COAL# 37: 2012 Volvo S60 T6 AWD – Volvo’s New Mantra

After the Land Cruiser went to live with my dad for a while, it was not long until I stumbled onto something else. I had checked the Little Rock Craigslist, and found this sharp looking S60.  I was at first a little taken back because it was a 2012 with only 77,000 miles on it, for $9,000. I knew that Volvos aren’t great at holding their values, but could this really have depreciated that much? It had a clean title and looked almost new. So of course I shot the seller a message, and she replied to me the story behind it.

She was a pediatric oncologist at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, and had bought it new in 2012 with her husband. They had moved to Arkansas about a year prior from Kansas City, and the car had come with a folder full of records all from Volvo of Overland Park. She explained that she was going through a nasty divorce and she wanted to get rid of this car to prevent him from taking anything in the divorce settlement. She had a really nice Audi that she drove, and another Volvo. She explained that the car was black (same color as my old S80 V8) and had some scratches from her dogs, but it was a great car. I didn’t haggle with her, and told her I would be down the following weekend to get it. It just so happens that I was going to Dallas with my grandfather to pick up his Overseas Delivery C70. He was getting rid of his 2012 C70 for a 2013 that was a lot cooler. So we would drive to Dallas, get his car, and travel through Little Rock on the way home.

Once we got my grandfather’s car we headed straight to Little Rock so that we could make it home in time. I met the seller in Little Rock at a McDonald’s that admittingly was not in the best part of town. I drove the car down the block and all seemed well, and I watched as she counted out the cash outside the car (looking back that was not smart). The journey home was great! Two guys with grins on their faces driving their new Volvos. It really could not have been a better weekend.

Like I mentioned before, this was the same color as my S80 that I regrettably sold. This S60 was the top of the line with every option boxed checked when it was new. It had the upgraded brown/orange leather, 4C active suspension, front facing camera, AWD, lane departure warning, blind spot, pre-collision avoidance, and navigation. This car was optioned almost the exact same as my 2012 XC60 that I had. If you remember the 4C suspension was a cool, but costly feature in the long run. It really helped smooth out the ride, and is always cool to see in different Volvos. This also had the 45 degree front facing camera like my XC60 had, which didn’t provide much use, but again cool to see.

My plans with this car was to drive for a while, and then sell. I had gotten it at such a good deal that I thought it would be a great opportunity to make some money. I drove it for several months and noticed a few things on the car. The most interesting of which was the keyless entry system. Unlike most of the other Volvos with this option that had a rubber button you pressed to lock the car, this had an indention on the door handle and you just placed your finger there and it locked. Well, this idea sounds cool, but over time they had a tendency to stop working. Some doors worked, other didn’t (this car had it to where you could lock/unlock the car at any door). You could always unlock the car, because this function didn’t involve the groove on the door handle but simply pulling on it and it would open. I looked up this problem and it seems to be a common occurrence with just this type in the S60’s. I never bothered to fix it because it was crazy expensive to replace, and not only that, but you had to paint them and take it to a dealer to sync up the key. Forget that; I can just unlock my car with the button on the key fob.

Other than this major thing the car was a great car. It did suffer from jerky transmission shifts like most S60’s and XC60’s did of this generation, but I hear you can get a software update to correct this. I was a little bummed though as one day I was driving it and the XM radio cut out. The seller told me that I could enjoy the XM radio as long as her soon to be ex-husband didn’t figure out he was paying for it. Oh well, I had a good run listening to 90’s on 9.

After several months of driving it, I decided it was time to move on and sell it. I threw the car up on Craigslist for more than what I paid for it, but still reasonably priced. I was able to sell it in a weekend to a PhD student at the University of Arkansas. He had some pretty fancy BMWs where he was from in Iraq, so it was cool to chat with him a bit about his cars. He seemed really pleased with the car, and I made a little money so it was a win, win. On to the next one.