2015 Volvo S60: Road Trip to San Jose
March 30, 2015
I attended the 2015 Nv idia GPU Tech Conference in San Jose, CA recently. This conference is further proof that cars are no longer mechanical devices and are instead becoming advanced computers on wheels.
I took the long-term 2015 Volvo S60 because it was quiet, comfortable and had plenty of power for highway passing. Here are a few impressions, my road trip fuel economy and a slight issue that happened on the way back.
As Cameron Rogers has noted, the S60's seats are very comfortable. I didn't experience any back pain and the seat bolsters felt good over the five-hour trip.
I encountered a lot of bugs along the way, and I'm not talking about the electrical kind. Bugs smashed into the windshield on a regular basis as I cruised past the farms along California's Interstate 5. The S60's wipers and washer fluid weren't up to the task of cleaning the slimy mess that had accumulated. I had to pull over and use a gas station's squeegee. A touch of aftermarket washer fluid in the reservoir may solve the issue in the future.
The S60 does read speed-limit signs, but you can't rely on the technology too much. There were a few times when the system mistook the 55-mph speed limit for trucks as the overall speed limit on that stretch of road.
And you will have to watch your speed, because the S60 has no problems passing cars on the highway. If you're not careful, you'll be doing 90 mph and not even notice. There's hardly any lag when you hit the accelerator and there's a nice linear feeling of power delivery.
My fuel economy for the trip north was 27.8 mpg. I averaged about 26.6 mpg on the return. These numbers, while being the best we've recorded, fall short of the EPA-rated 28 mpg for combined driving and way short of the 35 mpg highway number. But there's still plenty of time left for us to improve on that.
On the way back, I noticed that the tire pressure warning light was illuminated. I pulled into the nearest gas station and used the air compressor to try to get the tires back up to spec. Problem was, the station's tire pressure gauge was broken and there wasn't one in the car.
Further, the display did not tell me which tire needed attention. (Automakers, can we stop cheaping out on this stuff? Just give us a number for each tire!) All the tires seemed OK to me, but I still put air into each one and hoped for the best. I made it home without issue. Cameron checked the pressures the following day and aside from some over inflation (um, my fault), things were fine, so he reset the warning. We'll keep a close eye on it in the coming days.
Minor hiccup aside, I enjoyed my time in the Volvo S60 and I'd definitely recommend it for a road trip. Here's hoping it sees many more highway miles.
Ronald Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor @ 2,637 miles