XC90 [Volvo XC90 SUV]

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xnaworhop
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XC90 [Volvo XC90 SUV]

Post by xnaworhop » Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:20 pm

Long time reader first time poster. I am in the market for a new SUV and want *first hand* opinions about this SUV. I would like to keep the discussion on track, so I am asking specific questions, and hope that I get specific answers. I have learned a great deal reading up on this forum and would really appreciate some feedback here.

I am staying away from XC90-specific forums since the members while knowledgeable, seem to have a bias. Understandably so, they bought the car. I am interested in more honest (hopefully unbiased) responses from financially-savvy members here.

I am looking at either 2.5T or 3.2 liter version. I am aware that this is an old design and a new one is coming up in 2016. I am also aware that 3.2 is going to be low on power, and I am willing to take the hit there, as I place more premium on other things (see below). 2.5T seems to have good longevity but its hard to get low miles vehicle, since they have been out of production for a while. Do you have either of these XC90s? Over the years what expenses have you had on these vehicles for non-routine maintenance items? I would be very interested in out-of-warranty expenses, especially for the 2.5T, since I can not (and don't plan to) buy any warranty -- unless I get a CPO with acceptable offer (money-wise) from dealers.

Volvo gives a 12 year rust warranty on their vehicles -- how good does the vehicle hold up, especially in the rust belt? This is where I think non-XC90 Volvo owners can chime in. I like in an area where they use salt like theres no tomorrow. How does that affect the underside of your vehicle?

Most people have multiple cars in their family, or have had other cars. How do you think XC90 compare to other cars they have had? Again, I am concerned mostly about the reliability of these cars, and how do the electronics, and the interior holds up on them.

I come from a Japanese cars ownership and they have served me well. This one (XC90) has always been a long standing favorite of mine. However, I would like some opinions from like-minded folks here before deciding to go ahead and buy (or not buy!) the vehicle.

rallycobra
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Re: XC90

Post by rallycobra » Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:24 pm

My parents have a 2008 XC90 with a v8. Utterly bulletproof. I'm in the market for one as a 3rd car. Check http://www.iihs.org for crash test data. Safest vehicle on the road. The new Acura MDX has similar test results, but will run around 50k.

I suggest the v8. They came heavily optioned with a 3rd row, and get very similar mileage to the underpowered 3.2. Get a 2007 or later, as they had a few upgrades. Biggest weakness is no bluetooth, so you need to search the forums and learn how to add in a Motorola or Parrot with the volvo module to mute the radio and take over the front speakers.
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Rosebud
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Re: XC90

Post by Rosebud » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:33 pm

In 2008, I bought a Certified Pre-Owned 2004 Volvo 2.5T XC90. I haven't put many miles on the car (current odometer is less than 70,000 miles) and awhile ago there was a message that the Anti-Skid device needed service. The dealer told me it would cost $3,200 to repair, but that I didn't need to repair it. I chose not to repair it at that time and the message went away shortly after that.

Other than that significant possible expense, the car has been very reliable and most of the expenses have been oil changes and other routine maintenance. It has an extremely comfortable ride that always feels to me to be far more stable on the highway than when I'm riding in cars owned by my friends. The seats are great, it handles far better than I expected and the pickup is also better than I thought it would be. The interior has held up very well.

In the past I have owned Volvos, an Audi, a BMW, several Porsches and several MGs (many years ago). This is by far my favorite car and almost everyone who rides in it says that they really like the car. It feels very solid and safe. About 15 years ago I had a Volvo 240 and hit a wheel that had fallen off the back of a truck while I was in the middle of a 5-land highway. It was impossible to swerve to miss it because there was traffic in the lanes on either side of me and not enough time to stop. My car went over the wheel (as did two cars in front of me) and it punctured two tires and broke the tie rods, but other than that it just nosedived to a stop on the highway and there was very little visible damage. The insurance fixed the car and I drove it for another 5 or so years. I always thought the result might have been different if I had been in a car that was less stable.

Best wishes for a successful car purchase!

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jimb_fromATL
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Re: XC90

Post by jimb_fromATL » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:48 pm

Be aware that a lot of auto industry folks are predicting that 2014 may be Volvo's last year in the US because they aren't selling enough vehicles to justify supporting the US dealer sales and parts network.

So you can't count on the long-term warranty, or for that matter, any warranty. If they fold their tents in the US as predicted, it may turn out like when SAAB went belly-up when a lot of folks found themselves with relatively expensive cars that gave more than average problems, but had no dealer network or parts supply to repair 'em -- and thus had no resale value.

I'd suggest that you strongly consider the similar SUVs from other manufacturers that ARE selling well -- which are also the ones that are keeping Volvo from being able to compete in the US market place.

jimb

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Rosebud
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Re: XC90

Post by Rosebud » Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:02 pm

What jimb_fromATL says is something to consider. I bought my car from the oldest Volvo dealer in the United States. They had two sales locations and just recently they closed the original location, although they are maintaining another local location. I had not heard the rumors he mentions, but it would not surprise me if they turn out to be true at some point. I've had my car for quite a few years and there are a number of auto repair shops that do full service on Volvos in the SF Bay Area. There are many Volvos of all ages floating around Berkeley and San Francisco, so I'm not concerned about my car but I would give it some thought before buying a new Volvo.

