Premium midsize car; Built in Belgium
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $13,800 – $30,100*

2011 Volvo S60 Front

2011 Volvo S60 Rear

2011 Volvo S60 Interior

2011 Volvo S60 Profile

2011 Volvo S60 Front

  • Acceleration
  • All-wheel drive
  • Handling/roadholding
  • Control layout
  • Road noise
  • Wind noise

One of the sportiest Volvos ever, the redesigned S60 brings a new level of styling verve and fun-to-drive personality to the brand. In 2011, a limited model lineup of just one trim level and one powertrain meant that the S60 couldn’t be configured to individual tastes as well as its class competitors. Addition of entry-level and sporty-performance versions for 2012 were welcome, and went a long way toward greater flexibility and customization for buyers. Overall, the latest S60 offers a very attractive blend of invigorating performance, upscale fittings, and the safety features expected of a Volvo.


Redesigned for 2011, Volvo’s S60 sedan adopted freshened styling, gaining more power and new features. This premium-midsize car came in a single T6 trim level with standard all-wheel drive. The sole powertrain teamed a 300-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine with a six-speed automatic transmission. This replaced turbocharged five-cylinder engines of 208 and 257 horsepower. Volvo offered a choice of two standard suspension configurations: Dynamic Chassis, or the softer-riding Touring Chassis. Optional was the FOUR-C Active Chassis, which enabled drivers to select Comfort, Sport, or Advanced suspension settings via dashboard buttons. Standard safety features included all-disc antilock braking, traction control, an antiskid system, curtain side airbags, and front side airbags. Blind-spot alert and lane-departure warning were available. Standard was Volvo’s City Safety accident-avoidance system, which could automatically activate the brakes at low speeds to avoid or reduce the severity of an imminent collision. Newly available on the 2011 Volvo S60 was Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake. This accident-avoidance feature used sensors to detect pedestrians who might step in front of the vehicle. If this happened, the system could apply full braking force at speeds up to 22 mph. A navigation system was available, too. With its S60, Volvo competed against the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Infiniti M, and Cadillac CTS, as well as the BMW 5-Series, Acura TL, and Lexus ES 350.

Yearly Updates

2012 S60
A T5 model with a five-cylinder turbocharged engine and either front-drive or all-wheel drive joined the 2012 Volvo S60 lineup. So did a sporty T6 R-Design model with specific trim, performance suspension tuning, and sport bucket seats.
2013 S60
All-wheel drive became a new option for the base T5 model. The T5’s turbocharged 5-cylinder engine was revised to improve drivability and fuel economy, but its horsepower and torque ratings were unchanged. The T5’s automatic transmission was tweaked to improve shift times in Sport mode.
2014 S60
Interior and exterior styling was updated for 2014. Highlights included new front fascia styling and a revised instrument panel. Heated front seats were a new option.


transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

With the addition of the T5 models for 2012, three engines have been available under S60 hoods. The T5 held a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine, rated at 250 horsepower. Regular T6 sedans got a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder, developing 300 horsepower. In the T6 R-Design, the 3.0-liter engine generated 325 horsepower. All S60 sedans used a six-speed automatic transmission.

Turbocharged dohc I5
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/154
Engine HP 250
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 266
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic


Turbocharged dohc I6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/180
Engine HP 300
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 325
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic


Turbocharged dohc I6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/180
Engine HP 325
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 354
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic


Road Test

Acceleration with the T6 is robust from any speed, with almost no turbo lag. Throttle response is snappy from a stop, and passing power is excellent. The astute transmission changes gears crisply and smoothly, and includes a sport mode for spirited driving. The five-cylinder T5 model has more than enough get-up-and-go for most driving situations, but does suffer from a bit of turbo lag. However, power comes on strongly once the turbo boost engages.

Fuel economy with the six-cylinder engine is typical for the class. In Consumer Guide testing, we averaged 22.7 mpg with a T6. For highway driving, in particular, the EPA milage estimate for the five-cylinder T5 is markedly higher than for the T6. Volvo says the S60 can run on regular-grade gas, but premium is recommended for maximum performance.

S60s with either the Touring or Dynamic Chassis ride quite firmly. Large bumps and coarse road surfaces register slightly through the steering wheel. Still, this premium-midsize car is a comfortable cruiser.

An S60 is nimble and balanced in quick direction changes. All-wheel drive, standard on the T6, provides an extra measure of road-holding grip. Brakes feel smooth and strong. On all S60s, steering feel can be set to one of three power-assist levels–low, medium, or high–via an onscreen control menu; most drivers will likely prefer the default medium setting. In controlled demonstrations, Volvo’s Pedestrian Detection system worked as advertised.

