2011 Volvo S60 T6 AWD New Car Reviews

Not boxy, but still definitely a Volvo.

Better than: Some, but not all, past Volvo sedans
But not as good as: Randy Pobst's S60
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 86.79  

Remember when Volvo built upright, boxy sedans? Those days are becoming a memory, as the company's all-new S60 sports a rounded, softer look--at least by Volvo standards, anyway.

The new S60 is available in three basic flavors:

• The T5 features front-wheel drive and a turbocharged 250-horsepower, 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine. Prices start at $30,975.

• The T6 AWD, our test car, gets a 300-horsepower, 3.0-liter turbo engine and, as the name suggests, all-wheel drive. It starts at $37,700.

• The R-Design kicks the T6 AWD up a notch, as output is boosted to 325 horsepower along with 354 lb.-ft. of torque. This one starts at $42,275.

Our test car, by the way, wasn't shy regarding the options: $4400 for a Premium Package and Technology Package; $2700 for navigation; and then another $550 for the Vibrant Copper Metallic paint.

Other staff views:

Alan Cesar SuperDork:

This car's interior is to die for. The leather is simply divine, and in an incredibly satisfying shade of orange in our tester. It's a delight to just put my arm on the armrest, as the door panel has leather inserts of the same quality as the seats. There's nothing cheap about this interior whatsoever. That's a good thing, given its as-tested price.

That hefty price though includes a lot of unnecessary technology. The lane departure warning is overly sensitive; I found myself tripping it frequently. I could only imagine its utility if one were to text while driving, but that's not an activity to be engaged in anyway.

We did test the infrared pedestrian detection, and it works even when ambient air temperatures approximate human body temperature: The Volvo brought itself to a quick stop when I tried to run over our intern. Likewise, the radar cruise control system will bring the car to a complete stop all on its own if the person ahead of you stops at a red light, for example.

Another minor gripe is that, despite this car's high level of comfort, the ride seemed a bit stiff. We don't have many opportunities in our part of Florida to ride over frost-heaved, potholed roads, but the small amount of pavement disturbances I encountered suggested that this may not be the best choice for states with poor roads and a poorly managed government. Illinois, I'm looking at you.

Car shoppers in those areas should take a test drive over rough roads before buying, and consider what it might cost to replace those low-profile tires in the event of a serious pavement incident. Smaller wheels with snow tires may be a worthwhile winter investment. Or stick to the standard 17-inch wheels instead of the 18-inchers our tester had.

Overall though, this is a wonderful car. Leave those tech options off the spec sheet, and you have a fine automobile with plenty of thrust. If only it were available with a stickshift; then we'd have a vehicle that's both supremely comfortable and supremely entertaining. It comes that close to perfect.

Matt Smith New Reader:

The Volvo S60 T6 is everything I want in a commuter: AWD, turbocharged, comfortable, and plenty of neat widgets all over the cockpit. Volvo's latest S60 made highway miles simply disappear as the creature comforts pacified any stress associated with long distance trips. You know, pacify might be the word of choice for this car. It could easily quell anyone's anger with it's nearly flawless interior, stylish curves, and composed driving style. The ergonomics of this car are so exquisitely refined; nothing has been overlooked in your driving view, as if it were designed solely with the driver's comfort in mind.

However, engineers just cant escape physics, so for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This reaction comes from the jolt of excitement and grin on your face as the turbocharged 6 cylinder engine pushes you into those once pacifying seats. The snappy 6 cylinder is more than adequate for any commuting car and is the single most important piece in the luxury sedan puzzle; a could-have-been boring commuter is transformed into an intense fun machine with the depression of your right foot.

Still, Volvo never lost sight of it's goals as the S60 T6 AWD is a comfortable commuting car. If you want the "Ultimate Driving Machine," then a BMW 1 Series M Coupe or an M3 might be more up your alley. If you want to have the most pacifying, but not boring, driving experience, then look no further.


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Reader Comments:

Shaun
Shaun HalfDork
Aug. 15, 2011 8:16 p.m.

The current V60 is very very good looking. For me, the whole point of Volvo's is that they are a fast long legged decent handling SUV. It will not be imported into the US. Boo.

ZOO
ZOO UltraDork
Aug. 18, 2011 8:55 a.m.

I don't care for the new design language -- it looks to me as if the car has been bent upwards in the middle. Kind of like a cat arching its back. Except it's a Volvo . . .

MattGent
MattGent Reader
Aug. 25, 2011 11:59 a.m.

I attended the promotional autocross event they had in North Miami. Like the car, handsome, great interior, quality seemed nice. Power and brakes were excellent. However between the automatic and turbo the power response at tip-in made the car useless in an autocross environmnent.

kanaric
kanaric Dork
Jan. 1, 2013 3:55 a.m.

no more manual option :/

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
Dec. 10, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Remember when Volvo built upright, boxy sedans? Those days are becoming a memory, as the company's all-new S60 sports a rounded, softer look--at least by Volvo standards, anyway.

The new S60 is available in three basic flavors:

• The T5 features front-wheel drive and a turbocharged 250-horsepower, 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine. Prices start at $30,975.

• The T6 AWD, our test car, gets a 300-horsepower, 3.0-liter turbo engine and, as the name suggests, all-wheel drive. It starts at $37,700.

• The R-Design kicks the T6 AWD up a notch, as output is boosted to 325 horsepower along with 354 lb.-ft. of torque. This one starts at $42,275.

Our test car, by the way, wasn't shy regarding the options: $4400 for a Premium Package and Technology Package; $2700 for navigation; and then another $550 for the Vibrant Copper Metallic paint.

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2011 Volvo S60 T6 AWD Specs:

Drivetrain Layout:
Front-engine, all-wheel-drive
Engine:
3.0 liter Inline-6
Horsepower:
300 bhp at 5600 rpm
Torque:
325 lb.-ft
Transmission:
automatic
Suspension:
Independant
Brakes:
disc (front)
disc (rear)
Weight:
3812 pounds
Price:
Base: $37700
As tested: $46200

Staff Ratings:

Stock Performance:
Performance Potential:
Daily Driver Manners:
Fit and Finish:
Overall:

Related Project Cars:


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