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mudfud
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Re: XC90

Post by mudfud » Mon Aug 04, 2014 11:25 pm

I bought a 2.5T XC90 nine years ago, and I'm still driving it. It's easily the best vehicle I've ever owned. Other brands that we have driven are Acura, Subaru, BMW and Audi.

We have undertaken numerous cross-county trips (some 5000 mile plus) with great comfort and ease.

We have had two issues since we bought it. In 2006 we replaced the CD-changer (under warranty; the CDs were getting stuck). In 2007 we replaced a defective brake sensor (which generated a false positive service message). So not perfect, but not too bad.

We live in an area with plenty of snow, and lots of salt, but no issues with rust. The XC90 is quite good in the snow (I do use Nokian tires year-round).

As you noted, the new XC90 will be released soon (Spring 2015): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoSo49mUDmo. I'm planning to replace my 2.5T with the new model next summer.

Best,

Mud
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xnaworhop
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Re: XC90

Post by xnaworhop » Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:12 pm

mudfud wrote:I bought a 2.5T XC90 nine years ago, and I'm still driving it. It's easily the best vehicle I've ever owned. Other brands that we have driven are Acura, Subaru, BMW and Audi.

We have had two issues since we bought it. In 2006 we replaced the CD-changer (under warranty; the CDs were getting stuck). In 2007 we replaced a defective brake sensor (which generated a false positive service message). So not perfect, but not too bad.
Mud
Exactly the kind of response I am looking for. Since I am contemplating on buying something that is possibly 8+ years old (2.5T last model year) I am curious how long term the car holds, most importantly the interior, electronics etc. I am glad to hear the responses. I am happy to see that you also have had other vehicles which I consider reliable (subaru, acura) and don't see you complaining about XC90's reliability not being too shoddy.

xnaworhop
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Re: XC90

Post by xnaworhop » Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:14 pm

Rosebud wrote: Other than that significant possible expense, the car has been very reliable and most of the expenses have been oil changes and other routine maintenance. It has an extremely comfortable ride that always feels to me to be far more stable on the highway than when I'm riding in cars owned by my friends. The seats are great, it handles far better than I expected and the pickup is also better than I thought it would be. The interior has held up very well.
Thanks.
That is one point that keeps on coming up about the comfort of these seats. I am glad to see that yours also was a 2.5T and that it was as reliable as it has been for you.

ResearchMed
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Re: XC90

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:33 pm

We've got a 2004 XC90, and have had Volvos since 1969 (with a couple of years out for a single lemon of a Saab).

Previous Volvo was a sedan, lasted 14 years, til the starter kept not starting, usually late at night in odd places. No one could find the problem.
So I got an XC90, now 10 years old.

I got a stripped down version (and have been sorry: a few conveniences would have been nice after all).

It has not aged as well as the previous Volvos we've each had.

The one thing we dislike is the jolting ride over potholes. That probably wouldn't be a problem in areas without the constant freeze/thaw cycles that make for bad roads.
DH's previous Volvo (a2002 S80) managed to have a HORRIBLE suspension within about 3 years, and apparently nothing could be done.

We've also had in general more problems with this XC90 than with any previous Volvo.
Mostly it's been suspension related, but all over the car, including some oddball places that are extremely expensive to get to, in order to replace the ~$20 part, etc. Not good.
It handles WONDERFULLY in the snow/ice, which is important where we live. It just plows on through berms that the city plows leave at the entrance to our nicely plowed driveway, for example.

In looking at new car ratings, we were surprised that the XC60 seemed to have dynamite reviews and safety ratings, but apparently not the XC90 anymore (but we didn't look too closely at the XC90 info).
We test drove an XC60, and it was wonderfully peppy, but the comparison isn't fair, because the engine is so much more powerful - so no surprise there.

One thing that REALLY matters to us is the safety rating.
Whatever we get next, it will be among the safest we can find.

Both of us are in the "Volvo for Life" "club".
DH was hit by a teen who floored it, and admitted to the police that he "never looked left" as he crossed into the cross traffic, yes, from the left.
In a different Volvo, I was rear ended while stopped on a normally high-speed road by a driver who was... what... asleep? She plowed right into me without ever braking (per police as well as my recollection). Sounded like an explosion. I remember the rescue crew asking "Are you always this pale, Ma'am?" and then I remember waking up in the hospital, with less damage than would have been expected. Same for the car. The other driver's car was apparently a pile of metal under my Volvo. IF my car's gas tank had been located differently...

We'll go for safety for the next 2 cars, but we might finally choose something other than a Volvo.

RM

xnaworhop
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Re: XC90

Post by xnaworhop » Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:41 pm

ResearchMed wrote:We've got a 2004 XC90, and have had Volvos since 1969 (with a couple of years out for a single lemon of a Saab).

Previous Volvo was a sedan, lasted 14 years, til the starter kept not starting, usually late at night in odd places. No one could find the problem.
So I got an XC90, now 10 years old.

I got a stripped down version (and have been sorry: a few conveniences would have been nice after all).

It has not aged as well as the previous Volvos we've each had.

The one thing we dislike is the jolting ride over potholes. That probably wouldn't be a problem in areas without the constant freeze/thaw cycles that make for bad roads.
DH's previous Volvo (a2002 S80) managed to have a HORRIBLE suspension within about 3 years, and apparently nothing could be done.

