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    Thread: Test drives

    1. #1
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      Test drives

      Can anyone relate their test drive experiences when you were in the process of looking at Polestars? I've just started looking around at 2017 models and dealers seem (understandably, I guess, given the limited supply) very reluctant to allow much (if any) of a test drive.

      I've never bought a car without driving it, and I have no plans to change that. So what was your test drive experience like?

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    3. #2
      Junior Member mtnpolestar's Avatar
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      I negotiated my purchase via email and phone. Did not even see the car or drive it or any Polestar as there were none around and the dealer was 1,000 miles away. Flew in, bought and drove it home, not one regret doing it that way.
      There were so few around in my region I had to travel to get one. Once you test drive it, you'll want it! Not much out there that compares to them in their class and price range.

    4. #3
      Senior Member Wayne T5's Avatar
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      Dealers were pretty picky about that with the original '15.5 120 numbered cars but I would have thought (hoped) that would have changed by now.

      I was already pretty familiar with the platform when I decided to get mine and also bought long distance (300+ miles away) so just went for a short test drive when I went to pick up the car. I am surprised you are not able to take one for a test drive - it's a perfectly reasonable request.
      Past: '94 854, '99 S70 T5 SE, '99 S70 GLT, '04 S60R M, '12 S60 T5, '13 S60 T5, '15 S60 RD, '05 V70R GT
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    6. #4
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      Thanks for the responses. I also thought by now (with the SPA-based models dominating the showroom) that a test drive wouldn't be too big of a deal.

      Although an interesting thing happened; in the time it took for my Swedespeed login to be verified, the dealer I'm talking to began to relax a bit. At first I was told no test drives, then less than 2 miles (!), and now they've relaxed a bit and said they'll allow me up to 20 (which seems generous to me in a limited production car).

      I understand their point of view that they can't just toss the keys to anyone who shows the slightest bit of interest. It's a tough balance... but in the end, it looks like I'll be driving one this weekend. Looking forward to it.

    7. #5
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      had no problem requesting for a test drive even though the P* was on the showroom floor and 3 other cars had to be moved out of the way to get it out

      you would think that dealers would be more willing as P* cars aren't exactly flying off the show room floor

    8. #6
      Global Moderator GrecianVolvo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Darwin View Post

      you would think that dealers would be more willing as P* cars aren't exactly flying off the show room floor
      Would you buy a Polestar that had 120 to 200 miles on it? To some people, that makes a difference. To others, it does not.

      It is a fine balance, as greggma very correctly pointed above. It needs to be looked at on a case-by-case basis.
      2001 Volvo V70 T5 M SR, Classic Red/Graphite Lthr, TME Stage II ECU, 3" Downpipe w/ Cat-back exhaust from MTE, Volvo Roadholding & Lowering Kit w/ Nivomats, 17" PEGASUS, Rear Spoiler, Dolby Surround Sound
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    9. #7
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      The Orange County dealer in California seemed quite open to letting us test drive the 2016, and 2017 model, on the freeway and side roads.
      If you are test driving the 2017 model, you really need to sink your foot in and get the RPMs a bit higher. Otherwise you may leave disappointed. The 4 cylinder didn't feel as special as the 6 cylinder engine when cruising at lower revs. That being said, it's a great car and the 2017's transmission is definitely better.

    10. #8
      Junior Member Chris from Cali's Avatar
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      We were able to test drive an S60 P* even though we were there for the V60. As mtnpolestar mentioned above, once you test drive it, you'll want it. The Polestar was the first of about 8 cars my wife and I were going to test to replace her RR Evoque and we didn't make it past the first car! No regrets.

      Good luck with your test drive quest.

    11. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by greggma View Post
      Can anyone relate their test drive experiences when you were in the process of looking at Polestars? I've just started looking around at 2017 models and dealers seem (understandably, I guess, given the limited supply) very reluctant to allow much (if any) of a test drive.

      I've never bought a car without driving it, and I have no plans to change that. So what was your test drive experience like?
      Search for used S60/V60 Polestars in your region. There shouldn't be a problem test driving one of them. I couldn't get a test drive in a new 2017 Golf R, but found a used 2016 R nearby that the dealer was happy to have me drive.

