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2011 Volvo XC60

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2011 Volvo XC60 Review

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Volvo has a well established reputation for building safe, family-friendly wagons that are as reliable as a Maine winter. Unfortunately, consumers in general have no love for wagons, preferring instead small and midsize crossover vehicles. Given this scenario, the most logical step for Volvo was to create a new vehicle, one with the ride and handling of a wagon, but look and feel of a small SUV. Based on the sporty S60 sedan platform, the 2011 Volvo XC60 fills the void between the larger XC90 and the aging XC70 wagon. Smartly styled and competitively priced, the XC60 is well equipped to take on long-established luxury CUVs like the BMW X3, Lexus RX 350 and Acura RDX, not to mention new comers such as the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLK350. Coupled with Volvo's long list of safety and engineering firsts, the XC60 makes a rather attractive prospect, and its numerous trim variations and engine choices enable it to compete with such premium competitors as the Subaru Outback Limited and Volkswagen Tiguan.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're seeking a midsize crossover with a strong emphasis on safety that doesn't conflict with the vehicle's sense of style and comfort, the 2011 Volvo XC60 certainly fits the bill. Available all-wheel drive allows the XC60 to tackle all manner of road conditions and even confidently venture off-road.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you want the security of all-wheel-drive, but without the higher price and lesser fuel economy of a six-cylinder engine, Audi's Q5 2.0-liter quattro is a better choice.

What's New for 2011

New for 2011 is the XC60 3.2 R-Design, which includes a leather interior, panoramic glass moonroof, HID headlamps with Active Light Bending technology and 20-inch alloy wheels. The base 3.2-liter V6 gets a five-horsepower bump, while the turbocharged models see an increase of 18 additional ponies, bumping output to 300 horsepower.

Driving the XC60
Driving Impressions

We spent equal time in both the base XC60 3.2 and the top-of-the-line T6 R-Design and came away with two distinctly different driving impressions. The base XC60's 240-horsepower engine has...

... enough muscle to allow safe passage onto freeways or when overtaking slower cars, but once you get a taste of the 300-horsepower turbocharged engine in the T6, there's no going back. The turbo spools up quickly meaning there is no lag in power or sudden rush after the engine reaches a particular rpm. While the driving dynamics improve markedly with the T6, the ride quality seems to diminish exponentially. Riding on 17-inch wheels and tires, the XC60 3.2 provides a smooth and comfortable ride with little tire noise entering the cabin. However, the T6 R-Design's stiffer suspension setup and 20-inch wheels make for a rather firm ride frequently punctuated by rude jolts when encountering nasty road distortions, and slightly more interior noise. During highway driving, we found both vehicles felt stable and well-behaved, tracking straight even on crowning pavement and responding instantly to steering wheel input.

City Safe
Distracted drivers are becoming more and more frequent these days, which is why we applaud Volvo making the City Safe feature part of the XC60's standard equipment. At speeds below 19 mph, City Safe detects stopped or slower-moving objects ahead and applies the brakes to slow the vehicle helping to avoid or lessen the severity of an impact.

T6 R-Design
Although the ride can be a bit stiff, we love the power, handling and elegant R-Design styling. For the money, we think the XC60 T6 R-Design is one of the most-alluring crossovers on the market.

2011 Volvo XC60 Details
2011 Volvo XC60 photo Interior

Functionally, there is nothing that stands out about the 2011 Volvo XC60's interior, but its aesthetics are notably interesting. Lovely contrasting colors adorn the seats and door panels while a distinctive open-back console plays home to the climate and audio controls. High on our plus list are the extremely comfortable bucket-style seats, and the long list of available electronic safety features that do everything from warn when the vehicle is drifting from its lane, to slow the car before an inevitable front-end collision can occur (this should be particularly helpful to those who can't help texting while driving). Not so impressive are the awkwardly placed and hard to turn manual lumbar adjustments, and the overly complicated screens on the available navigation system that, while artistic, are inferior to the simple touch screen menus found on any $100 Garmin unit.

