S60 T5 vs. T6
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    Thread: S60 T5 vs. T6

    1. #1

      S60 T5 vs. T6

      Hi--

      I am an enthusuastic driver but not very experienced with high quality cars. My current car is a 2004 Mazda6, which I have really liked but which is getting old, so I am thinking about a new car. A couple of weeks ago, on a sunny Saturday morning and accompanied by my charming and cheerful 11 yr old son, I drove an S60 T5 and loved it. Yesterday, on a gloomy Saturday morning, accompanied by my 11 yr old son but also by my rather bored 8 yr old son, I drove a T6 and liked it less well. In particular, the steering didn't feel as good to me and I did not notice much difference with the additional 50 hp.

      The obvious explanations which occurred to me are 1) the car really is better, but given a number of addditive small effects (gloomy weather, uninspired 8 yr old, extra 80 lbs in car due to uninspired 8 yr old, the fact that I've driven some other nice cars since driving the T5, especially the Infiniti G37x) it didn't seem better to me. Alternative explanation is 2) that maybe the 2 cars really steer and handle differently, probaly due to AWD vs FWD, and that I like the FWD feel better. It also occurred to me that the increased weight of the AWD will soak up some of the moderate increase in hp.

      I was surprised by this and would be grateful for any opinions by people more experienced than myself.

      Thanks

      Mark

    2. #2
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      If you want AWD, the T5 will be getting it later in the year.
      2011 Audi S4 - Imola Yellow/Black Alcantara
      2004 S60R 6MT - Passion Red/Nordkap (sold)
      2009 RAV4 Sport V6 - Classic Silver/Charcoal

    3. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by cervelo View Post
      Hi--

      I am an enthusuastic driver but not very experienced with high quality cars. My current car is a 2004 Mazda6, which I have really liked but which is getting old, so I am thinking about a new car. A couple of weeks ago, on a sunny Saturday morning and accompanied by my charming and cheerful 11 yr old son, I drove an S60 T5 and loved it. Yesterday, on a gloomy Saturday morning, accompanied by my 11 yr old son but also by my rather bored 8 yr old son, I drove a T6 and liked it less well. In particular, the steering didn't feel as good to me and I did not notice much difference with the additional 50 hp.

      The obvious explanations which occurred to me are 1) the car really is better, but given a number of addditive small effects (gloomy weather, uninspired 8 yr old, extra 80 lbs in car due to uninspired 8 yr old, the fact that I've driven some other nice cars since driving the T5, especially the Infiniti G37x) it didn't seem better to me. Alternative explanation is 2) that maybe the 2 cars really steer and handle differently, probaly due to AWD vs FWD, and that I like the FWD feel better. It also occurred to me that the increased weight of the AWD will soak up some of the moderate increase in hp.

      I was surprised by this and would be grateful for any opinions by people more experienced than myself.
      Something doesn't seem right, the T6 should have been noticeable over the T5 even with the additional losses from the AWD.

      I have had an S60 T6 for about 7 months, and last week we picked up a C30 T5 R-Design for the wife. Both the T6 and the T5 have had their respective Polestar tunes, the S60 has the 6 speed auto and the C30 the 5 speed auto. The S60 is faster than the C30 even with the extra weight, and handling is better.

      The C30 from a standing start on dry pavement under WOT will have the traction control kick in and you can definitely feel the torque steer. The S60 under the same conditions doesn't have it's traction control kick in and there is no torque steer.

      I haven't had much opportunity to try the C30 under wet/ice/snow conditions yet, but the S60 under those conditions is amazing.

      Maybe go back to the dealer and ask to test drive the T5 and T6 back to back?

