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Discussion Starter #1
For quite some time, I've been thinking about replacing my faithful 2004 T6 with a newer version.

After some "coercion" (read, good offer for my car) from my dealer, I thought I might just do it. Besides the obvious that the 2013 model is basically identical to my 2004 (modulo some minor details, both pro and cons), my biggest worry was the engine difference because the 3.2L has a lot less HPs and a lot less torque than my T6.

My dealer suggested taking an XC90 with the newer engine for a extended ride, which I did.

Man, what a letdown! :(

The 3.2L engine is anemic! You push the throttle and it roars... but nothing happens: speed remains unaltered. :confused: Going uphill from Oakland to Walnut Creek, the car was barely able to keep 60-65mph. It just wouldn't go beyond that! Louse engine.

I can't understand why Volvo has not brought a better engine into the line up. Yes, I know that a refresh is still a couple of years away (a story that I've been hearing for the last 7 years), but they could bring the wonderful T6 or T5 from the XC60. Either one of those engines would be wonderful!

Given the lousy engine, there is no reason to spend $40K in a car that is essentially identical to the one I already have.
 

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Given the lousy engine, there is no reason to spend $40K in a car that is essentially identical to the one I already have.
Other than the transmission time bomb in your T6. That said, it is very sad that a manufacturer is selling a 2013 anything that is virtually identical to a 2004 model.
 

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We have discussed the 3.2 several times on this board. You are not alone in your thoughts, however there are several members that will defend the 3.2 in the XC90.

There is a tentative settlement re: the gm tranny mated to your T6, you may want to look into it.

I think that it is great when a car manufacturer has been selling the same car for 10 years. The current trend of redesigns every 3-5 years is great for sales but poor for working design kinks out.

I would keep your T6 and see how the lawsuit pans out. If it is not right for you, a couple of people have posted about getting GM speed shops to upgrade the hardware in the tranny to make it much more resilient.
 

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I agree, how hard could it be to put in the new T6 engine into the XC90 if it already uses the 3.2!? I just don't understand. OR, at the VERY least they could drop in the new S60's T5 engine to attract customers wanting more fuel economy. I dunno, but I suggest you wait for next year when the new XC90 comes out. Sorry mate.
 

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Other than the transmission time bomb in your T6. That said, it is very sad that a manufacturer is selling a 2013 anything that is virtually identical to a 2004 model.
I know you love to throw jabs and ignore what has been discussed ad nauseum but it may look sad to an outsider while it is even worse for people who know the true reasons for the current XC90 being only slightly different from when it was introduced.

From the first moment that we got liberated by the domestic bean counters, a brand new XC90 became a top priority. Unfortunately, starting from scratch (again, a result of the previous owner having put the brakes on many projects) is tantamount to a tanker (and not a go-kart) turning. The positive part of this is that the tanker has started to turn and quite a bit...it is just "not there", yet but that time is coming.
 

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.

Given the lousy engine, there is no reason to spend $40K in a car that is essentially identical to the one I already have.
So buy a nice 2008 with 33,000 miles for $20,000. I wouldn't be offended if you bought a Honda, lol.
 

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The T6 was (is) a great engine for the XC90. I've never driven a 3.2 XC90, but people complain about the power of the 2.5T (which I own) too. I drive up I-70 west of Denver a lot, and there are some fairly steep grades on it as it goes into the mountains. A couple of times lately there has been a slow driver in the left lane, and when when it opened up on the right, I floor boarded it to get around them. The acceleration was excellent and sharp. I went from about 60 to 85 mph very quickly. The engine was roaring and the turbo was whistling, and I couldn't have been more satisfied with the performance. And one of these times, I was on the steepest part of I-70 between C470 and Evergreen Pkwy. Sometimes I think that you guys who complain about the power of the 2.5T and the 3.2 must be f-18 pilots, who are use to going 0 to 180 mph in 3 seconds as you're flung off the deck of a Nimitz class aircraft carrier.
 