We've also had in general more problems with this XC90 than with any previous Volvo.
Mostly it's been suspension related, but all over the car, including some oddball places that are extremely expensive to get to, in order to replace the ~$20 part, etc. Not good.
It handles WONDERFULLY in the snow/ice, which is important where we live. It just plows on through berms that the city plows leave at the entrance to our nicely plowed driveway, for example.

In looking at new car ratings, we were surprised that the XC60 seemed to have dynamite reviews and safety ratings, but apparently not the XC90 anymore (but we didn't look too closely at the XC90 info).
We test drove an XC60, and it was wonderfully peppy, but the comparison isn't fair, because the engine is so much more powerful - so no surprise there.

One thing that REALLY matters to us is the safety rating.
Whatever we get next, it will be among the safest we can find.

Both of us are in the "Volvo for Life" "club".
DH was hit by a teen who floored it, and admitted to the police that he "never looked left" as he crossed into the cross traffic, yes, from the left.
In a different Volvo, I was rear ended while stopped on a normally high-speed road by a driver who was... what... asleep? She plowed right into me without ever braking (per police as well as my recollection). Sounded like an explosion. I remember the rescue crew asking "Are you always this pale, Ma'am?" and then I remember waking up in the hospital, with less damage than would have been expected. Same for the car. The other driver's car was apparently a pile of metal under my Volvo. IF my car's gas tank had been located differently...

We'll go for safety for the next 2 cars, but we might finally choose something other than a Volvo.

RM
Was this the turbo version (2.5T)?

ResearchMed
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Re: XC90

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:49 pm

xnaworhop wrote:
ResearchMed wrote:We've got a 2004 XC90, and have had Volvos since 1969 (with a couple of years out for a single lemon of a Saab).

Previous Volvo was a sedan, lasted 14 years, til the starter kept not starting, usually late at night in odd places. No one could find the problem.
So I got an XC90, now 10 years old.

I got a stripped down version (and have been sorry: a few conveniences would have been nice after all).

It has not aged as well as the previous Volvos we've each had.

The one thing we dislike is the jolting ride over potholes. That probably wouldn't be a problem in areas without the constant freeze/thaw cycles that make for bad roads.
DH's previous Volvo (a2002 S80) managed to have a HORRIBLE suspension within about 3 years, and apparently nothing could be done.

We've also had in general more problems with this XC90 than with any previous Volvo.
Mostly it's been suspension related, but all over the car, including some oddball places that are extremely expensive to get to, in order to replace the ~$20 part, etc. Not good.
It handles WONDERFULLY in the snow/ice, which is important where we live. It just plows on through berms that the city plows leave at the entrance to our nicely plowed driveway, for example.

In looking at new car ratings, we were surprised that the XC60 seemed to have dynamite reviews and safety ratings, but apparently not the XC90 anymore (but we didn't look too closely at the XC90 info).
We test drove an XC60, and it was wonderfully peppy, but the comparison isn't fair, because the engine is so much more powerful - so no surprise there.

One thing that REALLY matters to us is the safety rating.
Whatever we get next, it will be among the safest we can find.

Both of us are in the "Volvo for Life" "club".
DH was hit by a teen who floored it, and admitted to the police that he "never looked left" as he crossed into the cross traffic, yes, from the left.
In a different Volvo, I was rear ended while stopped on a normally high-speed road by a driver who was... what... asleep? She plowed right into me without ever braking (per police as well as my recollection). Sounded like an explosion. I remember the rescue crew asking "Are you always this pale, Ma'am?" and then I remember waking up in the hospital, with less damage than would have been expected. Same for the car. The other driver's car was apparently a pile of metal under my Volvo. IF my car's gas tank had been located differently...

We'll go for safety for the next 2 cars, but we might finally choose something other than a Volvo.

RM
Was this the turbo version (2.5T)?
No, not the Turbo version, although that was also a choice back then.
Perhaps surprisingly, getting onto highways and up to speed, etc., has not been a problem at all.

The suspension on both of our cars (2002 S80 and 2004 XC90) deteriorated rapidly. Some folks at the dealer acknowledge it's a problem, others not so much...
I didn't notice anything like this on any of the previous Volvos, but maybe out bodies were younger and "went with the flow" better??

If we do end up with something other than a Volvo, it will only be with mixed feelings and AFTER test driving a bunch of other choices.
And of course, there's no guarantee that the potholes here won't do the same thing to some other car, so it's tricky.
But something was different, and not in a good way, about both of these. It's gotten much worse, slowly. Problem is, it's not something we'd be able to detect when test driving. So we'll probably try to test drive some older models, even if that's not what we'd be purchasing - and that might be nothing like newer models, regardless of car manufacturer.

RM

jdb
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Re: XC90

Post by jdb » Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:00 pm

Not to digress but as a very satisfied owner of XC60 for going on five years suggest that you test drive that vehicle before deciding on the older XC90 model.

xnaworhop
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Re: XC90

Post by xnaworhop » Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:26 pm

jdb wrote:Not to digress but as a very satisfied owner of XC60 for going on five years suggest that you test drive that vehicle before deciding on the older XC90 model.
I know its older model but we do really need the third row. I can live with older technology but I am more frustrated if vehicles need more than normal/expected maintenance items.

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hand
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Re: XC90

Post by hand » Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:40 pm

As a recent purchaser of a late model XC90 (3.2 I6) my impressions are as follows:

This is a quality people mover with a generous amount of well appointed interior space, and while engine power and handling are sufficient for typical use, there is little risk of confusing with the power / handling characteristics of a sports car. Vehicle design seems to have prioritized safety and longevity, at the expense of heavier weight, lower fuel economy and greater wear and tear on tires, brakes, and suspension.