      And as previously pointed out, Volvo will come out with an S60 T5 AWD later this year.
      2015 V60 T6 AWD R-Design Platinum || Rebel Blue / Leather
      Climate | BLIS | 19"
      2011 S60 T6 AWD || Ember Black SOLD
      2011 C30 T5 R-Design || Orange Flame / Off Black Leather/Flex-tec
      Climate | Keyless Drive | Xenon | Sirius | 18" Atreus | Polestar Tune

    4. #4
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      Correct me if I am wrong but doesn't the T6 have adjustable steering effort? I'm not sure if the T5 has this included with the Dynamic Package but it is not standard on the T5. This might be a difference that you feel between the two.
      2012 S60 T5 - Flamenco Red, Soft/Sandstone Beige, Climate, Premium, Multimedia, Xenons, BLIS, PCC, Park Assist, Urbane Wood, Rear Spoiler

    5. #5
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      The Inline 6 in he T6 is one of the best engines I've ever experienced. I can't comment on standard T6 vs T6 RD (which mine is) but the response is immediate, turbo lag minimal and torque seems endless. Did I mention the sound? The sonorous rip of the I6 is much more inspiring than the (not bad but) unique sounding I5.
      ------
      2012 S60 T-6 R-Design [Ice White/Black, Climate, Multimedia, BLIS, PCC] (His)
      2010 XC90 3.2 R-Design (Hers)

    6. #6
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      Well, you know what they say: opinions are like elbows and noses. (I cleaned that up a little). I traded in a C70 for the S60. I drove a T6 and a T5 back to back. I did love the T6, but I also loved the T5 like my C70 (same drive train). And I did not see a difference worth $7,000.

      My advice - go and drive the two cars again back to back under the same conditions. Then chose.
      Present: 2015 S60 T5 Drive-E, Flamenco Red/Off Black, Platinum, Blis, Heated Seats Past: 2012 S60 T5. Flamenco Red/Off-Black, Premium, climate, technology, multi-media, Blis, PCC, front camera
      Past: 2009 C70, vanilla pearl metallic, cacao sovereign, climate, premium, bliss, bi-xenon,Nordic oak, portable navigation.

    7. #7
      Thanks Johnny. I'll drive the two back to back like you (and mrcandy) suggested. But it's interesting to hear that you found them to be different flavors, not just better and worse, which fits with my experience.

    8. #8
      Thanks a lot. I'll inquire about this. That could easily explain the different feel.

    9. #9
      Quote Originally Posted by cervelo View Post
      Thanks a lot. I'll inquire about this. That could easily explain the different feel.
      Sorry--still figuring out how to work these threads. This reply was for ecoDrive.

    10. #10
      Member DWBF1's Avatar
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      I spent a week with an S60 T5, and 4 days with a fresh out of the wrapping G37X, before picking up my T6. It's impossible for us to know if the T5 you drove had the "Dynamic" package but I'm going to guess it did not. So as an initial matter the driving experience on a dynamic-equipped T6 is MUCH better than a T5/T6 equipped with the comfort package (standard on T5, optional on T6), which feels more like a Buick.

      You should certainly be able to feel a difference in power. The T5 is not as refined an engine as the T6 and even with the overboost setup it felt noticeably slower to me than the T6 and the G37X. I also noticed the T5 runs out of steam once you get to the higher end of the powerband, while the T6 seems to keep on hauling right to the redline.

      I think most of us here will agree that the T5 is fine for 75% of the people buying this car, and while I don't think Volvo planned it this way, the T6 and T6-R design are catering more to the enthusiast/niche end of the market. This will be even more true once AWD is available on the T5, if I had to guess I'd say that will become the volume seller for sure. Right now, customers wanting AWD have to pick the bigger engine.
      Last edited by DWBF1; 02-19-2012 at 08:45 PM.
      2000 V70 R| 2011 S60 T6 Polestar AWD

    11. #11
      Thanks very much--that is helpful.
      I have driven a bunch of nice cars now--new Mazda6s, BMW 328, Acura TL, the Volvos, and the Infiniti G37x. The Volvos and the Infiniti were the standouts in my opinion. The BMW image thing is actually a major turnoff to me, and I did not think it was demonstrably better than some of the other cars.
      What did you think of the G37x? Clearly it caught your attention at least a bit. And what about the difference between the regular T6 and the R Design?
      Thanks!
      Mark

    12. #12
      Quote Originally Posted by DWBF1 View Post
      I spent a week with an S60 T5, and 4 days with a fresh out of the wrapping G37X, before picking up my T6. It's impossible for us to know if the T5 you drove had the "Dynamic" package but I'm going to guess it did not. So as an initial matter the driving experience on a dynamic-equipped T6 is MUCH better than a T5/T6 equipped with the comfort package (standard on T5, optional on T6), which feels more like a Buick.