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I agree, how hard could it be to put in the new T6 engine into the XC90 if it already uses the 3.2!? I just don't understand. OR, at the VERY least they could drop in the new S60's T5 engine to attract customers wanting more fuel economy. I dunno, but I suggest you wait for next year when the new XC90 comes out. Sorry mate.
It's probably not as simple a task as it might appear to be. Remember that the max torque rating on the transmission is only 325 lb/ft, and it seems that the V8s might have been taxing the tranny a bit too much given the failure reports in that model and the lack of similar failure reports for the 3.2. Volvo is probably very wary about putting another T6 in (and on the back of) another XC90 with a max torque rating so close to the engine output, given how that worked out last time. Yeah, not so much. And re-engineering a whole AWD drivetrain in a model this old would certainly be a waste of likely scarce development resources.

Anyhow, as has been discussed in several other posts, the 3.2 is adequate, especially for a vehicle with SUVish handling dynamics. You just have to account for the fact that the transmission works aggressively to keep the engine well below it's powerband and adjust your driving style (floor it or downshift manually) if you really need the power. Be prepared to sacrifice the last vestiges of the so-called "fuel economy" if you do though.

Unfortunately the new model may not be a satisfactory solution. It has been rumored on other threads that Volvo is going to commit seppuku by saddling the US 2014 XC90 with an all inline-4 engine lineup. Hopefully this isn't true and Volvo can avoid a GOB moment in mid 2015 by finding a suitable transmission for the T6, buying-in the Ford Ecoboost V6, buying-in someone else's clean turbodiesel 6, or even keeping the 3.2 and lightening the load substantially. Keep your fingers crossed!

Clarification of the obscure reference for Mr. P
 

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Unfortunately the new model may not be a satisfactory solution. It has been rumored on other threads that Volvo is going to commit seppuku by saddling the US 2014 XC90 with an all inline-4 engine lineup. Hopefully this isn't true and Volvo can avoid a GOB moment in mid 2015 by finding a suitable transmission for the T6, buying-in the Ford Ecoboost V6, buying-in someone else's clean turbodiesel 6, or even keeping the 3.2 and lightening the load substantially. Keep your fingers crossed!
I don't know if I would agree with that. I think I recall that the Ford Explorer Eco4 was selling better than expected (a $1000 option). People spending more for a luxury suv might be wanting more, but who knows?

For comparison:

XC90 3.2 awd (16/23) 0-60 9.1sec
Ford Eco4 (fwd only, 20/28) basically ties the XC90 3.2 with 9sec and the Ford 6cyl (awd, 17/23) does it in 8.1

Many people did not like the 5cyl XC90s (me included), but it sold VERY well. If Volvo can deliver a 4cyl version that gets good mileage without performing any worse than the current 6 cyl gets, they could pull it off. Really depends on the rest of the suv. But would that 4cyl version be able to offer an AWD option? I wonder what percentage of 5cyl XC90s were FWD?
 

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But would that 4cyl version be able to offer an AWD option? I wonder what percentage of 5cyl XC90s were FWD?
Of course there will be.

As far as FWD 2.5Ts, that depends on the market. In the South and SW, the overwhelming majority were FWD, like today the overwhelming majority of XC90s are FWD variants.

In the NE and NW, very few (and still are) were FWDs.
 

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I've never seen a FWD 2.5T XC90 here in Colorado. As a matter of fact, I've never seen a 3.2 FWD either.
 

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I've never seen a FWD 2.5T XC90 here in Colorado. As a matter of fact, I've never seen a 3.2 FWD either.
And you won't. They are all sold in CA, AZ, NV, TX, OK, FL, GA, MS and AR.
 

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Of course there will be.
I hope so. Just wondering the reasons why Ford doesn't offer awd with the ecoboost. There have got to be some kind of limits to a 4cyl moving around a 5000lb suv.

And then what also remains to be seen, IF Volvo does offer a 4cyl XC90, will they still at least offer a more powerful, performance oriented 6cyl version that can do a lot better than the current 3.2 does.
 

