BH Volvo XC90 Review

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sunny_socal
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BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by sunny_socal » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:06 am

We recently bought a 2018 Volvo XC90 :beer

Background:
- Our kids are growing up and our oldest is ready to drive. We could either buy him a beater or let him take over my wife's 2007 Honda Pilot. We decided to go with the latter since we know the vehicle history. Value $5k.
- The Pilot fits in our garage and thus that's the profile we were looking for. Sometimes we haul lots of kids, sometime in-laws, dog, stuff - a mid size SUV is very useful. A full size Tahoe/Yukon was out although they are very nice vehicles if you have the space.
- Don't like the current Toyota or Honda styling although otherwise those platforms are a no-brainer from reliability standpoint.
- We went to an auto show and sat in many new vehicles of this class: Highlander, Pilot, Audi Q7, Lexus RX350 (smaller), Mazda CX9, 4Runner, XC90
- Did not look at MB or RR, they are of course very nice and roomy but are in the $100k price range. Have owned a BMW before, they are great vehicles to drive but overly expensive to maintain.

Why Volvo:
- The new Volvo vehicles offer excellent value. There are a ton of features even in the base model (eg. navigation, massive sun roof, power everything, leather, great engine, auto emergency braking, lane assistance, parking assistance etc)
- Volvo puts a great deal of emphasis on safety. The vehicle has been designed from the ground up with that in mind, the frame has built in crush channels beyond the usual crumple zones. Look on youtube for examples.
- The new Volvos look good! I love Euro car styling, it's difficult to find an ugly Euro car (except perhaps BMW i3 EV :wink: )
- Cost overlaps with the Toyota/Honda offerings, the base XC90 starts at ~46k and a loaded Pilot/Highlander is ~48k
- Looked at used models, mostly carmax. Price is still about 50k for a 2017 with ~12k miles. There aren't enough used vehicles on the market yet, carmax only tends to have 2-3 nationwide. Volvo CPO is supposedly very good, but still the price difference is currently not very large when incentives are considered.
- Strongest rival was the Audi Q7, but it's a lot more $$ for the equivalent feature set. Nice vehicle for sure.
- We bought a new 2018 XC90: T6 Momentum, Plus Pkg, Convenience Pkg, Amber leather & black headliner, toddler seat, 20" wheels
- Upgrades/packages we left behind: Excellent B&W audio system ($3k), air suspension ($2k), 'Inscription' trim ($5k), Hybrid power train ($10k.) There are a lot of things that make the vehicle even nicer but the MSRP climbs to 80k.

What's nice:
- The interior! There are little LED light strips everywhere that cast a warm 'glow' throughout the cabin at night. The LCD control panel 'flows' with the rest of the dash rather than appearing like an afterthought.
- The infotainment system is cool! It's a beautiful touch screen, resembles an ipad in usage.
- Already used the built in baby seat
- Fuel economy is decent, we get about 22 MPG combined, 25 MPG freeway with our traffic/terrain/usage. (I don't think anyone could hit the EPA 29 MPG highway rating unless going downhill or drafting behind a semi truck!)
- The car has plenty of power. It only has a 2L engine but you'd never believe it. The turbo/supercharger operation is incredibly well integrated, engine RPMs are very low even at high freeway speeds (75 MPH)
- It drives like a car, virtually no body roll. Feels more like a BMW than a Camry :wink:
- Manual shift is standard. I love this feature, it's much like my truck (Tundra.) My wife doesn't use it but I love downshifting when coming to a stop.
- Lane assistance and adaptive cruise control are unobtrusive and work very well. I don't know how we lived without them before.
- The seats are very comfortable
- The 'auto high beam' and 'turning headlights' are both incredible! Just set the lights to automatic and let the car do the rest, no more playing with the brights. And the LED headlights truly turn night into day.

What's not so nice:
- We're aware there were quality problems with the new Volvo platform. I've camped out in the Volvo forums for about a year and it seems the 2016 model was the worst. The mechanical/build problems have been resolved through factory changes and the rest have mostly been software, addressed via firmware updates. I would only get a 2017 or later.
- The Volvo dealer network isn't great. Fortunately our local dealer (10min away) was fantastic, they were friendly and very accommodating, we get a brand new vehicle to keep overnight with no strings attached.
- There aren't very many cubbies up front, no built in sunglass holder. I guess this is common among Euro vehicles. (In contrast my Tundra has several pockets for sunglasses, a couple for maps) [Accessory available]
- Our other vehicles feel like dinosaurs now! :wink:

