The S60 really isn't that large: Its 182-inch length puts it at about the same as a Chevy Cruze, or in luxury speak, any number of compact sport sedans like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Acura TSX. But Volvo makes great use of its space. Take a seat in the 2011 Volvo S60, and its rakish design doesn't make any real compromises for functionality. The 2011 S60 is still a five-seater with ample space for all its occupants.
The S60's lower cushions in front aren't quite as long as this six-foot-sixer would have liked, but it's easy to reach a good driving position and after several hours of driving on curvy roads our backs were feeling fine. As with any small sport sedan this size, backseat space is at a premium; in order to help fit adults back there while keeping that low, swoopy roof, engineers smartly dropped the lower seat cushions and provided outboard occupants with carved-out individual positions. The result, shockingly, is that occupants well over six feet tall (including this writer) can fit in back, with some built-in lateral support as well.
All the flexibility and utility that sedan shoppers expect is there in the S60. The rather high deck actually affords a large trunk and a pretty large opening, and the rear seat splits 40/60 and folds forward to expand space for large cargo items—although there is a step up that doesn't make it completely continuous or flat.
Ride quality is firm but settled and smooth, and in a class of vehicles that typically have a fair amount of tire or road noise, the cabin is remarkably quiet. S60 buyers have a choice of one of three different suspensions: Touring, Dynamic, and Four-C Active Chassis. Out test car came with the Dynamic setup, which will be standard on U.S. cars; the softer Touring suspension will be offered as a no-cost option, while the active suspension is a $750 standalone option. But on the track, we drove an S60 with the active system—that comes with Comfort, Sport, and Advanced modes, but we kept it in Sport for most of the time.