You hear it all the time: the automobile is becoming a rolling technology interface, an infotainment-palooza.
Before long, these things will be driving themselves and passengers will be able to take a nap, if you believe the most optimistic predictions of futurists.
But before that day arrives, most cars still have to accommodate drivers and passengers in more conventional ways. Unfortunately, a long-term trend, especially notable in the luxury auto realm, has created a problem.
For whatever reason, about a decade ago the world’s luxury carmakers decided that all premium rides needed to emphasise sportiness. Gone were the plush four-wheeled barges of yesteryear, which strove for cruising excellence. In their place were high-strung, stiff-suspensioned, tight-handling machines crafted in the BMW mould.
It’s not unusual these day to find yourself sitting in a $60,000 car and wondering why your bottom aches as if you’ve been parked on a plinth of hard aluminium and cruel carbon fibre.
Not so, however, in the 2016 Volvo V60 Polestar wagon, which Business Insider recently checked out.
The seats in this updated wagon, which is very sporty indeed, are a pleasing throwback: not too firm, not too soft, just right. Unsurprising, as Volvo has a long history of comfy seating. I’ve owned two Volvos, an old 240 sedan and a more recent vintage V40 wagon, and in both cases, the sitting was a pleasure, both as driver and passenger.
They aren’t overdone, not at all. The Polestar colour for Volvo is a sort of creamy blue, and it shows up in the topstitching. The bolstering is modest, and the cushioning is nearly ideal. The seats are also plentifully adjustable. Not much to do here to advance the cause of technology — better to make sure the seat does its main job, which is to deliver support and comfort.
Volvo was sold by Ford to China’s Geely in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Some fans of the brand might have wondered if some of the things that made Volvos, well, Volvos would go away. From what we’ve seen so far, they haven’t.
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