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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a longtime (read 29 years) owner of SAAB's (don't laugh) but I need an SUV... the SAAB "SUV" is a Chevy in disguise so that's out... so I have been searching for a XC90 and I found what I think is a good one. 2008 XC90 V8 - R-Design... but, it's not exactly close by and will entail a flight and a 19 hour drive back to home.

So, what do I look for during an intensive, one-chance, 30-45 minute inspection before buying and driving off? I know what the obvious basic waring signs, but I need XC90-specific things to check out. The pictures I've been sent show a vehicle that has been well taken care of - no body damage, perfect black paint, no weathering on trim, perfect leather interior, service records, etc. It's been garage kept, it's in a state that has fairly harsh winters - at least compared to Texas where I live..

I have only driven 3.2 XC90's so I'll be curious to see the performance difference. All my SAAB's are Aeros with Stage1-2 mods, so I'm used to get up and go.... BTW: I've also been considering a XC60 or V8 pathfinder...

thanks in advance...

Rick
 

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See how the transmission shifts smooth through all the gears, in auto and manual modes, check underneath for any oil leaks around the angle gear. The front end may pop and creak, common noises, subframe bushings, control arm bushings.

If you don't need the 3rd row, a XC60 T6 is a fun driver with the Polestar tune, and it handles a bit better than the XC90.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
XC60... really?

See how the transmission shifts smooth through all the gears, in auto and manual modes, check underneath for any oil leaks around the angle gear. The front end may pop and creak, common noises, subframe bushings, control arm bushings.

If you don't need the 3rd row, a XC60 T6 is a fun driver with the Polestar tune, and it handles a bit better than the XC90.
i don't need the 3rd row as a matter of fact, what I need is a bit hauling space and some performance. That's why I thought about the V8 sport. Part time driver for weekends. That complicates my search a bit, but I seriously appreciate it.
 

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We didn't need the 3rd row either, but it was a nice perk. Like you, we wanted to haul some gear around, and possibly start adventures with a tiny camper in a year or two. Thus, the XC90. like he said above, make sure it shifts well. I see occasional V8+transmission flare threads around here. Post-2005 V8s are pretty solid engines though, generally.
 

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Don't be worried about the harsh winters part as long as it was kept inside. I live in a place with extreme winters, both our 70 and 90 have held up very well. Starting my second winter with the 90, and it laughed at the first with all season tires, I have snows now and it feels like a tank, just much faster:D. But that probably won't be a problem in Texas. The paint is nearly rock proof, but look at the front for chips just in case. The V8 is a bulletproof engine after '05, so nothing else to really worry about besides the already mentioned tranny flares. Usually a flush will do the trick though.

Please post some pictures if you decide to get it!
 

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I'm a longtime (read 29 years) owner of SAAB's (don't laugh) but I need an SUV... the SAAB "SUV" is a Chevy in disguise so that's out... so I have been searching for a XC90 and I found what I think is a good one. 2008 XC90 V8 - R-Design... but, it's not exactly close by and will entail a flight and a 19 hour drive back to home.

Rick
a Chevy with a really nice Corvette motor - an SS in disguise. I have an S80 V8 with a whopping 311hp, and I had an 04 GTO with the LS1 that put out a measly 350hp (I think the Saab got the later 400hp LS).
 

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The tranny flares mentioned here and in numerous other threads are usually with pre-'07 years and models... shouldn't have any worries here, since you're looking at an '08.

We have an 06' and tried everything with our 'harsh shifts and flares' and ended up needing a new trans. Flush and VB didn't resolve.

But, again... with an '08 this one should have the upgraded VB.

Good luck! Post some pics!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Still haven't "pulled the trigger" yet

Got sidetracked after driving a XC90 3.2 R-Design... then I found another V8 Sport 3 states away for $8000 (2007) and a 2009 850 miles away... the internet makes this harder due to too many choices. The 3.2 R-Design is 26 miles away though, but more expensive than most V8 (2010, 106k, $14,000).

I have no doubt I'll have in the driveway hovering over my SAAB's soon.... once I flip a coin
 

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Found the one of your liking yet?
 

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As your contemplating your decision. There are so many XC90's available so be picky. The 07 V8 Sport and then 08 V8 R-design are the cream of the crop and although on paper look very similar to the others with spec lists the driving characteristics are strikingly different. I didn't need 3-row but i have used it several times now that I have it. If you are looking at something a distance away have it inspected by a dealership or independant. Then have fun. Picked mine up this past year 07 V8 sport and have done several long trips (+1000miles per trip) that have been a pleasure. Enjoy your new toy.
 

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So just to be picky, it's V8 Sport for '07 and '08, then V8 R-Design for '09 followed by the I6 R-Design from '10 to '14. Not much difference that I can tell between the '07-'08 and the '09 (more colors from '08 onward), just the name change. After '10, I think the wheels change (Ixion vs Vulcanis as an option?) although I have no hard facts to back that up, just observed photos.

It's my belief that yearly production numbers for the '07 and '08 were much lower (~400?) than for the '09, making them more rare. And sometime in '07, there is a modification to the TF-80SC valve body although I could never find out exactly what that entailed but, to me (because I own one), made my search a little more specific.

Barring the limited numbers of the '07 and '08 production, a lower mileage '09 may be the best choice of the Sport/R-Design run if you can find one. Or an '09/'10 V8 Executive after that...

