings. A cupholder is provided in the dash facia unless an integrated telephone is optioned.

The Car - Controls

THE steering wheel pad has controls for a number of functions such as stereo and telephone, while the wheel itself adjusts for both reach and height. Sat-nav controls are located on the right side of the steering wheel, behind the steering ring, for ease of driver use. The typically daunting, but easily mastered, array of buttons and/or dials for the temperature and stereo controls are used on the dash, while both front seats on T5 are electrically adjustable. Window (and external mirror, for the driver) switches are in the usual position on the doors.

The Car - Wheels/tyres

DIFFERENT wheel/tyre sizes and design combinations are used across the range, with the T5 featuring 7.5J x 17 alloys with 225/45 R17 90W tyres. The T5 multi-spoke wheel design is called "Tethys". The 2.4T uses 16 x 6.5-inch "Mimas" wheels on 205/55 tyres, while the 20V package consists of "Argon" rims with 195/65 rubber. A space-saver spare wheel is used on the T5 while other S60 models use a full-size steel spare.

The Car - Luggage

THE S60's boot offers 424 litres of space and can be expanded by folding part or all of the 60/40 split-fold rear bench seat. A net pocket in the side panel can hold small articles in place, while larger items can be secured with a luggage net on the floor. Luggage can also be secured with straps, and a reversible mat is available if grimy cargo is carried. A multi-functional load and shopping bag holder that springs up from the luggage compartment floor is also optional.

The Car - Stand out features

PROBABLY the sleekest sedan Volvo has ever built, the S60 has a sports coupe feel to its appearance while maintaining good accommodation for five people. Rear seat room is compromised only slightly by the styling imperatives, however, front seat space, comfort and ergonomic design are highlights of the package. The T5 engine shows plenty of spirit and the active safety features go hand in hand with a high commitment to handling. The S60's passive safety features, meanwhile, are as comprehensive and impressive as ever.

The Car - Climate control

ELECTRONIC climate control air-conditioning is standard across the S60 range. While a built-in compartment filter shuts out dust, pollen and exhaust particles on the base 20V, a more advanced air quality system, standard on 2.4T and T5, monitors the incoming air and eliminates exhaust fumes and odours. Separate ventilation and heat outlets mounted in the centre pillars for rear seat passengers improve comfort and help clear ice and mist from the side windows.

The Car - Sound system

A CD radio-cassette stereo is standard across the S60 range, however, the T5 uses a premium system with no less than 13 speakers throughout the cabin: up from the usual eight. The T5 uses an "Audi Max" sound system, comprising an in-dash four-disc CD and 4x75W amplifier with Dolby Surround. The 2.4T and 20V have a single CD slot and are fitted with a 4x50W amp. A CD changer is available as an option across the range. Audio controls are included on the steering wheel.

The Car - Sat Nav

THE S60 saw the introduction of satellite navigation for Volvo, with the T5 gaining it as standard equipment. A display screen is packaged with the sound system's centre-stage speaker, hiding from view when not in use. The touch-coded keypad controls are neatly packaged on the right side of the steering wheel, behind the steering ring. Mapping covers the major metropolitan cities, most of the eastern seaboard of Australia and all national highways.

The Car - Security

ALL S60 models feature central locking. Exterior door locks have revolving cylinders that turn freely should someone try to force the locks open. An engine immobiliser is standard, while an alarm and laminated side windows are available as an option. The standard approach and "home safe" lighting systems illuminate either the interior as you approach or the headlights as you leave (for 30 seconds). Lockable wheel bolts for the alloy wheels are also available.
Did you know?
The S60's front airbags inflate to full capacity within a few thousands of a second during a severe frontal impact. During a less severe frontal impact, the airbags initially inflate at a slower rate (250 thousandths of a second) to ensure a prolonged period of inflation. In minor front impacts, only the seatbelt pretensioners are activated

Styling, value, features, safety

Handling, stereo display

Our Opinion

By TERRY MARTIN 28/02/2001

DON'T get the wrong impression about the S60. It observes all the proprieties expected of a car from Volvo. It is comfortable, functional, practical, eco and family friendly. And safe.

But at long last, the Swedish marque has delivered a reason for the driving enthusiast and younger buyer to take notice.

At street corners and parking lots, we have seen people fitting this description become confused. A sports sedan, a stunning appearance, a promise to perform - not a Volvo, surely?

The numbers catch the eye. Power of 184kW from the 2.3-litre turbo. A power-to-weight ratio of 113kW per tonne. A need of only 6.8 seconds to reach 100km/h from standstill.

