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2009 Volvo S60

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2009 Volvo S60 Review

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Now in its eighth year of production, the 2009 Volvo S60 has more than earned its keep. Introduced in late 2000 for the 2001 model year, the Volvo S60 helped launch a styling revolution that transformed the brand's image from boring box to stylish Swede. Relatively unchanged since its inception, the S60's design has held up well, although newer designs from Audi, Cadillac and Lexus certainly appear more contemporary. The S60, however, is about far more than just good looks. The car is well-known for its extensive safety features and excellent crash-test results, and its turbocharged engines provide both performance and good fuel economy, an important consideration for today's buyers. With a roomy cabin, notably comfortable front seats and a long list of comfort and convenience items, the 2009 Volvo S60 deserves to be near the top of every premium midsize sedan shopping list.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a premium sedan with some style, the 2009 Volvo S60's sculpted hood, trunk and aggressive wheel and tire packages give it a much bolder look than its understated German and Japanese rivals. The S60 is also a bit wider than some competitors, which translates into generous shoulder room.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for the neutral handling only a rear-wheel-drive sedan can provide, the high-powered T5's noticeable torque steer, that sometimes pulls at the steering wheel during harder acceleration, can, at times, become annoying. The omission of a manual transmission may also deter purists. The 2.5T is also not as powerful as many similarly-priced V6 models.

What's New for 2009

All models receive more standard equipment, along with a higher price tag. The contents of the Premium Package have been made standard on 2.5T and 2.5T AWD models, while the sporty S60 T5 receives features contained in last year's Advanced Package. In addition, the Geartonic manual-shift feature is now standard on all trims.

Driving the S60
Driving Impressions

Both the 2.5T and T5 offer good handling and acceleration, with the more powerful T5 providing a bit more thrill. Torque steer (a front-wheel-drive car's tendency to pull to one...

... side or the other) is evident during hard acceleration, but the traction and stability control system helps mitigate the characteristic. The S60's steering does not feel as connected and precise as those of the BMW 3 Series or Infiniti G35, but its smooth ride and comfortable cabin certainly compare well with the Lincoln MKZ and Audi A4. Without a manual transmission, the S60's sporting intensions are somewhat muted, although the five-speed Geartronic transmission does allow for manual gear shifting. Volvo's excellent front seats cradle the occupants without pinching and provide excellent support on long drives.

Sport Seats
The S60's leather sport seats strike a good balance between comfort and body-holding ability.

Navigation System
The optional navigation system features a retractable screen positioned atop the dash instead of integrated into the audio unit.

2009 Volvo S60 Details
2009 Volvo S60 photo Interior

No matter which S60 you choose, all models share two important traits: A roomy, ergonomically-sound interior and an exceptional safety record. The S60's front seats feel great on your back and feature an anti-submarine design to help keep you from sliding under the dash during an accident. Functionally, the S60's near-perfect instrument panel has every switch, lever and button within easy reach. We love the placement of the optional navigation screen, which rises up from atop the dash rather than being integrated into the audio head unit.

Exterior

The 2009 Volvo S60's front end has a soft, rounded appearance, although the familiar diagonal-badge grille treatment remains firmly in place. The S60's shape is defined by its sharpened V-shaped hood and trunk lines that join to form a truly attractive sport sedan. The swept-back rear roof creates a nice fastback look and allows the rear doors plenty of glass to aid visibility. In recent years Volvo has produced a number of attractive new wheel designs and bold exterior colors to enhance the S60's appearance.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2009 Volvo S60 has a five-speed Geartronic automatic transmission, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), Dynamic Stability Traction Control, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, illuminated remote keyless entry, front and rear fog lights, dual heated power mirrors, AM/FM stereo CD and auxiliary input jack, front side-impact and front and rear head-curtain airbags, cruise control, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, 16-inch alloy wheels, garage door opener, power sunroof, sport leather seating and power driver's and passenger's seats. The T5 adds aluminum trim, rear park assist, active bi-xenon adaptive headlights with washers, 17-inch alloy wheels and a High Performance sound system with six-disc CD changer and MP3/WMA compatability.