I'm optimistic that with proper maintenance, our car will last at least 200k miles and be a safe haven for my family, though that safety and longevity will come at a substantial cost in terms of gas, tires, brakes and suspension.

At this point, I would happily buy again.

Browser
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Re: XC90

Post by Browser » Tue Aug 05, 2014 2:19 pm

hand wrote:As a recent purchaser of a late model XC90 (3.2 I6) my impressions are as follows:

This is a quality people mover with a generous amount of well appointed interior space, and while engine power and handling are sufficient for typical use, there is little risk of confusing with the power / handling characteristics of a sports car. Vehicle design seems to have prioritized safety and longevity, at the expense of heavier weight, lower fuel economy and greater wear and tear on tires, brakes, and suspension.

I'm optimistic that with proper maintenance, our car will last at least 200k miles and be a safe haven for my family, though that safety and longevity will come at a substantial cost in terms of gas, tires, brakes and suspension.

At this point, I would happily buy again.
I'm fascinated by the several comments from Volvo owners in this thread that the things have some rather crummy characteristics (such as being gas hogs, having lousy suspension) but people love them anyway. I have the feeling there must be Volvo people and then there is everybody else. :)
We don't know where we are, or where we're going -- but we're making good time.

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Rosebud
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Re: XC90

Post by Rosebud » Tue Aug 05, 2014 2:29 pm

Browser wrote:
hand wrote:As a recent purchaser of a late model XC90 (3.2 I6) my impressions are as follows:

I'm fascinated by the several comments from Volvo owners in this thread that the things have some rather crummy characteristics (such as being gas hogs, having lousy suspension) but people love them anyway. I have the feeling there must be Volvo people and then there is everybody else. :)
My car to date actually has great suspension. It rides very smoothly and handles potholes the way I would expect it to. You know you've hit a pothole, but it is not overly disturbing. It is a gas hog and initially I was dismayed; however, the car is so incredibly comfortable, roomy and handles so well that I don't really think about gas all that much. Initially, I was worried that a very large SUV would not handle well since I had owned a number of sports cars over the years. I was pleasantly surprised with the way it handles.

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hand
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Re: XC90

Post by hand » Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:14 pm

Browser wrote: I'm fascinated by the several comments from Volvo owners in this thread that the things have some rather crummy characteristics (such as being gas hogs, having lousy suspension) but people love them anyway. I have the feeling there must be Volvo people and then there is everybody else. :)
I don't see myself as a "Volvo person," and in point of fact due to circumstances ended up with the XC90 as my first Volvo almost by happenstance rather than by intention.

Rather than seeing the car as fundamentally flawed due to high consumption of gas, brakes, etc. I see it as the result of legitimate design decisions - of course if you want a safer car it will be heavier and wear brakes, tires and suspension more quickly, cost more or both. By calling out the design compromises as I see them, yet still liking the car, I am agreeing with the design decisions prioritizing safety, longevity and creature comforts over low operating cost and high performance.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: XC90

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:21 pm

jdb wrote:Not to digress but as a very satisfied owner of XC60 for going on five years suggest that you test drive that vehicle before deciding on the older XC90 model.
+1000

The 90 is outdated and will soon be replaced. The XC60 is a marvel of comfort and safety. The 2015.5 version is available now. We bought a 2013 and just ordered a 2015.5 to join "the fleet." The new engines are not yet available for AWD models, but the old engines and drive trains worked fine.

It is smaller of course, but I don't think you'll be bothered by that.

If Volvo is going to leave the US, you couldn't tell by my town.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: XC90

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:28 pm

hand wrote:Rather than seeing the car as fundamentally flawed due to high consumption of gas, brakes, etc. I see it as the result of legitimate design decisions - of course if you want a safer car it will be heavier and wear brakes, tires and suspension more quickly, cost more or both. By calling out the design compromises as I see them, yet still liking the car, I am agreeing with the design decisions prioritizing safety, longevity and creature comforts over low operating cost and high performance.
I agree. Our Range Rovers (much more reliable than the gossip would indicate) went through brake pads, which were expensive to replace. D'uh! It's a massively heavy car and they decided to make it able to stop much quicker than you'd expect. It's a fine tradeoff IMO. We're on our fifth Rover. We're on our second Volvo, and are waiting for the Tesla X.

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Re: XC90

Post by RDB » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:18 pm

I drive an 09 XC90, 3.2 liter AWD with NAV (rarely use the NAV). I bought it used with 32K miles and now have 60K on it. We absolutely love the vehicle. My parents also have a 13 XC90 3.2 FWD purchased new. They love it, but wish they would have gone for the AWD version. I could go on, but will stick to your questions.
-We had one single issue - there was a problem with the brake-switch. It was not engaging properly and it took numerous attempts to get the vehicle in gear. It cost about $110 to fix. Other than that, we have only paid for routine maintenence. When shopping, Volvo was upfront that there were some issues with a past version, not sure which one. I would just make sure it is not the 2.5T.
-We live in MN (long winters, A LOT of salt) and have zero rust issues.
-Our other car is an 08 BMW X3. I cannot wait to sell it. We have had numerous issues. If it were not under the CPO warranty it would have cost $6-7000 above and beyond routine maintenence.
**In regards to the power of the 3.2: Compared to our X3, it is not even close in terms of "pep". However, it has never been a concern or issue, we are not hot off the line drivers. We did test drive a V8 XC90 (which they no longer make) and it was fast, very fun. We did not think it was worth it for the added cost.

