2010 Volvo XC60: Bringing Along an iPad
September 20, 2010
Over the weekend I used our XC60 for a family road trip to visit my in-laws. It ended up being about 600 miles total, during which I averaged 22.5 mpg. There weren't any surprises as I appreciated the Volvo's roomy cargo area, the strong turbo inline-6 and attractive interior. The more interesting aspect, however, was the addition of a new Apple iPad.
I bought it for my wife last week as a combined birthday/Christmas gift and she decided to bring it along on the trip. At first I wasn't sure how it would work out; unlike many of my co-workers, I don't consider myself an early adopter, and neither my wife or I own iPhones or other high-end smartphones. But the iPad ended up being a cool addition.
While I was driving, she first used it to watch a previously-downloaded episode of Mad Men (with headphones), and later, because the iPad has a 3G wireless connection, find and listen to stories on the National Public Radio (NPR) app. At one point we hooked the iPad up to the XC60's auxiliary audio jack, and it was a bit surreal to be getting NPR broadcasts from a third possible source (the others being terrestrial and satellite radio).
We also passed the iPad to our three-year-old daughter riding in back so she could play some preschooler games we downloaded for instances when she got bored/cranky. We could have also used it for GPS/navigation, but at the time we didn't know it could actually do this.
I don't see any of this as revolutionary -- you could get a similar experience with an iPhone, a navigation system and a rear-entertainment system, for instance. But we don't have iPhones and the XC60 doesn't have a rear-entertainment system, so it was cool to have one portable device that could serve so many purposes.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 22,763 miles