I recently look a trip to the San Francisco Bay Area with Volvo, to test drive their newest additions to the S60 series. Living in NYC, some people assume that we don’t drive often, but as it turns out our car gets tons of use, especially on the weekends. My parents live pretty close, and we often spend weekends with them; or plan weekend getaways like our annual apple and pumpkin picking coming up this fall. While I am not a car expert, as a mother of three, I can tell you that car safety is extremely important to me.
My three day adventure with Volvo started right when we landed in the San Francisco Airport. I was picked up a 2016 Volvo V60 Cross Country, and the mamma in me was instantly impressed by the two built in booster seats in the back, offering two different heights, which is something that my family would put to great use.
When we arrived in Sausalito, at the Cavallo Point Hotel, I was taken back by the spectacular views. I’ve traveled to San Francisco many times when I owned a showroom, but I never stayed in a hotel outside the city. With nothing scheduled for that afternoon, we had the opportunity to explore the grounds, and take in the Bay area. I took a walk over to the Golden Gate Bridge, where I actually spotted a seal. That evening, all in attendance were invited to take part in a farm to table welcome reception dinner. The chef assigned a task to each member, and our entire group prepared our dinner consisting of tuna ceviche, roast chicken, wild caught salmon, and a fresh green bean and corn salad.
The following morning, the fun began. Each member had a driving partner, and I was fortunate enough to be paired with my friend Corine from Complicated Mama. We would be driving up North on Pacific Coast Highway. Volvo mapped a beautiful route, heading north on the Pacific Coast Highway with breathtaking views of the countryside. Corine and I stopped a number of times to appreciate all the scenery, especially the farms with cows roaming around.
We started our tour with the 2016 S60 Cross Country, the latest edition to Volvo’s Cross Country lineup. As the original innovator of the cross country concept, Volvo has a long tradition of providing vehicles that enable an active lifestyle, without compromising luxury. The Cross Country provides the benefits of a cross country, such as a higher ride height and standard all-wheel drive, with the practicality and styling of a sedan. The S60 Cross Country is for someone who prefers to live in a city environment, but still seek outdoor adventures during their downtime.
The S60 Cross Country features:
• 2.5L, 20 Valve Inline 5-Cylinder turbocharged engine
• Standard all-wheel drive with Instant Traction, providing excellent road grip
• 7.9” of ground clearance, allowing higher ride height and soft off-road capability
• Hill Descent Control for easier downhill maneuvering in off-road situations
• 3D Navigation with Map Care, featuring free map updates twice per year
• Sensus Connect, providing an in-car WIFI hotspot for passengers and built-in apps including Yelp, Pandora, Weather, Glympse, Tune-In and more.
• Premium Harman Kardon sound
• Upgraded “Agnes” leather with contour seats
• Sunroof and unique exterior styling
• Volvo On Call, providing remote start, lock/unlock and diagnostic via Android or iOS app and 24/7 SOS road side assistance.
After about hour and half, we stopped to switch cars at the Bodega Bay Lodge where the drive continued through Sonoma. This time, we test drove the 2016 Volvo S60 Inscription which is the largest and most comfortable S60 ever produced. Now with the most rear leg room in its class and upgraded interior details, the S60 Inscription reflects the demands of the American luxury sedan market.
The S60 Inscription features:
• 3” of additional rear seat legroom compared to S60
• Available in FWD or AWD
• Electronic power steering personalization (FWD) or speed sensitive steering (AWD) • 18” Titania diamond cut alloy wheel
• Rear park assist pilot with camera
• Contour seats
• Linear walnut wood inlays
• Upgraded interior accent lighting
• Interior Air Quality System (IAQS)
• Power rear window shade and manual side rear window sunshades
• Rear bumper chrome
• Chrome interior accents with silk metal window switches, console and coat hanger • Additional interior soundproofing
Corine and I even tested out the Adaptive Cruise Control, which will automatically adjust the speed of your vehicle based on the car traveling in front of you. This feature is particularly useful in congested or bumper-to-bumper traffic. Other features include the Lane Keeping Aid, which gently steers the driver back into the lane of travel if the car begins to deviate from the lane of travel, and the Internet Connectivity where you can access the login details for the car’s built-in WIFI hotspot, which came in perfectly to work in between stops. I was extremely impressed with these features, and would normally be intimidated to try them out, but realized how easy they were to access and would definitely put them to use in my daily drives.
For lunch, we stopped at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds where we received a driving demonstration from the Volvo Driving Academy on the limited edition sport performance division vehicle, Polestar S60. We were able to experience firsthand how technically robust and safe these vehicles really are. A professional driver drove us from 0-80mph and we were able to stop with ease and control.
After our lunch and test drives, Corine and I drove back down the coast to San Francisco in our S60 Inscription, where we did a little sight seeing of the city. We passed by the Painted Lady’s and toured Lombard Street. We headed home for an evening bonfire at Cavallo Point with the rest of our group. Overall, the perfect road trip! I was so impressed with the Volvo vehicles and their dedication to safe driving, we are actually looking into purchasing one.