Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Merry Christmas with the Volvo XC60

Where do I start?

I was invited to test drive the Volvo XC60 over the Christmas weekend and since there was going to be lots of family gatherings to go to, and lots of presents to carry around, I was more than happy to take Volvo up on their offer. After all, I've heard many good things about the XC60 and how luxurious it is.

All I want for Christmas is a Volvo-vo!

Boy, I certainly was not disappointed. Now firstly, I'm a two-wheels kind of girl, so I can't pretend to know what "Drive-E Powertrains" means. But I do know that reducing the number of engine variants results in increased flexibility and makes for a very smooth drive. I suffer from severe motion sickness meaning I feel nauseous on practically every moving vehicle (except my bike) but I'm glad to say that I enjoyed the drive on the XC60 so much that I didn't have time to feel sick. And my mind was kept occupied by all the awesome things this car had to offer! Here are some of my favourite features:

1. In-car Internet Connection
A connection can be made via my mobile phone's Bluetooth tethering system. Intenet data is then transferred via Wi-Fi between the mobile phone and the Sensus Connect system. From here, I can play music from my Spotify playlist, or whichever other app on my phone. I can even check emails! SO COOL RIGHT. And to ensure safety, the web browsing screen is automatically turned off once the car goes over 7km/hr. (Thankfully, otherwise you get all these jokers browsing the internet while driving...)

2. Ingenious Voice-control
To offer the user maximum flexibility, the system can be operated via the steering wheel or the centre stack controls. On top of this, all calls and infotainment functions can also be voice-activated. Yay Handsfree!

3. ECO+ Mode
The ECO+ mode makes for further enhanced fuel consumption. So basically, when the car is on ECO+ mode, throttle reaction is dimmed to prevent heavy-footing.  Engine braking is also deactivated to conserve kinetic energy, while gearshift and lock-up points are also optimised for efficiency, reducing fuel consumption by up to 5%. (!!!)

The ECO+ mode also adjusts the car's air-conditioning to reduce the load on the engine for better efficiency. If we were in a colder country, this feature would certainly be very useful, because on a colder day, we wouldn't need the aircon to be that strong. Unfortunately, in SG... still a cool feature to have though, at least for those rainy days!

4. Engine Remote Start (Optional)
Now THIS feature is certainly useful for us here in Sunny Singapore. Ever hated those days where you parked your car in the sun and stepped into a sauna when you wanted to drive off?

Volvo Cars' Engine Remote Start is an ideal way to cool down your vehicle before leaving your home or the offive. The car will cool to the same temperature setting as when it was parked and will run for up to 15 minutes, ensuring comfort for all from the moment you enter the car. This can be activated from a distance of up to 30 metres, and to ensure safety, the car remains locked throughout when remotely started. The ignition is also cut when the driver unlocks it. Also, for those really concerned about the safety of the Engine Remote Start feature, do note that this feature will not work if the car is not put on 'Park' gear with all doors and hatches locked, if the car is low on petrol, engine oil or coolant, or if movement is detected in the car from people or animals. So, worry not, and drive safe!

5. City Safety
Next up is one of my favourite features of this car; The City Safety feature. I think ALL cars should have this! It would certainly help in preventing alot of early morning traffic accidents along the highway!

So what is this awesome feature I speak of?

City Safety is a support system designed to help the driver avoid low-speed collisions when driving in slow-moving, stop-and-go traffic conditions. Basically what happens is that the front sensor picks up if the car is following too closely to the vehicle in front, and triggers brief, forceful braking if a low-speed collision is imminent. Makes for pretty idiot-proof driving if you ask me. All Hail Volvo!

However, some people may be concerned that they will have less control over the car. Well, City Safety is designed to intervene as late as possible to help avoid unnecessary activation, and will not intervene in situations where the driver actively steers the vehicle or applies the brakes, even if a collision cannot be avoided. This ensures that the driver's actions are always in highest priority.

In case you'd like to know more, you may check out the video above.

6. Spacious Boot
Last but not least, I especially like that the Volvo XC60 is equipped with a large spacious boot. Perfect for shopaholics, roadtrippers, picnickers and Santa Claus. 

Thanks for the great ride, VOLVO XC60! I'll miss you! 

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