I would say go for it based on your concerns. We have no regrets with ours and plan to drive it for MANY years/miles.

ResearchMed
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Re: XC90

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:30 pm

Forgot to mention, high salt usage here in the winters.

NEVER any problem at all with rust, not with the previous Volvos or with the 10-year old XC90.

We got it for safety, and still feel safe.
(But we'd like some of the newer safety features, and that's another reason we might get something newer.)

RM

RDB
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Re: XC90

Post by RDB » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:30 pm

xnaworhop wrote:
jdb wrote:Not to digress but as a very satisfied owner of XC60 for going on five years suggest that you test drive that vehicle before deciding on the older XC90 model.
I know its older model but we do really need the third row. I can live with older technology but I am more frustrated if vehicles need more than normal/expected maintenance items.
Saw this after my original post. I would really look at the 3rd row closely if you really need it. We have not found ours to be overly useful. I admit I have never been back there, but it seems really tight and like it would be uncomfortable for an adult.

xnaworhop
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Re: XC90

Post by xnaworhop » Wed Aug 06, 2014 6:21 am

RDB wrote:I drive an 09 XC90, 3.2 liter AWD with NAV (rarely use the NAV). I bought it used with 32K miles and now have 60K on it. We absolutely love the vehicle. My parents also have a 13 XC90 3.2 FWD purchased new. They love it, but wish they would have gone for the AWD version. I could go on, but will stick to your questions.
-We had one single issue - there was a problem with the brake-switch. It was not engaging properly and it took numerous attempts to get the vehicle in gear. It cost about $110 to fix. Other than that, we have only paid for routine maintenence. When shopping, Volvo was upfront that there were some issues with a past version, not sure which one. I would just make sure it is not the 2.5T.
-We live in MN (long winters, A LOT of salt) and have zero rust issues.
-Our other car is an 08 BMW X3. I cannot wait to sell it. We have had numerous issues. If it were not under the CPO warranty it would have cost $6-7000 above and beyond routine maintenence.
**In regards to the power of the 3.2: Compared to our X3, it is not even close in terms of "pep". However, it has never been a concern or issue, we are not hot off the line drivers. We did test drive a V8 XC90 (which they no longer make) and it was fast, very fun. We did not think it was worth it for the added cost.

I would say go for it based on your concerns. We have no regrets with ours and plan to drive it for MANY years/miles.
Thats a good data point to have. I had the X5 and wanted to get rid of it as soon as it was out of warranty. Glad to know your Volvo experience has not been like that.

xnaworhop
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Re: XC90

Post by xnaworhop » Wed Aug 06, 2014 6:22 am

RDB wrote:
xnaworhop wrote:
jdb wrote:Not to digress but as a very satisfied owner of XC60 for going on five years suggest that you test drive that vehicle before deciding on the older XC90 model.
I know its older model but we do really need the third row. I can live with older technology but I am more frustrated if vehicles need more than normal/expected maintenance items.
Saw this after my original post. I would really look at the 3rd row closely if you really need it. We have not found ours to be overly useful. I admit I have never been back there, but it seems really tight and like it would be uncomfortable for an adult.
I would have to go to a large SUV (sequoia etc.) or a minivan route if I wanted comfortable third row seats for long journeys. However I am looking for something that is a "OK" location to travel for short trips say 2 hrs or so. And mostly short people in our family will get back in there, not the kids.

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Re: XC90

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:58 am

xnaworhop wrote:Thats a good data point to have. I had the X5 and wanted to get rid of it as soon as it was out of warranty. Glad to know your Volvo experience has not been like that.
Funny, we also had a BMW that we couldn't wait to get rid of, and an Audi that we hated and traded in because I couldn't look a potential buyer in the eye and suggest that he buy it. Opposite feelings towards our Range Rovers (had 5) and Volvo (looking forward to our 2nd one to add to the one in the driveway now).

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Re: XC90

Post by Browser » Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:35 am

What's the median income of people who buy new Volvos?
We don't know where we are, or where we're going -- but we're making good time.

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Re: XC90

Post by clacy » Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:00 am

I recently bought a 2006 w/95k miles to replace my Camry that I had around 200k on. I needed a 3rd row because I have 3 kids in car seats. My wife drives a large SUV with a 3rd row, but I need that for work occasionally which leaves her with a car that is difficult to get all 3 kids (car seats) in.

As you probably know, excluding mini-vans, 3rd row options are fairly limited. Take out the large SUV market that usually runs $50-90K for new vehicles and there isn't a lot left to choose from.

I found an 06 XC90 for $11,500. After my trade, it was an easy check to write. I pile a lot of miles for work on my vehicles, so I wanted something inexpensive. So far (knock on wood), I love the car. Looks fantastic. Nice interior. 3rd row is pretty tiny, but perfect for my 5 year old to climb back to in order to get him in his booster seat and away from my two younger boys. We've found when they're all 3 next to one another, bad things happen, so this splits them up nicely.

I'm sad to hear that there are rumors that Volvo may eventually pull out of the US. I can't believe that's true. I see a fair amount of them in my Midwestern city, although I live in a very nice suburb and I'm sure Volvos are far more common in my immediate area than lower income or rural areas.

