Pros Out-runs anything in its price range
Drives light and quiet
Looks good inside and out
Cons The tech cant multi-task well
The systems trip out a bit too much
Summary I switched from what was a new '08 BMW-1 to this new S60R. I had the lower-level BMW power package, but the car had the same MSRP back in '08 as the 2012 Volvo S60R. The Volvo is far superior to the BMW drive-wise. Power, suspension, steering and cockpit comfort all decisive S60R wins.
Where the BMW decisively wins is in the tech. I dont understand how Cnet didnt mention this when they're supposed to "check-the-tech". The Volvo system does not multi-task well. I have an Iphone. It hooks up via bluetooth and cable in the volvo just as it does in the BMW. The Ipod info is displayed on the screen and you're off listening to music. Then the phone rings. You pick up and talk. Once the conversation is over, the artist and song that was playing when the call started appears back on the screen and the clock on the song starts to tick right where it left off; except there's no audio output! Nothing. It's muted. And nothing will get it back other than turning off the ignition! The only option is to stream the music via bluetooth and sound-quality takes a big hit using that route. I looked around online and apparently there is no workaround or patch for this. Unacceptable for the most popular smartphone in the world.
Next problem; let's say you've just set your destination on the NAV and found your way to the highway. Now it's time to switch on Sirius so you press one of your presets. Nothing happens. Why? Because you have to go to the highest level menu, scroll down a list to the SAT1 band, choose it, wait for it to tune, then press the preset assigned to that ban. In the BMW the presets had a master list that crossed all modes including NAV & radio bands. So button #1 in my BMW was the NAV to my home, #6 my NAV to work and #2-#5 were radio stations. In the Volvo, you must be drilled into the proper area to get to those specific presets for that band. This is a *huge* pain. Another problem: if you're listening to SAT and on a NAV route at the same time and when a turn is upcoming; the NAV will take 1/2 the screen and the radio the other half. That would be great *if* the radio side was legible. But they dont just shrink the screen to fit the most important SAT info, they simply cover half of the full SAT screen so you end up seeing meaningless-ends-of-channel-names or ends-of-song-titles. Worthless. If you're going to do it that way, you may as well just cover the whole screen with the upcoming NAV info. Perhaps these last problems have a fix, but I havent found them yet. I doubt that there's a work-around. Lastly. even with the premium audio, the quality of the sound cannot touch the premium sound of the BMW. Not even close. How can sound reproduction go backwards over 4 years?
All of these problems with the tech considerably deter from the driving experience and they should make you think twice about getting the Volvo S60 R-Design. Bottomline: he ride is great, the tech is not.
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