1st Car Purchase - Volvo XC90 vs. Lexus RX350

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JackoC
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Re: 1st Car Purchase - Volvo XC90 vs. Lexus RX350

Post by JackoC »

The 'vague brand reliability image' method would say the Lexus is much more reliable. And in this case Consumer Reports rating of the individual models agrees (in some cases statements are made on this forum per the VBRI method but CR results are sharply at odds with it for the particular models in question, not that CR is infallible but it's probably worth considering).

Since 'leaning toward new', predicted reliability for 2020 RX is 4/5, 1/5 for the XC90. Which again is not necessarily typical for other European brand specific modles some of which have 4 ratings, some nominally Japanese luxury brands have some stinkers lately, Acura particularly according to CR. As has been discussed many times, the CR ratings are not 100% scientific since based on owner surveys and can wobble around in not easily explicable ways for a model from year to year. And, owner forums might identify specific serious problems. But those always have the problem of small sample, plus it obviously depends when the problem happens, in warranty or out.

On the vehicles I have a 2005 Lexus GX. It's been generally very reliable (big exception failed air suspension common on that model). I respect it. I don't especially like it. It was my wife's choice and I got used to it. I think even back then Lexus styling was a bit weird and it's weirder now, and it's a quite boring vehicle. I positively disliked an RX we drove as loaner once when the GX had major (scheduled, timing belt replacement, a big deal for that car) work. Another issue for owners of old Lexi is that they seem to have cut back on the quality of interiors on some models, RX or newer GX's (we've sat in at Ny Auto Show), seems to us anyway. But Volvo's aren't my cup of tea to begin with and the 1/5 eliminates any car for me, even with all caveats. So not much help on the choice.
Oilcans
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Re: 1st Car Purchase - Volvo XC90 vs. Lexus RX350

Post by Oilcans »

I've never ridden in a Volvo but have heard good things about them. However I have owned Lexus for the last eight years, buying a new one every two years. First started with an ES-350, then two GS-350's and now a 2018 RXL-450 Hybrid which I love. Traveling around 25,000 miles per year I have had not had any problems with any of them. Course I shouldn't have since they are still pretty unused when trading in.

Good luck on your choice.
shans2000
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Re: 1st Car Purchase - Volvo XC90 vs. Lexus RX350

Post by shans2000 »

Did you test drive either of them yet?

We had to pick between the same two options for my wife (RX450 vs XC90 .. 450 is a better deal once you factor in the mileage savings for hybrid). On paper, the XC90 looked good and we thought that was the car for us. But on test drive, wife hated how it drove and loved the Lexus. We now have the Lexus and love it. If you don't have consumer reports subscription, get it and compare.
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bhwabeck3533
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Re: 1st Car Purchase - Volvo XC90 vs. Lexus RX350

Post by bhwabeck3533 »

After all these comments, I wonder if the OP has bought a new vehicle yet? Let us know!
atikovi
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Re: 1st Car Purchase - Volvo XC90 vs. Lexus RX350

Post by atikovi »

krafty81 wrote: Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:45 am
Living Free wrote: Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:13 am If you do have a 3rd child, a minivan would be the best choice. 3 row SUVs are not as practical as a minivan. Or alternatively try to do 3 across in a 2 row SUV.
+1

With little kids, a good minivan is the way to go. After the 100th time opening and closing a back door and hitting whatever may be next to you, you will appreciate the convenience. Upgrade when they get older.
I don't know. Those sliding doors, power or manual, can be slow in opening and closing. By the time it's fully opened, you could have opened, hopped in and closed a regular door.
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steadyeddie8
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Re: 1st Car Purchase - Volvo XC90 vs. Lexus RX350

Post by steadyeddie8 »

bhwabeck3533 wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 6:58 am After all these comments, I wonder if the OP has bought a new vehicle yet? Let us know!
This feedback was super helpful so thank you to all.

We test drove the XC90 this week and both of us liked it a lot (we had hoped not to...) We plan to test drive the Lexus in the next week or two. We are taking to heart most of the comments in favor of the Lexus and hope that test driving it doesn't leave us with any doubts about going in that direction. Hearing from a few people who didn't have issues with their Volvos was helpful but I also appreciated hearing from those who validated my suspicion that the Volvo will likely cause us more headaches (and $$) down the line.

A minivan may be in the running for an eventual second car down the line...

Will update this thread once we decide.
WS1
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Re: 1st Car Purchase - Volvo XC90 vs. Lexus RX350

Post by WS1 »

onourway wrote: Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:50 am We have owned 100,000+ mile, 10-20 year old Volvo’s for most of the past 20 years. We owned one new Toyota in that time.