I would say that if this vehicle treats me well into the future and I can get another 80k or so miles on it over the next 3 years, I will trade it for a newer (but still used) version around 2017.

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Re: XC90

Post by Brainz » Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:20 am

Whatever you do, avoid the model with the V6 / GM transmission -- it was a bad design. Google XC90 transmission failure. 2.5T and V8 are great.

I've got a 2006 XC90 with the V8. Bought used with low miles in 2009 -- has around 55k miles today. It's my wife's car used to shuttle our small kids, but I drive it frequently.

Likes:
- Sweet engine. Good power, nice exhaust note on the V8
- Rides/handles nice (when the bushings are in good shape). Almost sporty.
- Feels safe/tough
- 3rd row is nice bonus when needed
- Not too big
- I still think it looks very nice/timeless on the outside
- Fuel mileage is 22hwy/14 stop-and-go with the V8. The 2.5T doesn't reportedly get much better. In any case, that's MUCH better than my Cayenne Turbo.

Issues/Dislikes:
- Front suspension bushings (all of them) wear quickly. Failed around 50k miles. I replaced myself with parts bought online, but would likely have been a couple thousand dollars to have a mechanic do. But rides like new now. I expect this is common to all XC90s. Factor as cost of operation.
- Started dripping a lot of oil. Figured out it was probably the flame trap/oil separator under the intake manifold. Replaced that myself for $100 or so and leak stopped. BTW -- I never found anyone else having that problem on the V8, but it's common on the 2.5s
- AC is adequate -- not great, but I'm in Houston, so the bar is high. Fine as long as the car is moving. Mine may have an undiagnosed issue that reduces performance a bit. That said, the wife isn't complaining, so it's not that big a deal -- just not as cold as other cars I've had
- Replaced failed oil level sensor = $200
- Random/common electrical bugs -- Gas gauge sometimes fails to register (restart brings it back). Stereo speakers would occasionally fail to work -- needed to clean/adjust the plug/connection on the amplifier. Turn signal switch becomes intermittent -- needs to be cleaned or replaced ($75)
- Headliner material peeling on A-pillars. Have reglued
- Interior electronics are getting a bit dated: Limited iPod/ICE devices on the 2006 and earlier models. You can buy adaptors, but they are somewhat kludgy. Same with Bluetooth phone.

Summary:
- Despite my list of issues above, I like the car a lot considering what I paid (~$23k in 2009). But I would not have been pleased had I paid the $45k sticker price.
- But I recognize that for someone not mechanically inclined, the above might be daunting/expensive. That said, most all of the above issues are described on the enthusiast forums (along with fixes)
- I would recommend the V8 -- it's got a very good reputation and makes driving enjoyable. 85mph is a doddle.
- For someone who really values stereo/NAV/Bluetooth stuff -- look elsewhere (see MDX below)

- Counterpoint: The 2008+ MDX is a very nice car too. Was more money than I wanted to spend at the time -- not sure where they price used today. But the MDX was sportier driving and had much better in car entertainment options. Also, I tend to believe the stereotype that Japanese cars are cheaper to operate -- but that's speculation/opinion with respect to the MDX. I preferred the styling of the XC90, but the MDX had it's own character.

- Final thought: I'd personally not be too concerned about Volvo pulling out of the US market. Even if they did, in today's internet age, parts and support are only a keyboard away (and generally cheaper than the dealer). For a used car without a factory warranty, I don't think a dealer network is worth that much. That said, there are a handful of items on the XC90 that can only be accessed through VIDA -- Volvo's proprietary computer interface. Certain issues could be tricky to diagnose without that, but I believe the independent mechanics have knockoffs and/or alternatives to keep your car maintained.

Good luck.

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Re: XC90

Post by Browser » Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:40 am

Issues/Dislikes:
- Front suspension bushings (all of them) wear quickly. Failed around 50k miles. I replaced myself with parts bought online, but would likely have been a couple thousand dollars to have a mechanic do. But rides like new now. I expect this is common to all XC90s. Factor as cost of operation.
- Started dripping a lot of oil. Figured out it was probably the flame trap/oil separator under the intake manifold. Replaced that myself for $100 or so and leak stopped. BTW -- I never found anyone else having that problem on the V8, but it's common on the 2.5s
- AC is adequate -- not great, but I'm in Houston, so the bar is high. Fine as long as the car is moving. Mine may have an undiagnosed issue that reduces performance a bit. That said, the wife isn't complaining, so it's not that big a deal -- just not as cold as other cars I've had
- Replaced failed oil level sensor = $200
- Random/common electrical bugs -- Gas gauge sometimes fails to register (restart brings it back). Stereo speakers would occasionally fail to work -- needed to clean/adjust the plug/connection on the amplifier. Turn signal switch becomes intermittent -- needs to be cleaned or replaced ($75)
- Headliner material peeling on A-pillars. Have reglued
- Interior electronics are getting a bit dated: Limited iPod/ICE devices on the 2006 and earlier models. You can buy adaptors, but they are somewhat kludgy. Same with Bluetooth phone.
I figure it costs about 10 times as much for maintenance to fix Volvos, BMW, Audi, and the other other Euro-lux brands as it does to maintain Japanese luxo brands like Acura, Lexus, Infiniti. You probably have to figure this into your cost of ownership. Frankly, I can't imagine putting up with stuff like a $2K suspension job at 50K, oil leaks, etc. This has to be a cult thing -- I have no explanation for why so many posters have had these kinds of maintenance issues and still say the "love" the vehicle. Me -- I'd drive it off a cliff if I had this grief.
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Re: XC90

Post by clacy » Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:10 am

Forgot to add, one of the biggest drawbacks is gas mileage. I guess that's the tradeoff for the 3rd row and engineering a car for high safety ratings.

