2012 Volvo S60 Long-Term Road Test - New Updates

2012 Volvo S60 Long-Term Road Test

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2012 Volvo S60 T5: Will it Have Nine Lives?

May 28, 2012

The current Guinness world record for a car with the highest miles on it belongs to a Volvo. This 1966 P1800S, to be specific, owned by Irv Gordon of New York. As of last November, this persistent P1800 had spun up 2.9 million miles on the odo. Mr. G figures within the next two years it will hit the magical 3,000,000-mile mark. If our S60 ultimately made it to just a tenth of that mileage, I'm sure it's owner would still be plenty impressed.

Any of you guys or gals have some good "Ya just can't kill it!" stories to tell?

John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ ~18,500 miles.

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2012 Volvo S60 T5: Beggar's Canyon

May 04, 2012


Writing about freighters and transports all day can be tedious work. Every now and then, we need to get out of the office and make a run into the canyons or bullseye some Womprats. What better vehicle than our Volvo S60 Landspeeder? Of course, the T5 has been upgraded to a T16. (of course)

The ride is impeccable. Smoother than any vehicle we've ever tested. Road noise is virtually absent, too. Sure, it can' keep up with those ridiculous pod racers, but that's kid stuff. This is for those with more refined tastes. It's an elegant vehicle for a more civilized age. Then again, it can really haul the mail when you have to get back...home.

Mark Takahashi, Rebel Scum @ A Long Time Ago

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2012 Volvo S60 T5: Found in Nature

April 30, 2012

gazania volvo 1.jpg

It's spring, and California is busting out in every kind of flower. As I parked this weekend, I realized that our Volvo's unique shade of burnt orange is indeed a color that can be found in nature. It looks right at home in this patch of orange gazania.

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2012 Volvo S60 T5: 15,000-Mile Milestone

April 24, 2012

Milestone_02.jpg volvo_15k_milestone.JPG We've had our longterm 2012 Volvo S60 T5 for about ten months and it recently crested the 15,000-mile mark. [cue the streamers, balloons and overly frosted cake]

In the meantime we've shared, well, a lot of impressions and observations... but it's entirely possible there's something we missed. If so, speak up! We want to know what you want to know.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 15,137 miles.

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2012 Volvo S60 T5: My PrefeRence is R

March 30, 2012

Volvo S60 R-design.jpg

Several staff members here have discussed the merits of the Volvo S60 T6 over our long-term 2012 Volvo S60 T5. My preference, not surprisingly, is the S60 R-Design.

Like the T6, it has the inline turbo 6 and AWD, but the R-Design is rated at 325 hp vs. 300 for the T6. This kills the T5 with its 250 hp and FWD. Of course, the R-Design's base price is just more than 10K over the $31,300 base price of our T5. But the R includes a few standard features including Xenon headlamps. Regardless, you did buy your Mega Millions tickets, right?

The real reason I prefer the R-Design is for the styling, of course. While our long-term T5 is nice, the styling is pretty plain. The S60 R-Design is great looking, sexy even. You can't say that about too many Volvos.

Hit the jump to see the video of the S60 and V60 R-Design in action.

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ ~14,500 miles

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2012 Volvo S60 T5: High Tech Mirrors

February 27, 2012


Of all the things to incorporate high technology, you would think that the side mirrors would be the last place you would find anything of note. Sure, every concept car of the twenty years has been rolled out with tiny mirrors in place of the real mirrors, but there hasn't been much in the way of advancements on real cars.

As you can see here, our S60 actually has a pretty expensive set of mirrors. In addition to the neatly integrated turn signals, a feature I find quite effective, these mirrors also incorporate sensors for the lane departure warning system. Should someone misjudge their distance from our S60 and clip one of the mirrors off, it won't be a matter of just snapping it back into place.

Like so many other aspects of modern cars, now even the simplest of features is a complicated piece.

Ed Hellwig, Editor

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2012 Volvo S60 T5: This is Why I Like Automatics

February 15, 2012

It's 6:12 and one of my coworkers (who lives in my neighborhood and isn't James Riswick) calls to ask if I'm near the office. "I am," I say, "just about a mile from it on an errand and then right home. Probably 10 min until I hit the office and then home." They ask if I can stop to pick something up they'd left in the office. "Sure! NP. Home by 7." It was rush hour, sure, but it's only about 9 miles, that seemed reasonable.

At 6:32 I called them back. "I'm going to have to revise my time estimate. I've gone about 900 feet since we last talked."

Things only got worse from there...

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2012 Volvo S60 T5: Spot Pricing

February 14, 2012

distance alert and lane departure.jpg

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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2012 Volvo S60 T5: Overachieving Washers

February 13, 2012


I'm a 'clean windshield' guy -- I use the sprayers nearly every time I get in a different car. And though you can't tell from this photo, our longterm 2012 Volvo S60 T5 has some seriously powerful windshield and headlight washers.

These sprayers manhandle the intended targets, sure, but they also take care of the side windows and the backlight in a way I don't recall seeing on another car recently. And I don't mean a little mist or a few droplets on these secondary surfaces -- in this Volvo, the sides and rear get drizzled with surprisingly even coverage.

Part of this is because the S60's backlight is very steeply raked, but it takes pump pressure too. One downside is that there's no rear wiper so the droplets tend to stick around, mingle with any grit or grime and form spots. Ah well.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor

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2012 Volvo S60: Rough Night

February 08, 2012

volvo s60 night.jpg
Last night, there was cold weather and a fair amount of rain, and the S60 didn't seem too crazy about it.

The cold start as I left from the parking structure here at work was rough. Made a pit stop at Whole Foods to get some groceries and the cold start after that detour was rough as well. I pressed the ignition button and the engine coughed and hacked for a moment or two, like a chain smoker with bronchitis, before finding its groove.

I started the car when I got home last night, while the engine was still warm, and there was no sign of the problem. The engine also turned over just fine in this morning's weather, which was much toastier than last night's.

Someone gently suggested that user error may be the culprit, as has been the case with push-button-ignition cars like our S60 in the past. Maybe I didn't hold down the ignition button long enough to achieve a smooth start. It's possible, but I've driven our Volvo many times before. I'm familiar with its ignition and I've never had a problem with it.

Anyway, we'll keep an eye out to see if happens again.

Any S60 owners out there? Have you had any problems starting the car in colder weather?

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor

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