2012 Volvo S60 Long-Term Road Test - MPG

2012 Volvo S60 Long-Term Road Test

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2012 Volvo S60 T5: Road Trip Fuel Economy

May 21, 2012

volvos60 007.jpg

This weekend I drove our 2012 Volvo S60 up to Sacramento and back, about 800 miles. The above photo was taken on the way back to L.A. yesterday when we stopped in Lebec, California, during the eclipse. Really cool effect on the shadows.

I took the 99 N up for the variety in landscape and the occasional third lane but then ran into a lot of construction and traffic. Around Sacramento, the Volvo was the vehicle of choice as I shuttled my parents and brother to dinner and brunch. They really liked all the tech in the car. On the way back, it was 5 South all the way which was pretty much free and clear, til we hit traffic at a standstill on the Grapevine for half an hour.

The EPA combined mpg for the S60 is 23 and even though I never used cruise control during the trip (that adaptive cruise will lull me to sleep) I managed to get an average of 23.8 mpg! Not too bad considering I like exercising the Volvo's 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5.

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 18,296 miles

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2012 Volvo S60: Video Review

February 20, 2012


Senior Editor Erin Riches brings you a video review of the Volvo S60 model range. The action footage features our S60 T5 long-termer.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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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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2012 Volvo S60 T5: Road Trip Report

November 28, 2011


This weekend I threw my two kids in our long-term 2012 Volvo S60 T5 and headed east to north Phoenix to look at and test drive a 1969 Camaro that my father and I have been thinking about purchasing with money we don't have. We don't have any free time or garage space for it either, but we want it and right now that's all that matters.

We drove out to Phoenix on Friday and back to Los Angeles on Saturday.

And the Volvo made it a very enjoyable run. It was comfortable, powerful and it can cover 500 miles on a tank if you milk it. This is an excellent sedan. Everytime I drive it I think the S60 should be getting more respect in the marketplace than it is.

For the record the drive was 457 miles each way. I averaged 26.5 mpg heading east and 26.7 mpg westbound. The EPA estimates its highway mileage at 30 mpg.

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 9,234 miles

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2012 Volvo S60 T5: Better MPG in September

October 05, 2011

So I finally got a hold of our 2012 Volvo S60 T5's fuel log and updated its fuel numbers for September. Its best mpg went up from 26.4 in August to 28.1 in September. (In July its best was 21.9!) Its worst mpg stayed the same at 15.9. FYI, EPA rates the S60 at 20 mpg city and 30 mpg highway.

The Volvo achieved some of its best fuel numbers in September, up in the 20s rather than the high teens earlier in its term with us. This could be attributed to the fact that editor Brent Romans had it for most of last month and maybe, just maybe, isn't as much of a leadfoot as other editors on staff. At least, according to the numbers. When I asked Brent how he managed to get better mpg he replied, "Umm, probably just drove it conservatively. Staying out of turbo helps. Noticed that on GTI, too. And some of my fill ups are all highway from home to office."

By the way, looking at this picture I feel compelled to wish all of you a Happy October. Happy October!

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor

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2012 Volvo S60 T5: Road Trip Report

September 06, 2011

volvo_s60_trip1.JPG Last week I wrote how I'd be using our Volvo S60 for a family road trip over the holiday weekend. Volvo + family + road trip; it's a combination that can result in nothing other than awesome...right?

At first, my wife was excited about the S60. I think she had envisioned tweed jackets, an old boxy 850 wagon with New Hampshire plates and maybe even two golden retrievers jumping in and out of the back. But that was before I had packed the S60 to the brim, and there was still gear left over that we couldn't bring. In fact, the combination of a smallish entry-luxury sedan and our growing family (4-year-old daughter, 4-month-old son and all of the crap you need to bring along for a 4-month-old) was not a particularly good one.

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2012 Volvo S60 T5: The Drive Home

August 11, 2011

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I drove our long-term 2012 Volvo S60 T5 to Yountville and back (some 862 miles) for a First Drive of the forthcoming 2012 Volvo S60 R-Design I showed you here. For a few more snap-shots (that are meant to be saturated and artsy, thank you) plus the final fuel tally, click past the jump.

I left Yountville with a full tank of premium,

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2012 Volvo S60 T5: Trifecta Transmission

August 09, 2011

volvo s60 shifter.jpg

Our Volvo S60 T5 has what I call a "Tri-mode" transmission. This means that in addition to the more common "just pop it in 'D'" automatic and "shift for yourself" manual modes, it has a "Sport" automatic mode. The latter (engaged by sliding the lever over to the manual gate but not moving it thereafter) holds lower gears longer and downshifts more quickly, keeping the car up on its toes and ready to quickly accelerate without hesitation. This is great for quickly dispatching lane-weaving laggards on the freeway or when sprinting off corner exits while enjoying a familiar curvy road. When in Sport mode, the difference in the car's throttle response (and I'm also talking normal, not spirited driving here) is like night and day.

If I owned the S60 T5, I'd probably use the more fuel-efficient (and acceptable but less fun) "D" mode sometimes to ease my fuel usage conscious. But given that I only had the car for the weekend and well, the world's supposed to end next year anyway, I figured what the heck and enjoyed it. For the record I averaged 18.3 mpg against our long-term average of 19.2.

John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 2,950 miles

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Past Long-Term Road Tests