A Smart and Safe Helicopter Car - 2015 Volvo S60 Long-Term Road Test

2015 Volvo S60 Long-Term Road Test

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2015 Volvo S60: A Smart and Safe Helicopter Car

August 25, 2015

2015 Volvo S60

As a recovering helicopter parent, I recognize hovering. I spent years hovering over my kid. And I tell you what, our long-term 2015 Volvo S60 does its fair share of hovering, too. In the Volvo's case, that's not a bad thing.  

Our S60 T6  Drive-E is equipped with a slew of features intended to make driving easier (rear view back-up camera, adaptive cruise), safer, (blind spot information system, collision warning with auto-braking), and easier to park (retractable side view mirrors, rear view back-up camera). Its convenience features — 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, heated seats and steering wheel — make ownership more enjoyable.

Hover, hover, hover.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. Even though these systems aren't always graceful, on the whole I'm glad for them. And there are two very minor convenience features in our S60 that I'd like to have in my own car.

First, I want our S60's keyless entry that operates the rear doors. Touch the handle of the Volvo's rear door with the key on your person, and boom, the door unlocks. Sometimes you just need to throw something in the back seat or grab a jacket. Easy. In my car, you have to go the front door to unlock the rear door or click the key fob. Hassle? No. But the Volvo system is one less step.

The second feature is auto engine-off.

While driving the S60 over the weekend, the coolest thing happened. It seemed so natural that I didn't notice it the first time. I pulled into my parking spot, slowed to a stop, put the car in park, unlatched my seat belt and then opened the door. And the S60 killed the engine for me. Awesome. Nine out of 10 times when I follow that sequence, I'm hopping out of the car.

The only downside is that if you do this sequence with the driver window rolled down, you have to hit the ignition button to roll the window back up. Is it too much work for me to hit the start/stop button on the dash? No. But again, it's one less thing to do.

Would I buy a car because of these features? Absolutely not. Would those minor conveniences help me enjoy my car more during ownership? Absolutely yes.

Matt Jones, Retail Editor

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