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2019 XC90R
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have one month left on my second XC90 lease, and I am honestly counting the days until it is over. Admittedly, part of that is excitement for my new car which is scheduled to be built early next month, but mostly I am ready to move on. I am on multiple other vehicle forums, and I understand how this can come off. I'm going to share my feedback and let future buyers draw their own conclusions. Flame suit activated for those that do not like my perspective, and I respect that.

Where I came from: My first XC90 was a Momentum, in a gorgeous denim blue. After owning multiple Jeep Grand Cherokees I needed a 3 row utility due to kids, trips, dog, life, etc BUT needed to stay under a certain length and height as I have a car lift in my garage that I store my "summer" toy on. I felt many domestic mid size SUV's were too low rent for my taste and the Germans (Audi, BMW) were too pricey. The Volvo hit a sweet spot, but I admit I NEVER saw myself buying a Volvo.

What I liked: The Good
  • Design: I was attracted to the minimal styling of both the interior and exterior. In a nut shell, I thought it looked very attractive and stylish. I love the Audi's and saw this as a baby Audi. I negotiated a great deal and off the lot I drove.
  • Engine: I was surprised by how peppy the engine was for a 4 cylinder and it met my physical needs.
  • Auto Pilot: I of course was aware of Volvo's reputation for safety but that had little to do with my decision to buy one. I actually learned more about the safety features AFTER I bought it, then prior. My hands down, favorite feature of my XC90 is the AutoPilot feature. We take a lot of road trips, and the feature allows me to take micro-breaks while driving to change a station, talk, get a soda, etc. It does pull weird when an on ramp enters the road, and never centers but all in all it has been a phenomenal feature. It was a big feature I looked for in its replacement.
  • R-Design: I don't remember how long I owned my Momentum, but with a few years my dealer offered to upgrade me for the same payment into an "R-Design" in blue. I still LOVE this blue color and the styling of the R Design.
  • Visibility: Has good visibility, as expected for a Volvo.
  • Sound System: The upgraded Bowers & Wilkens sounds system is a delight.
  • Heads Up: Love it and have it on a few other vehicles, and insist on it whenever available. So handy.
  • App: The app is handy and respect that Volvo doesn't charge a monthly fee, that it comes with the car. I use the remote start from my phone and watch daily in the Winter and the middle of the Summer. Very handy.

What I don't like: The Bad
  • Engine: (Yes, I realize this was a like above...initially). In "polestar engineered" mode, its pretty peppy...surprisingly so at highway speeds, but it lacks low end umph, and at the end of the day I prefer V8 (v6 at a minimum) power AND sound. The 4 cylinder turbo and supercharged engine is very tinny to me. It gets old for this size of vehicle. Some of this is my baggage, and I acknowledge that.
  • Design: What are we at? 7 years? 8 years, with little or now cosmetic refresh? The design looked sharp when I bought it in 2017 / 2018, but now looks a little long in the tooth.
  • Chrome / Aluminum: Its Everywhere. Literally. Mirrors, grille, trim, etc. Tacky plastic aluminum. In fairness, the new ones have more exterior black trim and looks a load better. The aluminum just dates the design IMHO.
  • No cooled seats: The R-Design with its suede interior does not have cooled seats. Lame. This was a big negative on long road trips, especially in the Summer.
  • Seat Comfort: What began as looking tight, crisp, thoughtful and minimal seats are actually hard as a board. 10's of thousands of miles have not softened them...only wrinkled them. For perspective, I'm used to firm seats with bolsters in sports cars. On long trips I am constantly shifting in place. Not a fan.
  • No Buttons: What began as looking like a minimal, elegant designed cockpit, void of buttons is actually a user PITA. I really did like the lack of buttons and dusty spots, but after daily use, having to go through the head unit / touch screen for common tasks related to the radio selection or climate control gets old. The interior needs just a handful more buttons for frequently used tasks.
  • Safety features: Lane keeping assist can be invasive. My wife and daughters refuse to drive the car. Yes, you can turn it off, but they don't like it. So no on drives it but me.