Exterior

If there's one place the 2011 Volvo XC60 outshines most of its competition, it's the vehicle's exterior. Where most competitors display squared-off edges and boxy greenhouses, the XC60's slicked back profile, curvaceous sheet metal and highly stylized tail lamps speak to the driving enthusiast in all of us. To achieve the XC60's sleek roofline, Volvo engineers have created roof rails with minimal height, a design that also cuts down on wind noise. An available cross bar system can be attached to the rails and features a number of supports for bikes, skis, kayaks, windsurfers and a cargo box. There's even a gas-sprung lift-arm option to help lift your bike onto the supports. The R-Design models feature larger, more stylish wheels but the performance tires that come with the package lessen the XC60's off-road abilities, prompting us to recommend the base 3.2 or T6 trim over the R-Design if mud or snow is a part of your regular driving routine.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The most basic 2011 Volvo XC60 includes a 3.2-liter six-cylinder engine, six-speed Geartronic automatic transmission, front and rear skid plates and four-year/50,000 mile warranty. In addition to power windows, mirrors and locks, the Volvo XC60 includes heated outside mirrors, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, dual-zone automatic climate controls, cruise control, eight-way power driver's seat, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, Bluetooth, and 180-watt sound system with eight speakers, CD/DVD video playback, HD radio, Sirius Satellite Radio, and a USB input. Standard safety features include front side-impact airbags, side-curtain airbags, City Safe (a system that can slow the car at speeds under 19 mph when an object is detected ahead), electronic traction and stability controls, Trailer Stability Assist, whiplash protection seating and a tire pressure monitoring system.

Optional Equipment

A nicely-loaded 2011 Volvo XC60 T6 R-Design includes dual xenon headlamps with Active Light Bending technology, aluminum trim on the steering wheel, laminated panoramic glass moonroof with power sunshade, an eight-way power passenger's seat, leather seating surfaces, 20-inch "Cratus" alloy wheels, and R-Design inlays and contrasting interior panels. All-wheel drive is available on 3.2 and 3.2 R-Design models and is standard on the T6 and T6 R-Design. Volvo groups its most popular options into packages, including the Technology Package that adds Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, and Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake. The Climate Package brings heated front and rear seats, headlamp washers, heated windshield washer nozzles and rain sensing wipers, while the Multimedia packages adds a 650-watt premium Surround Sound audio system with iPod integration and navigation featuring Rear Time traffic, remote control operation and a rear backup camera. Standalone options include BLIS blind spot warning system, Volvo's Personal Car Communicator with Keyless Drive and two-way car communication, rear-seat DVD entertainment, and dual outboard rear child booster seats.

Under the Hood

The 2011 Volvo XC60 3.2 is powered by a 3.2-liter in-line six cylinder engine generating 240 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. This dual overhead cam, 24-valve powerplant is fairly fuel efficient, runs on regular fuel and delivers its power without vibration or coarse sound. The T6 models receive a turbocharged 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder engine that, like the 3.2-liter, runs on regular fuel yet pumps out an impressive 300 horsepower. Both engines are mated to the same six-speed Geartronic automatic transmission that allows for manual shift operation. And, despite its added power, the turbocharged engine nearly matches the normally aspirated 3.2 in city and highway fuel consumption.

3.2-liter in-line six
240 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
236 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 (FWD), 18/24 (AWD)

3.0-liter in-line six, turbocharged
300 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
325 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2100-4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/22

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2011 Volvo XC60 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 83 Ratings for the 2010 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Nice ride, but voice recognition is deeply flawed

By on Wednesday, March 02, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "A tight ride with precise, responsive handling."

