GirlDriver, USA

GirlDriver, USA
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Monday, May 23, 2011

Beyond Slackers

It’s pretty hard to top a Slackers burger accompanied by sweet potato fries followed by a drive through Capitol Reef National Park. So we don’t try. It’s getting late and we are expected to be at the Gateway Resort Tuesday afternoon. We head for the interstate 70 north of Moab and Arches National Park and drive for three more hours until we reach the resort in Colorado, near Grand Junction. Our gas mileage throughout the trip has averaged between 24.4 and 24.9. Total miles: 917. The XC60 prices range from $33,500 with destination to over $42,000.
Volvo’s three XC models are not brand new. But they represent 50% of Volvo sales in America, so the point of asking journalists to drive these vehicles for a week is to give them a lifestyle positioning. I wonder if consumers care if a car is a brand new design or a mid life-cycle update—or if the companies push the impulse to buy a brand new model because they throw millions of marketing dollars at it and don’t give the older model any marketing support.
At this resort, Gateway, we are invited to participate in any of the outdoor (or be outdoorsy, if you want to spin it as lifestyle) activities that are offered. Phil and I have both chosen to go for a little clip clop atop a horse, so Wednesday morning we set out, me on Melody, a spirited little quarter horse and he on Splash, a big comfortable Percheron cross. Amy, our trail boss, is full of information about the geology, history and local color of our location so we learn about the first rancher families of Gateway and the rock formations that surround us in the canyon. Well into the ride, it starts to thunder. We can add another 20 minutes onto our ride or head back. Although I feel like a sissy, I’m suffering from day two of a heavy cold, it is freezing on the trail (it’s not rain, it’s sleet) so we head back and give our horses back to their pasture. We drive XC70 T6 with all-wheel drive and the 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder turbocharged engine with 300 horsepower and 325 lb.-ft. torque. It also comes with a 3.2-liter inline 6-cylinder engine with 240 horsepower and a ULEV emissions rating and a 230 horsepower with PZEV emissions rating. All-wheel drive with Instant TractionTM is optional on the 3.2.
The technology package on this car speaks to Volvo’s leadership in safety. It’s got Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Collision Warning with Auto Brake (CWAB), Distance Alert (DA) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW). In other words if you drop the ball and lose focus, its got your back. The XC70 prices range from around $33,500 to $39,000 with destination. Pretty good stuff.

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