Volvo S60 vs company car rivals
Can new diesel Volvo S60 rival Mazda 6 and Audi A3 high fliers in our company car showdown?
Company cars are big business for manufacturers, especially in the compact executive sector, and Volvo is aiming for a larger slice of the market with a revised S60 saloon.
It’s introduced a new D4 diesel that has a healthy power output of 179bhp, but also features a range of eco tweaks which drop emissions to only 99g/km.
That makes this sleek saloon attractive to business users – but is there more to the new S60 than just low tax costs? To find out, we’ve lined up a pair of alternative choices that also aim to make an impact in the compact executive class.
The Audi A3 Saloon isn’t quite as powerful as the S60, but has quality and comfort on its side. Then there’s the Mazda 6. It’s more family saloon than executive, but makes up for its lack of prestige with lots of kit and space, head-turning looks and sharp handling.
Company car drivers considering these models will be drawn to the Volvo, with its 99g/km emissions and 15 per cent Benefit in Kind tax rating. However, if you’re allowed to add options, you’ll find the rate soon rises above the other cars’.
Car group tests
The Audi is in the same boat, as it has a similar level of kit to the new S60. But while the Mazda has a higher initial tax rating, you won’t be hiking your costs as it’s much better equipped as standard.
All three cars come with LED daytime running lights. The Mazda has basic strips built into the headlamp units, while the Volvo features strips in the lower grilles.
Audi offers an advanced LED system on the A3 that dims the running lights when you’re using the integrated indicators.
While these three cars feel well built, there are big differences in execution. The S60 is comfortable, but doesn’t feel as spacious as the Mazda. The 6 doesn’t have as many high-quality plastics as the A3, yet the Audi trails both rivals on space.
1st place: Mazda 6
It’s victory for the stylish Mazda 6. A generous kit list and spacious interior make up for the higher financial outlay for business users, while a lower price and strong blend of performance and economy mean it’s the best private buy.
2nd place: Audi A3 Saloon
The A3 Saloon is a top-quality product that drives well, and doesn’t cost much more to run as a company car than the S60. Clever packaging gives it a bigger boot, and if you only use the back seats infrequently, it has plenty of space.
3rd place: Volvo S60
The new D4 diesel is a great performer, but the S60 only really makes sense in Business Edition guise. The rest of the range is too pricey and not as well equipped as rivals, and although it’s comfortable, the driving experience is a letdown.
|Mazda 6 2.2D Sport Nav||Audi A3 Saloon 2.0 TDI S line||Volvo S60 D4 SE|
|On-the-road price/total as tested||£26,295/£27,655||£26,425/£32,630||£28,445/£39,495|
|Residual value (after 3yrs/30,000)||£11,751/44.7%||£13,826/52.3%||£12,940/45.5%|
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate||£997/£1,994||£897/£1,793||£852/£1,703|
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)||£1,506/£2,510||£1,521/£2,536||£1,718/£2,864|
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost||23/£377/C/£30||21/£364/B/£20||27/£385/A/£0|
|Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service||£172/£233/£236||£16p/m (3yrs/30k)||£250/£375/£320|
|Engine||4cyl in-line/2,191cc||4cyl in-line/1,968cc||4cyl in-line/1,969cc|
|Peak power||173/4,500 bhp/rpm||148/3,500 bhp/rpm||179/4,250 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque||420/2,000 Nm/rpm||320/1,750 Nm/rpm||400/1,750 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||6-spd man/fwd||6-spd man/fwd||6-spd man/fwd|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||62 litres/repair kit||50 litres/space saver||67.5 litres/£250|
|Boot capacity||489 litres||425 litres||380 litres|
|Turning circle||11.8 metres||10.7 metres||11.3 metres|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||3yrs (60,000)/3yrs||3yrs (60,000)/3yrs||3yrs (60,000)/3yrs|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||12,500 (1yr)/170||Variable/154||18,000 (1yr)/136|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.||8th/17th*||12th/23rd*||11th/13th*|
|Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./points||92/77/66/5||95/87/74/5 (hatch)||94/82/64/5 (V60)|
|0-60/30-70mph||8.5/7.5 secs||8.5/7.5 secs||7.6/6.7 secs|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||3.1/4.5 secs||3.8/6.6 secs||3.2/4.8 secs|
|50-70mph in 5th/6th||5.9/7.8 secs||7.9/10.2 secs||7.1/9.3 secs|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||139mph/2,050rpm||137mph/1,800rpm||143mph/1,750rpm|
|Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph||60/43/62/69dB||68/48/64/74dB||68/47/60/68dB|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||49.3/10.8/672 miles||48.8/10.7/537 miles||43.3/9.5/643 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||154/119g/km/19%||155/107g/km/17%||175/99g/km/15%|
|Automatic box/stability/cruise control||£1,200/yes/yes||£1,480/yes/£225||£1,550/yes/yes|
|Climate control/leather/heated seats||Yes/yes/yes||Yes/part/£260||Yes/£900/£300|
|Metallic paint/xenons/keyless go||£540/yes/yes||£525/yes/£425||£625/£1,150/£550|