Great Expectations - 2012 Volvo S60 T5 Long-Term Road Test

2012 Volvo S60 Long-Term Road Test

2012 Volvo S60 T5: Great Expectations

January 03, 2012

Volvo S60 Fuel Range.jpg

Wow. I filled the fuel tank on our long-term 2012 Volvo S60 T5 over the long holiday weekend and got this message: 715 miles to empty tank.

That's incredible, I thought. In my recollection, that's the longest displayed fuel range I've ever seen in a vehicle, although I suppose some diesel-powered vehicles could achieve this.

A bit optimistic perhaps? Of course.

Almost immediately (after driviing 1 mile) the range dropped to 660 miles. After 25 city miles, it dropped to 370 miles.

Let's try to determine a more realistic fuel range for our Volvo S60...

Our Volvo has EPA fuel economy estimates of 20 mpg City, 30 highway, and 23 mpg combined. The best fuel economy we've achieved was 28.1 mpg.

With an 18.5 gallon fuel tank, and allowing for a 2 gallon reserve, at 28.1 mpg you would end up with a range of 463.7 miles. Which is a great realistic range. The best range ever for the S60 in our hands was 458.6 miles.

OK, so let's try the best possible parameters and recalculate. Based on the EPA 30 mpg Highway and running the 18.5 gallon tank dry, you would end up with a 555 mile range.

That's still way off from the stupendous 715 mile displayed range.

I guess the takeaway from this is that people are bound to be disappointed if you create such great expectations.

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 11,111 miles

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