Here are my thoughts on the Volvo S60 D4 R-Design after my week-long test drive.
Day – 1 First Impressions
The Volvo was delivered first thing on a Monday morning whilst it was hammering down with rain… not the ideal time to look around the car. Either way, from looking out of the window of my house it looked great. The R-Design body styling and solid Rebel blue paintwork sure make this car look the part.
Everything about the Volvo is engineered for practicality and you get a taste of that the first time you get into the car. Everything is where you expect it to be and it is just easy to use. A great example of this is the electric seating controls and central dash controls… you seem to feel like you know where everything is right from the start, well I did anyway.
Day 2 – Full of Technology
The S60 is rammed full of clever technology that will improve both the comfort and the safety of this car. On my first full day with the car, I was keen that I had a quick test of each of these just to get an understanding of what they did.
Features on the car include Adaptive Cruise Control and Distance Alert, Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake, Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, Lane Keeping Aid, Driver Alert Control with Active High Beam, Blind Spot Information System, and Park Assist Pilot. All of these features are fantastic in their own right, but together it massively improves driver and passenger safety, which can only be a good thing.
Day 3 – Let Volvo do the Parking for You
The Volvo S60 on test is equipped with its own auto parking technology called Park Assist Pilot. This system will parallel park the car for you. All you need to do is enable the system when you are driving past the location you wish to park in. The car will identify if a parking space is big enough and advise you to stop. Once stopped you then take your hands off the wheel and put the car into reverse. All you need to do is control the braking and the Volvo will accurately control the steering for you. The car will drive you back into the parking space, and you’re done. Worry free parking. I have tested this many times and it is faultless. I have demonstrated the system to a range of people and they are left with a look of amazement on their faces, as if the car is powered by magic. Take a look at the video below.
Day 4 – What Do Others Think about the Car
On the way out on Thursday I picked up a few friends, prime opportunity to see what others thought about the car. First off people love the Rebel blue paintwork, day or night the car seems to stand out. Next the interior design was highly admired, and when shown the safety features, people were overwhelmed that safety features such as those that are found on the the Volvo exist. Overall the S60 impressed everyone I came across, and there wasn’t a single bad feature mentioned about the car.
Day 5 –Country drive
I spent a few hours driving around the countryside; this was a good opportunity to test the driving dynamics of the S60. On the open road and working the car up to 60mph the 2.0-litre 181bhp engine does extremely well. The performance from the engine well exceeded any expectation I had from looking at the spec on paper. The S60 D4 engine is well matched to the S60 and in my opinion has the pick of the bunch with its power and performance.
Day 6 –Photo Shoot in the Woods
I arranged a photo shoot with for first thing Saturday morning. We were hopeful to capture a nice sunrise, but sadly cloudy weather didn’t allow this, instead we managed to capture a very autumnal setting that really shows how impressive and individual the Rebel paint makes the Volvo S60 look.
Driving through the woods before the sun had come up was a good time to test the Active High Beam headlights. This technology blew me away! Once enabled the Volvo can sense when the high beam is required and turn it on automatically, but the most interesting part is when a car drives towards you, the Volvo will split the Xenon headlight beam to avoid dazzling the car coming up in the opposite direction. You can see the split happen in front of you, and the Volvo will dynamically track the another car until it has cleared the headlight coverage, then the headlights are reset for full visibility. What a useful feature.
Day 7 – A Very Appealing Package
After spending a week with the S60 I have done around 300 miles and on less than half a tank of diesel, which is incredible for a car of this size and performance. I’m impressed with the S60 overall, I love the colour, I love the design, and the technology inside makes you wonder why all new cars aren’t as sophisticated as the S60.