Financial:
- ~60k MSRP, 12% discount through employer "A-plan" and seasonal incentives. ~53k price, 58k with tax & title. FWIW it was ~$3.7k below invoice.
- There are sometimes more incentives for 'conquest' (switch from competing luxury brand) or 'loyalty' (must own volvo) but we did not qualify. Costco ran a program in the fall with a further $3k off but we weren't in the market at the time. *shrug*

Pic:
Image
Last edited by sunny_socal on Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:46 am, edited 7 times in total.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:45 am

Congratulations. I saw one at our Volvo dealer recently; it's a great looking car.

jbmitt
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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by jbmitt » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:12 am

Thank you for sharing. I've kicked the idea around of a XC90 to replaced our RDX. I'd be interested in doing it along with Volvo's European Delivery program.

Pinotage
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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by Pinotage » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:20 am

Looks great!

OP - would you be able to post a side profile picture of the car? It looks like you have the "Lesath" wheels, which I love.

inbox788
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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by inbox788 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:31 am

sunny_socal wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:06 am
What's not so nice:
- We're aware there were quality problems with the new Volvo platform. I've camped out in the Volvo forums for about a year and it seems the 2016 model was the worst. The mechanical/build problems have been resolved through factory changes and the rest have mostly been software, addressed via firmware updates. I would only get a 2017 or later.
We were very close to buying a 2016, but paying MSRP, waiting 3-6 months and the worries about potential issues deterred us. Looks like we got lucky and avoided some serious problems. I'm glad to hear they're working though the problems because the car itself is terrific. I did find the engine a little underweight for the weight/heft of the vehicle. It's bigger than it looks. It got the job done while test driving, but I worried if it was enough when fully loaded with 7 passengers and cargo going up a long hill or highway upgrade.

Good luck with your new purchase. BTW, did you get the lane assist and self braking technology (or are the standard now)? Salespeople were touting it as equivalent to Tesla Autopilot and could get you through stop and go traffic, but I didn't believe them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_47utWAoupo

onourway
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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by onourway » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:34 am

Congrats! Beautiful cars. We will almost certainly be buying another one when we are done with our 2010 model. Nearing 90k and not a single non-wear maintenance yet.

rgs92
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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by rgs92 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:00 pm

How is the driver's seating position and legroom/footroom? In every previous Volvo I tried, although the seats themselves were excellent, I felt cramped and awkward, and my feet did not have enough footwell room. And they had this strange upright left-foot footrest that pushed my left foot upwards vertically that was totally unacceptable.

Shikoku
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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by Shikoku » Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:06 pm

Sunny_socal,
We also got the same vehicle as yours but with 19" standard wheel and in a different color. Our total price was $54,700 including tax, title, and all the fees. We love it.
"I don't worry too much about pointing fingers at the past. I operate on the theory that every saint has a past, every sinner has a future." -- Warren Buffett

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friar1610
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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by friar1610 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:55 pm

Good report from the OP.

I've owned 3 Volvos over the years (currently have a 2005 XC-70 wagon). I've been happy with them and have driven each >10 years. I personally prefer wagons over SUVs so have researched the V60 and V90. For me, at least, Volvo has priced themselves out of the market. I might be able to swing a V60 but the back seat and cargo areas are too small. On paper the V90 seems large enough (I haven't actually seen one) but it's out of my price range. Looks like a Subaru Ouback or a Buick TourX in my future when the XC-70 gives out.
Friar1610

JuniorBH
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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by JuniorBH » Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:02 pm

Thanks for the report! We're ~11 months from returning DW's leased grand cherokee and the Volvo is currently high on the list of possible replacements!

caffeperfavore
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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by caffeperfavore » Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:54 pm

Ha! I expected the BH Volvo XC90 view to conclude: "...in sum, buy a 5 year old Toyota Highlander with hail damage off of Craiglist and drive it for the next 28 years."

But, nice review. Just one quibble, to actually spend $48k on a Pilot or Highlander, you would have to be the worst negotiator in the world, check every single box and option and agree to everything the finance person offers you.

Blueskies123
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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by Blueskies123 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:05 pm

I would look into an extended warranty

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sunny_socal
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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by sunny_socal » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:49 pm

Blueskies123 wrote: I would look into an extended warranty
We were offered one for $2500 by the finance guy. I've never purchased an extended warranty for anything in my life, I figure the company has priced it so they come out ahead overall. Thus I must simply set aside $2500 in my mind and I should be GTG. Fingers crossed :wink:
caffeperfavore wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:54 pm
Ha! I expected the BH Volvo XC90 view to conclude: "...in sum, buy a 5 year old Toyota Highlander with hail damage off of Craiglist and drive it for the next 28 years."