Some of T5's obvious prestige rivals will have the full gamut of electric conveniences, airbags in all directions (front, side, head), leather seats, trip computer, cruise control, climate-control air-conditioning, four-wheel disc and anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, 17-inch alloy wheels, front and rear foglamps, remote locking and a premium CD stereo.

But will they provide a telephone, sunroof and satellite navigation?

The cockpit is a wonderful place to warm to the S60. The anti-whiplash pre-tensioning front seats offer superb reassurance, comfort, support, heat treatment, a driver memory function and an infinite amount of electric adjustment to enable a perfect position behind the three-spoke steering wheel, which itself is blessed with reach and height movement and controls for the (powerful) stereo, telephone and sat-nav.

Not only is the inaugural sat-nav system - like all S60 switchgear - within easy reach and quickly mastered, its monitor hides within the dash when idle and, when called for, rises to a position that requires little diversion away from the road.

The instruments are a basic, uncluttered affair, the stereo fully integrated (though impossible to read if sunlight hits the electronic display panel), the requisite woodgrain tastefully used and trim materials soft wherever the hand, arm or leg is likely to touch.

There are also clever storage facilities throughout the cabin - not all of them standard - and eco-friendly touches such as a 12-volt power outlet on the dash instead of a cigarette lighter.

Perhaps most surprising given the heavily curved roof is the rear passenger accommodation. The styling imperatives hinder driver rear visibility (even with the electric headrest flip-flop employed), however outboard rear occupants will appreciate the sculpted seats and acceptable headroom and space underneath the front pews.

That said, the marginal rear legroom only just avoids being diabolical thanks to 40mm whittled out behind the front seats.

All seating positions have a headrest and three-point seatbelt, while the centre-rear position doubles as an armrest, child booster seat and thoroughfare via the skiport. Comfortable? Nope.

The luggage compartment features non-obtrusive bootlid struts, luggage-tie downs, a usable width of 1160mm once through the restrictive boot aperture, good depth of 1080mm from tailgate to seatback and a 60/40 split-fold rear seat that can then cope with items up to 1750mm in length. Alas, a temporary spare wheel also makes it in.

Taking all of that in, and claims of first-rate handling through vastly increased body stiffness, the keen driver might find he'll simply swallow the stigma and take the T5.

But the driving experience does not live up to expectations.

Despite the squeal, the big tyres offer good grip up to a point although front wheel adhesion when pushed disappears too easily and the front-drive T5 will descend into rather crass understeer.

When the road becomes tight, the car relies heavily on its electronic aids - which can debilitate the engine - to prevent it ploughing on straight ahead in a corner.

The steering is light, devoid of feel and can send some vibration up through the column, but otherwise the rack and pinion system is direct and proficient at stamping out unwanted kickback.

In the ride department, the MacPherson strut/multilink suspension does an acceptable job ironing most road roughness but allows some suspension noise up into cabin. The car can also lose its poise if it hits a bump mid-corner.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment comes with the 2.3-litre five-cylinder turbo T5.

The engine is frugal on (premium unleaded) fuel and meets strict low-emission vehicle standards, though when mated with the five-speed automatic gearbox it does not feel anywhere near as quick as the figures suggest.

The T5 reveals its potential in the upper reaches of the rev range, but will torque-steer under hard acceleration on its way there and require frequent use of sequential manual gear selection to keep things humming along.

Left in drive, the auto generally shifts smoothly upon demand but on two occasions it got stuck in a gear and upshifted only when it hit the rev limiter.

Sadly, the drive exposes the beautiful S60 as another Volvo coodabeen champion. But there is still hope - an ultra-quick four-wheel drive version due some time in 2002 might be icing this otherwise outstanding car, and its new-found devotees, deserves.

Mechanical - Plan views

S60 employs a transversely mounted turbocharged inline five-cylinder driving the front wheels with all-independent suspension

Mechanical - Engine

THREE five-cylinder engines are available on S60 - the 125kW 2.4-litre naturally aspirated 20V, the 147 low-pressure turbo version known as the 2.4T and the 2.3-litre high-output turbo T5 which develops 184kW at 5200rpm and 330Nm between 2400 and 5200rpm. All meet the strict Californian low emission vehicle (LEV) levels. Claimed 0-100km/h acceleration is 6.8 seconds for the T5 manual, while official fuel consumption figures for the same variant are 10.1L/100km (city) and 6.5L/100km (highway).

Mechanical - Suspension

THE S60 uses a MacPherson strut front suspension and a multi-link system at the rear. The coil-over front strut attaches to a lower forged aluminium wishbone and an anti-roll bar. The wishbone pins to the body structure through hydro bushings, designed to quell suspension noise and vibration. The independent rear multi-link coil spring design is carried completely within an aluminium frame. A firmer, more sporting suspension setup is available on T5.

