Among entry-level medium-sized luxury sedan, the 2009 Volvo S60 will be up there in years. After nine years without a complete redesign, this is probably the last or penultimate year of the current generation – to refer to the 2009 S60 to lame duck status in its segment.
That is not to say the S60 is a bad car, per se. This four-door Volvo is still a few things going for it, including the comfortable front seats, smooth ride quality and its reputation for outstanding passenger safety. But compared to more recently updated vehicles from Japanese and German manufacturers, this Swedish sedan is simply dated.
Volvo’s turbocharged inline-5, for example, is simply no match for the competition’s larger displacement six-cylinder engines. Similarly, soft and comfortable ride quality, the long distance journeys effortless drive, but other sports sedan is just as comfortable yet much more comfortable to drive from a handling and steering position. The interior, while functional, is rather outdated – even by Volvo standards – it lacks the visually stunning “waterfall” center console is available in the S60’s stablemates.
For these reasons, we suggest taking a look at other sports sedan like the Acura TL, Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Hyundai Genesis, Infiniti G37 and Lexus ES and IS. Unless the time is at a premium, even holding out for the next generation S60 may make more sense.
Body style, trim levels and Options
2009 Volvo S60 is a medium-sized entry-level luxury sedan with seating for five. It is offered in three trim levels – base 2.5T, the 2.5T AWD, more powerful T5.
The 2.5T comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, leather upholstery, power front seats with memory for the driver, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel operation, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a six – speaker, satellite radio ready audio system with CD/MP3 player and an auxiliary audio jack. As its name implies, the 2.5T AWD adds all-wheel drive but is otherwise identical to the 2.5T with the exception of a different wheel designs. Stepping up to the S60 T5 provides a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, adaptive xenon headlights, a 13-speaker premium surround sound system with a six-CD changer, rear park assist, aluminum interior trim and revised instrumentation.
Many of the T5’s features are available for 2.5 and 2.5T models packaged options. Additional options for all models include Bluetooth, a navigation system, rain-sensing wipers and heated front seats. Options for the T5 includes 18-inch wheels and a two-tone interior.
Powertrain and Performance
The S60 2.5T has a turbo-charged 2.5-liter inline-5 rated for 208 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control (Geartronic) is standard with all engines, and it routes power to either the front wheels or all four all-wheel drive (2.5T AWD) model. Front-wheel-drive-only S60 T5 has a slightly smaller 2.4-liter inline-5, but uses a higher boost turbocharger, helping it produce 257 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.
Volvo claims 0-60-mph acceleration times of 6.9 and 7.2 seconds for the 2.5T and 2.5T AWD, respectively, and 6.6 seconds for the T5. Fuel entering an EPA estimated 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 23 mpg in combined driving for front-wheel-drive 2.5T. 2.5 AWD and T5 rate just a few miles per gallon less.
In accordance with Volvo’s reputation for passenger protection, the 2009 S60 comes with a wide range of standard safety equipment that includes anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist, stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, whiplash-reducing valve and the front head restraints Volvo’s OnCall telematics. Rear parking assist is optional.
In government crash test frequency S60 earned four out of five stars for frontal crash protection and a perfect five stars for side impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the S60 its best rating of “good” for frontal offset impacts, while the side impact tests resulted in a second best rating of “acceptable”.
Interior Design and characteristics
2009 Volvo S60’s interior is functional and a little upscale, thanks to the now standard leather upholstery and added the rear shelf speakers. Control has a positive meaning, but Volvo’s use of icons and symbols rather than spelling out the button functions tend to be somewhat cryptic at first. Front occupants will find orthopedically designed seats comfortable even for long periods, but rear passengers may find legroom lacking. Trunk space measures 13.9 kubikfod and 60/40-split rear seats fold down when additional cargo space is needed.
Most drivers will find the 2009 Volvo S60 2.5T delivers sufficient power for everyday driving, but the pilots with a penchant for more performance will find it on the weak side. Opting for the T5 model will be added perhaps, but it also comes with a pronounced turbo lag that tends to bog down the initial acceleration. Handling suffers the same fate, with mediocre cornering abilities in relation to trace tier rivals. Despite having a softer suspension than competing models, S60 is not nearly as well when planted encounter road bumps and deficiencies. Braking is impressive.