it’s no Miata, but the Volvo did pretty well carving through the snow and dirt on it’s first spontaneous day trip. We drove 200 miles round-trip, and averaged 28mpg!!!

I’ve been getting 17-18mpg average with my normal driving, which consists of tons of short trips in the suburbs. I’m honestly shocked to see how huge of a difference highway driving made. Especially when that includes offroading and high elevations.

Speaking of which.... Oh man. This engine was really bogging down as the elevation climbed. I’ve never noticed that with the Miata. Getting into boost made the issue dissappear immediately, but I had to stay in boost just to maintain speed once I was at Steven’s Pass.

200 miles and I walked out feeling fresh and uncramped. This is the first time in years I’ve used cruise control, and oh man. It felt like the future.

Quick thoughts...

The 850 isn’t nearly as confidence-inspiring in the snow as the Miata. That’s not to say it’s bad... It’s just that the Miata is near-telepathic with it’s inputs and will instantly relay to you everything that’s happening.

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The 850 also doesn’t have that same sense of unshakeability that the 08 Outback had. Now, with the Suburu driving was not fun. Ever. But it was equally un-fun in all conditions. Pouring rain, snowstorm, hurricane, ice... Doesn’t matter. The Subaru just fuckin’ drove. Completely unbothered. If anything it was annoyed that something so small and puny as “the weather” would even have the audacity to think itself capable of keeping the Subaru from plodding onward.

The Volvo seems... Unsure of itself. It’s got this weird combo of cornering flatter than most sports cars, yet still having a very utilitarian steering feel. It CAN hit apexes and carve some serious corner. But it would rather go around the bend at 7/10ths, only pushing your head back into the seat once the road straightens out. Traction is a bit strange. I felt like I was occasionally spinning tires when driving through the pass, and I felt like I was going pretty slow. Boost would rise but I wouldn’t get that forward momentum I was expecting. But if I was spinning, it didn’t *do* anything. No “oh shit” moments. No oversteer. No understeer. And while I felt slow, I’d look down and be doing 70mph—10 over the limit—as snow fell from the sky onto the salted yet still icy road.

FWD is weird.

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