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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I created this thread when I bought our Black Inscription with 21 inch wheels in mid-December. Now that we've had it a few weeks, I thought I'd share a more detailed review.

Overall - I am in LOVE with this vehicle.

1 - I love the overall look of the vehicle

2 - The upgraded (21 in) Inscription wheels look amazing, and the ride quality isn't harsh at all (this was one of my big concerns with the 21s)

3 - The ride feel is smooth and handling is surprisingly good for an SUV. It's not a BMW 3 or 5 series by any means in terms of handling, but I don't expect that in an XC90 (or an X5, for that matter). For what the XC90 is (a 3rd-row, 7-passenger vehicle), it handles remarkably well. And, this is all without the air-suspension, which I don't have.

4 - The seats are truly very comfortable. I literally want to just go out to the garage and sit in the vehicle. And, when my 3 kids get loud enough, I do. :)

5 - The interior aesthetics are high-end luxury-class and beautiful. The look and feel of the leather, the Inscription wood grain, everything is very high quality. I've owned two BMW 5 series, and the luxury feel inside this vehicle is 2nd to none. I definitely feel like I'm sitting in a $65k (plus) vehicle. For my taste, the Amber Inscription leather, against the Inscription wood grain is just a BEAUTIFUL combination. I emphasize this in response to another post I saw in this forum questioning the looks of the Amber interior. I think it's just gorgeous.

6 - The amazing technology (Pilot Assist, Lane Keep Assist, Sensus, CarPlay)!

7 - CarPlay itself is really cool. I know it's not as integrated with Sensus as many would like (myself included), but just having a true Apple iPhone integration like this is remarkable. This is the first vehicle I've had where I can truly put my phone away when I enter the vehicle, and I feel I'm missing nothing. The use of Siri to read and compose text messages works very well. The phone feature works well, and Maps is also a great tool. Yes, we can nit-pick about some things, including the fact that I do at times lose the connection and have to unplug and replug into my phone to kickstart CarPlay. But, at the end of the day, these are #firstworldproblems, no? I am really enjoying CarPlay as a feature. Furthermore, my dealer threw it in for free for me, even though I was past that "freebie" cutoff by Volvo. So, all the more reason to like it.

Concerns/Issues - I have had a couple of glitches in my first 3 weeks, which have me just a little concerned at this point.

1 - Sensus froze up once, when I was trying to select the temperature and raise it. The temp #s just never came up on screen. It seems to have resolved itself, so just something to monitor.

2 - SRS Airbag warning and Auto Headlight Lamp warning both showed up one day out of the blue. I took it into the dealer, who honestly weren't able to diagnose the issue very well. For now, it was a one-time issue. So, again, something I'll be monitoring.

3 - Heated Windshield - this isn't really an issue, but I've had to get used to the grid I see in my windshield. I park in a garage at home and work, so I honestly haven't needed the feature to-date. Though, it's nice to know I have it if I ever need it. But, the grid is something that bothered me slightly the first few days. But, let me emphasize, it's not a huge deal at all.

4 - This is really picky, but I don't love the way you have to physically remove the cargo sliding cover in order to put up or take-down the 3rd row. Again, I am nit-picking here. But, I've found it to be a bit of a pain as I have to climb into the cargo area, take out the cover, just to put up the 3rd row when I need it. Then, you're left with the cargo cover to store somewhere. With Volvo and the Swedes known for their clever engineering, I find this a bit clumsy.

5 - Integrated booster seat - first, there's only 1, which bothers me as a parent of 3 little ones under 6. I really wish the XC90 offered the 2 integrated boosters, the way the XC60 (at least used to). If I had my druthers, we'd have 2 integrated boosters in the 2nd row outboard positions. As it is, we have 1 in the 2nd row center, which means you lose that integrated booster, if you choose to fold down the center seat to create easier access to the 3rd row (as I've read many are doing).
 

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Thanks for posting.

Nice to see a thread highlighting this vehicle's virtues instead of only its faults (which has seemed to be the trend on this board lately).

Glad you're loving the vehicle so much. I'm living vicariously through your posts as I wait for my Ember Black Inscription on 21s which should be arriving in March!
 

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4 - This is really picky, but I don't love the way you have to physically remove the cargo sliding cover in order to put up or take-down the 3rd row. Again, I am nit-picking here. But, I've found it to be a bit of a pain as I have to climb into the cargo area, take out the cover, just to put up the 3rd row when I need it. Then, you're left with the cargo cover to store somewhere. With Volvo and the Swedes known for their clever engineering, I find this a bit clumsy.
Even if you could leave it up, are you expecting kids to crawl into the 3rd row beneath it?

As for storing after you've raised the 3rd row, do you mean that Volvo doesn't let you remount it behind the 3rd row? Are you having to leave it in the back at an angle loose?