But, nice review. Just one quibble, to actually spend $48k on a Pilot or Highlander, you would have to be the worst negotiator in the world, check every single box and option and agree to everything the finance person offers you.
That's true of any car I suppose, no one expect to pay MSRP these days. But if we compare only the MSRP, the XC90 can theoretically be had for less than a Highlander/Pilot if you pick the base model. The Highlander/Pilot will end up having more features in that case, notably AWD. With similar options the XC90 will be 10-20% higher in price.
Shikoku wrote: Sunny_socal,
We also got the same vehicle as yours but with 19" standard wheel and in a different color. Our total price was $54,700 including tax, title, and all the fees. We love it.
That's a very good deal! For the 2017 model they raised price however and now more features are standard (the 360 fisheye view, the various driving/safety aids.) Overall the price is about the same considering most people probably selected those features anyway but today there's no way to get the XC90 with our features for $54k OTD at least in our state (figure +10% taxes/fees for any given vehicle.)
rgs92 wrote: How is the driver's seating position and legroom/footroom? In every previous Volvo I tried, although the seats themselves were excellent, I felt cramped and awkward, and my feet did not have enough footwell room. And they had this strange upright left-foot footrest that pushed my left foot upwards vertically that was totally unacceptable.
No problems with the legroom. Indeed my Honda Accord I faced the exact same problem you describe and I had to cut down the big "foot rest" hump so I could get comfortable.

The Volvo seats are great! Very adjustable, good support, and the headrest position is perfect! (ie mostly vertical.) In many vehicles today the headrests point forward which doesn't allow the back to align to the seat back without bending the neck (also a problem in my Accord.)
inbox788 wrote: Good luck with your new purchase. BTW, did you get the lane assist and self braking technology (or are the standard now)? Salespeople were touting it as equivalent to Tesla Autopilot and could get you through stop and go traffic, but I didn't believe them.
Yes, those things are standard since the 2017 model. We tried the autopilot during a test drive but haven't played with it since. (You're still expected to keep your hands on the wheel and if you don't, the car complains at you.) We just run with the stock settings and find the car will "nudge" us back into the lane if we start staring off into space - it's pretty cool!
Pinotage wrote: Looks great!

OP - would you be able to post a side profile picture of the car? It looks like you have the "Lesath" wheels, which I love.
Not my pics but these are the same wheels:

Image
Image

Pinotage
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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by Pinotage » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:01 am

sunny_socal wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:49 pm

Not my pics but these are the same wheels:
Looks great! Congrats again, hope you enjoy the vehicle.

btenny
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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by btenny » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:51 am

Is yours AWD?

srt7
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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by srt7 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:15 pm

OP,

Thanks for the review! It was a pleasure reading it.

Back in 2016, I was in the market for a mid-size SUV and it was between the RX 350 and the XC 90. Both were new models. So I felt more comfortable going with Lexus. Glad I did :D

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sunny_socal
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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by sunny_socal » Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:59 pm

btenny wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:51 am
Is yours AWD?
Yes, this is the model breakdown:
- T5 = 2WD, base engine, 3 rows (used to be 2 rows but I think 3 is standard now)
- T6 = AWD, more powerful engine, 3 rows
- T8 = AWD, Hybrid, 3 rows

ERISA Stone
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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by ERISA Stone » Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:07 pm

I noticed there are some XC90s with a "bursting blue" color. I don't see that this is an option on the Volvo website. Do you happen to know if this is some sort of "hidden" option, or does a 3rd party paint the cars this color?

ResearchMed
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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:10 pm

ERISA Stone wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:07 pm
I noticed there are some XC90s with a "bursting blue" color. I don't see that this is an option on the Volvo website. Do you happen to know if this is some sort of "hidden" option, or does a 3rd party paint the cars this color?
Is that the Magic Blue Metallic?

ETA: Sorry - that's different. But I don't see those on the Volvo website either.