Really, if you can afford these vehicles, the repair cost scare stories are just that. Sure, if you want to maintain your older model Volvo at the dealer, it’s likely to hurt. Brand new? Buy what you like.
8foot7 wrote: Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:34 pm We had two Volvo sedans, separated by probably 10 model years, and both of them required (among other less expensive repairs) single $5,000+ repairs shortly after 100,000 miles. On a Lexus, 100,000 miles is essentially a Tuesday morning, just another day. Perhaps Volvo has improved, but I'll never buy one again.
As above, having owned a number of these over the years, a couple past 200k, I cannot imagine any repair that would run $5k. Maybe at a dealer needing to make their boat payment. An engine rebuild for most recent model Volvo’s at our Indy is about half of that.
Under appreciated point

The scare stories become scare stories instead of “just higher maintenance costs” because people without extra cash laying around get on the Internet and shout about the Volvo destroying their finances.
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8foot7
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Re: 1st Car Purchase - Volvo XC90 vs. Lexus RX350

Post by 8foot7 »

WS1 wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:49 am
onourway wrote: Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:50 am We have owned 100,000+ mile, 10-20 year old Volvo’s for most of the past 20 years. We owned one new Toyota in that time.

Really, if you can afford these vehicles, the repair cost scare stories are just that. Sure, if you want to maintain your older model Volvo at the dealer, it’s likely to hurt. Brand new? Buy what you like.
8foot7 wrote: Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:34 pm We had two Volvo sedans, separated by probably 10 model years, and both of them required (among other less expensive repairs) single $5,000+ repairs shortly after 100,000 miles. On a Lexus, 100,000 miles is essentially a Tuesday morning, just another day. Perhaps Volvo has improved, but I'll never buy one again.
As above, having owned a number of these over the years, a couple past 200k, I cannot imagine any repair that would run $5k. Maybe at a dealer needing to make their boat payment. An engine rebuild for most recent model Volvo’s at our Indy is about half of that.
Under appreciated point

The scare stories become scare stories instead of “just higher maintenance costs” because people without extra cash laying around get on the Internet and shout about the Volvo destroying their finances.
I had plenty of money at the time of owning the Volvos and plenty of money now. Still wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole in terms of ownership. And they left me stranded twice to the point I wouldn't accept them as a rental car either. Yes, that is anecdotal, but hiking through rural SC on the side of a state highway at 5 am because your transmission failed sticks out in your memory.
sd323232
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Re: 1st Car Purchase - Volvo XC90 vs. Lexus RX350

Post by sd323232 »

you cant go wrong with lexus
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Helo80
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Re: 1st Car Purchase - Volvo XC90 vs. Lexus RX350

Post by Helo80 »

One thing to consider.... there are far more Lexus and Toyota dealerships than there are Volvo dealerships. If you need servicing, quick, consider that.

Lexus and Toyota share a lot of the same common wear/tear parts. I would say the same for Honda/Acura, but haven't looked closely at model similarities between the two in recent years.
Thank God for Wall Street Bets.
WS1
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Re: 1st Car Purchase - Volvo XC90 vs. Lexus RX350

Post by WS1 »

8foot7 wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:51 am
WS1 wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:49 am
onourway wrote: Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:50 am We have owned 100,000+ mile, 10-20 year old Volvo’s for most of the past 20 years. We owned one new Toyota in that time.

Really, if you can afford these vehicles, the repair cost scare stories are just that. Sure, if you want to maintain your older model Volvo at the dealer, it’s likely to hurt. Brand new? Buy what you like.
8foot7 wrote: Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:34 pm We had two Volvo sedans, separated by probably 10 model years, and both of them required (among other less expensive repairs) single $5,000+ repairs shortly after 100,000 miles. On a Lexus, 100,000 miles is essentially a Tuesday morning, just another day. Perhaps Volvo has improved, but I'll never buy one again.
As above, having owned a number of these over the years, a couple past 200k, I cannot imagine any repair that would run $5k. Maybe at a dealer needing to make their boat payment. An engine rebuild for most recent model Volvo’s at our Indy is about half of that.
Under appreciated point

The scare stories become scare stories instead of “just higher maintenance costs” because people without extra cash laying around get on the Internet and shout about the Volvo destroying their finances.
I had plenty of money at the time of owning the Volvos and plenty of money now. Still wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole in terms of ownership. And they left me stranded twice to the point I wouldn't accept them as a rental car either. Yes, that is anecdotal, but hiking through rural SC on the side of a state highway at 5 am because your transmission failed sticks out in your memory.
This is also an important point. Too many of the car discussions on this site never distinguish between catastrophic failure that leaves me stranded and driving the offending car to the shop every 3 months for a random non critical part failure.

