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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It’s been 3 months and few thousand miles so figured a short review is in order. In spite of the rants, the car continues to impress as it grows on me. First thing to know, still love my S40 more and to which I measured every other single car test driven for the 3 solid months before purchase. The R came the closest in the “fun to drive category” and was pure bad a$$. In the end, T5 is what was needed. Set-up is in signature line. FWIW.

Pros:
- Most comfortable ride ever owned, exactly what I was looking for
- Awesome manners in town and even better on the highway. Great handling for size even with comfort suspension.
- Ultra quiet cabin, can hear every note on the radio at very low levels. Downside, wife knows I can “clearly” hear her on long trips, rats.
- Best seats in class, hands down. Closest 2nd was the Cadillac CTS, that thing was a glove.
- Beechwood leather is very classy. Didn’t think we’d like it from the pictures and when it arrived on the showroom, it really popped with the blue exterior and black interior
- HD radio, radio clarity, well balanced
- BLIS. Many don’t care for it, I like it. Still do head checks on lane changes, motorcycle rider for 35 years so it’s second nature. For me BLIS is a “hey, wake up there’s someone there” system, not “rely on me”. Auto folding option too, nice for parking lots and snuggling into the garage.
- Economy of the T5 balanced with a little bit of zippiness in sport mode, overboost very nice indeed
- LED tail lights/approach lights are just plain cool
- Interior accent lighting
- Steering wheel controls are some of the less complicated ones seen
- City safe, although it needs to mature into an “any speed” system
- Back-up cam and park assist. 2 views and bending lens on camera makes maneuvering in parking lots a snap
- Unique auto, although it starting to look like a Chevrolet Impala with those sweeping headlight lenses
- Ergonomics of the cockpit. From the tilted center stack to the steering wheel, they’re all comfortable.
- Interior quality, fit & finish as quoted by many auto reviews as well

Cons:
- Navigation. In short , think all in-dash systems basically stink. It’s adequate and do like the options but a $49 Tom-Tom has more map detail and takes me directly to the door while this one ends about a mile from the house…says “find your way from here”. BTW, our road has been here 8 years. Antiquated selections, scrolling to spell names, really? Get on board with touch screen like the Honda/Acura system already.
- Trans gearing and/or TCM settings. Programming has trans defaulting to such a high gear that the cabin catches the dreaded engine drone. Small adjustment in shift points would most likely correct as reflected in it’s disappearance when in Sport mode.
- Paint durability. Just like the 40, bird poop immediately stains. Don’t know what the angry birds eat around here, must be dining at the nitrogen plant.
- Rattles in the door when the audio approaches any form full sound and sorely needs a subwoofer.
- Insufficient brakes. Had to use emergency braking for an early morning zombie and they were like stepping on a marshmallow and faded very quickly.
- Owl eyes (bottom half of speedo & tach) and Nav/Radio reflection at night is downright poor engineering & design. Goofy. Have to drive with the sun visor down at night to hide the eyes. Not a good thing when Volvo prides itself on driver attention on the road - this is a distraction.
 

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Great review.

How has the leather held up? I have seen a few reviews with folks complaining about leather wearing prematurely.

I have been pleasantly surprised by the OEM Michelins that come with the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Great review.

How has the leather held up? I have seen a few reviews with folks complaining about leather wearing prematurely.

I have been pleasantly surprised by the OEM Michelins that come with the car.
The leather looks brand new although I read these posts prior to purchase and have really taken great care getting in and out of the car.

The Michelins are very quiet and enable precise handling, just a bit slippery for my taste. But overall, a great shoe.
 

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LOL about the bird droppings...I have noticed the SAME thing and thought it was just me. Had some sit on the waxed car for all of 8 hours (I am maniacal about keeping bird droppings off the car) and it stained the clearcoat.
 

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I agree with you about BLIS

WRT Nav, have you upgraded the maps and do you have SENSUS 3.0? That combination fixed my NAV complaints. It has lane assist just like my Garmin. I leave my Garmin in the drawer now only to bring it with me when I fly somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I agree with you about BLIS

WRT Nav, have you upgraded the maps and do you have SENSUS 3.0? That combination fixed my NAV complaints. It has lane assist just like my Garmin. I leave my Garmin in the drawer now only to bring it with me when I fly somewhere.
Good point. I have the 3.0 and was wondering about the map upgrade. Wanted to wait until next year, seems the "new" versions come out in December of the prior year, hence 2013 should come this month, I think. Believe paperwork said something about 3 free map upgrades, didn't think the one that was in it would need updating. If so, that's a foul IMO. The car should come with all things current and then allow the upgrades as they're release or as we decide to do it. If we want to wait a few years, we should have that option.

Either way, I will check into it this week. Anything I should know before asking for the map upgrade?
 

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There's a link someplace to request it. You can do it or the dealer. Takes a few hours.

I did mine while commuting.

Maps were definitely out of date when I got my car. A grocery store 2 miles from me (not a new one either) wasn't showing up.
 

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Great review.

How has the leather held up? I have seen a few reviews with folks complaining about leather wearing prematurely.

I have been pleasantly surprised by the OEM Michelins that come with the car.
I think the leather problems were with the beige. I also have the Beechwood (I refer to it as "baseball glove" and love the color.
 

