S60 Update

Discussion in 'Other Manufacturers' started by brick, May 31, 2015.

  1. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    It's been a little over 5 months since I got the S60 and I've put just shy of 3,000mi on it. (If nothing else I've saved gas by not driving anywhere. ;) ) So far I have mostly good things to report.

    It's a little early to come to a conclusion on fuel economy since the car is new, almost all of my miles have been around town, and this winter was horrendous. No past year in my mileage logs can possibly compete for prolonged low temperatures. That said, I was able to find a few tanks from the V70 that should be comparable based on similar average temperature and average speeds. The result is a 30-40% improvement in FE. The S60 is only 100lb lighter, I haven't been driving fast enough for aerodynamics to be worth much, and I've been commuting along the same route that I always have. In short, the Drive-E 4-pot does as well as one could hope for a 240hp engine.

    In all other respects I'm still really pleased with the S60. It does all the things that a car in its segment is supposed to do. It's the first car I've owned in years that I feel like driving just for the sake of spending some time on a back road in nice weather. (My old Accord Coupe was probably the last.) The only black marks come in the form of a few intermittent rattles, the most significant of which was an easy fix and the others seem to have gone dormant since spring arrived.

    The only funny thing is that as much as I like the car, I haven't really "bonded" with it. I don't know what that's about. It could be that I just don't care about these things as much as I used to. That wouldn't be a terrible thing. Or it could be that I have to drive it somewhere other than to and from work. Or maybe this is just "meeting your hero" syndrome. It could be that the car does its job so well and with so little drama that there's nothing left to be excited about. There's no sense of accomplishment.

    To be continued. Road trip season awaits...

    5,000th post!
  2. jcp123

    jcp123 Caliente!

    I kinda feel thr way about most modern cars. I really like the Echo, it hits a lot of the right notes and surprised me in many ways. But it's not a car I love. I felt the same about my Bronco, my SVT Focus, my conversion van...the closest I ever came to bonding with a modern car was not even my car, it was my Dad's Passat. It'd be 15 years old now but set benchmarks that some ars today have trouble meeting. But the march of progress has ironed out pretty much all of the idiosyncrasies that we claim drive us nuts. Personally I think it keeps cars from being personable, as it were. It's hard to love anything made in the last, say, 20 years, even the exciting stuff.

    My Mustangs however...:D
  3. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    I know what you mean. My first 1981 242 Turbo 5 speed I loved that little car to death.

    The 740T 745T and the 960 I never and have never have bonded to.

    On the other hand I can't say the same about the Prius. I like it a lot and I will say that there has been some bonding to the car.
  4. aca2983

    aca2983 Well-Known Member

    I think the "bonding" thing is part of maturity. It's just a replaceable material thing. For me the more recent cars that come close to "bonding" are ones that more than exceeded my expectations of them. That would include my old Protege, bought in a mid-life crisis of sorts, planned on keeping for only a couple years till got through the rough patches, but I kept for 6 years. Good car. My 06 Mazda3 was probably the best car, but I bought it brand new and it did what I expected of it, so while sad to see it go I wasn't that upset about it. My 91 Civic paled in comparison to my 83. It was crap actually. So far my Focus is more than beating my expectations. I like the S60 though! If Volvo ever produces that concept 2-door sport wagon concept they did last year, and if were to turn out anything close to that it would probably be the car I'd throw caution to the wind and break the bank for.
  5. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    I think that's a huge part of it. Realistically a newer car selected after careful research from many, many options is a better bet for reliability and getting the job done. But it also comes with a certain expectation that it'll be 100% of what it was intended to be. There's no room for it to exceed expectation. Cars that we acquire either by chance or out of sheer need have a shot at surprising us even though they may be objectively "worse."

    My 745 was my first car and a good example of all this. My parents generously handed it down to me when I was in high school and it was the opposite of what most 17 year old males want: my mom's 14 year old station wagon. I learned to be really grateful really, really quickly. I learned to drive a stick shift which was an accomplishment all on its own. (I still miss having a clutch pedal.) I expected it to crap out on me just because it was "old" but it never did. Time has helped me forget that the suspension was starting to rust away, it was a handful to drive in the snow, the radio sucked, and probably myriad other things that made it objectively "worse" than anything I've had since. But it was the best.

    To an extent I think we can be forgiven for having this sort of expectation. Replaceable object though it is, for the vast majority of Americans a car is the conveyance between wherever we are and wherever we would rather be. A lot of experiences become wrapped up in the cars that got us there.
  6. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    I made a pleasant discovery today. In the six months I've had this thing I never bothered to try the manual shift gate because every single one I've ever used previously has sucked eggs. Always laggy, mushy, and disappointing compared to the real 3-pedal deal. But you know what? This one on this 8-AT actually works! I used it both ways today and didn't become disgusted with it even once. The only catch is that I have to keep ahead of it when decelerating or else it will down-shift on its own right at the moment that I do it myself, resulting in dropping two cogs instead of one. Unfortunately it also defeats start/stop, but that's easily remedied by sliding the shifter back to D before coming to a complete stop. It is Sport Mode, after all. :rolleyes: Whatever. I'll take what I can get.
  7. jcp123

    jcp123 Caliente!