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I hope so. Just wondering the reasons why Ford doesn't offer awd with the ecoboost. There have got to be some kind of limits to a 4cyl moving around a 5000lb .
The two engines cannot even be compared...
 

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I don't know if I would agree with that. I think I recall that the Ford Explorer Eco4 was selling better than expected (a $1000 option)...
If that's true it may be because they didn't expect to sell any. The reviews in the press are generally along these lines:

The portly Explorer is just a bit too much Ford for four cylinders to handle—even with a turbo. -Car & Driver 8/2011

But at the end of the day, it's the EcoBoost's performance, and lack thereof, that really confounds and confuses us. The non-punch-pulling Febbo explains, 'The EcoBoost is a horrible idea in this thing. Well, the four-banger is anyway. Let's get a V-6 EcoBoost in there.' Scott Evans continues, 'Soooo Slow. There's just not much throttle response.' The EcoBoost is such a slug that to me, the white Explorer just doesn't register as a new car. It feels like it hails from the first half of the 1990s. -Motor Trend 8/2011

and

Yes, yes, fine, you don't buy the EcoBoosted version of the Explorer for performance. You buy it to sip fuel. Well, during our (pretty much) real-world testing, the 2.0-liter Explorer returned a combined 19.9 miles per gallon, an exactly 1.5-mpg increase over the standard 3.5-liter V-6 Explorer. That's an improvement, sure, but not an earth-shattering one. But, as tech editor Frank Markus points out, 'At least it's $1,000 more expensive!' Also, we got that mpg number when the Explorer was empty and unloaded. Imagine if a dad plus four ballerinas plus all their junk were onboard. And we did, as our own Nate Martinez drove the EcoBoost Explorer around fully loaded and found it couldn't hold a gear. The engine is just mismatched to the vehicle. Instead of the 2.0-liter turbo as gas-miser, Ford would have been much better served offering up a diesel. -Motor Trend 8/2011

And much of the commentary on the forums sounds a lot like the back on forth on the 3.2 here: some say underpowered, some say fine, most admit that real world efficiency is not much better than the bigger engined variant.

Overall, it seems like the turbocharged I4/V4 route works for the class just below this one (XC60/Q5/GLK/Edge), but doesn't work when applied to a 7 seater that weighs north of 4500 lbs. Audi and MB took the well thought out approach and positioned themselves to be able to offer V6 TDi/CDI variants for real fuel savings. Ford, it would seem, was not so smart and has left Volvo in the same difficult situation in which it finds itself: with no good US capable clean diesel 6 and therefore no way to increase fuel economy without over-downgrading the drivetrain.

Some have suggested that Volvo's new 4 might be more severely blown-upon and therefore have higher a output than the 2.0 Ecoboost or VW 2.0t, but those turbo 4s are very well engineered and aren't slouches themselves in the right applications (smaller/lighter cars). It would require an amazing feat of engineering for Volvo to equal or better them in terms of output, smoothness, reliability, and longevity. I'll believe it a few years after I've first seen it, and even then it probably still won't be the right engine for this car. WE NEED A GOOD TURBODIESEL 6, or at the very least a re-freshed D5 if you can get it to pass emissions!
 

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And you won't. They are all sold in CA, AZ, NV, TX, OK, FL, GA, MS and AR.
I was in Dallas the other day, and I did see a couple of XC90s that only had XC90 as a rear emblem--nothing else. They must have been a 2.5T FWD XC90s. Not use to seeing that rear emblem setup--like something was missing.
 

