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2007 Volvo S60 Trims

2.5T

Avg. Price: $10,658

Maybe you looked at the smaller S40 and found you needed more oomph under the pedal. Well, even the base model S60 comes with a turbocharged 208-horsepower engine, which will gulp in air to help you pass for those times you're not in bumper-to-bumper during rush hour.

Yes, this little sedan is best suited to commuting, unless you have one or two small children and plan to trade up by the time they need legroom. That said, kids require a lot of stuff whenever they go anywhere, so be sure before you buy that this car is spacious enough for your needs. The S60 only gives a couple more inches of hip room and another cubic foot or so of cargo space over the S40, so those facts probably won't help you if you're caught in indecision.

It's hard to think of this car as a base model with all of the great features that come standard: air conditioning, a trip computer, a tire-pressure monitoring system, a leather-wrapped steering wheel complete with remote audio controls, nicely carpeted floor mats, and powered and heated rearview mirrors with driver memory.

But the stuff that makes the biggest difference is mostly unseen - or at least you hope not to see it: namely the driver and front passenger air bags (front and side-impact), inflatable side-curtains, and side-impact protective beams. Each S60 also comes with Dynamic Stability and Traction Control, whiplash-protective padded head restraints, a passenger safety cage, and to increase visibility to other drivers, daytime running lights and fog lights (including a rear one).

For the money you'll pay and the features you'll get, the Volvo S60 compares quite favorably to other small European sedans. But even if you've just started your research, it's quite possible you already knew that.

2.5T AWD

Avg. Price: $11,077

Some people, especially those who live in wet climates, just plain feel better with the improved traction provided by all-wheel drive. Well, AWD is not just for utility vehicles, as this little turbocharged sedan goes to show.

Even if all you�¢ï¿½?�?re going to use it for is that drive to work, the 5-cylinder, 208-horsepower S60 2.5T AWD is a wise choice. After all, it�¢ï¿½?�?s a Volvo �¢ï¿½?�? the safest car on the road today.

The best part is that you don�¢ï¿½?�?t even have to pay extra for the added security. That famous side-impact protection comes standard, as do the driver and passenger air bags (side-curtains as well), the active whiplash-protective head restraints, and the passenger safety cage, to name a few. The included ABS and stability and traction control help the 2.5T AWD to handle better than your average small European sedan.

On top of it all, the Swedes have ensured that you�¢ï¿½?�?ll be more visible to other drivers along your commute as well. Daytime running lights and front fog lights may be pretty commonplace these days, but how many cars have a rear fog light? (Hint: try the S60 2.5T AWD.)

You also won�¢ï¿½?�?t have to pay extra for cruise control, air conditioning, power windows and locks, a trip computer, and powered and heated side mirrors. If you want to fully load your set of wheels, there are options packages that include leather seats (with or without heaters), headlamp washers, rear-park assist, and moonroof. The biggest splurge comes in the form of the Volvo Navigation System, which is sold solo rather than as part of a package.

R

Avg. Price: $14,293

Most European sports sedans - especially those with all-wheel drive - are fun to drive, and the Volvo S60 R is no different. Whether you're on your way to work, to pick up milk, or to do some skydiving, you'll still feel a little thrill when you sit behind the wheel of this turbocharged charmer.

Part of that thrill is the mere pleasure of being enrobed by its ergonomically-designed leather-upholstered bucket seats. Volvo is known for its wonderful seats, which basically give driver and passenger a nice Swedish bear hug. It feels great, and it really helps to limit some of that fatigue on a long road trip.

And not only is the interior comfy, it's pretty, too (sorry, but it can't cook). The discerning eye will appreciate the blue instrument gauges with watch-dial bezels, and the brushed aluminum inlays here and there. The 6-speed stick-shift gets a brushed aluminum gear lever and the 6-speed Geartronic automatic gets a leather gearshift knob, either complemented by a leather parking-brake handle.

The R has the same standard safety features and gadgetry as the less expensive S60 trims, plus a little bit more. In fact, that person to your right won't have to envy you your fancy powered seat - the passenger seat comes that way too for no extra green (it's part of an options package on the lesser trims). And if you ever decide to let that passenger drive, the power mirrors with driver memory will come in handy, too.

T5

6 national listings
Avg. Price: $10,688

The Volvo T5's 2.4-liter, 257-horsepower turbocharged engine basically speaks for itself: it provides zip and fairly efficient power for a sedan. That leaves us plenty of time to talk standard features, which are abundant on this trim.

One very cool and useful feature is the Active Bi-Xenon headlamps, which pivot to follow the road on curves. The corner-lighting part of this is actually an old idea from the early days of cars that is being revived with the latest in gas-discharged headlamp technology.

The daytime running lights and front fog lights are nice as far as standard equipment goes, but how about this: a rear fog light. What an idea. Another fancy piece that you don't have to pay extra for is the Home Link system remote garage-door opener can be programmed to operate three devices (remote lighting, home's keyless entry).

Sure, all of those useful gadgets are fun to have, but the most important standard features are mostly behind the scenes, waiting until they may be called on to save lives. That would be the driver and front passenger air bags (front and side-impact), inflatable side-curtains, and side-impact protective beams, along with the Dynamic Stability and Traction Control, antilock brakes, passenger safety cage, and various deformation zones.

There are plenty of options available for the T5, and since many of them are grouped in packages you may end up paying for something you don't want or need as well. For instance, the Climate Package includes heated front seats, headlamp washers, and rain-sensing windshield wipers; The Premium Package yields leather and moonroof, and the Convenience Package has rear-park assist, a compass in the rear-view mirror, and holders for sunglasses and grocery bags.

If you're sure you want to shift absolutely all of the time (or you simply don't want to pay for the auto tranny to do the shifting for you), go for the 6-speed manual if you can find one. Otherwise you'll have your hand on the 5-speed Geartronic automatic with Auto-Stick function, which lets you choose to shift manually when you wish to. The T5 comes with 17-inch alloy wheels but if you don't love 'em you can upgrade to 17-inch chrome or 18-inch alloys.