      You should certainly be able to feel a difference in power. The T5 is not as refined an engine as the T6 and even with the overboost setup it felt noticeably slower to me than the T6 and the G37X. I also noticed the T5 runs out of steam once you get to the higher end of the powerband, while the T6 seems to keep on hauling right to the redline.

      I think most of us here will agree that the T5 is fine for 75% of the people buying this car, and while I don't think Volvo planned it this way, the T6 and T6-R design are catering more to the enthusiast/niche end of the market. This will be even more true once AWD is available on the T5, if I had to guess I'd say that will become the volume seller for sure. Right now, customers wanting AWD have to pick the bigger engine.
      Thanks very much--that is helpful.
      I have driven a bunch of nice cars now--new Mazda6s, BMW 328, Acura TL, the Volvos, and the Infiniti G37x. The Volvos and the Infiniti were the standouts in my opinion. The BMW image thing is actually a major turnoff to me, and I did not think it was demonstrably better than some of the other cars.
      What did you think of the G37x? Clearly it caught your attention at least a bit. And what about the difference between the regular T6 and the R Design?
      Thanks!
      Mark

    13. #13
      Member DWBF1's Avatar
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      Well, what caught my attention about the G37X was that it was the nicest car on the rental car lot for our trip down to pick up my T6 I never really cross-shopped them because I'm not into paying $35K for a Maxima, and my suspicions were confirmed after driving it. The G's powertrain is great but the ride was too firm and jarring, there was tons of road noise, and the car lacked an overall "special" feeling to me. It bothers me to be in a car costing almost $40K that the wiper stalk is the same as in the $17K Sentra. The overall feel of the S60 was just so much nicer to me, especially after driving them back to back over a long distance.

      T6 vs T6 R-D - that's really a personal thing. R-D is mostly cosmetic differences (interior finishings, front bumper/mirror caps, wheels), a lower suspension, and the Polestar tune loaded at the factory. Personally, I prefer the looks of the non R-D myself and just like the poster above me could not justify spending the extra $$$ on a T6 over the T5, I felt the same way about the R-D over the regular T6. Eventually I'll add the Polestar tune to my T6 which any dealer can do.
      2000 V70 R| 2011 S60 T6 Polestar AWD

    14. #14
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      I test drove the T5 and T6 back-to-back back about a year ago. I thought they both were pretty fast but they definitely each had distinct engine notes. The T5 is more coarse compared to the T6 (but it sounds mean and sporty when floored) while the T6 is very smooth. However, what I liked about the T5 was the gas mileage and the ride (touring suspension). I really wanted a pretty fast car (stepping up from a midsize SUV (Honda Pilot AWD)) that got me at least 30 MPG on the highway. Had the gas mileage not been the biggest factor, I totally would have gone for a T6 with the selectable suspension setup.

      I also test drove the Infiniti G25 and Lexus IS250. The Lexus was quiet, but it felt cramped and it had either RWD or AWD (was trying to be a little budget-conscious), the Infiniti was nice but kind of bland (boring colors in the G25 line) and again RWD or AWD. The engine in both seemed underwhelming to me compared to the T5. I also considered the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (nice but BOOOOORING) and the Hyundai Genesis (very nice riding vehicle with a sweet V6, but rear wheel drive and gas mileage was the killer for me). I would have liked an Acura TL, but I just couldn't get over that buck-toothed beak on it.