    12. #10
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      For the 1st year P*'s ('15.5) not only did most of us not get to test drive them, we didn't even get to see them before putting $5k deposits on our cars. The first time I saw any P* and drove one was when I took delivery of my car. I had driven a V60 RD just to get the feel of a Volvo wagon but that was it. Then had to wait 6+ months to get my car after placing my deposit.
      Current: 2015.5 V60 Polestar Matte Gunpowder #50
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    13. #11
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      Test drives

      Quote Originally Posted by P50GT View Post
      For the 1st year P*'s ('15.5) not only did most of us not get to test drive them, we didn't even get to see them before putting $5k deposits on our cars. The first time I saw any P* and drove one was when I took delivery of my car. I had driven a V60 RD just to get the feel of a Volvo wagon but that was it. Then had to wait 6+ months to get my car after placing my deposit.
      Same for me. Wrote a $5K check to get in queue *before* the sales process was even announced on the 15.5's. I was 3rd in queue at my dealer. Wow! Around that time I test drove a '15 V60 RD. Was fun but suspension was harsh IMHO. No such issues when my P* was delivered 7 months later!
      2015.5 Volvo V60 Polestar #15/80, Matte Rebel Blue
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    14. #12
      Junior Member artizen's Avatar
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      I was able to test drive my 16 P* but only after they knew I had serious intent to buy. It only had 53 miles on it and they had to move several cars to get it out of the showroom. The manager came out to chat with me while they moved it out and explained to me that folks interested in this car care about the number of miles (he was right). I ended up buying it...
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    15. #13
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      The Test Drive

      [I'm biased, I've owned a Volvo for 6 years, and enjoyed it. The P* has been on my radar for quite a while, and this makes me predisposed to like it. I truly believe that it is objectively a great blend of performance and practicality at its price point. But please read my comments with this in mind]

      On Sunday afternoon, we ventured up to Lovering Volvo in Nashua, NH. The temperature was only about 15 F, and this weighed on my mind a bit as we waited for them to bring the car around for our drive. I've read that low temps and performance (summer) tires aren't a great mix, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Turns out, for the type of driving that we did, which was well within the capabilities of the car, no concerns were necessary. Thankfully there was no snow involved.

      Despite initial indications that test drives weren't encouraged, after determining that I was suitably serious about buying a P*, folks at Lovering could not have been any nicer or more accommodating.

      With my intrepid test drive crew in tow, we posed for a quick photo (Or maybe they momentarily froze in place, it was so cold. And of course kids don't wear coats, or so I'm constantly reminded).

      https://photos.google.com/album/AF1Q...SZDs8k9VcmQNVX

      On most drives, I can't stand having a sales rep with me, but this one was an exception. He had planned a route that involved different types of driving, and seemed every bit as excited as we were to go on the drive. He also knew when to stay quiet, which is an underrated skill among sales folks.

      Sitting in the car, it already felt like home, as I have a Sensus-equipped 2011 XC60 3.2 AWD that I've been driving for over 6 years. The seats are legendary in my mind. They fit me so well, and the seats in the P* were even better due to the extra side bolstering. We went through the buttons that on my car are blanks (including the 'bonk your passengers on the head with the headrests' button, my personal favorite). My kids are unfortunately already tired of that joke. To their delight, they discovered that the rear seats are heated (a feature lacking on my car, since we have the boosters).

      Off we went.

      My first impression was that the car doesn't exactly jump off the line. It took me awhile to realize that the auto start/stop was partially responsible for this. Despite not minding this feature in the past (on other cars), I think I agree with others who have commented it doesn't exactly gel with the mission of this car. In any case, it's easy to turn off. So I did. Getting further into the accelerator is quite an experience though, as things get interesting very quickly. I'm certainly no automotive journalist so I'm not sure I can adequately describe the drama of accelerating in this car, but what struck me was that there didn't seem to be much, if any, turbo lag. 60-80 mph passing maneuvers ticked by very quickly. This is quite a contrast to my current car, where there's a hesitation to downshift, a lengthy process of finding the lower gear, and then not nearly as much power once it's engaged.