Mechanical - Electronic system

THE S60 has a digital network-based Multiplex electrical system which, among other things, allows the owner to specify such items as an integrated telephone. Stability and traction control systems are also available - STC (2.4T) or DSTC (standard on T5 only). STC automatically can reduce engine torque (shutting down either one cylinder or two) to the driving wheels to maintain as much grip as possible at any given moment, while DSTC uses a gyro sensor and steering movement sensors to determine whether the vehicle is losing any grip, applying either brakes or engine torque to maintain control.

Mechanical - Transmission

TWO transmissions are available on S60, an electronically controlled five-speed automatic with Volvo's Geartronic sequential manual shift control (2.4T and T5) or a five-speed manual by special order. The base 20V model does without Geartronic, a system that allows the driver to select gears but will downshift to first gear automatically when the vehicle comes to a halt. A "Spaceball" gearshifter is available on the fully synchronised five-speed manual transmission.

Mechanical - Brakes

VENTILATED discs at the front and solid discs at the rear can be found on all S60s, though front disc size (diameter) varies according to the model specified - 2.4 20V uses 286mm, while 2.4T and T5 use 305mm. Rear discs on all models are 288mm. A four-channel anti-lock braking system is fitted standard across the range and is assisted by electronic brake distribution (EBD), which is designed to provide maximum braking force in all on-road situations.

Mechanical - Steering

THE S60 uses a power-assisted rack and pinion steering system. The steering wheel adjusts steplessly, both vertically and horizontally. The turning circle diameter ranges from 10.8m to 11.8m, depending on tyres. Likewise, turns lock-to-lock range from 2.8 to 3.0 depending on the standard wheel and tyre combination. Volvo claims the power steering rack was tuned to provide good steering feel while reducing unwanted kickback while driving over rough road surfaces common to Australia.


THE S60 is crammed full with safety features, from excellent all-disc brakes (plus ABS) to good handling characteristics to the full complement of Volvo passive safety items. Front seat occupants are protected by six airbags, pyrotechnic self-tensioning seatbelts with force limiters and Volvo's WHIPS whiplash protection system. An inflatable curtain extends the length of the cockpit to protect both front and rear seat occupants in the event of a side impact. Interior surfaces are made with "sympathetic" materials, while some areas have additional energy absorption padding for extra protection.



* 2.319-litre DOHC 20-valve front-mounted transverse turbocharged inline five-cylinder
* Power: 184kW at 5200rpm
* Torque: 330Nm at 2400-5200rpm
* Compression ratio: 8.5:1
* Bore/stroke: 81mm/90mm


* Five-speed semi-automatic


* Front: independent by MacPherson struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar
* Rear: independent by multi-links, coil springs, anti-roll bar


* Power-assisted rack and pinion
* Turning circle: 11.8 metres
* Turns lock to lock: 2.8


* Length: 4576mm
* Width: 1804mm
* Height: 1428mm
* Wheelbase: 2715mm
* Track front: 1560mm
* Track rear: 1563mm
* Kerb weight: 1622kg

Top speed: 245km/h
0-100km/h: 7.2 seconds (6.8 secs Manual => -NA- in Malaysia)


* Cruise control
* Sports leather steering wheel
* Trip computer
* Satellite navigation
* Electric windows and mirrors
* Electric front seats
* Leather upholstery
* Remote central locking
* Front and rear foglamps
* Anti-lock brakes with EBD
* Driver and front passenger airbags (front, side)
* Traction and stability control
* Inflatable curtain airbag
* 17-inch alloy wheels
* 13-speaker CD stereo

SOURCE 2 (A well written review from UK):


:Volvo’s Traditionally Older Clientele Aren’t The Only Ones Likely To Be Tempted By The S60 T5, Thinks Jonathan Crouch…

Volvo S60 T5 Car Review On paper at least, the argument for Volvo’s S60 T5 is a pretty compelling one. For what seems a pretty reasonable £26,745, it offers a huge 260bhp output – much more power than any of its German rivals can muster for similar money. Yet in a market as image and badge-conscious as the compact executive saloon sector, sheer power and value are never quite enough.

Volvo has discovered this to its cost in the past, with turbocharged versions of its mainstream models that all failed to quite make the grade. This applied as much to the twisty stuff as it did to the golf club carpark. But things are changing. The latest S60 is winning the marque a whole new kind of customer. The kind who would never have previously considered buying one of the company’s cars.