What I REALLY don't like: The Ugly
  • Touchscreen Head Unit: After almost 5 years, I am still not used to the head unit organization. It is slow, it glitches and the swipe left, swipe right feels awkward and unnatural. I always swipe the wrong direction for what I need to do. The vertical orientation is TINY by todays standards and just doesn't work. CarPlay is a postage stamp. Radio channel selection, browsing requires too much time of your eyes off the road. Since almost EVERYTHING the driver needs to control is in this touchscreen it lacks finesse and a rational UI that makes logical sense. The system is just slow. Slow to wake up, slow to respond. Just slow.
  • System Crashing: Both my XC90's had issues with the dash crashing while driving. Now it does it a few times whenever we are on a longer drive. VERY unsettling to have the entire dash (including speedometer), touchscreen everything go blank at 75 mph. Systems goes dark, music off, AC off and drive mode resets. It reboots and we're eventually back in business. The good news is I have never lost vehicle power during this time. Dealer has done "software updates" but obviously we still haven't found the issue.
  • Loud Cabin / Road noise: It is not a quiet sanctuary as they'd have you believe in the commercials. Road noise, wind noise, engine noise... This is not a german by any stretch.
  • Rotors / Breaks: In my 2019, the Rotors are a joke. First ones were warped so bad all 4 rotors had to be replaced. They still vibrate when braking. Again, I am used to sports cars and don't need a cushy Cadillac ride. These brakes are not good and the vibration is horrible braking from highway speeds to an off ramp. If I wasn't returning it in a month, I'd be asking for new rotors again. Now, I just don't care.
  • Suspension: The air suspension went out and the entire rear system had to be replaced. That was a week plus in the shop but covered under warranty. Would not want to imagine paying for that outside of warranty.
  • Rear Axle: Something happened with the rear axle on my momentum, and the ENTIRE rear axle had to be replaced. Seriously.
  • Long-term Feel: It is not a comfortable vehicle. It is rigid, firm, unwelcoming, unemotional and stoic. It is northern European to a tee. If you are an uptight neat freak, you might love it. I hand wash and detail my own cars and this is about as lovable as a cat.
  • Service: I bought into the Volvo also for the service. They would pick up my vehicle and drop off a loaner. This occurred for the first few years but during Covid that changed. I understood during the pandemic but they STILL will not come to me for pickup, which requires me to take a half day from work and go sit in their cold dealership while they work on my car...or get a 40 minute ride back home. Loaners even are hit or miss. This was one of the biggest disappointments and original differentiators that steered me to the brand.

If you own a reliable XC90 and love it, my hat is off to you. I am sincerely happy for you, but I and my family have found in time, this to be a miserable piece of transportation. It gets us from point A to Point B. After considering the X5, Q7, Genesis and Cadillac, I have decided to get a loaded Lincoln Aviator. Should be here late February / Early March and I can't wait. The Volvo experiment is coming to a close. Ironically, I turned my brother in law onto Volvo and he loves it. My sister is in the market too, and she has decided on the XC90. Friends ask me about it, and I share the good, bad and the ugly and let them decide. If you are looking at an XC90, go into with open eyes is my only recomendation. It will not get faster. It will not get softer. It will not get sexier...but it very likely will let you walk away from an accident. So there is that.
 

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We also own a 2019 XC90 and i personally love it, though the wife just "likes" it, and it's her daily and our "take everywhere" family car.

The lack of physical buttons is annoying for sure, but that's the way of the present and future, unfortunately. I love the ride and find it very comfortable and quiet, but that could be because my daily is a Jeep Wrangler which is like driving a pogo stick.

The design i find to be very elegant and timeless. Despite being 8 years old, i think it looks great.
 

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2019 XC90 T6 Rdesign
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The lack of buttons and poor interface drives me batty.

However I drove a new AAOS Volvo and to me it was worse. Maybe because I’m too used to sensus.

It may be the way of the future but I hate it. I haven’t bought a Tesla 3, mostly because of the single middle screen and their touch for everything interface.
 