RM
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sunny_socal
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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by sunny_socal » Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:15 pm

ERISA Stone wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:07 pm
I noticed there are some XC90s with a "bursting blue" color. I don't see that this is an option on the Volvo website. Do you happen to know if this is some sort of "hidden" option, or does a 3rd party paint the cars this color?
The Bursting Blue or Passion Red are available if you select the "R-Design" trim but not the others:
- Momentum = standard leather, visible roof rails
- R-Design = bucket seats, some carbon fiber inlays, different grille, additional paint options
- Inscription = different grille, softer ventilated leather, matte wood inlays, integrated roof rails

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sunny_socal
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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by sunny_socal » Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:18 pm

First wash, and also removed the front plate bracket

Image

Jd1006
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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by Jd1006 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:45 am

I have the 2016 XC90,45k miles. Only real issue so far was a door handle that needed to be recently replaced, covered by the warranty. Been consistently getting 28mpg in summer, 24.5 mpg in winter. I was annoyed that they didn’t bring android auto to this iteration, when they promised it, but we are an Apple family, so it wasn’t a huge deal. We are out of the factory warranty and on the extended warranty they I purchased.

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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by angelescrest » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:58 am

Thanks for showing us your amazing new car, now I want to go live beyond my means! :D

carguyny
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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by carguyny » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:51 am

inbox788 wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:31 am
sunny_socal wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:06 am
What's not so nice:
- We're aware there were quality problems with the new Volvo platform. I've camped out in the Volvo forums for about a year and it seems the 2016 model was the worst. The mechanical/build problems have been resolved through factory changes and the rest have mostly been software, addressed via firmware updates. I would only get a 2017 or later.
We were very close to buying a 2016, but paying MSRP, waiting 3-6 months and the worries about potential issues deterred us. Looks like we got lucky and avoided some serious problems. I'm glad to hear they're working though the problems because the car itself is terrific. I did find the engine a little underweight for the weight/heft of the vehicle. It's bigger than it looks. It got the job done while test driving, but I worried if it was enough when fully loaded with 7 passengers and cargo going up a long hill or highway upgrade.

Good luck with your new purchase. BTW, did you get the lane assist and self braking technology (or are the standard now)? Salespeople were touting it as equivalent to Tesla Autopilot and could get you through stop and go traffic, but I didn't believe them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_47utWAoupo
I've heard the Volvo technology is sourced from Waymo (Google). Considering they have had true self driving cars on the road in tests for years and now include a fleet of driverless taxis in Pheonix (no one at all in the drivers seat), I would have more faith in it that the Tesla technology.

Biggest issue with other brands in Europe is they require you to touch the wheel and switch off if not.

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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by Shikoku » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:15 pm

I drove my 2018 Volvo XC90 in severe rain on freeways for two hours this week. Sometime, it was difficult to see the vehicle in front of me. However, the Pilot Assist and Lane Keeping Aid worked perfectly. XC90 kept safe distance from the front vehicle by automatically adjusting the speed and kept me at the middle of the lane. The vehicle did not miss a beat even in such a severe weather! :D
"I don't worry too much about pointing fingers at the past. I operate on the theory that every saint has a past, every sinner has a future." -- Warren Buffett

randomguy
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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by randomguy » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:38 pm

carguyny wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:51 am

I've heard the Volvo technology is sourced from Waymo (Google). Considering they have had true self driving cars on the road in tests for years and now include a fleet of driverless taxis in Pheonix (no one at all in the drivers seat), I would have more faith in it that the Tesla technology.

Biggest issue with other brands in Europe is they require you to touch the wheel and switch off if not.
Care to provide any evidence for the idea that any Waymo tech is in a Volvo. That seems like something both companies would mention. AFAIK this is the same lane keeping, radar cruise control that has been around for years. It is getting better but it isn't close to what waymo has shown

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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by ssquared87 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:00 pm

Great looking car! Hope you enjoy it, they have excellent design and safety.

Keep an eye on reliability as more info on the model becomes available. Volvo is not known for reliability, and will likely cost more to maintain than a BMW in the long run, especially given the complexity of the turbo+supercharged engine.

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Re: BH Volvo XC90 Review

Post by 02nz » Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:25 pm

randomguy wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:38 pm
carguyny wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:51 am

I've heard the Volvo technology is sourced from Waymo (Google). Considering they have had true self driving cars on the road in tests for years and now include a fleet of driverless taxis in Pheonix (no one at all in the drivers seat), I would have more faith in it that the Tesla technology.

Biggest issue with other brands in Europe is they require you to touch the wheel and switch off if not.
Care to provide any evidence for the idea that any Waymo tech is in a Volvo. That seems like something both companies would mention. AFAIK this is the same lane keeping, radar cruise control that has been around for years. It is getting better but it isn't close to what waymo has shown
Not to mention that Volvo has a well-publicized partnership on self-driving cars with Waymo's arch-enemy Uber, so it seems very unlikely they're using Waymo technology.

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