2011 Volvo S60 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful engine
  • smooth ride
  • instantly comfortable front seats
  • cutting-edge safety features.
  • Cramped backseat
  • some dated controls.
List Price Estimate
$5,772 - $9,850

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Redesigned for 2011, the Volvo S60 regains its standing as the looker in the family. But it's what's under the sleek skin that impresses us the most.

Vehicle overview

When the Volvo S60 debuted 10 years ago with its muscular fenders and sweeping roof line, it was a radical, refreshing departure from the dowdy box on wheels it replaced. But 10 years is a long time, and this model has been desperately in need of a redesign for a few years now. So the 2011 Volvo S60 finally represents a makeover, and the resulting car once again claims the glamour standing in the company's lineup.

Based on a shortened S80 platform, the new midsize S60 remains on the small side of the midsize car spectrum. However, it's 1 inch longer overall, 2 inches wider and has a 2.3-inch-longer wheelbase than before. Inside, you'll find Volvo's understated but classy design aesthetic that includes the trademark "floating" center stack control panel. Under the skin, the 2011 Volvo S60 promises a more engaging drive thanks to quicker steering and a choice of suspension options that include a more firmly calibrated sport version dubbed "Dynamic" as well as Volvo's adaptive "FOUR-C" setup.

The company known for building safe cars hasn't forgotten its roots. As such the 2011 S60 boasts Volvo's latest advance in safety technology called Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake. This system has the ability to detect pedestrians who are at least 31 inches tall, then can apply full braking power to avoid a collision even if you take no action. At lower speeds (around 21 mph or less) it can bring the car to a full stop, while at higher speeds it slows the S60 to lessen the severity of a potential impact. You can, of course, take back control of the situation by steering around the danger.

The 2011 Volvo S60 will initially only be available in the top-of-the-line, highest-performing "T6" form, meaning it will sport a 300-horsepower turbocharged inline-6 and all-wheel drive. Later in the model year a front-wheel-drive T6 will become available, as will the T5 trim, the latter having the brand's familiar turbocharged inline-5 making 227 hp.

Despite Volvo's claim that the 2011 S60 is the sportiest sedan it has ever sold, it still doesn't exactly match the fun of a 2011 BMW 3 Series or Infiniti G37. Yet many buyers are more interested in the sort of comfortable, quiet and refined ride offered by a 2011 Audi A4 or 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and for them the S60 should be a smart, stylish alternative. It took awhile, but Volvo is finally back in the game.

2011 Volvo S60 models

The 2011 Volvo S60 is a midsize luxury sport sedan currently available in a single T6 trim level.

The S60 T6 comes with all-wheel drive, a sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels, front sport seats (eight-way power with memory settings for the driver), leather upholstery, aluminum interior trim, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker audio system with a single-CD player, satellite radio, HD radio, an iPod/USB interface and an auxiliary audio jack.

Going for the optional Premium package gets you adaptive xenon headlights, a sunroof and a power passenger seat. The Multimedia package upgrades the S60 with a 12-speaker premium sound system, a rearview camera and navigation system with real-time traffic updates. The Climate package adds heated front seats, heated windshield washer jets, rain-sensing wipers and an interior air quality system, while the Technology package includes adaptive cruise control, collision warning with auto brake, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and driver alert control.

Individual options include the FOUR-C adaptive suspension, a more compliant "Touring" suspension (no extra charge), 17-inch wheels, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot alert, keyless ignition/entry and a rear-seat entertainment system with dual display screens.

2011 Highlights

For 2011, the Volvo S60 will be completely redesigned.

Performance & mpg

The 2011 Volvo S60 T6 has a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder that makes 300 hp and 325 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission with sport and manual shift modes is standard, as is all-wheel drive.

Though we haven't yet track-tested the S60 T6, Volvo claims a 6.2-second 0-60-mph time, which feels accurate based on our seat-of-the-pants impressions. Fuel economy is average compared with other six-cylinder models in this class, with EPA mileage estimates of 17 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined.


Upholding Volvo's sterling reputation for passenger protection, the 2011 S60 T6 comes loaded with standard safety features that include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, whiplash-reducing front head restraints and City Safety. The latter can help the driver avoid rear-ending other vehicles or a stationary object at speeds of up to 19 mph by automatically applying the brakes if he doesn't react in time.

Optional (via the Technology package) is Volvo's new pedestrian detection feature, which can apply full braking force (reducing speed by as much as 22 mph) to help you avoid hitting pedestrians who are at least 31 inches in height. This package also includes adaptive cruise control and a lane departure warning system. Other safety options include front and rear parking sensors and a side blind spot warning system. Furthermore, available as a dealer-installed accessory is a front blind-view camera that extends your field of vision when pulling out of a blind driveway.


Though we wouldn't call it a sport sedan -- driving enthusiasts will still find the BMW 3 Series and the Infiniti G37 more involving -- the 2011 Volvo S60 T6 provides handling that is sure-footed, making it easy to find a rhythm as you go from corner to corner. The steering is precise as well as nicely weighted, feeling substantial without being heavy. Around town and on the highway, the S60 also provides an impressively smooth and quiet ride.

