Freeway Series - 2012 Volvo S60 T5 Long-Term Road Test

2012 Volvo S60 Long-Term Road Test

2012 Volvo S60 T5: Freeway Series

July 05, 2011


I spent most of the holiday weekend driving our long-term 2012 Volvo S60 T5 with four adults (including myself) on-board. We didn't go on any exotic roads, just freeways and surface streets with my boyfriend and his parents, and then on to the actual Freeway Series (game 3 of the Dodgers/Angels series in Anaheim) with a couple of friends.

Legroom was fully adequate with just the family in the S60. The tallest person in the car was just 6 feet, and everyone fit comfortably.

However, it was decidedly squinchier on the ride to Angel Stadium, as one of the friends was 6-feet-4 (plus). He reclined the passenger seat, but still had to sit in an awkward splayed position in order to give his wife (seated behind him) some legroom. Still, he deemed the situation "not bad" and took a turn in the backseat (albeit with the front-passenger seat scooted way up) after the game.

As everyone stood around in the hot sun while I was taking this photo, Friend #2 (as mentioned, Friend #1's wife) observed that the S60 "looks like a combination of a sport sedan and something my grandfather would drive." Heh.

The S60's ride drew mixed reviews during the weekend. In general, this car has a compliant character, and the cabin is well insulated from wind and road noise.

sonata_xjustinx242_b.jpg However, the grooved, rutted freeways in LA really aren't anything like the perfectly maintained highways in Sweden, and with its 235/40R18 Continental ContiProContact tires (via the optional Dynamic package), our S60 picks up a lot of those small surface irregularities and transits them to the cabin. The ride usually isn't harsh, but it is busy, and a couple of my passengers commented on that. If I bought an S60, I guess I'd have to stick with the standard-issue 17-inch wheels and tires.

Unrelated to my S60 adventures, one reader responded to my informal holiday weekend mpg challenge. Justin Hebert (xjustinx242) of Newbury, New Hampshire, says he took a drive in his silver 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE 2.4 (pictured right, odo: 33,945 miles) to Fitchburg, Mass.

"The trip was 163 miles and I used 5.1 gallons of gas," Justin writes. This works out to 32.0 mpg, which is a respectable run for a car rated at 22/35. You can see the best/worst/average totals for our long-term 2011 Sonata GLS in the May 2011 fuel economy update.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 1,967 miles.

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