2022 Euro Road Trip [Ask Me Anything]

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dalglir
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Post by dalglir » Fri Aug 05, 2022 1:32 pm

Hallo fellow Volvo XC40 drivers!

We finally put our XC40 PHEV through it's paces, driving ~3,500 miles from Edinburgh, via Eurotunnel, over The Alps to an agriturismo near Florence, including an excursion to Padova (Venice) and daytrips to Florence and San Gimignano.

We left at end of the Scottish school term, avoiding the English term crush at the southern ports by a month. Flexipass tickets for Eurotunnel were more expensive but it removes the worry about getting to Eurotunnel for a specific train and you get waved on to the next available train, whatever time you pitch up (though, still got to go through all the new third country faff at customs and passport control).

Car observations:

Fuel economy: Car was loaded with 3 adults and two teenage children + luggage for a 2 week holiday. We took off the roofbars to reduce drag and inflated the tyres for 'fully loaded'. We treated the car as a 'soft hybrid' for duration of the trip - no plugging in. Generally cruising at 100km/h (62mph). As a result, we were getting ~600 miles out of a 48litre tank of petrol. The regenerative braking throughout the trip was reasonably impressive and coming down the other side of the St Gottard Pass in Switzerland recharged the battery by about 50% :D This is extremely favourable fuel economy in comparison with the last car which was a Skoda Kodiaq with its larger 61litre diesel tank which also got about 600 miles per tank, with careful driving.

Comfort: It's a small car. But big enough to pack 5 people's worth of luggage for two weeks in the boot ("pack light, everyone!") and enough leg room for an elderly passenger in the front and two two stringy teenagers and an adult in the back. the two USB-C charging points in the back fed a pair of Nintendo Switches for the kids, during the long haul stretches of distance. Apart from a measure of stiffness due to sitting down for long periods, everyone was ok. We stopped at interesting looking places on the map for leg stretches.

Downsides: The car ran low on engine coolant at the top of the St Bernardino Pass in Switzerland, on the way back, and asked us to find a safe place to stop. I've made this trip before, in a Skoda Kodiaq, in 2018's ' Heatwave Lucifer' and didn't have a problem, so was genuinely surprised by this. I'd been instructed to use AA cover while abroad (it's a company car) and the AA cancelled the call out after 2 hours of trying to arrange help. We tried Volvo Assist and they came to the rescue.

The only other little blip was my iPhone overheating while using CarPlay navigation in heatwave temperatures but that's not Volvo's fault :lol:

Otherwise, bloody fantastic. Amazing how much you can get in a mini SUV and amazing how much comfort and fuel economy it can provide when most cars would feel cramped and have the fuel economy of a burning oilrig.

Well done Volvo.
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'It's so... black!' said Ford Prefect. 'You can hardly make out its shape... light just seems to fall into it!' Zaphod said nothing. He had simply fallen in love.

Mikeg1
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Post by Mikeg1 » Fri Aug 05, 2022 2:20 pm

Excellent. Our first love is Italy but for our first post Covid holiday with this lad ⬇️ we reverted to France. We've driven to Como before (Karoq!) but that was when Hull>Zee was running. An o/n cabin and a couple o/n's en route meant it was totally do-able. Jack changes the dynamics tho and this time we chose the Loire Valley, via the Tunnel, another first.

Week before the school hols. O/n in a dog friendly Holiday Inn Express in F'stone. Both ways we arrived early and even with a Standard ticket were waived through. 2 hrs early on the return. Had to show pp's but we've always had to. The stamping added 2 seconds. Whole thing inc Pet Reception from arrival to boarding an average of 50mins. That's quicker than we've ever had in 30 yrs of driving to the continent.

Car behaved impeccably throughout and we've increased the ave to 38mpg and up to 48 on individual runs. 2 adults plus Jack and full packing for 2 weeks, tyres given extra puff and Eco selected when I remembered. The pre cool facility came into its own.

Great trip. Glad yours went well too 👍🏻

PS sorry if this sounds like a travel/dog post 😂

20220805_110043.jpg

Mike. West Yorks.

MY22 B4P R Design 8 sp auto, Thunder Grey with Climate, Park Assist, Android Auto, Car Protection & mudflaps, Service Plan.

