In a world of cars that have an awful lot of sameness these days, the Swedes still manage to do things differently.
Bless their little souls for that.
And differently in this V60 as well because Volvo's got a ambitious suite of connected apps.
Let's check 'em on the road and check 'em it the cloud as we drive this 15 V60R design T6.
Check the 'vette.
I just love compact little sport wagons, so I'm predisposed to this car.
RV60 is also an R Design, which is gonna make you predisposed to it.
It's got a great looking subtle body kit, special [UNKNOWN] on all four wheels, different seats and the wheel itself.
You've also got a stiffer but still non adaptive sports suspension and we're looking at unique LCD instrument panel inside.
You better like it cuz it's about $46,000 or so base, $1000 for a convenience package that makes you pay extra for a rear camera and a few other things.
The tech package though is a steal.
Adaptive cruise with low speed negotiation, forward collision with full braking, pedestrian and bike detection with full braking and it can read road signs.
But then after all that they leave you out in the cold without blind spot technology which these guys are known for.
That's 900 more.
Anyway that's how we get to 50 grand.
Let's see what you get.
First thing you notice is the instrument panel.
That is one of the cleanest minimalist out there.
It fits in with their mission to reduce driver.
It also looks great.
That's basically what it looks like all the time with some minor changes you can make to the information including really stripping it down.
I like it a lot.
Going to the head unit here, we have our navigation.
We've seen this nav before.
It's not too unusual.
The radio choices include HD radio standard, and then under a separate menu you find media.
You know I'm not crazy about that.
That said, you basically got all the choices you'd ever want.
Optical disk is still in a Volvo by the way.
Bluetooth streaming and USB and AUX.
Are here in the console.
Here's an interesting button, little globe icon.
That brings you to a new set of connected services.
The Apps include simple pedestrian things like finding fuel, you've got Glympse to share your location, pass.
Local search, thank you, find something in nav to it.
Here is Pandora and Rdio and Stitcher.
And tune in.
I don't think I've seen a car on the market that has more popular streaming and audio apps in one place.
WikiLocations I can live without.
It seems to have almost nothing in it, and it's a haphazard arrangement.
And then of course there's Yelp.
All of this by the way controlled by Volvo's controller which is one of four knobs here, but this is the power knob.
This is where you turn to select, push OK.
Hit that same button to bring up a menu.
That's also your back button.
I appreciate having hardware back.
Now here's where it gets a little bit wonky.
You do have voice command for this car for things like phone, built in navigation and entertainment.
Voice command does not work for these apps.
So shockingly for a Volvo, you can work the knob, load the apps and use text type to enter your preferences or searches, while driving.
What company is this?
They're all about safety and that's not.
Now in terms of connection, I do have my phone paired to this car.
But it's not providing the data pipe.
It's not a tethered arrangement.
It's part of a big trend to give cars their own IP address on the cloud.
However, the AT&T-provided connection runs from just okay to painfully slow, at least in our tests around San Francisco.
As for cost, Volvo and AT%T are still trying to figure that out.
Your first six months are on the house, then they'll let you know what it's gonna cost.
Now driving this guy is gonna be a combination of a PRND shifter with a left side gate.
We'll see how that works in a moment.
You do have paddles on the wheel.
Notice there's no elaborate all wheel drive controls.
There's no real sport mode except putting this guy in sport.
I like the minimalist of that keeping up with the design of the IP.
Now because we have a T6 that means we have a 3 litre inline side saddle mounted six cylinder engine and it's turbo charged.
It's also missing some of the fashionable technologies of today.
For example, it does not have direct injection.
It's hooked up to a sixteen transmission.
Out of 7, 8, or 9 speed as is the fashion today.
But it gets the job done.
325 horsepower, 354 pound feet of torque.
Zero to sixty is an admirable 4.9 seconds.
Critically one tenth.
Within the five-second mark, which is kind of a special club among cars.
The MPG ain't so interesting, perhaps as a result.
19 city, 28 highway.
Missing key psychological levels on both.
Well the V60 certainly is interesting.
Depending on what you're in, it's either one of my least or one of my most favorite drivers of the year.
Here's what I mean.
Leave it in drive, and it's this horrible experience of spooly, loopy power.
It gets buried under tall gears and low RPMs.
And when you need power and you stab at it, you get too much of it too late.
Then, swap it over in sport mode here, you're not even shifting yourself, and everything livens up and comes online.
That means you're gonna burn more gas so that's the price you pay to wake this car up, and it's MPG.
It's not stunner to begin with.
The other impression you get from this guy is really solid build.
That's a Volvo thing but particularity here in this nice compact frame, and the ergo in the car really is great.
I mean nothing is not clearly visible or easily accessible but also goes with the outward visibility.
You've got the big chunky headrest but hit this button.
They drop right down.