2011 VOLVO S60 – STYLE EXAMINATION


304 horsepower generated by a turbocharged 3.0L six-cylinder isn’t such a bad standard output for the 2011 Volvo S60. Of course, Volvo wants to sell 90,000 S60s per year around the world. A huge chunk of those sales will come from the 2.4L turbodiesel or the 2.0L turbodiesel, neither of which will find their way into Geely’s Volvo’s North American showrooms.

Long gone are the days when Volvo’s were purchased purely for safety and solidity. Style is a major consideration for buyers of Swedish products – Volvo, IKEA, and the Sedin twins not excluded. The previous generation Volvo S60 hung around for a decade. Forgetful people that we are, the consumers’ collective beholding eye no longer sees the visual appeal of the P2-based S60 of 2000. Think back to your first sighting, however, and you’ll remember how shocked you were that Volvo, the box builder, designed a car with such strong shoulders and so pugnacious a rear end.
In the Gallery below you’ll see 58 pictures of the 2011 Volvo S60. Yes, this Volvo is still strong on the safety front. Advanced Stability Control. Corner Traction Control. Ready Alert brakes. Pedestrian Detection with full auto braking. City Safety from the Volvo XC60. ASC, CTC, RA, PD, and CS are all well and good. But buyers want to drive in something that makes them feel good in addition to feeling safe. Does the Volvo S60 succeed?
Fer sher…. fo sho…. for sure. Viewed from the front, the 2011 Volvo S60 is characterful; remarkably unique. Would I have toned down the vertical angles? Maybe. Yet I can’t argue with the S60’s cohesiveness as that dramatic front end eases into the profile view.
Ah yes, seen from the side, the middle-rung Volvo is a touch too similar to the outgoing S60. On that note, it must again be recalled that the outgoing S60 was pretty in profile. Volvo’s effort for 2010 has more awareness of its front fascia and dives headlong into distinct coupe-likeness. Apparently every new 4-door needs to be coupe-like. The S60 does it better than most with its elongated nose and short rear deck leaving the greenhouse and roof arch to be themselves.

Moving around to the back of the car, the S60 takes its cue from the taillights of Maserati’s old 3200GT, a member of GoodCarBadCar.net’s 100 Favourite Cars. Though not a perfect boomerang shape, that the S60’s rear lamps have shape of any kind is more than can be said for dozens of new cars roaming roads today. From under each light, curving into the centre of the car to a meeting place underneath the license plate, is a concave deck which might add something to the S60’s style-o-meter but will distress every owner upon every attempt to wash the car. The same could be said of the gorgeous cream interior, an option I wouldn’t sacrifice if I had to clean it daily. Sometimes style comes up trumps.
To be true, rarely is The Good Car Guy a fan of wood trim in automobiles. Taking a look inside the 2011 Volvo S60 – especially the version which mixes creamy white leather with strongly contrasting, vertically pitched tree – is an enjoyable peek, indeed. Like something HGTV’s best contemporary interior decorator would come up with, the insides of the 2011 Volvo S60, the place owners spend all their time, is an absolute hit. In fact, further inspection may reveal that no other car at this price point possesses a worthy interior opponent.
The glamour of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class doesn’t match up well with the new S60. BMW’s otherwise excellent 3-Series doesn’t utilize simplistic design any longer, certainly not in sedan form. The Infiniti G will come across large in the S60’s presence. Inside the Audi A4, a potential Volvo S60 customer will find life dark and dour. Is this all to mean the 2011 Volvo S60 is better than the Marketplace’s best-selling alternatives?
C’mon, son. Nobody’s even Driven it yet.