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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This review was posted in another tread:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/cars/volvo/xc90/t8/

Can any T8 owners comment on the issues raised in this review e.g the wooden braking feel and poor handling at higher speeds especially with the air suspension (although the review is not clear if poor handling at speed is a T8 issue, air suspension issue or XC90 issue)?

The only reason I ask is that I have ordered a T8 Inscription (due in Feb 16) but there are none in the UK to test drive.

Thanks.
 

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Sounds like the author wants a SUV that is pure performance. Something that could be brought on the track if you wanted. I don't know why he expected that in Volvo's biggest SUV. Probably based purely on the engine's output ratings.

"but the weight rather takes over the dynamics when you drive hard" Who in their right minds pushes a massive two ton SUV to its limits? Even when he floored it he was a little upset that the car "Blared Horribly" haha what? A 400hp car that sounds loud at full throttle, never would of thought that?
 

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I have not driven a T8 so let me be clear on that but I do have Air Suspension on my T6. Poor handling at high speeds with air suspension? Not sure what this guy was smoking but I always think to myself and comment to my wife, "man this thing really drives like a car". I love how it handles and performs, and I come from having fast cars and love performance. My only real complaint with the T6 so far is that the engine is so dang noisy, other than that I really do love the car. You have to remember everyone has an opinion and sometimes and agenda when they write pieces like this. I really like the guy from Cnet, he is honest and straight forward and really knows what he is talking about. If I remember right he reviewed the T8 and had great things to say about it. One of his complaints was engine noise though as well, I believe from the electric engine though. Anyway go with your gut!
 

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This review was posted in another tread:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/cars/volvo/xc90/t8/

Can any T8 owners comment on the issues raised in this review e.g the wooden breaking feel and poor handling at higher speeds especially with the air suspension (although the review is not clear if poor handling at speed is a T8 issue, air suspension issue or XC90 issue)?

The only reason I ask is that I have ordered a T8 Inscription (due in Feb 16) but there are none in the UK to test drive.

Thanks.
I have very limited time behind the wheel of a T8 (under 20 miles) however I have to strongly disagree with this author. It seems like either he has some sort of an agenda or is sort of clueless. I found the T8 Inscription w/ Air Suspension more composed in curvy roads and I can only attributed it to the battery in the center tunnel acting as a stabilizing factor. The brakes felt as good as in any XC90 T6 I have drive.
 

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I have very limited time behind the wheel of a T8 (under 20 miles) however I have to strongly disagree with this author. It seems like either he has some sort of an agenda or is sort of clueless. I found the T8 Inscription w/ Air Suspension more composed in curvy roads and I can only attributed it to the battery in the center tunnel acting as a stabilizing factor. The brakes felt as good as in any XC90 T6 I have drive.
I came away with the same feeling having driven the same course in a different T8.
 

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The answer is NO!
This writer simply wants to criticize the car, that’s all. Characteristics comparing to Audi, BMW and even Porsche but pricing towards Nissan?

The T8 is a fantastic car! It’s hybrid technology works great and it drives and handling is great. I still have every day this WOW!-moment ;-)

I specially don’t understand his comment about poor handling nor the braking. The air suspension stabilizes the car in curves very well, especially when you come out of a XC90 I. It really gives pleasure to drive. You don’t have any moment the feeling you have such a large and heavy car. I can only compare it to the 2016 XC90 D5 and the Diesel simply misses the dynamics. Handling is the same like stated above for the T6.
Also normal braking is very good. The regenerating-brake, saving energy to the batteries, gives a different feeling. It’s not bad, but it’s different, so you have to get used to it. I didn’t have the opportunity to try the German motorway yet, but T8 owners who did are impressed of the high speed handling. They could get along with the usual German competition.
I’ve selected the T8 while I’m driving a mixture of city and limited distance motorway, and the T8 exactly brings what I had expected.

But, there’s a but….

