When I moved from Los Angeles to New York two years ago, it was partly because I couldn't stand to be in traffic anymore. It wasn't that I disliked cars or driving, it was that I just couldn't get where I needed to go. Now that I've lived in New York for a while, I've missed the feeling of a leather steering wheel, picking up friends, rolling down the windows late at night, and blasting music. Being driven around in a cab or taking the subway just isn't the same, albeit more efficient at times. So when I got the opportunity to drive the Volvo S60 for a weekend, I was ecstatic, but it turned into a much more exciting experience than I could have originally anticipated.
After learning the specs of the car at the Volvo headquarters in New Jersey, I set the navigation to Montauk (on the Eastern end of Long Island) and put in CDs I had burned for the trip (yes, so pre-iTunes, I know). The nav was easy, the sound was crisp, and the seats were really comfortable. It's a lot more powerful of a vehicle than you'd think from its cool, fluid exterior, boasting 329 horsepower and a T-6 engine.
While hitting the highway and beach roads of Long Island, both while cruising and in traffic, my friends and I felt super relaxed and pleased with the car. The sun roof was an unexpected, added bonus, and there was a USB auxiliary for charging phones and playing music when my CDs got old (yes, it happened).
I had never driven a Volvo before, but I've heard over and over how "safe" they are. And it's true. The S60 has sensors to let you know when you've switched lanes without a turning signal, when another car is too close to you, and there are rear cameras for when you're reversing. All of that is to say, why wouldn't anyone want a safe car that's so easy to use and drive? Even the speedometer is a work of clean, straightforward design, unlike the complicated systems of other vehicles. The S60 carries the thrill of a sporty, nimble car with the comfort and safety that those cars don't always have.
Even if we had a quiet beach motel for the weekend, we kept wanting to sneak away for a drive. We found ourselves at the staples of Montauk—The Surf Lodge, Ruschmeyers, and the downtown restaurant area—but it was more fun seeing all the nature and driving along the Old Montauk Highway (and subsequently, discovering new car features like incredible seat warmers). Even though the weekend was mostly rainy, the car exhibited great traction and was almost more fun to take a toasty drive in.
The S60 is the kind of Sedan you imagine yourself buying and keeping for a long time. It's equally for the minimalist and for the maximalist—it appears simple and easy to handle, and it is, but it has a multitude of options, amenities, and capabilities for those trying to have a fun drive. It's undoubtedly the best car I've driven in a long time, and certainly one of the best for summertime.