My 25 cents.
 

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Based on my shopping, 09's are harder to come by than 08-07's. 09's also have 20" Cratus vs 19" Vulcanis. Seats are a bit different in 09 and steering wheel is cosmetically different. 09's have the spaced out V O L V O on the trunk as well. I might be biased, but I prefer the cosmetic upgrades on the 09 vs previous generations :)

At the core, however, they are the same animals. You can always buy Cratus wheels and space out the V O L V O on the trunk.
 

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Thanks for the clarification, have seen the Cratus on a few R-Design photos but could never match the MY.
 

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The '09 V8 R-Designs are further distinguished from other models with the quad tip exhaust and silk metal mirror covers. Not sure about the steering wheel, other than the R-Design insert but there is a slight difference in the feel of the seats. I can tell the difference between our 2012 R-Design and 2007 V8 Sport. The lower seat pad sits lower offering a better overall feel. Hard to describe until you go back to back in both.



These may still be for sale: 2009 V8 R-Designs:

Titanium Grey: VA
http://www.cargurus.com/Cars/l-Used-2009-Volvo-XC90-V8-R-Design-t34055#listing=132066943

Black: MI
http://www.cargurus.com/Cars/l-Used-2009-Volvo-XC90-V8-R-Design-t34055#listing=130582814

Electric Silver: CO
http://www.cargurus.com/Cars/l-Used-2009-Volvo-XC90-V8-R-Design-t34055#listing=132878615

White: ID
http://www.cargurus.com/Cars/l-Used-2009-Volvo-XC90-V8-R-Design-t34055#listing=131981084
 

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Agreed. The Calcite interiors usually do not hold up well. They look nice when new but yellow and crack over time without maintenance. The Titanium Grey with anthracite Cratus looks sharp.
 

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I know all four of these cars inside out ... dismissed buying them all for one reason or another.

... and for anyone considering considering the Electric Silver at Colorado Autofinders, it's quite notorious, make sure you ask detailed questions about the transmission, all body panels and the windshield!
 

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XC90 V8 Sport comments from an owner

So, what do I look for during an intensive, one-chance, 30-45 minute inspection before buying and driving off? I know what the obvious basic waring signs, but I need XC90-specific things to check out. The pictures I've been sent show a vehicle that has been well taken care of - no body damage, perfect black paint, no weathering on trim, perfect leather interior, service records, etc. It's been garage kept, it's in a state that has fairly harsh winters - at least compared to Texas where I live..
I'm the 2nd owner on a 2007 V8 Sport, Titanium grey w/ charcoal interior. I bought mine w/ 61K and currently wife has pushed the odometer up to 144K. She loves it, wants another if this one ever meets an unscheduled demise. With her lead foot, she gets around 17.5-18MPG city. We see in excess of 22 to 23MPG on the interstate cruising @ 80MPH even with a car-top-carrier. When I drive it, I see around 18.5MPG, city which is better than many V8 owners' highway mileage. It tows boats & snowmobile trailers great too with a 5000 lb towing capacity.

Test drive and listen for odd sounds. It should drive like butter. The engine has a lot of snap and its much more responsive than the other Volvo engines I've driven (V70XC, V50 T5, XC60 T6). The sheer growl of the 60-degree V8 engine with your right foot pinned is enough to say "I'll take it". The stability & traction control on this model help keep the wife from putting it in the ditch when her lead foot doesn't let up in the rain & snow.

What have I replaced? The usual tires and brakes, of course. The factory rotors have plenty of material allowing at least one time of actually machining the rotors instead of replacing them. I eventually replaced my front with Centric Premiums (higher chromium content, they don't corrode like other aftermarket rotors). For tires, I've been really happy with the Continental Extreme Contact DWS. Currently on my second set. I use a separate set of 18" winter tires for my Midwest winters. I recently replaced the lower control arms since the rubber bushings have been slowly deteriorating over the last 50K miles. Also replaced the upper and lower engine mounts last month to bring back the "like new" smoothness of the engine.

The only common item that seems to go on all XC90's is the fuel door spring, but that's a very inexpensive replacement and only takes 10 minutes.

Unexpected replacements: Power steering pump bearing went south around 90K. Heated seat controller failed about one year after I bought the car ($35 OEM replacement). This week I'm replacing the throttle module (<$100 via Ebay) due to a sticky servo motor on mine (144K). Despite my throttle body replacement, this engine does not have the 'typical' ETM failures of other Volvo models from the 90's and 2000's.

Interior holds up reasonably well. Driver's seat showing minor wear on extreme left side since the wife is short and slides in/out every day. I do think the older Volvos (pre 2000) interiors seemed a little higher quality, but I have no real complaints with this one.

Exterior: The headlight lenses, due to design and the curve of the hood are prone to having the protective UV layer buffed off if you have a professional detailing shop wax the car. If that happens, they'll yellow/cloud along the top. If you wax yourself, just keep any aggressive compounds away from the plastic lenses and you'll be fine. I ended up having a local headlight restoration shop repair the lenses and they came out like new.

If you have any other questions, ask me.

The only XC90 to avoid like the plague is the earlier vintage T6 which had a transfer case chain and a GM transmission. The later 3.2L I6 is fine.
 
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