Optional Equipment

Options vary by trim and include all-wheel drive, heated seats, headlamp washers, rain-sensing wipers, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, navigation, active bi-xenon adaptive headlights, rear park assist and custom alloy wheels.

Under the Hood

The 2.5T engine provides good acceleration and plenty of passing power. This engine works well with the Geartronic automatic transmission, though somewhat lazy shifts left us wishing for a manual option. The high-pressure turbo of the T5 model seems to be the best choice for the S60, with better low-end torque than the 2.5T and more acceleration as the turbo builds boost pressure.


2.5-liter in-line 5 Light-Pressure Turbo
208 horsepower @ 5000 rpm
236 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1500-4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 (FWD), 18/26 (AWD)

2.4-liter in-line 5 High-Pressure Turbo
257 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
258 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2100-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26

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2009 Volvo S60 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 123 Ratings for the 2006 - 2009 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

starts up every morning.

By on Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "I would buy one for my mother"

Cons: "head rests in the back seat remove them"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car is very reliable and takes off like a bullet! This car starts up every morning and this is very important because I am a snow bird from up north. The only down fall the head rests that are in the back seat have to be removed pronto!"

Love this car!

By on Saturday, May 21, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "fun to drive"

Cons: "bulbs seem to burn out more than normal"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Bought used, has been a dream to drive, no issues just maintenance, AWD works great in snow, love the power of the turbo & the comfortable interior, luxurious yet sporty feel, good sound system"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

One of the best cars I have ever owned.

By on Thursday, May 5, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 163,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "FUN to drive."

Cons: "Sunroof noise with cross bars."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car is amazing to drive, great handling, it is fast and at 9 years old it still gets comments on what a good looking car it is. We are a long line of Volvo owners, so I know a thing or two about them and the issues certain models have. Another model we own is the V50, I also give it two thumbs up, but with Volvos, always go for a turbo model the difference is huge!"

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Love the car, expensive to maintain

By on Thursday, September 3, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 103,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "acceleration, luxury interior, sound system, space"

Cons: "turning radius, cost to own, repairs"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"So far at 100K with my 2006 T5 I have had a small amount of issues. ABS module is faulty, O2 sensor went bad. However randomly the car doesn't want to work. Once the car died in the middle of the highway, once in a parking garage, and once it wouldn't start at all. The first time we towed the car to the local Volvo dealer, they ran every test they could and could find no issues, the car started right up for them. Essentially we paid $180 for a mediocre car wash. Besides those issues the car has been a blast to drive, with plenty of room for passengers and luggage. Great acceleration and breaking power but one heck of a turning radius (larger than an Escalade). Love the car, but just too much of a hassle in the long term."

20 people out of 25 found this review helpful

Great Car

By on Thursday, June 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, great value, amazing pick up, safe"

Cons: "repair cost, turning radius, premium gas"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I absolutely love this car. Luxury from the bucket heated seats all the way to the premium sound system. Moon roof, climate control and all the options availible. Drives like a dream, quick and reliable. The turbo smokes mustangs on a daily basis. Safe and made of steel. You can really feel the weight of the car when you press the traction control button, it feels glued to the road in snow, absolutely no sliding. Only down fall is the repairs will get expensive as the car ages. Also the turning radius is bad and premium gas can get expensive. Highly recommended for entry level luxury car with some serious pick up speeds and safety."

14 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Excellent car. Volvo does it again

By on Monday, April 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
Not Rated

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Comfortable, affordable, luxury, safety, power, this thing is nice. Bought it for my wife and I am jealous. It is extremely fun to drive and a solid car. the ONE complaint we both have is with a defect in the R design which makes the turn radius horrible. But if you can get over that, this car is an amazing drive."

10 people out of 19 found this review helpful

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