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Re: XC90

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:37 am

Browser wrote:I figure it costs about 10 times as much for maintenance to fix Volvos, BMW, Audi, and the other other Euro-lux brands as it does to maintain Japanese luxo brands like Acura, Lexus, Infiniti.
Any documentation or references? 10x is a big number.

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Re: XC90

Post by jimb_fromATL » Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:10 pm

Brainz wrote: - Despite my list of issues above, I like the car a lot considering what I paid (~$23k in 2009). But I would not have been pleased had I paid the $45k sticker price.
- But I recognize that for someone not mechanically inclined, the above might be daunting/expensive. That said, most all of the above issues are described on the enthusiast forums (along with fixes)

...

Final thought: I'd personally not be too concerned about Volvo pulling out of the US market. Even if they did, in today's internet age, parts and support are only a keyboard away (and generally cheaper than the dealer). For a used car without a factory warranty, I don't think a dealer network is worth that much. That said, there are a handful of items on the XC90 that can only be accessed through VIDA -- Volvo's proprietary computer interface. Certain issues could be tricky to diagnose without that, but I believe the independent mechanics have knockoffs and/or alternatives to keep your car maintained.

Good luck.
It is a lot cheaper to own any car if you can do all the work yourself.

However, the OP was asking about buying a new Volvo. Most folks who buy new and spend that kind of money do it at least partly because they aren't interested in having to scrounge for parts and do the repairs themselves. Since statistically Volvos do give more trouble and cost more to maintain and repair than typical Asian brands and even American names-- and the XC90 is relatively expensive to purchase and to repair, the availability of a dealer network for warranty repairs and parts is a big issue ... especially to a new car buyer.

With such a small number of sales in the US, there are far fewer after-market parts even made for later model Volvos, and a lot of the parts are not available at all except from the manufacturer. Even if you can fix it yourself, parts are going to be harder to find and take longer to get, and more expensive if Volvo leaves the US market. And --like other orphan brands in the US-- resale values will plummet, especially on the newer models.

As for leaving the US market, many predictions have been that they would fold their tents in 2014. So far that hasn't happened, but their 2014 sales are down from their comparale YTD 2013 sales, and even 2013 sales were not really enough to support the US dealer and supply network. Using data from WSJ, I came up with this:
  • Volvo had 306 dealers in the US who sold 61,233 vehicles in 2013. That's an average of 200 cars per dealer, 17 cars per month.
    • IMO, even at their relatively high prices for the cars and with high revenue from parts and repairs, that's not likely to be enough to keep the doors open for long. Another thought is that with such low volume sales, there's not going to be any signficant discount off MSRP. So the higher-volume vehicles in the same price class will probably actually be even better buys with any discount at all. (Of course that's part of why Volvo isn't able to compete in the market any more.)
    For comparison, Toyota has 1234 dealers in the US, who sold 1,948,070 vehicles through July 2013. That's an average of 1579 cars per dealer, 132 cars per month.

    Small volume Subaru had 621 dealers and sold 424,683 vehicles in 2013. That's an average of 684 cars per dealer, 57 cars per month.

    Kia had 772 dealers and sold 535,179 vehicles in 2013. That's an average of 693 cars per dealer, 58 cars per month.

    Even Land Rover with only 169 dealers sold 50,010 vehicles in 2013. That's an average of 296 cars per dealer, 25 cars per month.

So... whether it's cult status or perceived prestige or personal preference for esthetics...I think this is important to consider before somebody plunks down $45K or so for a new car that probably will need quite a bit of warranty work, but which may not have dealers and parts available to do the warranty work ... and which may plummet in resale value if it becomes and "orphan".

Incidentally, I read that there was a deal in the works for GM to do some warranty repairs for SAAB owners. But there were few dealers shops that would be doing it, and I've seen and heard numerous complaints of warranty claims and parts for SAABs being unavailable.

In case folks are not aware, Ford owned Volvo for a while, but sold it to Chinese. I personally don't particularly associate China with high-quality automobiles or parts or service availability. So I can't help but think that the Chinese owners are not going to be very interested in spending a lot of money for customer good-will by keeping Volvo warranty repairs and parts available in the US if they are no longer selling new cars in this market.

I also like the Volvo XC-90, and I love having AWD in any weather or circumstance. However, even though I can do most of the maintenance myself, I no longer want to. So if I buy another used vehicle, I'm sticking with ones that are not likely to need much if any work for many years. As you've described yourself, the Volvo XC-90 ain't one of 'em.


Random data:

Industry reporters suggest Volvo may not survive in US; Volvo spokesman denies it; but sales figures support it.

NADA dealer and 2013 sales data

http://www.edmunds.com/car-news/report- ... he-us.html

http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/ca ... r_Way_Out/

http://wardsauto.com/auto-makers/volvo- ... chief-says

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/car ... /10677787/

US car sales through Jul 2014:
http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2 ... sales.html


jimb

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Re: XC90 [Volvo XC90 SUV]

Post by mudfud » Wed Aug 06, 2014 4:13 pm

FWIW, there no industry reports predicting the demise of Volvo in the US. There was one blog writer who made a list in 2013 of brands that will disappear in 2014 and included Volvo in it. That post was reproduced and referred to by multiple websites, giving the impression of multiple reports. This same writer had predicted the demise of Kia a few years ago.

