Eight years had passed since I bought Buffy (or Bfotyuh, as my family calls it). At the time of writing, she was eleven years old, had clocked a massive 180,000 miles, and most importantly, had started to show niggling issues that slowly became slightly more irritating – in the form of gear shifting issues during city driving (it was an automatic transmission) and the air con cutting off after 15-20 minutes. And we had a very hot summer this year.

This time, the timing was a bit good as it is said September[1] is one of the best time to buy as dealers tend to want to sell off their part exchanged stock, especially when well-heeled Brit car owners tend to buy new cars after their own reaches three years old, as to avoid the bother for MOTs[2]. As usual, I was in the market for a three year old motokar, and this time, I want to get one with decent low(ish) mileage.

Plus, this time, I was aiming for the 2nd gen S60. The story was that I actually wanted an S60 back in 2010 but the 2nd gen S60 had just come out and the oldest was a year old. So, I then gritted my teeth initially and went for a 2nd gen S40 which at the end turned out fine.

I set my search to dealers within a 80-mile radius on Auto Trader, and to my dismay, there were a lot of white cars. White seems to be de rigueur these past few years. The search actually began last month, and after four weeks, I hit the jackpot at an unlikely dealer. It was a Jaguar dealer in Hull but the ad had no photos of the car. The photos were emailed to me (they said they were just uploading the photos the day I rang) and a separate email with a video of the car taken by the salesman with him answering my queries was sent. I was well impressed.

It was an unusual transaction if you asked me, as I was 95% sure I’d buy the car even before testing it (don’t do this at home, folks). So, they took the ad off on Thursday and I drove up to Hull the following Monday to test the car. I felt like I just sank in the seat and as it was a Volvo, it wasn’t an unfamiliar drive. I just felt a bit apprehensive as it is a tad wider (and longer) than the S40.

I haven’t thought of a name for her yet as the number plate is not as inspiring as the S40 I owned. Her specific model was the S60 D4 SE Lux Nav with a 2 litre 190 bhp turbo diesel engine and a low C02 emission that meant a £30 per annum road tax (win!). That against Buffy’s 2.4 litre D5 engine may mean the new girl is less of a “mean machine” but I’m the sort that would only use a Panamera to go to Waitrose. Some real speed demon in action there, if I should say so myself.

Her colour is again a metallic black (onyx black it seems), and boasts dark grey full leather upholstery. A front wheel drive (great for Sheffield winters), she has an 8-speed automatic transmission, runs on 17-inch Pallene aluminium alloys, has Xenon headlamps that shifts during cornering (active bending lights/ABL), electronic parking brake, a start-stop engine (can be toggled off) just to list a few features – enough to make me feel like I have finally arrived in the 21st century. Potentially, the 2nd gen S60 can still have more bells ‘n’ whistles in her but this the thing with buying second hand, what you get is what the previous owner asked for.

Unlike Buffy, the dashboard is fully digital (TFT LCD screen) and the central console now boasts a Sensus unit that houses a sat nav, radio (DAB to boot), CD (single CD, though – Buffy had a six-CD changer), Bluetooth and a USB-connected media centre that is iPhone/iPod friendly. No Apple CarPlay yet, though. So, that has to wait until I get my next car in eight years’ time, I guess. I am nevertheless happy that the Sensus can read my mid-noughties classic iPod – the info on each song played is displayed in full (even in kanji) together with the album cover. For data completist freaks like me, this is godsend. Sound-wise, apparently she houses a Harman-Kardon 650W system with 12 speakers.

It’s been barely a week. Will get to “know” her a lot more after this.

[1]The cars with new UK plates are sold in March and September – 1X and 6X, respectively for this decade.