The 2011 Volvo S60 T6 is a five-passenger premium sedan with a turbocharged six-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. Equipped for both performance and Swedish-style luxury, the S60 T6 faces competition like the Audi A4 Premium Plus, a similar vehicle in some respects. However, where there are differences, the Volvo comes out on top.
One of the biggest differences is how much horsepower the S60 T6 (MSRP $37,700) is packing. The 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder is turbocharged to the tune of 300 hp while the Audi’s 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder can only provide 211 hp. Torque is the same story with the Volvo providing a muscular 325 lb/ft at a low 2,100 rpm versus the Audi’s 258 lb/ft of twist.
Both cars carry all-wheel drive systems, the Audi with its quattro and Volvo with a Dynamic Chassis that has been tuned for confident performance with Corner Traction Control, which employs torque vectoring to corner faster, Dynamic Stability and Traction Control with a Sport mode that allows performance driving and an optional FOUR-C Active Chassis. Audi charges $1,450 for a Sport Package if you want to match the S60s standard Dynamic Suspension, and only A4 Prestige models with the $2,950 Drive Select Package benefit from a torque-vectoring system to enhance cornering. The S60 rides on standard 18-inch wheels, versus the 17-inch wheels that are standard for the Audi A4.
The S60 offers occupants a more spacious cabin as well, and it’s a nicely outfitted place to spend time. HD Radio is standard, along with a DVD player, both features that are optional on the A4. The available Premium Sound System is exclusively available on the S60, and uses MultEQ technology developed by Audyssey for a superior sound experience, right from the factory. Satellite radio via SIRIUS service is available, and Volvo includes a complimentary six-month subscription, twice as long as Audi’s trial period. A folding front passenger’s seat is unique in this field and increases the versatility of the interior as well, allowing cargo-carrying options not possible in other vehicles.
The S60 T6 also features a standard seven-inch LCD monitor, and there’s a high level of driver-assistance technology available in the S60 that’s not part of the option sheet for the A4. Features like Blind Spot Information System, Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake, Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Lane Departure Warning are available either as standalone options (BLIS) or as part of the reasonably priced Technology Package that includes a large number of features for $2,100. Also part of the Tech Package is Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist to ease stop and go driving and maintain a consistent following distance when on the highway. Distance Alert and Driver Alert Control are also included, and standard on the S60 is Volvo’s City Safety system that keeps both drivers and pedestrians safe.
Security is provided by the Volvo Safe + Secure Coverage Plan, which rolls a five-year warranty, five years of wear and tear coverage and complimentary factory scheduled maintenance and five years of Volvo On Call roadside assistance all into one program. It’s easier on your wallet and a load off your mind when using the S60s prodigious cruising range to its fullest. Volvo’s got your back for the coverage period, which is a significant commitment compared to Audi’s one year or 5,000 miles of complimentary maintenance.
Add it all up and the Volvo gives you more while costing less. An A4 2.0T quattro Premium Plus starts at a higher MSRP of $37,900 and optioned to include the items Volvo throws in as standard, the price difference grows. The S60 continues to respect your finances with its included maintenance and keeps a watchful eye out for pedestrians or potential traffic accidents, acting like your vehicular guardian angel.
With standard sport seats, a fresh new design and sporty chassis calibration, the 2011 S60 T6 AWD will have you singing its praises from the get-go. The value-packed price tag is the final clincher for a compelling deal.