Ordered 02/11/21, collected 17/11/21

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dalglir
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Post by dalglir » Fri Aug 05, 2022 2:46 pm

Glad you had a great trip! Useful and interesting on dog logistics.

We got a boot check at UK customs and some extra questions from French customs with a manual check against each of the 5 passports for previous stamps to make sure we hadn’t already used up 90 days in the previous 180. Ugh.

Appreciate the dog pic! Handsome looking fella! Dogs always welcome :D
XC40 T5 Recharge Inscription + Smartphone integration

'It's so... black!' said Ford Prefect. 'You can hardly make out its shape... light just seems to fall into it!' Zaphod said nothing. He had simply fallen in love.

Mikeg1
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Post by Mikeg1 » Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:58 pm

dalglir wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 2:46 pm
Glad you had a great trip! Useful and interesting on dog logistics.

We got a boot check at UK customs and some extra questions from French customs with a manual check against each of the 5 passports for previous stamps to make sure we hadn’t already used up 90 days in the previous 180. Ugh.

Appreciate the dog pic! Handsome looking fella! Dogs always welcome :D
Really? We got neither. The only extra step was the stamping.
Mike. West Yorks.

MY22 B4P R Design 8 sp auto, Thunder Grey with Climate, Park Assist, Android Auto, Car Protection & mudflaps, Service Plan.

Ordered 02/11/21, collected 17/11/21

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dalglir
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Post by dalglir » Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:38 pm

Might have to take the ferry next time! :lol:
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'It's so... black!' said Ford Prefect. 'You can hardly make out its shape... light just seems to fall into it!' Zaphod said nothing. He had simply fallen in love.

Beancounter
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Post by Beancounter » Fri Aug 05, 2022 5:40 pm

I’m fortunate to live in France. I have a Carte de Sejour (French residency) and my Yorkie has a French pet passport. Post Brexit travel through the tunnel is easy. Flash the Carte de Sejour and no passport stamps or questions. Straight through.
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Mikeg1
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Post by Mikeg1 » Fri Aug 05, 2022 7:45 pm

We've crossed to the continent dozens of times before and since 2016. Ferries from Dover, Portsmouth, Hull, tunnel from F'stone, air to Dublin, Denmark, Italy, CR, NL. Had to show pp's everytime.

Stamping this time took seconds.

We've no desire to live abroad so the AHC works fine for us.
Mike. West Yorks.

MY22 B4P R Design 8 sp auto, Thunder Grey with Climate, Park Assist, Android Auto, Car Protection & mudflaps, Service Plan.

Ordered 02/11/21, collected 17/11/21

Mikeg1
Posts: 344
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2021 7:14 pm

Post by Mikeg1 » Fri Aug 05, 2022 7:48 pm

dalglir wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:38 pm
Might have to take the ferry next time! :lol:
Not sure a ferry is an option for a dog, hence the tunnel for us this time. Been 20yrs since we've been anywhere nr Dover. It'll be the tunnel or UK now.
Mike. West Yorks.

MY22 B4P R Design 8 sp auto, Thunder Grey with Climate, Park Assist, Android Auto, Car Protection & mudflaps, Service Plan.

Ordered 02/11/21, collected 17/11/21

eugen61
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Post by eugen61 » Sat Aug 06, 2022 12:39 pm

dalglir wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 1:32 pm

The only other little blip was my iPhone overheating while using CarPlay navigation in heatwave temperatures
I have the same problem and the only solution I found is to place the iPhone on the AC vent using a MagSafe holder. CarPlay is ruining the iPhone battery on the long run, keeping it continuously charged at 100% and overheating.

Mikeg1
Posts: 344
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2021 7:14 pm

Post by Mikeg1 » Sat Aug 06, 2022 5:17 pm

An iPhone/CarPlay thing?

Never had that with a Pixel plugged in and running AA, whilst charging.
Mike. West Yorks.

MY22 B4P R Design 8 sp auto, Thunder Grey with Climate, Park Assist, Android Auto, Car Protection & mudflaps, Service Plan.

Ordered 02/11/21, collected 17/11/21

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