2011 Volvo S60 Safety

9.0
Safety

Safety features are of course offered up in spades, with a new Corner Traction Control feature designed to smooth cornering by redirecting torque between the axle. And again the automaker is at the leading edge; an all-new world debut in the new S60 is a Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake feature, which can detect a pedestrian, vehicle, or other obstacle in the road ahead and brake to a full stop if the driver doesn't register any indication that they've seen it.

The new system uses cameras and radar to identify potential issues and warns the driver, with a light and a chime, at the point where a collision seems inevitable, then actually applies the brakes with full force so that, if you're going less than 22 mph, you'll probably be able to stop just short of the obstacle, vehicle, or person. And at higher speeds, it helps to reduce the collision speed and severity as much as possible.

The 2011 S60 offers more safety features than any other car in its class, but it's a little disappointing that, from a brand built on safety, not all of them are standard.

There are plenty more innovative safety features, but many of them are optional. Driver Alert Control, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Lane Departure Warning are all available as part of a Technology Package, while a Premium Package combines a moonroof, power passenger seat, and active HID headlamps.

Other standalone options include the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) and Volvo's Personal Car Communicator keyless ignition and memory keyfob system. Up to about 20 mph, the system will detect an obstacle in the road ahead and, if nothing is being done by the driver, will brake automatically to a full stop. With any abrupt steering action, the system assumes that the driver sees the obstacle and is trying to avoid it.

However, overall, most of the S60's safety equipment is thankfully unobtrusive. There's none of the nanny feeling that we've experienced in the past with other vehicles, and we were allowed to enjoy driving pretty much as we please. Don't try tailgating though; windshield lights will brighten with a stern warning.

All the expected side and side curtain airbags are standard, and the S60's stability control adds in data from rollover sensors to give it an additional iota of preventative safety. There's also Driver Alert Control--a version of a system that debuted in the Mercedes E-Class, and which flashes the now-infamous coffee cup when it detects drivers making erratic moves. Parking sensors are included, and the S60 has front and rearview safety cameras, with wide angles of sight.

No crash-test results were yet available at the time of writing, as the S60 is a completely new vehicle.

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