Friday, January 13, 2017

Long Term Test: 2016 Volvo V60 T5 Drive-E Platinum post #1

So we finally did it. After all of my effusive praise heaped upon it and the many test drives, we finally have a Volvo V60 as a part of our long-term test fleet. Our recently acquired V60 wagon comes in a stately Savile Gray Metallic paint job and packs Volvo's very impressive Drive-E 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a well-sorted Aisin 8-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels. In the Platinum trim level, the V60 comes with nearly every single available widget the Volvo offers: blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and on and on. The alphabet soup of driver assist features combined with the potent Drive-E engine and Volvo's downright phenomenal seats makes for what should be an excellent long-distance touring car. Add to that the storage capacity to hold luggage for the whole family and the V60 will likely find itself serving road trip duty at least a few times during its tenure with us.

Of course, the eagle-eyed among you will likely notice a few missing features that made me offer up my prodigious praise of the V60 in my prior reviews. The sport package with its gorgeous diamond-cut 19-inch wheels was not on the table because availability with the package and color options was pretty much non-existent. Somehow, when we were ready to finally grab one for ourselves, there were simply no cars in the area that could provide the right mix of trim level, packages, and color that we ideally wanted. Since this would not be my daily driver, I had to ultimately defer to the desires of the person who would spend the most time with it. Still, the standard wheels work well with the understated choice of paint color and give the V60 a dignified appearance.

Even so, the V60 is an exciting (yes, an exciting Volvo!) addition to our long-term fleet. It is also the second vehicle in our long-term fleet to come packed to the gills with driver assist systems, giving us an opportunity to compare how two different manufacturers implement these systems and to test how well they work in real world conditions. With autonomous cars marching ever closer to the consumer market, these interim steps of current generation driver assist systems give us a taste of the autonomous future to come.

We have a full three years with the V60 to find out if it really is as good as my test drives led me to believe.