We need a better term than reliability
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RootSki
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Re: 1st Car Purchase - Volvo XC90 vs. Lexus RX350

Post by RootSki »

runswithscissors wrote: Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:43 pm
RootSki wrote: Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:35 pm
runswithscissors wrote: Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:56 am The current generation of RXs are hideous compared to the XC90; the cargo room is also much smaller... But having owned Lexus for 12 years I'd still go with the RX. You will also likely hate the infotainment system and user interface in the XC90. Simple things like turning up and down the AC vents takes a laughable amount of tapping at a huge LCD screen. Horrible design in my opinion and is alone enough to turn me away from Volvo. The ride quality is also night and day but I like a more cloud like ride. If you want to "feel the road" (i.e. feel every bump and pothole) like some do, you'll like the XC90 much better.
It’s actually quite simple to adjust climate controls.
I respectfully disagree. My friend owns an XC90 and I borrowed if for an afternoon drive. Something as simple as adjusting the fan speed required one peck to get into the fan speed mode... then another peck to adjust the speed you want. And you have to aim your finger at the speed you want, vs a knob or button where you just press it or turn it. Then once that's all done you have to press an "X" button to close out the screen and see anything else. The design forces you to take your eyes off the road and look far down into the bottom of your dash for far more than just a split second. Very irresponsible design particularly from a company that prides themselves on safety. And the whole adjusting fan speed by talking to your car is absurd. I believe the movement towards massive screens to control commonly used functions is just a fad; eventually physical buttons and knobs will return.
Voice commands are simple and effective and do not require you to take your hands off the steering wheel or eyes off the road. After driving one for hundreds of miles a day, you will develop muscle memory as to how to make functions of the car work on the center screen. After all, the soft buttons, don’t move either. How often does one need to adjust the climate system while driving anyway? Maybe once, twice tops. After a year, I can adjust anything in the car without looking. I’ve muscle memorized the location and sequence needed for everything changeable.

I disagree about physical buttons making a comeback. Manufacturers don’t want to design, make and store 100’s buttons and switches for each model car they make for years and years as spare parts. Using touch screens eliminates overhead costs.
yolli71
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Re: 1st Car Purchase - Volvo XC90 vs. Lexus RX350

Post by yolli71 »

steadyeddie8 wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:04 pm Hi,

We plan to purchase our first car this summer (city people leaving for the suburbs). We have narrowed it down to:
  • 2020 Lexus RX350
  • 2020 Volvo XC90 - T5 Momentum, 7 seater
As background, we have 2 kids (3 and 1) and there is a good chance we will have a third in the next 2-3 years. That said, this car has the flexibility to either be our primary family vehicle (Volvo) or become a second car at some point in the future (Lexus). We will pay cash (unless we finance at 0%) and keep for 7-10 years.

FYI - XC90 is more of interest for cargo space than for its 3rd row. We make frequent 4-5 hour trips with 2 carseats, luggage, a large stroller and golf clubs. (We have family with the XC60 and it's just too small for what we are looking for right now and for the foreseeable future.)

We have done some research ourselves but would love some real world input from others on a few items:
  • 1) Did you consider both of these vehicles and choose one for a particular reason?

    2) Is Lexus the obvious choice for reliability, resale value, total cost of ownership? I think, all things equal, I like the Volvo better but can't shake the feeling that it is much more likely to be an expensive headache (so much so that I might even consider leasing it just to avoid owning it past the first few years...)

    3) We don't need this car to be fully loaded but we will probably want a few options added to a base model - is one more likely than the other to get away from us in price if that's the case?

    4) We are leaning towards purchasing new but might consider CPO if it's an obvious choice with either model so would welcome thoughts on that as well.

    5) Are current deals/specials particularly good on either model? For example, I know Volvo is doing 60-month 0% financing.

    6) Anything else...
Thanks in advance.
We were in nearly the exact same boat as you just 2 years ago. We debated between the Lexus RX350 and the Volvo XC90 T6 Momentum. The car was going to be my wife's new car.

Going into it, we thought we were going to buy the Volvo because we loved the look. However, after test driving both, my wife really liked the Lexus much more than the Volvo...she said she felt more comfortable in the Lexus and liked how it drove. I still like the looks of the XC90 a lot more than the RX350, but it's been a good car so far.

