Spot Pricing - 2012 Volvo S60 T5 Long-Term Road Test

2012 Volvo S60 Long-Term Road Test

2012 Volvo S60 T5: Spot Pricing

February 14, 2012

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I hadn't taken our Volvo in several weeks and did a quick survey of its safety features as I drove home yesterday afternoon. The distance alert and lane departure warning features have their own buttons, which I turned on just for fun. The distance alert was set a little too generously for me, but I was too lazy to adjust it on the fly, so I turned it off. I'm not much of a lane-drifter, so that went, too.

One feature that I have carped about in other cars but which can actually be useful sometimes is a blind spot warning system. It's in our long-term Mazda 3, Ford Explorer and Nissan Quest (and maybe some other test cars that I'm overlooking). I looked for it in the Volvo, but ours doesn't have the feature. I think that's odd: Blind spotting seems like it should be standard in a Volvo -- particularly one that's so laden with other safety goodies.

It turns out that "preventive safety" features are bundled into what's called the Technology Package (MSRP: $2,100). (Maybe you have to call it a Technology Package to justify the price. If you called it the Safety Package, perhaps buyers would wonder why the stuff wasn't standard.)

The package includes collision warning and pedestrian detection with full auto brake; adaptive cruise control with "queue assist;" distance alert; driver alert control and lane departure warning.

The blind spot system isn't part of that offering. On its Web site, Volvo doesn't even list it as a safety feature. It's merely an a la carte "Driver Support" feature. MSRP is $700.

It seems to me that a blind-spot warning is unequivocally a safety feature. Why isn't it wrapped in with the other preventive safety systems in the Technology Package? Would it have pushed the cost of safety too close to the $3,000 threshold?

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @13,288 miles

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