Volvo’s S60 falls short of premium-midsize class leaders in terms of overall quietness. Tire roar and suspension noise become pronounced on coarse pavement, and wind rush intrudes at highway speeds. The T6’s six-cylinder engine is nicely muted in cruising and rises to a classy growl in fast acceleration. A five-cylinder T5 is similarly hushed on the road, but sounds coarser while accelerating.

Gauges are unobstructed and well-marked. The S60’s central control panel is “busier” than many buyers will prefer–filled with many small buttons that take time to sort out and can be tricky to locate at a glance. Cabin materials are upscale, with fine texture and a solid feel. Available contrasting color panels and attractive satin metal-look trim provide welcome pizzazz. Controls operate with smooth precision.

Front-seat headroom and legroom are ample, even for large and tall adults. Seats are comfortable, with side bolsters that provide lateral support without being confining. A broad range of seat adjustments helps dial in an ideal driving position. Visibility is good all-around, and entry and exit are simple.

Rear-seat entry and exit are straightforward, but headroom is tight for adults. Rear legroom shrinks quickly as front seats are adjusted rearward.

Despite a very short decklid, the trunk opening is decently large. Sickle-shaped hinges cut into trunk space, but are covered so they don’t crush cargo. Interior small-items storage is average. A “hidden” storage cubby behind the center console is a neat design feature, but it’s not as useful as a more-traditional storage area would be.


Model Tested: 2011 Volvo S60 T6 with Dynamic Chassis

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 8
Fuel Economy - 6
Ride Quality - 6
Steering/Handling - 7
Quietness - 5


Controls/Materials - 6
Room/Comfort Front - 8
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
Cargo Room - 3


Value - 7

Total: 60


4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
109.3 182.2 73.4 58.4
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
12 17.8 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.3 37.4 41.9 33.5
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2012 Volvo S60 4-door sedan


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Rear Passenger Injury - 5


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Automatic transmission
Description: The transmission may downshift harshly from 5th to 4th and/or may feel harsh when putting it in gear when stopped requiring a software update or possible replacement of the transmission control module. (2011)
Keyless entry
Description: The doors may not unlock via the door handles on vehicles equipped with Keyless Drive requiring replacement of connectors on the affected doors. (2013)
Keyless entry
Description: The doors may not lock or unlock due to failure of the remote key for which there is an improved unit. (2011-12)
Description: The mirror may fail to tilt when in reverse requiring a software upgrade. (2011-12)
Electrical problem
Description: The battery may drain requiring a software update to the Central Electronic Module (CEM). (2014)

Recall History

2011 Volvo S60
Description: Software calibration for fuel cutoff functionality in engine control module may be too sensitive, allowing engine stall to occur.
2011 Volvo S60 with power front passenger seat
Description: Front seat rail’s detection system may have been manufactured incorrectly, permitting the passenger to move too far forward.
2011-12 Volvo S60 with optional spare-tire kit
Description: On certain vehicles made from July 14, 2010 through April 16, 2011, tire information labels may have incorrect inflation information.
2012 Volvo S60
Description: On certain vehicles made from Nov. 18, 2010 through May 5, 2011, software for fuel pump may not be compatible with all pumps and components, resulting in insufficient fuel transfer; under certain conditions, this could cause engine hesitation and possible stalling.
2012 Volvo S60
Description: On certain vehicles made from Jan. 18 to Jan. 26, 2011, male part of fuel-line quick connector end shape was produced with incorrect dimensions, leading to excessive assembly force; connector could detach, causing engine to stall and, possibly, fuel leakage.
2012 Volvo S60
Description: On certain vehicles made from May 16, 2011 to Oct. 6, 2011, wire harness under front seats may have been improperly attached to seat frame; as a result, when seats are moved, harness could get pulled and disconnect, possibly preventing proper deployment of front and/or side airbags in a crash.
2012 Volvo S60
Description: Incorrect mixture of underbody coating and over-application on certain vehicles could result in rigid, icicle-like areas hanging from undercarriage; if the coating penetrates fuel line, fuel leakage could occur, increasing risk of fire.
2013 Volvo S60
2014 Volvo S60
Description: On certain 2014 model-year vehicles equipped with keyless ignition, the Central Electronic Module may not operate as intended causing the windshield wipers to run continuously when the vehicle is on. it is also possible that the turn signals, high-beam headlights, and headlight switch will not properly function.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


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