Monday, September 26, 2016

13 Hours (Action 2016)

Not too bad of a movie. It was reminiscent of American Sniper meets Blackhawk Down. Story, acting, and firefights were all pretty good and believable; well worth a rental. If you've seen any current period war movies then you already know what to look forward to. I think it was only in the theaters for a few weeks, but it probably should've been there for a bit longer. It's always a toss up with films that get pulled too early; they usually suck too bad or they need to make room for a more mainstream film, but I'd say that this one was on par with the rest of them.
Rating - B

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Out With the Volvo

So after a little under a year of ownership, I decided to move on from my 2015 S60 and this brand. The car was fine, but there were small issues that kept on adding up. The car never left me stranded, but everyone has their tipping point. Here are all the takeaways:

Pros
  • Real leather and super comfy seats. I've sat in other luxury cars and I do have to say that the Volvo seats were pretty darn good in comparison with more expensive vehicles.
  • Fairly decent MPG for the amount of HP the car had. 26 MPGish with close to 280 HP
  • Pretty quiet ride on all types of roads, especially highway
  • Acceleration with the turbo was excellent. This car was never slow and I rarely ever felt it change gears.
Cons
  • No dipstick. It had an electronic dipstick that could only be accessed if you went into a secret mode with the key fob and push-button start. On top of this, it wasn't accurate and would not give actual readings, only binary reports (OK, Overfilled, Under)
  • The headlights were quick detachable, but the battery was totally under 2 plastic covers and a strut bar, WTF. Who replaces headlights that often? The design of the headlights was good, but with the battery being so difficult to get at, it goes to show the twisted mentality of the design team
  • Uses crazy torx screws instead of a phillips or regular sockets
  • The steering wheel controls were reversed. Usually the audio controls of most cars will be on the left-hand side but on the Volvo it was on the right. Still confused me 'till the last day.
  • Doesn't have a quick detach design for the engine or cabin air filter
  • The brakes were mushy and the pedal always went down as if the master brake cylinder was losing pressure. Additionally the braking distance sucked and it felt like there was way too much weight that needed to be stopped
  • The auto-start/stop for the newly-designed Drive-E engine was totally annoying and rarely ever engaged when I wanted it to. It caused more problems than anything and I usually just turned it off when I got into the car. In hot weather it was non-functional, so good for me but kinda crappy of a design
  • The windshield washers didn't spray in a fan pattern, it only shot 3 straight streams of fluid. Very old school and not very useful in cleaning
  • There was no spare tire (call me old fashioned)
  • There was next to no real storage if both cup holders were being used
  • The rubber fins for the cup holders broke off too easily. 70% of mine were busted off
  • The USB MP3 slot would not read any songs that were purchased off of Google Play, only ripped MP3s or Amazon Music
  • And the biggest problem that annoyed me to death was that after a mandatory software upgrade, my infotainment system would randomly stop working. You would be listening to music and then all of a sudden it would just stop. Nothing would work, no steering wheel controls or directly on the console. Power-cycing the system or the car itself would not help either. You would have to wait until the car decided that it wanted to work. To make matters worse, when this would happen, the backup parking sensors and the blind spot monitoring system would also cease to function because I think they are all part of the same circuit or system. I could've brought it into the dealership for warranty work if it was actively happening, but you know how dealerships are with any intermittent issues; if they don't see it, it didn't happen
So yeah all in all I just wasn't happy with the car anymore. I felt like I was driving a quickly depreciating vehicle and that it would be better to change over to something else while it still retained some value. Even though I didn't have a garage to work on the car, it was annoying to know that so many things I wouldn't be able to touch or tinker with because of the design of the automobile. I guess some brands are just like that, but older Volvos you could mess with. Since I'm still waiting for the release and subsequent reviews of either the Toyota C-HR or Honda Civic 5-Door Hatchback, or for a house purchase so I can get a Nissan Leaf, I decided to get a sporty, impractical car temporarily. You only live once, right?