The 2009 Volvo S60 is an entry-level, midsize luxury sedan that faces stiff competition. As of this model year, the current generation lasted an eternity in car years, leaving the S60 in need of a redesign and lagging behind superior rivals. There are a number of things the S60 has going for it: features, safety, and comfort. But its rivals have many things in their favor, such as recent redesigns, more contemporary style, features, and much better performance.
Body Styles: midsize luxury sedan
Engines: 2.4-liter inline-five, 2.5-liter inline-five
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: S60 2.5T, S60 2.5T AWD, S60 T5
The Volvo S60 now offers many previous options as standard features in 2009. Manual shift control is also added to the automatic transmissions.
The 2009 Volvo S60 is offered in three trim levels: the base 2.5T, the 2.5T AWD, and the performance-oriented T5.
The 2.5T starts off with 16-inch alloy wheels and a sunroof, while the 2.5T AWD predictably adds all-wheel drive and a different wheel design. It is identical to the base 2.5T in all other respects. Upgrading to the T5 adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, a rear spoiler, and adaptive xenon headlights.
Most of the 2009 Volvo S60 T5's features are available as packaged options for the lower trims while rain-sensing wipers are optional on all models, and the T5 can add 18-inch wheels.
While the S60 certainly isn’t as plain looking as Volvo managed to be in past models, it does lack the eye-catching stylization of some in class rivals.
The 2.5T and 2.5T AWD feature power front seats with driver’s seat memory, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a six-speaker, satellite radio-ready audio system with a CD/MP3 player, and an auxiliary audio jack. The T5 upgrades include aluminum interior trim, a 13-speaker premium surround sound system with a six-CD changer, rear parking assist, and revised instrumentation. Available options for all models include a navigation system, Bluetooth, and heated front seats.
Overall, the interior can be called upscale, although some competitors in this segment offer more impressive cabins. The amount of space is respectable, and the interior is quite functional, as one would expect from a Volvo.
Performance & Handling
The 2009 Volvo S60 2.5T uses a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-five producing 208 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control comes standard with all engines. The 2.5T can be equipped with front-wheel drive or AWD. The front-wheel-drive-only S60 T5 features a smaller 2.4-liter inline-five but uses a higher-boost turbocharger, giving the higher power ratings of 257 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Volvo’s own tests rate the zero to 60 mph times at 6.9 for the 2.5T and 7.2 seconds for the 2.5T AWD. The T5 comes in at 6.6 seconds. Not bad in the power department, until buyers look at the wealth of higher performing rivals.
Aside from impressive braking, 2009 Volvo S60 models lag behind class counterparts in the handling category. For this price range, there are far sportier and agile makes to choose from. The 2009 Volvo S60 is comfortable enough, but not what most driving enthusiasts would call a real sports sedan. Torque steer, turbo lag, and flabby handling all plague the 2009 Volvo S60. This Volvo handles and performs like a luxury sedan, not a luxury sports sedan.
The 18-gallon tank 2009 Volvo S60 allows the front-wheel-drive 2.5T to travel 342 city miles and 504 highway miles after a fill-up. The 2.5T AWD and T5 will have a little less range.
Volvo has a reputation for safety, and the 2009 Volvo S60 continues that tradition. The 2009 S60 received top marks in all but one government crash safety test categories. The impressive list of standard safety equipment includes stability control, anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, whiplash-reducing front head restraints, and Volvo's OnCall telematics. There is also an optional rear parking assist.
EPA Fuel Economy
S60 2.5T, 2.5T AWD: 19/28 mpg city/highway
S60 T5: 18/26 mpg city/highway
- Seat comfort
- Extensive safety features
- Quiet interior
You Won't Like
- Limited headroom
- Price increase
- Outdated design
- Steering feedback
- Torque steer
- Limited rear legroom
Winning combination of a smooth ride with interior enhancements.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Acura TL
- Audi A4
- BMW 3
- Lexus IS