Cons: "Voice recognition is appalling;MPG way below specs"

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

"I bought my XC60 T5 AWD Platinum in October 2015. I'm a former Audi A4 Quattro standard driver (from their late '90s Golden Age) looking to trade up to a more fun ride than I got in my Lexus RX 350 yet with good safety features since I have kids. After test driving all the major luxury models and the top-rated competitors, I drove a Volvo and was hooked. The ride was tight, the handling precise, and the responsiveness was stellar. Add in the great safety options and life is good, right? Wrong. The first thing I noted about the car is that the gas mileage is considerably lower than advertised. I opted for the T5 rather than the T6 for fuel economy and regardless am getting a combined highway and city of a lowly 14.7 MPG, significantly less than the MPH Volvo advertises of 19/26. The real killer however is the ridiculously poor voice recognition. I have worked in the voice and telephony industry and cannot understand how Volvo would have put such a sub-standard product into their cars. Having driven many cars with voice recognition, including my Lexus and the 2010 Ford Fusion hybrid that I traded in, I was shocked at how badly Volvo's product performs. While it seems to do OK with navigation commands, it is completely flustered with certain names, does not hang up calls and instead leaves them open (especially inconvenient and costly when making international calls), and takes a long time for data to load, giving the user a "phonebook is empty" response. I run my own business and make a lot of calls while on the road. It is staggering to me that Volvo would have put a voice product in their pricey luxury cars that is clearly deeply flawed and performs more like a high school science project than one that is prime-time ready. After trying to unsuccessfully resolve this issue with Volvo, even tapping their North American President's office for help, I'll be looking to trade in my Volvo and looking at other brands. It's a pity because the car is a sweet drive, but the voice recognition issues are a brand killer."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Fantastic Car

By on Thursday, November 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,500

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, confident in the snow, great seats"

Cons: "Takes a while to learn the Navigation System well"

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

"Bought a 2015.5 T5 (5cyl) Platinum AWD XC60 in Oct of 2014. It has CTC, Volvo's torque vectoring system, and 20 in Pirellis, and it will flat go around a corner. Fantastic driving dynamics. But still very confident in the snow despite having performance tires -- and I've driven it in some very slippery wet snow in the Colorado foothills. The car's been nothing but a joy, no problems. Incredibly comfortable seats and great storage in the back."

24 people out of 38 found this review helpful

Been the Best Volvo yet, this is my second

By on Monday, November 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Design, Options, Reliability, Stability"

Cons: "Gas mileage unless you get Polestar option."

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

Xc60 with Xenons

"Owned Volvo S80 Sedan prior to this one..this Volvo has been superior to that one, Has Bluetooth,Xenon HID headlights,Premium Radio, SAT/NAV and rear view backup camera. The other gadgets are ok..but for me the BLIS feature (Blind spot) is a distraction on Rainy days always have to cut it off. The lane deviation also is a distraction, makes irritating beeps. Glad they have a cut off button for all these gadgets. However this is a SAFE car.. perfect options for the wife and children with the Turbo power option that is good for those who know to use it responsibly. At 6ft 2" have no problem with height or getting in and driving long distances in this vehicle.Especially on Mountain roads & passes, the Turbo models & those Pirelli Scorpion Zero Tires are a Plus+. Would recommend this car to any entry family mid size SUV ..."

18 people out of 35 found this review helpful

Xc60 with Xenons

A Car of Our Dreams

By on Saturday, November 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500

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: "Ext. Lighting, 2nd row sts. fold flat"

Cons: "None yet"

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

"1st as you can see we have only had this car a few weeks. But, just about everything I read has been true. We sold our 1996 GMC Envoy, we tend to keep our cars a while. We decided to stay with a SUV, more upscale, & safety was our 1st priority. This 2016 Volvo XC60 delivers on all fronts. The 20" wheels are well worth the extra $$ IMO, it is fun to drive and handles like a car. i"

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

My name says it all

By on Tuesday, September 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,000

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: "Everything"

Cons: "Blind spots when backing up. However, the back up"

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

"This is the best Volvo I have owned! So easy to drive and more comfortable than our 2013 Lincoln MKS,"

23 people out of 37 found this review helpful

My Volvo XC60 is stylish, reliable and awesome!

By on Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Reliability, Comfort, Safety and Style"

Cons: "None yet!"

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

"Everything is right with this car, styling, performance, reliability, value and it's so fun to drive."

18 people out of 32 found this review helpful

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