Volvo didn’t batch this car as a Hybrid, like they do with the V60 PIH. Volvo called it T8, the top-of-the-line model. Over 400 hp like the V8-competation but the efficiency of a 4-cylinder. And there’s where the doubt start.
Full accelerating in a T8 doesn’t feel as aggressive as in a (300 hp) V60 PIH. The gas response is rather slow. The V60 feels in power mode much more eager. Neither it’s handling feels like a performance car. In that respect it can’t cope with the German top competition.

I don’t want to verdict this yet. The car just arrived, so maybe Volvo will update for example the throttle response….
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the reassurance. You know what it is like waiting nearly 6 months for an order -- all of the gremlins sneak inside your head....
 

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I am both a long-term Telegraph reader and expecting delivery of a T8 in the UK in Feb 16; we ordered straight after seeing it at the Paris motor show in 2014.

I saw this Telegraph review as soon as it was published, and all I needed to read was the name of the tester - Andrew English. For as long as I can recall I have found his reviews to be both confusing and out of step with the opinions of other motoring journalists, and so it proves here, once again.

For alternative recent UK reviews, check out here http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-review/volvo/xc90/first-drives/2016-volvo-xc90-t8-review and http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/volvo/xc90/93145/new-volvo-xc90-t8-twin-engine-review#. I really wouldn't worry about Andrew English's opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Interesting flyboystu that the second review also calls the brakes wooden when first used. This is a real concern for for a 400 bhp car. You need both road presence and control as well as composure under braking irrespective of SUV or other family based sports package.
 

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No it's not a concern, but I guess they didn't completely understand the concept.

When you brake softly in a T8, the hybrid will start to regenerate energy towards the battery. Only when you brake harder, the friction brakes come in.
Also the PRND-handle plays a role. In the normal D-position, the car simply rolls-out. While the e-traction has quite a low friction, the petrol/gearbox is disconnected, the car runs longer and faster as you normally would expect. However, if you select the B-position the car starts to regenerate during roll-out comparable like a classical engine brake.

It costs a couple of days to get fully used to it, and journalists normally don't have that time ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Conradi, thanks for the update. I have a BMW i3 and that has great regen braking - lift your foot off the accelerator and the car starts to brake and will continue to do so until you stop. To stop the regen braking you hold the accelerator pedal in the coast position the further you lift past this position the more it regen brakes. It takes a little time to get used to but is a great system, so much so that you rarely use the brake pedal. However, there is no lag if you do push the brake pedal - immediate full feel braking. Sounds like the Volvo is good but could use some work.
 

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i wouldn't argue it's bad but if you perceive any regenerative braking at all then car breaking system will never have the same feel and smooth progression as the traditional breaks. now this may not bother many but it will bother some and on the margin it gives you a little less confidence. Xc90 is not designed to be driven at the limit. I think early body roll is deliberate to discourage pushing the car and make it safer.
Blending logic on my Prius used to be pretty good but in some cases it would cut in the pads too late and you would go from under braking to me freaking out and braking harder - i.e. not progressive. I imagine Volvo logic is an improvement on that and even if it was the same it wouldn't be a deal breaker for me. But I do note really nice predictable breaking on my D5 vs the hybrid Prius I gave up. I have much more confidence throwing this car around country lanes even though it's 50% heavier.
Some of this loss of feel would be because regeneration happens only one ear axle.
Review of Q7 etron mentions lack of braking feel in stronger words than that
http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/audi/q7/93398/audi-q7-e-tron-2015-review
 

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I've commented elsewhere on this subforum about this review. Andrew English seems to have it in for Volvos in general and the VEA engines in particular. To correct just one of his errors, Ford had nothing to do with the Volvo hybrid system. Even his criticisms of the T8 differ from anybody else's criticisms. The few critics of the air suspension have all found it slightly too taut, not too soft. I do wonder whether and how English and other testers have adjusted the dampers and other drive mode parameters.
 
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