On our durango, the ends of the cargo cover are spring loaded so I am able to remove it from the forward position and then I insert it into the rear position just behind the 3rd row headrests.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As for storing after you've raised the 3rd row, do you mean that Volvo doesn't let you remount it behind the 3rd row? Are you having to leave it in the back at an angle loose?
That's correct -- unless I'm missing something, if you want the 3rd row up, the only option is to take the cargo cover out completely (or leave it lying loose behind the 3rd row). Again, not the end of the world, but it's a hassle to install and uninstall every time I put the 3rd row up or down.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That cargo cover went into plastic garbage bags (for dust protection) and into the basement the first day i brought the car home. I forgot it existed until I read this post.
I suppose that's fine if you find little or no value in the cover. I happen to really value the cover installed because of the security/privacy it provides to whatever you may have in the cargo area. I like keeping things (especially store-bought items or shopping bags) under cover.

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4 - This is really picky, but I don't love the way you have to physically remove the cargo sliding cover in order to put up or take-down the 3rd row. Again, I am nit-picking here. But, I've found it to be a bit of a pain as I have to climb into the cargo area, take out the cover, just to put up the 3rd row when I need it. Then, you're left with the cargo cover to store somewhere. With Volvo and the Swedes known for their clever engineering, I find this a bit clumsy.
Thanks for your continued detailed notes!

I agree with this point - in fact, I had the cargo cover (you had to purchase it separately) in my two previous XC90's (2007 and 2013). It worked in such a way that you could push it to one side which would allow it to compress a bit and be removed from the holes in the side walls - I could almost take it out with a single hand.

The 2016 XC90 requires you use two hands (have to push down on that button to unlock the end of the cargo slide - and yet do the same thing to the other end. What a surprise when I went to fold down the third row after picking the vehicle up at the dealer.

To be honest - in my vehicle I'll probably never use the third row (I really wanted a T8 Excellence model, but they're not making it - yet) ... so the only time when I'll have to remove the cargo cover is when I need to fold down the second row seats to haul something big. (What I used to do with the previous vehicles is just put the cargo cover on the second row up by the front row seats.)
 

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5 - Integrated booster seat - first, there's only 1, which bothers me as a parent of 3 little ones under 6. I really wish the XC90 offered the 2 integrated boosters, the way the XC60 (at least used to). If I had my druthers, we'd have 2 integrated boosters in the 2nd row outboard positions. As it is, we have 1 in the 2nd row center, which means you lose that integrated booster, if you choose to fold down the center seat to create easier access to the 3rd row (as I've read many are doing).
I wish we had this too, but the reason my dealer gave me was that having boosters in the outboard seats would make it hard to access the third row. The XC60 had outboard boosters because it did not have a third row.
 

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3 - Heated Windshield - this isn't really an issue, but I've had to get used to the grid I see in my windshield. I park in a garage at home and work, so I honestly haven't needed the feature to-date. Though, it's nice to know I have it if I ever need it. But, the grid is something that bothered me slightly the first few days. But, let me emphasize, it's not a huge deal at all.
I live in cold place, with a prolonged winter, i.e. the Colorado foothills. My wife's 2105.5 XC60 has the electrically heated windshield, and it is fantastic. If it's bitter cold with some moisture, the system works great--I hate the dry warm air of air-defogging blowing on the windshield, then back onto my face. Personally, I can't see the grid, but my wife says she can, sometimes, and it doesn't bother her. In the the most bitter of conditions you still need the air-defogging and anti-icing, but 90% of the time you don't. As much as I would like to have the heads-up display, where I live, I'll take the electrically heated windshield.
 

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I created this thread if you choose to fold down the center seat to create easier access to the 3rd row (as I've read many are doing).
I'm just curious why people are having a hard time accessing the 3rd row? If you release the second row by the shoulder latch, it should slide forward and tilt allowing easy access for 3rd row passengers (at least in my experience). At first, it wasn't clear that this was the correct method to use, so I wonder if everyone is aware that this is how to move and tilt the 2nd row to a forward position (all in one fell swoop)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm just curious why people are having a hard time accessing the 3rd row? If you release the second row by the shoulder latch, it should slide forward and tilt allowing easy access for 3rd row passengers (at least in my experience). At first, it wasn't clear that this was the correct method to use, so I wonder if everyone is aware that this is how to move and tilt the 2nd row to a forward position (all in one fell swoop)?
Based on the comments I've seen, I believe people are simply contrasting it to a "Captain's chair" 2nd row where there's a clear aisle in the middle for kids to access the back (a la mini-van setup). I think people understand how to maneuver the XC90 outboard seats, it's just not as easy as having the clear path/center aisle setup where small kids can easily get to the 3rd row without any intervention from an adult.

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
3 weeks and only 400 miles!!! :p I have put 4,000 miles on our xc90 in 2 months!
It's been nothing but my daily commuter, so far (10 miles each way to the office). And that 3 weeks spanned Christmas and NY's holiday, where I didn't drive into the office for 2 weeks. :)

We may take it down to AL this weekend to see the in-laws. A short trip, but a road trip just the same.

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Based on the comments I've seen, I believe people are simply contrasting it to a "Captain's chair" 2nd row where there's a clear aisle in the middle for kids to access the back (a la mini-van setup). I think people understand how to maneuver the XC90 outboard seats, it's just not as easy as having the clear path/center aisle setup where small kids can easily get to the 3rd row without any intervention from an adult.

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:thumbup:
 
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