      All-in-all, I love the T5 engine. If you're cruising, it's nice and quiet. If you're flooring it (especially in Sport mode), it gets up and goes quite quickly and produces a nice growl.
      Steve
      Proud owner of a 2012 Volvo S60 T5
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    15. #15
      Member matt1122's Avatar
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      Our bodies don't actually feel acceleration as much as we feel jerk or surge, which is a change in the rate of acceleration. I believe the T6 engine has a smoother power band (and the Polestar Performance upgrade makes it even smoother), so you won't feel as much jerk with the T6 as you would with the T5, at least at low speeds. This may actually make the T5 more fun to drive around town - unless you're trying to outgun someone alongside you, in which case it may make it more disappointing. On the highway, you may be able to feel the difference between the T5 and the T6, but the T5 is very capable even there.

      Having FWD does mean that you will have to fight off some torque steer. It also means more under-steer. This is a significant change in driving dynamics, and if you enjoy the "OH MY GOD, IT IS TRYING TO RIP THE WHEEL OUT OF MY HANDS" feeling of a FWD car, you may miss that with AWD. =) As DWBF1 pointed out, having the dynamic suspension in T6 and the touring suspension in the T5 would further affect the way the car felt, but the dynamic suspension is actually quite stiffer and will make the car handle far better. While it may be a little rougher over bumps, this means high-speed maneuvers on the highway could be a bit safer and easier to handle.

      As far as steering goes, and as someone else already mentioned, the T6 has driver-adjustable speed-sensitive steering.

      As far as the R-Design goes, it is a T6 AWD with the Polestar Performance Package (+25HP), an even stiffer suspension, a special styling kit, different rims, and the premium package. Certain options are not available with the R-Design: the T5/T6's Sport Appearance Kit and the 4C Suspension. You also are restricted in your color choices if you go with the R-Design, though Passion Red is available on the R-Design but not the T5 or T6.

    16. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by DWBF1 View Post
      I never really cross-shopped them because I'm not into paying $35K for a Maxima, and my suspicions were confirmed after driving it.
      The G37 and the Maxima are completely different cars. The current G37 is based on Nissan's RWD based FM platform (2nd Gen) and the Maxima is based on the new FWD based D (L32) Altima platform.

    17. #17
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      OP:

      I'm surprised by the fact that the difference (between the T5 and T6) to you was negligible. You are correct that the extra weight with the AWD will eat up some of the power of the T6, but still, the difference is quite noticeable. Plus the AWD - albeit a FWD biased system - will give you far better driving dynamics than the FWD T5.

      If you liked the G37x you should look at the S60 R-Design. They possess very similar sprint times. But the R-Design certainly feels much quicker to me, both from a dig and rolling above 60mph. This should not be a big surprise if you look at the outputs (I think 5.5s for the RD is quite conservative to be honest). What is a big surprise is that the R-Design actually felt a lot more agile and nimble to me. Surprising because; the Infiniti ATTESA AWD system is renowned for being one of the best AWD systems in the industry FOR DRIVING DYNAMICS. It sends 100% of the power to the rear wheels and you can certainly feel this when driving it on dry roads. So for the FWD-biased Haldex equipped S60 to feel more agile than the RWD-biased ATTESA equipped G37 is very surprising. But it did. I guess credit has to go to the S60's chassis and suspension tuning in this regard.

      The R-Design is slightly more expensive on paper but in real-world terms they can be had for about the same $$$. Especially if you go easy on the options. You should check it out.

    18. #18
      Junior Member JC30's Avatar
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      Sorry to bump this old thread but I was wondering if anyone has any resources yielding detailed information concerning 2011+ S60 T5s. I'm curious as to what size brake rotors front/rear I have on my car and what potential upgrades can be done. I've seen measurements from 300mm to 336mm and a few inbetween. Coming from a 2009 C30 perspective, I also wonder if anyone knows of any aftermarket downpipes that will fit (don't seem to be any on the market). Unless it's just me there seems to be very little to do with 2011+ S60 T5 engine modifications. I guess because I have a 2014 model year it's worse as even more has changed and standard handheld tuners aren't compatible.
      2014 S60 K-PAX GT5
      Past Volvos: 2009 C30 T5 R-Design, 2005 S40 2.4i, 1998 S70 T5