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There's a link someplace to request it. You can do it or the dealer. Takes a few hours.

I did mine while commuting.

Maps were definitely out of date when I got my car. A grocery store 2 miles from me (not a new one either) wasn't showing up.
I prefer portable nav myself so did not get the built-in.

Map quality in general may be going down since the big vendor in map data (Navteq) is owned by Nokia which is in bankruptcy. I know one of their software developers and he does not have nice things to say.

Advantages of portable nav:
  1. Same interface as my wife's
  2. Easy to update from PC
  3. Portable so I can use it on business trip
  4. Easy to set up and maintain favorites (and sync with wife's)
  5. Can download tracks (electronic breadcrumbs) to build maps of OSD trip
  6. Interfaces with OBD reader so I can get gauges no longer included on dash
 

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I curse having to mount my TomTom on the windshield and deal with the power cable especially when I'm running a radar detector. The cellular based live updates on traffic seem to be worth the hassle. This saved my bacon trying to catch a flight out of Boston traveling from Cape Cod two years ago. I also had a great experience this last summer after getting stuck in Indiana when a train crossing barrie

r stuck. The TomTom weaved me through some really obscure backroads as an alternative routes. Seemed crazy at the time as I was zigging and zagging on these back roads. I know GPS is not infallible. But the suggested detours worked great. How many in dash GPS owners bother with frequent updates?

The built-in navigation on the Volvo doesn't have live traffic does it? I'm kind of surprised that the built-in navigation systems don't seem to usually rely on live updates like the add on GPS units. Maybe I'm behind the times and the OEM nav systems do this?
 

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Advantages to the OEM Nav:

1. Athletically pleasing, large screen
2. Increased resale value
3. Always ready - never having to deal with setup or hanging cords.
4. Not a reason for thieves to break-in.

The last two are the reasons I opted for OEM Nav. I have a portable unit which I used with previous cars. It was usually in the glove box. If I travel and need nav my iphone fills in nicely.

BTW, OEM Nav traffic updates are radio based (free). It pulls the information off FM stations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Advantages to the OEM Nav:

1. Athletically pleasing, large screen
2. Increased resale value
3. Always ready - never having to deal with setup or hanging cords.
4. Not a reason for thieves to break-in.

The last two are the reasons I opted for OEM Nav. I have a portable unit which I used with previous cars. It was usually in the glove box. If I travel and need nav my iphone fills in nicely.

BTW, OEM Nav traffic updates are radio based (free). It pulls the information off FM stations.
I agree with all but the resale value...we will typically get more for sale/trade but we take a loss relative to price paid for the return. I'm sure there are exceptions. Those without nav will tend to have more value for the original price at sale/trade. Several blogs and sites back this up. Edmonds says it helps, which it does help garner more money at trade but just not the return on investment.

I knew this at purchase and was okay with it, tired of cords and the like. That said, I still keep a $49 TomTom in the console if this thing gets sideways - which it hasn't.
 

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I curse having to mount my TomTom on the windshield and deal with the power cable especially when I'm running a radar detector. The cellular based live updates on traffic seem to be worth the hassle. This saved my bacon trying to catch a flight out of Boston traveling from Cape Cod two years ago. I also had a great experience this last summer after getting stuck in Indiana when a train crossing barrie

r stuck. The TomTom weaved me through some really obscure backroads as an alternative routes. Seemed crazy at the time as I was zigging and zagging on these back roads. I know GPS is not infallible. But the suggested detours worked great. How many in dash GPS owners bother with frequent updates?

The built-in navigation on the Volvo doesn't have live traffic does it? I'm kind of surprised that the built-in navigation systems don't seem to usually rely on live updates like the add on GPS units. Maybe I'm behind the times and the OEM nav systems do this?
proclipusa.com makes mounts for various GPS (and universals) with brackets for different years and models and locations on the Volvo. The power cable routes under the waterfall into an external 3*12V socket I wired into the center console's 12V socket.

I forgot to mention that both our GPS have live traffic. One option is to route based on traffic but I found a big flaw in that while in Amsterdam -- a street without traffic monitoring looks like a street with no traffic even when it is in total gridlock (they didn't seem to understand the "don't block the box" concept). Since then I use the live traffic as a heads up and will force the unit into "detour" mode if I want to take an alternate route.
 

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Advantages to the OEM Nav:

1. Athletically pleasing, large screen
2. Increased resale value
3. Always ready - never having to deal with setup or hanging cords.
4. Not a reason for thieves to break-in.

The last two are the reasons I opted for OEM Nav. I have a portable unit which I used with previous cars. It was usually in the glove box. If I travel and need nav my iphone fills in nicely.

BTW, OEM Nav traffic updates are radio based (free). It pulls the information off FM stations.
I'm still puzzling over your point no. 1. Any chance you meant aesthetically pleasing? There isn't much athletic about factory nav, save for a substantial workout for the right thumb. The rest of me is in pathetic shape, but my right thumb is extremely fit. :D

In any event, you and I would seem to be in a minority on this forum; I have had factory nav in all of my modern-era Volvos and consider it money very well spent, if only for the convenience factor alone. I use it regularly, almost daily. I appreciate that most portable units have greater functionality, but I gladly sacrifice that for the utility, appearance, safety, security, and, yes, athleticism of the in-dash factory units.
 
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