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Ok, the wife stopped by so i interviewed her on the Volvo

Her gripes:

  • When kids turn on the heat/ac in the 2nd row, the fan gets really loud
  • Not enough range from the fob to unlock the car from inside the house. In her previous car (2012 Grand Cherokee) she could just hit the button on the fob and it would do it, so she doesn't like having to wait for the app to load and go through there. Plus i believe you have to pull on the trunk handle within 2 minutes for it to unlock.
  • She sometimes has problems with the sensor on the driver's door detecting her/key
  • Lack of physical buttons
  • Hvac controls through touch screen. Finds annoying
  • No 12v plug for backseat use. In the Wrangler and her previous Grand Cherokee there is a plug on the back of the center console which the kids use to charge their ipads
  • Center console storage. No place to put your phone if the cup holders are taken. The storage space in front of the cup holders is practically useless as it is awkwardly shaped
  • Sunglasses holder
 

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2019 XC90R
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, the wife stopped by so i interviewed her on the Volvo

Her gripes:

  • When kids turn on the heat/ac in the 2nd row, the fan gets really loud
  • Not enough range from the fob to unlock the car from inside the house. In her previous car (2012 Grand Cherokee) she could just hit the button on the fob and it would do it, so she doesn't like having to wait for the app to load and go through there. Plus i believe you have to pull on the trunk handle within 2 minutes for it to unlock.
  • She sometimes has problems with the sensor on the driver's door detecting her/key
  • Lack of physical buttons
  • Hvac controls through touch screen. Finds annoying
  • No 12v plug for backseat use. In the Wrangler and her previous Grand Cherokee there is a plug on the back of the center console which the kids use to charge their ipads
  • Center console storage. No place to put your phone if the cup holders are taken. The storage space in front of the cup holders is practically useless as it is awkwardly shaped
  • Sunglasses holder
Some really good ones...and I'd forgotten about the lack of 12v, lack of sunglass holder, and the key fob not recognizing me as I'm pulling on the handle. Yes, that is weird. I wondered if the battery needed replacing in the FOB but since its going away, I'm not replacing it.
 

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Some really good ones...and I'd forgotten about the lack of 12v, lack of sunglass holder, and the key fob not recognizing me as I'm pulling on the handle. Yes, that is weird. I wondered if the battery needed replacing in the FOB but since its going away, I'm not replacing it.
The sunglass holder is an accessory, and isn't there a power outlet in each row?
 
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‘19 t6 inscription silver/brown w/air, b&w, lux, polestar, 21’s, etc
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Agree on most points except seats (our inscription seats with heat/cool/massage are sublime), ride quality (very comfortable with air suspension), and design (still looks better than vast majority of suvs on road).

But rest of points are pretty spot on. Engine is adequate at best. Lane keep assist is intrusive and have found pilot assist works much better with LKA turned off. It is not a vehicle that rewards aggressive driving, but is wonderful for long trips at near-legal speeds. We haven’t had anywhere near the issues you have, but 100% would never own one of these without a Volvo backed warranty.

Good luck with the Aviator…our cpo xc90 was traded in on an Aviator too. Only Volvo/Lincoln dealer I’ve ever seen lol.
 

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If you own a reliable XC90 and love it, my hat is off to you.
That's us!

We picked up our MY19T8 Inscription with everything minus a few options on OSD. Except for the onboard charger (covered under the 8yr hybrid warranty) and one headlight (covered under the original warranty) crapping out, it has been rock solid and we really enjoy it 50k miles later. I guess we've been lucky to not have any of the issues you've faced nor share the annoyances you list. And we're still on the original brake pads! We hope this XC90 lasts a very loooooong time for more memories and to make the money spent all worthwhile!

Sorry to hear you didn't have quite an enjoyable experience. Good luck with the Aviator.
 

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No Buttons: What began as looking like a minimal, elegant designed cockpit, void of buttons is actually a user PITA. I really did like the lack of buttons and dusty spots, but after daily use, having to go through the head unit / touch screen for common tasks related to the radio selection or climate control gets old. The interior needs just a handful more buttons for frequently used tasks.
I concur with this point. Professionally I am a UX Designer and the lack of buttons and feedback from physical buttons in most cars is a troubling thought. Always makes me wonder if some of the heads up alerts, sounds, wheel vibrations, and steering controls are car manufacturers admitting there is a distinct issue with attention within all cars because of touch screens. I don't plan to ever own a Tesla for this simple issue.

I love our Volvos, though I agree with some of the other thoughts about engine power. I was hoping for a bit more low end torque, Cabin noise can be an issue, though I have added sound insulation and dampening in other cars, and may add some where possible.

