For the Volvo Enthusiast

Long-term S60 T5 AWD: January Update

The S60’s suspension with the optional 18-inch wheels is surefooted over various road surfaces and diverse qualities of Northern Virginia and DC. Gone are the rattles or unusual creaks, and pops from plastics that I have noticed in previous generation Volvos. The Haldex AWD system plants each of the 250hp to the ground in a very effective manner.

For the second year in a row, we have experienced a slow start to the cold of winter, but morning temperatures have started to dip down into the 20s and 30s. We expect the snow days of winter were to approach and with our T5 AWD traveling to the 2013 Detroit Auto Show we want to have a little extra traction insurance for the trip. The stock 17″ tires contain tire compounds engineered to provide maximum performance above 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Last year we spoke with Volvo and discussed our options.

We learned that Volvo has a very nice Tire Advantage Program ensuring the best safety, performance and comfort for your Volvo. The program includes original equipment tires best suited to your vehicle, competitive pricing on all major brands, 24-month road hazard protection, convenient one-stop tire solution, installation and inspection by Volvo-trained technicians. Winter weather will test driver patience and vehicle components. Properly inflated tires will help prevent safety and performance issues. Have your local Volvo retailer check your tires for proper pressure and tread depth. A dusting of snow can make the commute home challenging if your tires don’t have the necessary tread depth. Volvo recommends replacing your tires at 3/32”. Volvo trained technicians will inspect and provide recommendations to keep you Volvo performing like new. We are impressed with the Tire Advantage Program and we recommend contacting your Volvo retailer before one of the big box tire stores. For more information on the Tire Advantage program

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The winter tires running on our T5 AWD are the Yokohama W.drive tires. Yokohama’s carbon compound is designed to sponge away water on icy surfaces via its unique capillary action. Then, their proprietary tread design works in conjunction with the natural rotation of the tire to expel the remaining water—providing performance and control. Slightly louder than the stock 17s, the W.drive performs like all-season tire. The recent mild temperatures revealed the W.drive’s excellent dry weather performance and no road noise increase as compared to the original tires. Pushing the tires at speed on a sweeping exit ramp reveals a cornering performance limitation. When we experience the worst winter has to offer, we will be putting Yokohama’s asymmetric tread design, advanced compounds, 3-D sipes, and high-drainage grooves to task. Similar to 2012, we are looking forward to the first significant snow fall and will report additional feedback should significant snow fall.

The decision for some owners may be “Do I really need snow tires instead of a good all-season?” Many drivers in the Metro DC area discovered during 2010’s Snowmagedon, roads can quickly become impassible. Mid-Atlantic drivers with all seasons could commute from the office through an inch or two of snow, but dedicated snow tires are a must for drivers in hilly, snow country. A dedicated snow tire combined with Volvo’s Haldex AWD system will make snow driving safer, and offer peace of mind that our family members can make it home from snowy destinations. Visit your local Volvo retailer and utilize the Volvo Tire Advantage Program for your Volvo.