I had the all-new 2011 Volvo S60 last week, a car I had been anticipating for a long time. I knew it would have a lot of the latest safety features, but was not quite ready for everything it offered. They call it the “naughty” Volvo, which I admit I don’t really understand, but hey…I’ll roll with the best of them.
The new S60 is a VERY solid car, very quiet, and clearly well crafted. That was obvious on both the interior and exterior, and important to me, when you shut the door. Make no mistake, this car was built brand-new, from the ground up. It was due, it’s been 10 years since the last S60 debuted.
My test care was the T6 version, which comes with a 300-horse inline-6 that is turbocharged. For now, all models are all-wheel drive, but later this year it will come in a T5, just front-wheel drive with 5-cylinder turbo.
The interior is very nice, not Lexus-nice, but in typical Volvo fashion, it is elegant. It has the see-through center stack which has become a trademark of this brand. Everything is easy to use and within the driver’s reach. Whoever designed the interior did a great job.
My test vehicle was loaded as they usually are. It had the Premium package which gives you a sunroof, Xenon headlights and dual-power seats. As we get into the safety offerings, the Technology package includes adaptive cruise control, collision warning with auto brake, pedestrian detection system, lane departure warning and driver alert control. George Jetson would be proud!
For more of what made Volvo famous, the S60 comes with standard safety features that include antilock disc brakes, both stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, front head restraints and City Safety. This system 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 or she doesn’t react in time.
As mentioned above, Volvo’s new pedestrian detection feature 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 tall. Other safety options include front and rear parking sensors and a side blind-spot warning system. Also 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.
S60 comes as close to driving itself as anything I have ever been in. If you insist on texting and driving, this may be the car for you!
The new Volvo S60 is not going to take any business away from BMW or Audi, but it’s a great car and well thought out. I wish it were $3000 or so cheaper, but if you look at the technology in this car, it is hard to argue with the price.
What I liked most: Safety features and interior
What I would change if I could: Just a bit more trunk room.
MSRP as tested: $48,200.
Fuel Economy: Rated at 17 city/26 highway. It will do every bit of it.
S60 in a few words: Very well built, solid car, as safe as you can get today.