As the S60 line-up’s mainstream flagship, this T5 clearly has an important role to play in this process. Yes, it has slightly more power than BMW’s rival 258bhp 330i. Yes, it costs thousands less and offers a higher specification. More important however, is the way it handles, the first Volvo to get anywhere near the Bavarian car in this respect. A revised chassis has moved it closer still to Germany’s finest while a power boost also helped performance.

Thanks to the change from the old 2.3-litre engine up to 2.4-litres, an extra 10bhp was made available. This uped the peak power to a not inconsequential 260bhp and peak torque also rose to 350Nm (up from 330).

Naturally, this had an effect on the performance figures, the S60 T5 managing the sprint to 60mph 0.3 seconds quicker than before at 6.3 seconds and Volvo being Volvo, the brakes were also beefed up to cope with the additional urge. This is a specialist tool and most will feel that the more pliant suspension and 260bhp punch of the T5 represents a more usable everyday alternative.

Not that Volvo has ever quite mastered the sporting saloon genre. On the road, the S60 T5’s handling response certainly isn’t quite as pin-sharp as the all-conquering 3-Series, despite the recent upgrades to springs, dampers and anti-roll bars. Nevertheless, it’s quite good enough to match other direct rivals like Mercedes’ C-class and Audi’s A4. It could be even better too: the chassis is certainly more capable than the slightly vague steering gives it credit for.

Performance 6
Comfort 8
Handling 6
Economy 6
Image 7
Styling 6
Equipment 7
Build 8
Depreciation 6
Insurance 7
"There’s a sense of style and spirit we’ve not seen from Gothenburg in the past…."

So how has Volvo done it? Well handling has much to do with body stiffness – as anyone who tried to make an S70 change direction at speed will testify. Without it, you can make the springs as stiff as you like: it won’t make much difference. Hence the need in the S60 for a completely new approach, aided by the use of a platform developed for the larger S80 saloon and the V70 estate.

In the case of the S60, this has allowed for a 70% improvement in torsional rigidity over the previous generation car. The provision of such a strong foundation has enabled much else to be achieved. Take the suspension, now tuned to deliver progressive movement, rather than lurching forward or back during heavy acceleration or braking. Over and above this, the two ride set-ups allow buyers to choose a car that’s tuned for either comfort or handling response. Alternatively, they can go for the adaptive Four-C system which can be set into either comfort or sport modes.

The ‘wheel-at-each-corner’ design also helps with reduced overhangs that lower the polar movement of inertia, enabling sharper steering responses and a crisper turn-in. Plus there are the usual electronic aids. Like all S60 models, this 2.0T gets Volvo’s STC Stability and Traction Control system, Plus there’s the (sadly optional) DSTC active anti-skid programme: enter a corner too fast and it automatically cuts in, reducing the throttle and selectively applying the brakes.

The main focus of the changes brought to this S60 was to increase the car’s sportiness, both actual and perceived. The Dynamic chassis was introduced across the Range with revised components while Sport models get a Sport chassis and the SE Sport derivatives benefit from the active Four-C set-up. Outside, indicators are integrated into the larger mirrors, there’s a low front spoiler and the grille has a wide chrome surround. Inside, there’s more chrome and aluminium detailing with cruise control standard on all models.

Volvo has an unparalleled reputation for safety and the S60 harbours yet another Volvo safety innovation that will doubtless find its way into many other rival cars. Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) acts much like an extra set of eyes and utilizes digital camera technology mounted in the door mirrors to monitor the areas 3m to each side and up to 9.5m behind the driver. If a vehicle enters this area, a symbol appears on the windscreen pillar near the rear view mirror to indicate that something’s there when you take a quick look towards the mirror. Active at speeds above 10km/h, this system isn’t the only safety benefit buyers of the latest S60 enjoy. Special water repellent glass is fitted to the mirrors and side windows. Water beads up on the glass and the airstream quickly clears it, leaving unimpeded visibility.

It’s obvious that safety remained formost in the designers’ minds throughout the S60’s development: Volvo may have ditched many of its marque values in recent years but it can’t afford to lose this one. Hence the inclusion on every model of dual-stage airbags for front driver and passenger, SIPS (the company’s patented Side Impact Protections System) with side airbags, WHIPS (the Whiplash Protection System), an inflatable curtain to save your head from smashing against the side glass and five three-point seatbelts.

Without any doubt, the S60 T5 is one of the most convincing driver’s cars the marque has yet made. Certainly, this is a car that serious drivers can’t ignore.



1) (GoAuto Australia)
2) (A Review by Jonathan Crouch)
3) (for 1 photo => Black 3 quarter view.