To borrow a line from another automaker, the Volvo S60 has the power to surprise – it’s likely not top of mind for most entry-level luxury sedan buyers, but it’s good enough that it probably should be. There’s long been one pretty serious chink in its armor, though, and that goes for the company’s entire model line: infotainment. The Swedish marque’s offerings just haven’t been that feature-rich, but Volvo is working to improve things with its updated Sensus Connect, a suite of functions just launched at this week’s CES in Las Vegas.
The new system updates center on cloud-based connectivity advancements that include a novel Park&Pay feature that allows drivers to search for parking and pay for their space from the comfort of their car. Other functions that show off the diversity of Sensus Connect include embedded, Pandora-streaming internet radio, Wikipedia, remote start via smart phone, dealer appointment booking, destination attraction searches and an available wifi hotspot.
All of this increased functionality sounds like a big step in the right direction, and Volvo is noting it has refreshed the system’s interface with “graphically themed center and driver displays” along with improved voice control and text-to-speech capabilities.
Despite all of these enhancements, we still see Volvo having some way to go in creating a top-flight navigation and infotainment suite. The Sensus control scheme has always taken a bit of getting used to, and its seven-inch screen is starting to look a bit small. Perhaps these issues will be addressed with the forthcoming all-new XC90 crossover and subsequent models, but until then, these Sensus Connect updates should help close the gap with competitors. You can expect to see the new system in all new Volvos this May, with existing Sensus Connect owners able to get an upgrade. For now, scroll down to view a couple of videos and view the press release.
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CES: Volvo launches next-gen Sensus Connect infotainment system [w/videos]