I always remember the story my husband told me about one of his young ex-colleagues. This guy obtained his driving licence in his late teens and was allowed to drive his parents’ car.
However, he got involved in a few accidents and in the end, his mom was so fed up that she went out and bought a Volvo – because Volvo cars are supposed to be built for safety.
Somehow, that story stayed in my mind. Perhaps because it was the first time I heard of someone choosing a car based on how safe it is. I know that is important, but for me, it had been about the design, the engine, how spacious it is etc. Safety? I felt that should be about the driver’s skills and his/her carefulness.
Until, I became a mom. Being a mom changes everything.
Now I can imagine how that guy’s mother must have felt (then again, I may just stop letting my son drive the family car altogether!).
So when I was invited to test drive the Volvo V40 Cross Country, I immediately said yes. Even though we aren’t looking for a change of car and we are already driving a continental car.
It was a bright sunny Sunday morning when we arrived at the Volvo showroom along Alexandra Road.
We were first invited to a presentation about Volvo (where I learnt amongst various information that Volvo is the company that came up with the 3-point safety belt that is now used in all vehicles) and the V40 Cross Country. Various features stood out for me:
Land Keeping Aid – to help you stay on course
This feature helps driver stay in the intended lane. The forward-looking camera monitors the left and right lane markings. Lane Keeping Aid registers the car’s progress between the lane markings and takes action if the driver shows signs of unintentionally drifting out of the lane by applying gentle steering wheel torque to help the driver steer back onto the intended course.
Road Sign Information – an extra “eye” on the traffic environment
Road Sign Information supports the driver by displaying road signs in the instrument display. The forward-looking camera can detect speed limit signs as well as “no overtaking” signs. The road sign icon is shown until another sign is detected.
Road Sign Information can be combined with the Speed Alert function, which provides the driver with a visual warning in the speedometer if the speed limit is exceeded.
Driver Alert Control – detecting and warning tired drivers
Driver Alert Control is designed to detect and warn tired drivers. The system can also cover other situations where the driver is distracted.
Driver Alert Control consists of a camera, a number of sensors and a control unit. The camera continuously measures the distance between the car and the road lane markings. The sensors register the car’s movements. The control unit stores the information and calculates whether the driver risks losing control of the vehicle.
If the risk is assessed as high, the driver is alerted via an audible signal. A text message appears in the car’s information display, displaying a coffee cup symbol to advise him or her to take a break.
Volvo is so much into safety that you can even opt for a pedestrian airbag technology (optional) – which is a world first. In the event of an accident with a pedestrian, an airbag will be deployed, covering the area under the raised bonnet plus about a third of the windscreen and lower part of the A-pillar. Like the safety belt, this may one day become a feature common in all vehicles too?
Then, we were shown the actual car we were going to test drive…
I love its sporty, rugged lines, which is enhanced by the raw copper metallic color. More pictures of the car’s exterior and interior below.
For the test drive, hubby was the one who took over the wheels. Kenan would not have allowed me to drive, he always expect me to sit with him in the back whenever we are out as a family.
I almost forgot to mention about the sun roof. Kenan was thrilled when daddy opened it up!
The destination of our test drive was the Resorts World Sentosa. There, we were treated to a trip at the S.E.A. Aquarium. This was our second visit and this time, we got to meet the dolphins!
It was pouring when we came out. We decided to have lunch at Hard Rock Cafe before heading back to the showroom. Kenan had a treat when a balloonist was in the café to entertain children. I’m told the balloonist will be there every Sunday during lunch (from noon). Despite not being a fan of Hard Rock Cafe, this alone is good enough reason for me to return for a family meal!
Can you tell what cartoon character was that? The balloonist made ‘Thomas the Train’ for Kenan! Well, it’s not the most look-alike Thomas the Train but I applaud the balloonist for his creativity! He was quite good with kids too.
Thank you, Volvo for the test drive and the trip to S.E.A Aquarium!
For more information on the Volvo V40 Cross Country, check out their website.