2015 Volvo S60: Adaptive Cruise Control, The Savior of Sanity
by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on December 15, 2015
Once or twice a week, I wind up commuting through Los Angeles's infamous rush hour traffic. I cover 45 miles in about two hours, staring at a sea of red brake lights and losing part of my soul in the process. That is, unless I'm in our 2015 Volvo S60.
Like many new cars, our S60 has adaptive cruise control. But unlike many new cars, Volvo's system works extremely well.
The plus and minus buttons adjust the target speed, while the buttons with the arrows on them set the follow distance. Once you get it going, the S60 smartly maintains speed and distance. When the car in front stops, so does the S60. When it's time to move again, the S60 gets back up to speed. No gas or brake pedal use required.
When I get on the freeway, I turn the system on and set the follow distance to as small as it gets. Then I rest my feet on the floor, and the annoyances of the SUV in front, politics, holiday shopping, and the social failings that cause traffic fade away. When the machine controls your space in line, the experience becomes less frustrating. You still pay attention to traffic, but you're less emotionally invested in the process.
The only times I have to intervene is when a car swoops in front or when traffic briefly opens up and I simply feel like going full throttle. Otherwise, I'm happy to hand the controls over to the S60. On these rush hour commutes, it keeps me sane.
Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor