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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It is undoubtedly a beautiful car in so many aspects and I like it very much. But the weakest point in my opinion is the smoothness of the ride. I again fully realised it today when I had to drive 50 km with my previous XC70 2014 (that I used for 19 months) - after few days of driving my new XC90. I was very curious about the direct impressions and comparison.

XC90 is surely better and more evolved in most aspects (size, seats, power, comfort, engine noise, hi tech equipment, luxury etc.). No doubt about it. But on the other hand - XC70 has reasonably softer suspension and more comfortable ride, it pleasantly "flows" on the road, keeping bumps, small holes, uneven road surface etc. just behind. Simply pleasant, relaxing drive - as one would expect from a car in this category.

XC90 gives you more straight and tangible kicks in the ass by any hole, stone, bump etc. Harder ride it is ... And this is also often mentioned in some reviews too (especially when comparing with Audi Q7 etc.)

I really wonder why in case of this highly luxurious expensive car, length of development and huge investments, more care was not taken also for a truly luxurious, soft and relaxing ride as well ...

Nothing is perfect, I know. But I would happily exchange all those Swedish flags on seats, Inscription silver plates etc. for more caressing and softer bottom ... (the air suspension is exactly the same hard, I tried both)

I have 19''winter wheels now on my XC90 and 18'wheels on my XC70 (the same tyres width). The tyres/wheels noise seems also to be slightly higher in XC90 comparing to XC70

What is your experience ?
 

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When on newly or smooth paved roads, it feels great although the 21" tires do give off a bit of road noise. But when on rougher road surfaces, yes, it is a little on the harsh feel of a ride. I've gotten used to it and it doesn't bother me but it doesn't absorb bumps like some of the floaty feeling American vehicles so, or even my prior QX60. But if it were too soft we'd hear people saying it's too soft so I think it really just comes down to ones personal preference in ride feel.

So overall, I'd like it a tad smoother/handles bumps softer, but I do not find the way it is now 'bad' by any means. I just think people expect a little bit of a smoother ride in a luxury vehicle, especially when they choose to add air suspension as an option.

I should add, I have air suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do you think that the suspension may settle and soften a bit after few thousand km ? Although my car is fully loaded with all available options, I did not take air suspension, because I compared both directly and found them the same "hard" or even maybe the air suspension a tad harder ... :)
 

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I agree the ride is a bit harsher than I expected for this category of car. I came from a 4Runner with 165k on it though so that was a bit squishy as it was. The ride reminds me of my old 2001 Audi S4, with obviously less cornering ability.

I'm sure I'll get used to it but was just noticing this on my drive home yesterday. I have 20" inscription wheels as a data point, was trying to avoid 21's because I heard they're even more harsh (not to mention expensive tires).
 

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Do you think that the suspension may settle and soften a bit after few thousand km ? Although my car is fully loaded with all available options, I did not take air suspension, because I compared both directly and found them the same "hard" or even maybe the air suspension a tad harder ... :)
I've got 8000+ miles and although it may have changed since purchase, it's not enough that I can say "wow, it got smoother".
 

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My 2016 XC90 T8 has 20-inch tires and air suspension ... I think it is a much better ride than my previous 2013 XC90 - and I wouldn't categorize the suspension as hard. (I drive mostly in pure / hybrid mode - only a little bit in a performance mode.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would just wish that XC90 has the ride smoothness like XC70 or Audi Q7 ... (but not the engine noise, that XC70 has quite high and not very decent at times)
 

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I hated the ride on the older non R-Design XC90's. They felt way too floaty to me. The new XC90 can feel a bit harsh at times, but I'd take it over too soft any day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I heard some indications that some tyres may be softer than other tyres. Any experience ? At the moment I have Nokian SUV WR3 on 19''wheels and factory Continental on 20''wheels. Would there be better choice for summer tyres for smoother ride ?
 

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I would just wish that XC90 has the ride smoothness like XC70 or Audi Q7 ... (but not the engine noise, that XC70 has quite high and not very decent at times)
I thought the ride in the XC90 was very smooth with Air-Suspension...haven't tried the regular suspension.
 

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I heard some indications that some tyres may be softer than other tyres. Any experience ? At the moment I have Nokian SUV WR3 on 19''wheels and factory Continental on 20''wheels. Would there be better choice for summer tyres for smoother ride ?
Yes, tires can make a noticeable difference in ride quality. On ours when I went from the OE Pirelli Scorpions to Conti DWS it was a big shock as it dramatically softened the ride. It felt like I was riding on inner tubes instead. Since I've adjusted but I do miss the firmer more responsive feel of the Pirelli. For Winter and Off-Road we use General Grabber AT2 on 18" and it maintains the same feel as the DWS on 19". For summer I may opt back to the Pirelli now that we have dedicated winter tires and get more spritely feel out of the RD.
 

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My understanding is that the standard steel suspension is both hard and harsh, but that the air suspension is vastly superior.
 

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We test drove a T6 3 days ago and it had the standard suspension and I found it little hard (bouncy on bumpy roads). So I'm happy we went with air suspension, looking forward to it.

And I also read somewhere here that Volvo is considering making the air suspension softer after some complaints.
 

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I think we often confuse road noise with suspension hardness. We think we feel car bumping around whereas we in fact hear the tyre and suspension noise. We automatically assume it's suspension too hard. Imop suspension is about perfect in comfort and way soft (rolls and pitches too much) in sports. What bothers us is the woeful insulation of the road noise in this car - completely inadequate for a car of this class.
Try sticking some really good earplugs in your ears than put noise cancellation headphones on top and go over the same section of the road - you will probably find it very good.
Yes lower profile larger diameter wheels will contribute to the noise as will probably marginally stiffer suspension settings when compared to really soft suspension and smaller tyres but the ultimate problem is that the car just can't keep the road noise out.

A few times when my wheel crashed into a deep hole in the road I caught myself thinking that the suspension wasn't coping but then replaying it back immediately I realised the car went through the hole very flat and composed, what drew the attention was the noise of the wheel crashing into the hole. The same is with bumpy or poor surface roads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My understanding is that the standard steel suspension is both hard and harsh, but that the air suspension is vastly superior.
People who tried both (me included) feel that there is no noticeable difference in ride smoothness between air / non-air suspension ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
What bothers us is the woeful insulation of the road noise in this car - completely inadequate for a car of this class.
Yes, it is most probably so and I really wonder how it could happen ....
 

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What bothers us is the woeful insulation of the road noise in this car - completely inadequate for a car of this class.
I agree the XC90 is on the louder side as far as road noise is concerned, however I find this statement maybe a bit hyperbolic. I am pretty anal and sensitive to such things; the noise is there if I look for it but it really doesn't bother me. Then again I usually have the stereo turned up.
 

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Check out this other thread and a comment about the road noise vs q7.

VOLVO XC90 Reviews Links.
Look at that measured sound level at cruise. With most reviewers claiming the Q7 is quieter, it was measures the same at 65 dba! It was probably perceived this way since most find the ride a bit harsher in the XC90 vs Q7. Funny none the less. They noticed creaks going over bumps and steep driveway yet still gave the XC90 a 10/10 for Ride quality vs 9/10 in the Q7.



I am impressed to learn that the Volvo is sportier than the aging BMW. Wow good job Volvo.
http://forums.swedespeed.com/showpost.php?p=3230801


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I don't own an XC90 yet but am looking to maybe buy in 2017. I "do" have a 2015.5 XC70 T6 AWD Polestar and find it rides as well as a 05 E320 CDI Mercedes I sold couple years back. As far as road noise, depends on the road surface, sometimes whisper quiet, sometimes very harsh, again depends on some of the road surfaces I drive. As far as engine noise, My XC70 is very quiet at 75 to 80 mph cruising on a smooth freeway surface. The 6 cylinder with the Polestar upgrade is very quick. I have owned many, many cars over my 50+ years of driving and have to say Volvo's cars today are built and drive extremely well and are superb automobile. Most comfortable I did own and can kick myself for not keeping was a 96 Bentley Continental, V12, ride ugh, luxurious but not a car one would buy to worry about MPG.
 

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We have the 21" 8- spoke wheels with the standard suspension. We think it rides very smooth and has a quiet cabin...just our opinion! It's a larger vehicle than the XC70, so I would think it would ride a little rougher than the XC70. It's just a pleasure to drive and we wouldn't change a thing. I understand the whole luxury thing and all but it rides as smooth as the BMW X5 we test drove.
 
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