The power delivery is hard to fault, as the turbo-6 delivers the thrust in a smooth, aurally pleasing manner while the six-speed automatic furnishes equally smooth gearchanges.


Interior materials in the 2011 Volvo S60 are on par with the rest of the entry-level luxury sedan class. You may not care for the heavier graining on the dash and doors, but there's no denying that the leather, vinyl and plastic used in this cabin are of solid quality. Volvo offers a different take on the expected wood and metal accents that give the S60's cabin more personality than most rivals.

The straightforward dual-temperature adjustment dials and the "mode man" pictogram make adjustments to the climate control system intuitive. The audio system is fairly easy to use, too, though the array of small audio buttons is starting to look dated. The available DVD-based navigation system thankfully does away with the complicated back-of-the-steering-wheel controls seen on previous Volvos and adopts a more conventional dial-type controller. In practice, this interface works fine, though Volvo's navigation software still feels a few years behind the times.

As one would expect in a Volvo, the front seats are excellent in terms of long-trip comfort and proper support. Unfortunately, the backseat isn't quite as accommodating. The seats themselves are supportive, but legroom and foot room are tight for adults over 5-foot-8. Most competitors are slightly more accommodating.

Trunk capacity, at 12 cubic feet, is a bit small for the class as well, but a low liftover height makes it easy to access the space. Both the rear seats and the front passenger seat fold down, and there's a separate ski pass-through.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2011 Volvo S60.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

My Sexy S60
T6 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A)
When I first test drove the car here in Michigan, I did not want to stop driving it. It felt that good! It was a pure monster with poise, elegance and personality. Then I went to Gothenburg to pick the car up in late Oct 2010 as part of the Overseas Delivery Program. I was blown away by the entire deal: great Swedish hospitality and the truly satisfying factory delivery center experience. Due to timing, I could not drive it around Europe, but was more anxious to have it shipped back to the US! I received it in December, just before Christmas :) To summarise the S60: It is a pure engineering marvel, that blends sportiness and safety in one outstanding package!
Six Months In, Still Pleased
T6 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A)
No other mid size luxury sedan can compete with the value offered in the S60 T6. It's faster than 2003 BMW 530, it has AWD, bluetooth and ipod, has 5-year free maintenance. All for around $15k lower than the BMW,Audi,Lexus, etc. On the last day of March '11, the dealer gave me invoice price (and preinstalled Bliss and keyless entry at no cost). - Drives more like a Lexus/Infinity than a German car.
Best car out of the 30 vehicles I have owned
T6 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A)
Even though such features are now much more common, the 2011 Volvo S60 T6 was the first sedan to offer all these things together: pedestrian detection, automatic braking , blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, driver alert monitoring, and adaptive cruise control, along with front and rear cameras, AWD, torque vectoring, traction control, rear fog light with real time traffic monitoring with the navigation. All of these systems have worked flawlessly since 2011. So what's not to like in a car with super comfortable seats, a rear entertainment system, and 300 hp on regular gas? Well, the trunk could have been bigger and space for a temporary spare designed into the floor of the trunk. Oh, and a heated steering wheel would have been nice.
Marvelous design
T6 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A)
Went to Goteborg, Sweden to pick up my new 2011 Volvo S60 in October and people would come up to the car and admire the style. I picked white exterior with 2 tone leather brown/black. The car feels secure and the rain in Sweden did not stop us from driving 900 miles in a couple of days. Need to work on all the knobs but all in all this car will be a success.


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2011 Volvo S60
More About This Model

You have a lot of choices if you're shopping for an entry-level luxury sedan, and starting in September 2010, you can add the 2011 Volvo S60 T6 AWD to the list. Maybe you'd forgotten that Volvo still sells a medium-size premium sedan. The original S60 debuted way back in the 2001 model year, and the Swedish automaker is just now getting around to redesigning it.

Stunning is the only way to describe our 2011 Volvo S60 test car as we approach, keys in hand. Sixty miles later, we're still thinking about how sleek and sophisticated the redesigned S60 looks. This is a good start. Other points in the new S60's favor include a strong turbocharged six-cylinder engine, smooth ride quality and leading-edge safety technology. Notably, the 2011 Volvo S60 is the first car to enter the market with an optional pedestrian detection system that spots real, live humans and automatically applies the brakes to help you avoid colliding with them.

Although Volvo is keen to emphasize that the 2011 Volvo S60 T6 AWD is also the sportiest sedan it has ever built, this new S60 still isn't going to change your mind about buying the similarly sized and priced BMW 3 Series or Infiniti G37, at least not if you're looking for thrills on back roads. It is, however, a fine alternative to middle-of-the-road cars like the Acura TL, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, especially if you're drawn to its avant-garde design or legendary Volvo safety.

Used 2011 Volvo S60 Overview

The Used 2011 Volvo S60 is offered in the following submodels: S60 Sedan. Available styles include T6 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6A). The Used 2011 Volvo S60 comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2011 Volvo S60 comes with a 5 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2011 Volvo S60?

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Which used 2011 Volvo S60s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2011 Volvo S60 for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2011 Volvo S60.

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Find a used Volvo S60 for sale - 7 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $10,381.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Volvo S60 for sale - 8 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $14,085.

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Should I lease or buy a 2011 Volvo S60?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Volvo lease specials
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