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The T6 was (is) a great engine for the XC90. I've never driven a 3.2 XC90, but people complain about the power of the 2.5T (which I own) too. I drive up I-70 west of Denver a lot, and there are some fairly steep grades on it as it goes into the mountains. A couple of times lately there has been a slow driver in the left lane, and when when it opened up on the right, I floor boarded it to get around them. The acceleration was excellent and sharp. I went from about 60 to 85 mph very quickly. The engine was roaring and the turbo was whistling, and I couldn't have been more satisfied with the performance. And one of these times, I was on the steepest part of I-70 between C470 and Evergreen Pkwy. Sometimes I think that you guys who complain about the power of the 2.5T and the 3.2 must be f-18 pilots, who are use to going 0 to 180 mph in 3 seconds as you're flung off the deck of a Nimitz class aircraft carrier.
Ha! Well articulated, and I agree. With my past snd present driving habits I am more and more dangerous with each additional horsepower, most people scream for mercy by the time I hit third gear, and I thought the 2.5 was fine. I bought another one in a XC70. I also know how to drive a 3.2, and have no issues with it once I learned how to drive it, lol.

Best

P
 

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Anyhow, as has been discussed in several other posts, the 3.2 is adequate, especially for a vehicle with SUVish handling dynamics. You just have to account for the fact that the transmission works aggressively to keep the engine well below it's powerband and adjust your driving style (floor it or downshift manually) if you really need the power. Be prepared to sacrifice the last vestiges of the so-called "fuel economy" if you do though.
I also know how to drive a 3.2, and have no issues with it once I learned how to drive it, lol.
My experience exactly. A M-B 200D is slow - an XC90 3.2 isn't.

While I'm not saying the 3.2 is the perfect engine for it (I'm in the new-T6 camp), people who complain about how the 3.2 is slow completely forget their own perspective. Allow me to illustrate...

Let's say you take a trip to Vegas and rent a Dodge Charger V6 (6.4sec to 60mph). You drive to Las Vegas Speedway to do five laps in a GT-R/911/Gallardo/Vantage/whatever. Afterwards, you get on the highway in the Charger...what a slow car this is!! :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Other than the transmission time bomb in your T6.
Yes, I know very well all the stories about the T6 and it was one of the reasons I was considering replacing the car, even though it has been a fantastic and very reliable car for us.

But, even with all the issues of the GM transmission, my T6 runs circles around the 3.2 engine. The 3.2 engine feels anemic and weak. And no, I'm not expecting a sports car's response or anything like that: I just want the car to be able to maintain highway speeds, even if we are going up a small hill. The 3.2 has no acceleration whatsoever: the 0-60 times are measured with a calendar.

For now, I'll keep my wonderful T6. Hopefully, in a couple of years there is an updated XC90 with a better engine. I'll probably look elsewhere but the options for 7-seaters are rather limited.

That said, it is very sad that a manufacturer is selling a 2013 anything that is virtually identical to a 2004 model.
I completely agree. The 2013 model lacks some features that I enjoy in my now 9 years MY04. For example:
- better, more powerful engine with essentially the same gas mileage => no need to struggle going up a hill or merging into the freeway
- nivomats (self-leveling suspension). On MY13, they are only available on the R model - which IMPO, it's not worth considering.
- security double-thick glass windows: this was part of the "security package" and it was one of the most surprisingly pleasing features. The extra thickness in the windows means less road noise in the cabin, specially from those boom-boom cars or some loud motorcycles...
- rear headphones jacks. A lot more useful than you may think.
- motion sensor for the alarm, also part of the "security package".

So what was added in 9 years? Rear view camera, BLIS, AUX and USB inputs and bluetooth. To me, these are not worth $40K.
 

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I'd try to keep your T6 running as long as possible or why not buy an XC60 T6 ? IIRC Redline makes a thicker viscosity Dexron compatible oil that is synthetic and excellent at handling high temps that could significantly extend its life.
Plus you can get your GM transmission rebuilt to be very robust- IPD should offer a tune with the lower gear torque limitations removed for those who want it with XC90 T6.

I do believe it was a mistake for Volvo NOT to offer a more powerful optional engine for a vehicle as potentially heavy (fully loaded) as the XC90 can be after dropping the V8. Why not tune the P2 R engine
for more torque bias even at the expense of HP to have replaced the V8 (say 280+HP,315-325LB of torque) since it was already paired to the 6 speed AW auto in the 2006-2007 S60/V70R; sell as the XC90 T5 or Sport to avoid the
stigma of the T6 labeling.
 
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