That said, US Volvo sales are indeed down from about 100,000 in 2007 (during the peak popularity of the XC90) to about 60,000 now. Much of this is due to lack of new models while Volvo was in ownership limbo. Twelve years between XC90 models is way too much. Not all XC90 owner have been as patient as me, and have migrated to other brands.

Thing have now changed. Worldwide sales of Volvo are up for 12 consecutive months, and more important, six all-new models will debut in the next three years. For the US market the key will be the new XC90. For years the XC90 was the best selling Volvo in the US, and even the best selling European luxury SUV for a few years. Vehicles such as station wagons that are popular in Europe don't sell well in the US, so the success of the new SUVs will be important for Volvo.
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Re: XC90 [Volvo XC90 SUV]

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Aug 06, 2014 4:21 pm

Further to what mudfud said, I was surprised to hear that Volvo might be leaving the US. Maybe every car they sell is in my neighborhood, but they are ubiquitous here. I bought my 2 Volvos at two different dealers, both nearby. One of the dealers opened a new shiny sales and service facility in town just last month.

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Re: XC90 [Volvo XC90 SUV]

Post by Browser » Wed Aug 06, 2014 6:19 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:Further to what mudfud said, I was surprised to hear that Volvo might be leaving the US. Maybe every car they sell is in my neighborhood, but they are ubiquitous here. I bought my 2 Volvos at two different dealers, both nearby. One of the dealers opened a new shiny sales and service facility in town just last month.
The only place I see Volvos is around university towns. Do you happen to live in that kind of area?
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Re: XC90 [Volvo XC90 SUV]

Post by jimb_fromATL » Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:16 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:Further to what mudfud said, I was surprised to hear that Volvo might be leaving the US. Maybe every car they sell is in my neighborhood, but they are ubiquitous here. I bought my 2 Volvos at two different dealers, both nearby. One of the dealers opened a new shiny sales and service facility in town just last month.
Your neighborhood is certainly not typical. Likes somebody else asked, is it a college town or does it have an unusually high percentage of yuppies? (or aging former hippies?).

According to the NADA company profile Volvo had 306 dealers who sold 61,233 cars in 2013. That's an average of 200 cars per dealer for the year.

According to the WSJ statistics Volvo new car sales are down 20.3% for July 2014 compared to July 2013, and down 5.8% for the year to date ... while import car sales are up 3.8% overall.

If the dealers in your town sold a lot more than the average, that means there were corresponding dealers who sold a lot less. That's not enough cars and profit to keep the doors open based on Volvo sales alone. And with only 306 dealers in the US they sure don't have more than one dealer in very many towns.

jimb

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Re: XC90 [Volvo XC90 SUV]

Post by TheOscarGuy » Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:08 pm

I do agree (about the comments that Volvos XC90/60 are everywhere): here in Boston I think XC90 is almost as common as MDX. Not quite, but there sure are a lot many XC90s here.

But we also have a bucket full of universities in the town so that could be it :D

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Re: XC90 [Volvo XC90 SUV]

Post by Engineer » Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:29 pm

OP,

I have owned a 2004 XC70 since Dec 2010 and it has been an excellent vehicle. The Volvo forums are a great source of information for buyers/owners.

URL for the XC90 Forum---- http://www.volvoxc.com/forums/forumdisp ... -2014-XC90

Carl

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Re: XC90 [Volvo XC90 SUV]

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:09 pm

Browser wrote:The only place I see Volvos is around university towns. Do you happen to live in that kind of area?
No, not even close. I live in an affluent suburb of NYC. Most of the folks around here are Wall Street types of one flavor or another, senior law partners, the occasional sports figure, people who sold companies, people who inherited companies, etc. There are also some "normal" people (I like to include myself in that group), but it's a high-priced area, definitely without a college town feel.

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Re: XC90 [Volvo XC90 SUV]

Post by Browser » Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:22 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Browser wrote:The only place I see Volvos is around university towns. Do you happen to live in that kind of area?
No, not even close. I live in an affluent suburb of NYC. Most of the folks around here are Wall Street types of one flavor or another, senior law partners, the occasional sports figure, people who sold companies, people who inherited companies, etc. There are also some "normal" people (I like to include myself in that group), but it's a high-priced area, definitely without a college town feel.
I guess that answers the question about the median income of Volvo buyers. Now I understand why most don't seem to care much about the maintenance and fuel costs of keeping them on the road.
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Re: XC90 [Volvo XC90 SUV]

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:11 pm

Browser wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Browser wrote:The only place I see Volvos is around university towns. Do you happen to live in that kind of area?
No, not even close. I live in an affluent suburb of NYC. Most of the folks around here are Wall Street types of one flavor or another, senior law partners, the occasional sports figure, people who sold companies, people who inherited companies, etc. There are also some "normal" people (I like to include myself in that group), but it's a high-priced area, definitely without a college town feel.
I guess that answers the question about the median income of Volvo buyers. Now I understand why most don't seem to care much about the maintenance and fuel costs of keeping them on the road.
Hmmm. University towns... affluent towns ... what could they have in common :twisted:

Just kidding around :sharebeer

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