Saturday, 18 April 2015

Volvo V60 Polestar day 5, what have we learned

Day 5 and it was time to see how well the cars plethora of gadgetry worked to keep you safe at night on the Northern Rivers notoriously dark and dangerous roads. Here is what I learned.


1. The automatic bi-xenon headlights are brilliant, the clarity offered by these units making it seem like all other forms of bulb headlights are just a torch shined through a dirty window. When you switch the car on at night the lights pop on with a almost white clear light before automatically adjusting to the correct level. Then once you get going they swing around slow speed corners in relation to how you turn the wheel. Admittedly this function seems a bit gimmicky on paper but trust me having that beam of light illuminate whats coming up even a few feet ahead is far better than it aimlessly shooting off into a forest directly ahead during a sharp turn. It helped me avoid a few potholes that's for sure, I should also point out the lane departure warning at night is an invaluable feature especially on country roads where the verge isn't always arrow straight.

Clever lights

2. Of course this cars real party trick at night is the active high beam function that you have to activate through the MyCar settings menu. Once activated simply click your high beam on via the indicator stalk and leave it on, the car does the rest of the work for you, sensing an oncoming vehicle and dipping the beams. It really does free up the driver to purely concentrate on the road which at night with rogue marsupials about is an absolute must. Active high beam is not faultless though, the car at times does get spooked by its own light reflecting back it, from a road sign for example and dips the beam for no reason, but on the whole it is an excellent feature.

Even more lights

3. The last thing to note from my night drive is something more aesthetic but equally important when spending $100,000 plus on a car. That thing is the interior lighting, which is superb.White lights in the footwells, door pockets and above you by the rear view bathe the V60's interior with a soft glow. If the seats weren't comfy enough already the lighting just adds an extra layer of soothing ambiance to the inside, it is safe to say it feels very Swedish cocooned in the Volvo at night.          

There you have it, I never knew I could talk so much about lighting in a car, but clearly when your given a pair of headlights as good as these and a beautiful interior to behold them in it becomes clear what an essential safety tool they are.

I'll be back

Come back later today as I report more on this cars main selling point, the way it drives, as despite marveling at its tech I've not forgotten to have a bit of fun with it up in the hills and down in the valleys round these parts.

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