    I know the ZF 8-speed is renowned for some good shifing out of the "manual" modes, don't know about the one that's in your car though. But apparently automanuals have gotten a lot better.
  8. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    This is an Aisin-Warner unit. I've heard the same thing about that ZF. A guy I work with bought X3 with that transmission (and BMW's 2.0L turbo 4) and told me that it's busy in automatic mode but pretty much flawless in terms of shift quality. Indeed, things have come a long way.

    As a side note, driving strictly in manual mode for a couple of days reveals how freaking lazy I've become since trading away my last MT car 8 years ago. Getting all discombobulated about what gear I'm in approaching a turn at such-and-such a speed when I don't even have a clutch to worry about puts me on the ragged edge of mortal shame. I feel like I should owe some kind of penance.
  9. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Or maybe just let your excellent transmission ( and right foot) do their job. When I had the Civic , I did a lot of shifting , but it was mostly D-N-D-N-D.

    Also , got a close-up look at an S60 like yours in a parking lot today. I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and not everyone will agree with me , but............
    That is one beautiful car. The only one that beats it (IMO) is the Model S , and it's far easier to give a large car (Tesla) graceful proportions than a fairly small car like the S60.
    You done good.
  10. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    I spent some extended highway time behind the wheel of the S60 for the first time since last December. Never in my wildest dreams did I think the result would look like this:


    That's 44.8mpg showing over a little under 209mi, 43.0mpg actual after calibration. In a turbocharged Volvo! All I did was push the Eco+ button and keep to the PSL with the usual DWL, DWB, and whatever automated NICE-On down-hill or traffic-approaching coasts I could get. In other words I just got in it, kept to the speed limit, and generally tried not to drive like a jack@**.

    The car is growing on me. :D And my doubts about this whole turbo/DI engine trend are rapidly evaporating.
  11. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Very impressive, Tim !
  12. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    I made my way back today. Here's the round-trip result:


    44.3mpg showing corrects to a hair under 42.7mpg actual (vs. 37mpg highway per the EPA). I haven't been this impressed (maybe just pleasantly surprised) with a FE result since I first started hypermiling my old Accord in '06. Between a lack of FAS and/or a stick shift to work with, jumbo-sized power rating, and considering how modern engine tech tends to push EPA numbers closer to the real potential, I really wasn't expecting much.

    The trick with this car is just to keep its considerable mass moving and use DWL to keep it out of boost as much as possible. The clever transaxle takes care of the rest while it chugs along at ~1600RPM at 65mph. The automatic neutral-coast feature got plenty of use on the hills.
  13. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    I've driven I4 2.1L to 2.3L Turbo Volvo's from Feb 1981 thru July 2009 and the two main points at getting decent fuel mileage was ONE stay out of boost as much as you can and TWO, keep the rpms under 2500.

    For a newer Volvo I'm impressed with your results. The only reason I'm driving a 2010 Prius instead of a 2010 Volvo was the poor fuel mileage they were getting back then.

    With the PSL's what was your maximum speed to get those numbers?
  14. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    Speed limits on this route were mostly 65mph. I cruised right at 65mph when there was traffic to keep up with, occasionally 60-62mph mph when I found slower traffic or a hill to climb with nobody on my rear. My usual MO is to do whatever the right lane is doing but follow at a decent distance. I was also driving alone and in nice weather so A/C wasn't needed.
  15. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    Not gonna lie, I'm more than a little proud of this:

    As I mentioned under Brick Kicks Tires, I have a present need for towing ability and I'm starting to think that towing might be the answer to my utility needs in general. By sheer dumb luck I happen to have chosen the one compact sport sedan on the US market with a 3500lb tow rating...probably double what I need and double that of most of today's CUVs. And I don't think any of those CUVs will beat the S60's unladen fuel economy which is more important 90% of the time. So I've added a Curt Class III hitch plus a 4/7 pin combo harness driven by a vehicle-specific Curt wiring adapter. All of that is basically plug-and-play/torque-and-play. I also used a Curt bracket to hang the wire harness from the hitch to keep it nice and clean. While not yet connected, I have a 10ga 12V power lead and an electric brake control lead staged in the trunk for later. (The dog trailer needs 12V power at 10A min for ventilation. I haven't connected it yet because I only have one circuit in the trunk and I want the hotel load on its own fuse.) Lights are tested and working. Now all I need is a caravan in order to go on a proper European holiday :D . Or I can just resurrect the luggage rack:


    This thing was sketchy at best on the Prius but I think the longer, heavier S60 has a reasonable shot at handling it with light loads.
    BillLin likes this.

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