The Volvo S60 has now been in our Four Seasons fleet for a little more than ten months, during which time it has covered more than 26,000 miles. It has gone as far south as Tennessee, made several trips throughout the Midwest (including Chicago, southern Indiana, and St. Louis), three trips to the East Coast, including back-to-back jaunts to Boston over the Christmas holiday, plus numerous trips throughout our home state of Michigan. It's safe to say that it's among the most popular vehicles in our fleet for long-distance cruising.
Back in December, we reported that the S60 had been outfitted with a set of eighteen-inch Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D snow tires, with the expectation that typical winter weather -- ice, snow, and sleet - was on the way. What we didn't expect was the unseasonably mild winter we've experienced this year, along with a distinct lack of precipitation. Still, we've been happy with our choice of winter tire.
"I wish we had some frozen precipitation to try these winter tires out. They produce a bit more noise on most surfaces, but they're surprisingly sharp for winter compound rubber, allowing the S60 to be pushed fairly hard in a corner. I'll sacrifice some quietness in order to receive sure-footed traction in winter -- especially if the driving fun isn't diluted," commented associate web editor Evan McCausland.
That isn't to say that the winter was a complete loss, however, as January and February did see a few instances where there was a measurable accumulation of the white stuff. On those occasions, the combination of the S60's all-wheel-drive system and the Dunlops made any foul weather we encountered "a non-event," in the words of another of our associate web editors, Donny Nordlicht.
Other than snow, the major driving hazard that winter presents is a tendency for the roads to start resembling a moonscape. In our particular area of the country, the roads never seem to be that well tended, but come late winter/early spring, potholes seem to spring up overnight. Unfortunately, one such encounter -- within just the last couple days -- resulted in a side skirt that has been pushed rearward by about half an inch. It has not yet been fixed, but it looks as if it will be a fairly simple operation: remove the rear tire, push the skirt back in place, and clip it back on.
There was just one other recent maintenance item of note: a loose bolt on the hinge of the driver's door caused the door to move vertically when it was opened or closed. Luckily, our road test editor, Chris Nelson, was able to tighten the bolt himself. We're hoping that the problem has been fixed permanently, but we're keeping an eye on it.
With less than two months remaining in its tenure, the Volvo has proved to be both reliable and fun to drive. Look for one more update next month before we wrap up our year with one of the most popular cars in our fleet.