      But what was easily the most enjoyable part of the car to me is the suspension. Highway driving was no challenge for it, as expected. So, I spent a greater deal of time off the highway during my drive on the frost-heaved, poorly paved roads around Nashua. One road in particular involved a lot of dips/bends as well as off-camber curves. The car ate them up. My first pass on this particular road was somewhat sedate, but as I became a bit more familiar on the second pass, I sped up, and I was really impressed that there was no drama. No leaning, no pitching, just flat cornering and the feel of lateral g-forces. The brakes performed well when I needed them (although I was paying more attention to other things). Looking at the stats, they appear to offer a pretty short stopping distance, improved from the non-Polestar models.

      Looking into the back seat after the drive, the boys were fans. Big smiles all around.

      I enjoyed the drive, and I'm strongly considering moving forward with one of these cars. Even after the next one.


      https://photos.google.com/album/AF1Q...iDV4g6juRVQ6QQ
      We followed up with a drive in this (Porsche Macan GTS).

      Walking into the Porsche showroom is like walking into a car museum. You want to linger at every 911 and even the maligned 718. It's almost a let-down when you have to admit to yourself that, with 3 kids, the only viable models are the SUVs (unless they bring the price of the Panamera Wagon down by half, which doesn't seem likely). The Macan is on the small side for us (the middle seat in back is almost unusable due to the "tunnel"). Luckily my wife has a 7 passenger car, so we could probably get by with it (as mine would never be a car for long trips). I still maintain hope that my future holds a non-SUV Porsche after the kids have moved on to college (scholarships would help).

      On the test drive, we had no sales rep at all in this case, as he quickly agreed to give me the keys and send me on my way (I guess I looked trustworthy). Maybe car sales has changed in the last 6 years. Everyone knows their stuff, and knows how to be hands off. To me, that's a good thing.

      I don't really have a lengthy review to give it, but I'll compare it to the Polestar briefly. My overwhelming feeling was, no matter how good it is (and it is a high performer), it still feels like an SUV. And the buttons... there are buttons for everything, everywhere. Too many. On the plus side, it is quick, and Volvo could learn a lesson from Porsche on exhaust notes. The PSE on the Macan really speaks up when it's turned on, and it sounds better and the volume is louder than the P*. Having said that, I never turned on the stereo in either car, which says something. The seats (optional 14 ways) were surprisingly not far off from the Volvo's on comfort.

      To me, the Volvo wins on suspension. PASM didn't feel as sporty to me (although the ride height doesn't help with that perception). Not to mention, the Porsche is $20k more than a Polestar.

      I believe there are plenty of legitimate reasons to pick the Porsche (especially if you're a fan of in-car tech, as the P* is obviously feeling dated in that area), and if badges are important to you.

      For the areas that are most important to me, I like the Polestar better. My boys were a bit more divided on the issue. They devour car magazines, and Porsches have a substantial place in their heart. The smiles on their faces after the drive in the Polestar couldn't lie, though. They declared it a tie.

      Overall, a great day, and a fun father-kids experience.
      Last edited by greggma; 03-13-2017 at 01:19 PM. Reason: Images not showing up

    16. #14
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      Glad you got to drive the P*and compare it the driver's version of the Macan. In regards to the exhaust note of the P*, you are experiencing the difference of the '17 4 cylinder to the previous years 6 cylinder. The exhaust note on the 6 cylinder P* is one of the best features of the car and why we love our cars so much. The exhaust on the '17 while not bad for a 4 cylinder, just doesn't compare.

      You can hear some of the I6 exhaust here,


      and this is just a long awesome video of the exhaust...
      Current: 2015.5 V60 Polestar Matte Gunpowder #50
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    17. #15
      Senior Member Wayne T5's Avatar
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      Glad you were able to take one for a test drive but man, 15 degrees F and summer tires - could have been a rough ending! Suffice to say the tires would perform much better with temps over 40-50 deg.

      What else are you trying beside the P* and Macan?
      Past: '94 854, '99 S70 T5 SE, '99 S70 GLT, '04 S60R M, '12 S60 T5, '13 S60 T5, '15 S60 RD, '05 V70R GT
      Present: '95 854 T-5R, '06 XC70, '15 XC70 T6, '15.5 XC60 T6, '16 V60 P*

    18. #16
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      P50-
      Yes, I agree. The 6-cyl exhaust sounds better. Even so, I'm considering a '17. Sound is important to me, but I'll take the improved transmission. I'm also not seeing that large of a delta between new and used prices (17 vs pre-17).

