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Same here. I mean there are quite a few negative reviews about the ride and suspension but I'd like to know how bad it is compared to other cars, even the outgoing XC90? Is the ride unbearable or is it just that Audi's is that much better? I've ordered an XC90 without air suspension but have kept 19 inch wheels so will post a review when it arrives. I'm worried that I won't enjoy driving it after all the media reviews!


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Keep in mind that mags like technology on cars and the "enhanced placebo" effect will make them wish for the top technology whether they have tried it or not.

The ride, without the air suspension and with 21" is very good. Where the air suspension MAY have an advantage is that it may absorb some road irregularities better (again, without meaning to write that the regular suspension's quality is not good), provide slightly less body lean against tight curves and, of course, it allows you to modify the ride height of the vehicle especially in off road and dynamic modes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Keep in mind that mags like technology on cars and the "enhanced placebo" effect will make them wish for the top technology whether they have tried it or not.

The ride, without the air suspension and 21" is very good. Where the air suspension MAY have an advantage is that it may absorb some road irregularities better (again, without meaning to write that the regular suspension's quality is not good), provide slightly less body lean against tight curves and, of course, it allows you to modify the ride height of the vehicle especially in off road and dynamic modes.
Thank you Grecian. Your update is helpful. The way the mags and reviews write it's like I'm going to get a jolt down my spine each time I hit a pothole....

Also, the Designers Choice vehicles (at least 2 of them) were 21" without Air...so Volvo must at least done some testing and approval you would have thought....
 

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I can't speak for other countries but, judging by UK tests, 21 inch wheels on the standard suspension would seem out of the question on Ireland's even worse roads. Far from liking high tech, UK magazines often prefer the simplest suspension option. Several have driven and compared both XC90 suspensions. I certainly don't consider Volvo's new air suspension to be just a placebo, particularly the included 4-C adaptive dampers which have served Volvo well for decades.
 

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We test drove multiple XC90's with and w/o the air suspension and I honestly couldn't notice a difference. Certainly not an $1800 difference. Guys, this is a fantastic car. Standard suspension isnt going to suck. And I highly doubt a 1" wheel diameter is going to make much difference either. The wife and I ordered 21's w/o air and I'm not even worried about it.
 
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