Sounds like you had a good run in the XC90. The Aviator sounds like it will meet your needs, best of luck to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I concur with this point. Professionally I am a UX Designer and the lack of buttons and feedback from physical buttons in most cars is a troubling thought. Always makes me wonder if some of the heads up alerts, sounds, wheel vibrations, and steering controls are car manufacturers admitting there is a distinct issue with attention within all cars because of touch screens. I don't plan to ever own a Tesla for this simple issue.

I love our Volvos, though I agree with some of the other thoughts about engine power. I was hoping for a bit more low end torque, Cabin noise can be an issue, though I have added sound insulation and dampening in other cars, and may add some where possible.

Sounds like you had a good run in the XC90. The Aviator sounds like it will meet your needs, best of luck to you.
One of the reasons I picked the Aviator was the physical buttons for common controls. Climate and radio controls on the center stack…even a hot button for camera controls.

Car Vehicle Gear shift Motor vehicle Satellite radio
 

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One of the reasons I picked the Aviator was the physical buttons for common controls. Climate and radio controls on the center stack…even a hot button for camera controls.

View attachment 180849
Looks like the Ford Design team picked up a lot of queues from the MB and VWAG Design teams. I had thought hard about getting an allroad as I liked the row of physical buttons but found my V60 on a Nissan lot. Someone traded it in for an F-150.

I like the idea of more buttons as well as programmable buttons for the driver. Give us the ability to map functions to specific buttons!
 

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Many of your grips have long been addressed by Volvo since your model year. Some comments (like no low end torque, which is exactly what the supercharger instantaneously delivers) don't seem actually to even accurately describe the vehicle. Many of the cons are simply personal preference, many I have the exact opposite preference.

If you thought you had a lot of service on your Volvo, good luck with your fancy Ford.....yikes. That vehicle has abysmal fit and finish with some of the worst cabin material choices I have ever seen. If you thought your Sensus had software bugs, you are in for a rude awakening. I'm guessing you will find your service experience lest than stellar as you wait in line behind all the Fusion and Explorer customers. So many of your gripes about the Volvo are shared with the Lincoln, so that's confusing.

Regardless, thanks for sharing. Certainly is entertaining to see how many people have the exact opposite opinion of others on the same vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Many of the cons are simply personal preference, many I have the exact opposite preference.

I'm guessing you will find your service experience lest than stellar as you wait in line behind all the Fusion and Explorer customers. So many of your gripes about the Volvo are shared with the Lincoln, so that's confusing.
Ha ha, I knew there’d be one who’d be offended by my feedback. Fair enough, but please don’t take it personally. My opinion / experience shouldn’t diminish yours.

So, my ”cons” of electrical system failure, air suspension failure and warped rotors are ‘personal preference?” Ok, sure. Those are pretty big flaws in most people’s books.

Thw Aviator and XC90 are nothing alike. The 30 way adjustable seats with massage function are incredible…and the fit and finish I’ve seen was top notch.

Honestly, we (consumers) role the dice on every new car purchase, from any manufacturer. I’m well aware of the Aviator issues and I will manage. If they are excessive, I’ll dump it. If they are persistent, I’ll pursue lemon law…which I’ve done before.

As for waiting behind Explorer and Fusion customers, not likely, as I bought from a stand alone Lincoln dealer in a brand new flagship store. IF I have to spend time at the Lincoln dealer at least it’ll be in a relaxing setting instead of an antiquated Volvo showroom with a Keurig and a vending machine. But I won’t, because they DO continue to offer drop off and pickup service.

I hope you continue to enjoy your Volvo. Sincerely.
 

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Ha ha, I knew there’d be one who’d be offended by my feedback. Fair enough, but please don’t take it personally. My opinion / experience shouldn’t diminish yours.

So, my ”cons” of electrical system failure, air suspension failure and warped rotors are ‘personal preference?” Ok, sure. Those are pretty big flaws in most people’s books.

Thw Aviator and XC90 are nothing alike. The 30 way adjustable seats with massage function are incredible…and the fit and finish I’ve seen was top notch.

Honestly, we (consumers) role the dice on every new car purchase, from any manufacturer. I’m well aware of the Aviator issues and I will manage. If they are excessive, I’ll dump it. If they are persistent, I’ll pursue lemon law…which I’ve done before.