Just one thing to note...this may have changed by now, but when we test drove the Volvo, I noticed that it took the LCD dashboard screen a really long time to load. So before pulling out of the parking spot for example, you'd need to wait around awhile before the rear cam pops up, or you'd need to wait awhile before you can punch in GPS coordinates, etc. I found that to be a big negative, but again, things may be different now.
Jerry476
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Re: 1st Car Purchase - Volvo XC90 vs. Lexus RX350

Post by Jerry476 »

I bought a 2000 RX300 in late 1999. The sucker won’t die. I have 194,000. miles on it. Very little trouble other than an expensive oxygen sensor. Will probably get rid of it soon. I no longer have a need for a cassette deck.
inbox788
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Re: 1st Car Purchase - Volvo XC90 vs. Lexus RX350

Post by inbox788 »

yolli71 wrote: Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:33 pmJust one thing to note...this may have changed by now, but when we test drove the Volvo, I noticed that it took the LCD dashboard screen a really long time to load. So before pulling out of the parking spot for example, you'd need to wait around awhile before the rear cam pops up, or you'd need to wait awhile before you can punch in GPS coordinates, etc. I found that to be a big negative, but again, things may be different now.
I don't know what's changed in the last 3 years, but neither had a great interface. The Volvo LCD was the future and you'd have to wait into the future to get it to work as you've experienced. The Lexus was yesterday's outdated design, but I think they added Apple Car and Android Auto by now.

Is there a car or brand that shines when it comes to infotainment and environmental controls? One that stands head and shoulders above the others and critics and customers rave about? I haven't come across one yet, and even the best ones have lots of room for improvement. Unless things have changed dramatically recently, the 2 cars here are below average IMO, so it's more a matter of which set of deficiencies won't bother you as much.

https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/car ... nt-systems

And even if a Dodge car had the best infotainment, it wouldn't make up for everything else about the car.
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Sandi_k
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Re: 1st Car Purchase - Volvo XC90 vs. Lexus RX350

Post by Sandi_k »

beernutz wrote: Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:55 pm I've never owned a Volvo and likely never will but our 2011 RX350 is probably the best car my wife and I have owned in 30 years. Amazingly it still has not had a repair. I don't mean a major repair I mean ANY repair.

We've just changed the oil/filter and gotten new tires in 9 years and my wife drives the hell out of it with over 110k miles currently. We've definitely been lucky but give Lexus some of that credit.
I had a 2010 RX 350, bought new in November 2009. Sold it in October 2019, with 258k miles on it.

The only repair it had was when the manifold cover made of plastic cracked when removed for the 240k service. That meant the car threw a code, which took hours to track down the issue. Once the crack was sealed up, all good. Everything else was just routine maintenance.

My sister has a Volvo.

My vote is for Lexus. ;)
Outer Marker
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Re: 1st Car Purchase - Volvo XC90 vs. Lexus RX350

Post by Outer Marker »

I'd check out the Kia Teluride. Lexus is just a fancy Toyota. Volvo has the expensive maintenance of a European car.
nicad2000
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Re: 1st Car Purchase - Volvo XC90 vs. Lexus RX350

Post by nicad2000 »

We test drove an XC90 last year when my wife was in the market for an SUV. The single biggest reason we didn’t pull the trigger was the high level of road/tire noise at almost any speed. Volvo seems to have skimped on the sound insulation and it shows. I would highly encourage anyone interested in this car to pay attention to noise levels and compare to other makes. Also, I was not impressed with the over-reliance on the touchscreen infotainment system like others here.
infotrader
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Re: 1st Car Purchase - Volvo XC90 vs. Lexus RX350

Post by infotrader »

krafty81 wrote: Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:45 am
Living Free wrote: Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:13 am If you do have a 3rd child, a minivan would be the best choice. 3 row SUVs are not as practical as a minivan. Or alternatively try to do 3 across in a 2 row SUV.
+1

With little kids, a good minivan is the way to go. After the 100th time opening and closing a back door and hitting whatever may be next to you, you will appreciate the convenience. Upgrade when they get older.
The BH way: get a Honda Odyssey
Ztx
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Re: 1st Car Purchase - Volvo XC90 vs. Lexus RX350

Post by Ztx »

I have a few year old RX 350 - love it! The only thing that bugs me is that cargo space is limited due to the slope of the roof / trunk door.
srt7
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Re: 1st Car Purchase - Volvo XC90 vs. Lexus RX350

Post by srt7 »

I believe it's the RX 350 L that you want. It's the RX with a 3rd row.
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