      Wayne-
      Sometimes ignorance is better than knowledge:^) I've lived life mostly on all-seasons to this point. That will change going forward if I end up with a P*. With my 2 boys in the back, I didn't do anything too crazy anyway. Just pushed it enough to get a sense of the suspension in corners.

      There's not a lot to cross-shop against. I drool over the E63 wagons, but they're pretty much out of a price range I'm comfortable with (even used). Thought about looking at the F-Pace, but I'm definitely feeling an urge to stay away from SUVs, so I don't know how serious I would be about that. BMW 330 wagons seem overpriced for what you get, but I could try those. Not a lot of ideas. Let me know if you have any. My main constraint is that I have 3 kids, and need to be able to fit the whole family for short trips, at least.

    19. #17
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      You should be able to get a new "leftover" '16 for at least $5k cheaper than a '17. The last people that picked up '16's got them for low $50's. You may just have to have one shipped to you. I'll take a 6 cylinder engine over an 8 speed transmission everyday of the week, but to each their own.

      Summer tires are essentially hard as a rock under 40 degrees and not recommended to be used. There is so much traction and forgiveness in them that you just didn't get to experience.

      Don't be fooled by the BMW 330 wagon. They just changed their names, so it is actually the 328 wagon, with a new name. If it was offered as the now 340, then it would be something to consider but the standard 4 cylinder BMW is a dog. It is to be compared with the base T5 V60. The market is pretty bare for your needs. In reality, the P* is kinda small for you. I was also considering the Macan, E63 and CTS-V wagon when I got my P*. Europe has many other options and even Canada got the C43 Estate.
      Current: 2015.5 V60 Polestar Matte Gunpowder #50
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    20. #18
      Junior Member PhilNeil's Avatar
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      When I got my 2016 a year ago the dealer was still reluctant to let people test drive the P*'s although they were eager to sell them. It seemed to me like they were still stuck in the mindset they had when selling the numbered cars. After I bought my XC90 from them the tune kinda changed and they let me test drive the P* as much as I wanted. I guess it all depends how serious they think you are.
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    21. #19
      Senior Member Wayne T5's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by greggma View Post
      There's not a lot to cross-shop against. I drool over the E63 wagons, but they're pretty much out of a price range I'm comfortable with (even used). Thought about looking at the F-Pace, but I'm definitely feeling an urge to stay away from SUVs, so I don't know how serious I would be about that. BMW 330 wagons seem overpriced for what you get, but I could try those. Not a lot of ideas. Let me know if you have any. My main constraint is that I have 3 kids, and need to be able to fit the whole family for short trips, at least.
      Agree about the lack of competitors. You are sort of in the space vs. sportiness dilemma. I agree with P50GT that this car is probably a bit small for fitting five regularly. I would call it okay for fitting five in a pinch. An E63 has more space but at something like twice the price. Another option would be the upcoming V90 T6 RD with P* tune. Should be larger than the V60 but handling won't hold a candle to the P*.

      I haven't driven a 4 cylinder model so can't comment on the comparison with the 6 cylinder. I would hunt for a used '16 (pretty sure all the new ones are gone at this point) like the ad someone posted the other day - I think it got deleted by a mod - car was on the west coast, electric silver, asking $49k, you probably get it for a few grand less than that but then you have to ship. Don't forget to add the $2k-4k for a winter wheel package.
      Past: '94 854, '99 S70 T5 SE, '99 S70 GLT, '04 S60R M, '12 S60 T5, '13 S60 T5, '15 S60 RD, '05 V70R GT
      Present: '95 854 T-5R, '06 XC70, '15 XC70 T6, '15.5 XC60 T6, '16 V60 P*

    22. #20
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      Quote Originally Posted by Wayne T5 View Post
      I haven't driven a 4 cylinder model so can't comment on the comparison with the 6 cylinder. I would hunt for a used '16 (pretty sure all the new ones are gone at this point) like the ad someone posted the other day - I think it got deleted by a mod - car was on the west coast, electric silver, asking $49k, you probably get it for a few grand less than that but then you have to ship. Don't forget to add the $2k-4k for a winter wheel package.
      OC Volvo in California still has a new black 2016 v60 P*. They still have it listed on their website for 62k, but it's been there for a while and has an orange wrap on it. We ended up getting a 2016 s60 P* for 48 from them, so I don't see why they wouldn't be open to some heavy bargaining.

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