As for waiting behind Explorer and Fusion customers, not likely, as I bought from a stand alone Lincoln dealer in a brand new flagship store. IF I have to spend time at the Lincoln dealer at least it’ll be in a relaxing setting instead of an antiquated Volvo showroom with a Keurig and a vending machine. But I won’t, because they DO continue to offer drop off and pickup service.

I hope you continue to enjoy your Volvo. Sincerely.
Comments saying it's not a comfortable vehicle along with the seats tells me a lot about how you evaluate a car. Then you say the rear axel had to be replaced? Can you elaborate on that, because a Volvo has and independent rear suspension, and it has no axel.....telling me your tales of things being "completely" replaced isn't accurate at all and you are not technically familiar with how a car works. And like I said...lots of your grips have been addressed since your model year.

I don't mind people that want to evaluate the dislikes of their Volvo. I certainly don't like everything about the 3 I drive. What makes me grind my teeth is when people state issues or make complaints that don't really exist or there personal preference is conflated with design flaws. Lots of your comments go down that path, and it does a great disservice to people looking for accurate reviews of cars.

As far as your new Fancy Ford, give me 10 minutes to point out all the poor quality and workmanship on that thing and you'll see really fast....it isn't a Volvo, that's for sure. It's hard for me to see how someone could possible drive one of those after being in an XC90.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Comments saying it's not a comfortable vehicle along with the seats tells me a lot about how you evaluate a car. Then you say the rear axel had to be replaced? Can you elaborate on that, because a Volvo has and independent rear suspension, and it has no axel.....telling me your tales of things being "completely" replaced isn't accurate at all and you are not technically familiar with how a car works. And like I said...lots of your grips have been addressed since your model year.

I don't mind people that want to evaluate the dislikes of their Volvo. I certainly don't like everything about the 3 I drive. What makes me grind my teeth is when people state issues or make complaints that don't really exist or there personal preference is conflated with design flaws. Lots of your comments go down that path, and it does a great disservice to people looking for accurate reviews of cars.

As far as your new Fancy Ford, give me 10 minutes to point out all the poor quality and workmanship on that thing and you'll see really fast....it isn't a Volvo, that's for sure. It's hard for me to see how someone could possible drive one of those after being in an XC90.
“Fancy Ford?” This passive aggressive comment says so much about you. You “don’t mind people that want to evaluate the dislikes of their Volvo?” Lol, keep telling yourself that, because you clearly have an ax to grind.

I’ve elaborated enough, but everything I stated AND MORE happened. Sorry, I didn’t meet your standards of Internet forum journalistic formatting. Even though I’m not singing the same praises about your beloved Volvos, this was MY experience.
 

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Comments saying it's not a comfortable vehicle along with the seats tells me a lot about how you evaluate a car. Then you say the rear axel had to be replaced? Can you elaborate on that, because a Volvo has and independent rear suspension, and it has no axel.....telling me your tales of things being "completely" replaced isn't accurate at all and you are not technically familiar with how a car works. And like I said...lots of your grips have been addressed since your model year.

I don't mind people that want to evaluate the dislikes of their Volvo. I certainly don't like everything about the 3 I drive. What makes me grind my teeth is when people state issues or make complaints that don't really exist or there personal preference is conflated with design flaws. Lots of your comments go down that path, and it does a great disservice to people looking for accurate reviews of cars.

As far as your new Fancy Ford, give me 10 minutes to point out all the poor quality and workmanship on that thing and you'll see really fast....it isn't a Volvo, that's for sure. It's hard for me to see how someone could possible drive one of those after being in an XC90.
Yeah, his opinion is practically criminal according to you!

Maybe it’s a T8? That has an entire rear axle. And those problems have not been corrected after almost 8 years of the SPA XC90’s.

The screen blacking out? That’s happened multiple times on my 2021. The new google based systems are even worse. Sensus is faster for sure, but don’t kid yourself.

Air suspension? It took 5 years and a voluntary extended warranty on components to “correct” the issues. Standby on that “fix” for 21’s and newer .

Cabin noise? It’s a marginal improvement in 5 years. Our 2017 is loud as hell. And our 2021 is not much better. Bowers & Wilkins has a lot to do with that.

Rotors? Dude, you’ve had rotors replaced on your Volvo’s for the same issues. No where near corrected for the 2021 models. Standby on the new ones haha.


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