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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I'm looking to purchase either a 2007 XC90 3.2 FWD or 2004 or 2005 T6 AWD (all under 118,000 miles). However, I am also interested in a 2006 Volvo XC90 4.4L V8 AWD (148,000 miles). Upon reading these forums, I'm trying to learn which would be the best purchase for me? Costwise, the 3.2 FWD is better, however, I want to make a wise decision and wonder if the AWD is better to have or do I need to purchase a V8 (taking into account gas, maintenance, & power issues)?
 

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A grouping of the years you are considering have engineering flaw(s). Off the top of my head...

2004/2005: Transmission valve body issues (GM 4T65E) leading to an expensive repair. Yaw / Antiskid sensor failure (water evacuation problem causes water to drain into the cabin and pool under the sensor box). 1st gen Haldex was meh.

2006: Counter balance shaft failure in the B8444S V8. It may have been resolved, but it's dicey if there are no records. The power output is not far away from the maximum threshold the transmission's capability. The V8s are also prone to overheating the alternator (expensive replacement) and generally is simply an expensive engine to service.

2007: Probably the first year most all the big expensive defects were ironed out, but FWD only? What's the purpose of an XC90 then?
 

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If you don't need AWD and it's a car you want to keep for a while, get the '07 3.2 FWD. It'll do you better over time as far as maintenance cost. Make sure to ask about any oil consumption issues with this engine, see how well the transmission shifts up and down the range, make sure everything is smooth.

My 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sure will...that's why I posted the question about issues I've been reading about in these forums. I will certainly check about the oil consumption issues that you've brought up...
 

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Where do you live? That would be the only consideration for AWD here as the t6 and v8 (these two particular) I would stand clear of. Having driven my previous 3.2 without rear drive (bad pump) in some inclement weather, it wasn’t awesome in slick conditions.
 

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Having driven my previous 3.2 without rear drive (bad pump) in some inclement weather, it wasn’t awesome in slick conditions.
He's right about that. The XC90 is very front heavy.
 

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(bad pump)- A broke AWD XC90 driving as FWD is NOT the same as a FWD XC90.

Someone smarter than me can work the breakdown on global delivery from 2003 to 2014, I'll be conservative and guess there are 100,000+ FWD XC90s driving in the world and you don't hear them complaining constantly about how much of a dog it is with handling.

Neither of my cars are front heavy, although I like to keep my suspensions somewhat fresh.
 

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I think you are the smartest person here Mr. G. I didn’t mean it would be a dog, my point was simply, in the snow belts, a FWD may not cut it and that should be a consideration. Everyone has their own preference, and for me, i struggle with the wife’s S60 FWD because of the weight of that car even with snows on. And when it was just the fronts turning on mine, it was tough especially on the hills. If price is the decider, I see FWD xc’s Up here in Boston that have been traded in for 3k less than an AWD model. No one buys them they just hit the auctionbelt further south after a couple of months on a lot.
 

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As far as powering and controlling just the front wheels I suspect that a front wheel drive XC90 has a lot more front wheel traction control built into it than the AWD. Granted an XC90 with AWD not working is not great, in fact it's scary.

I am amazed though at how well my VW TDI FWD does in the snow. I wouldn't even want the AWD model.
 

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Mass, we've been around the block on this car and we know what surprises it can throw to a "new" owner (like us at one point).

The OP seems to want a "wise choice" on a car (I'm further guessing a new Volvo owner as well ?), and given the choices that were given the FWD 3.2 is the safest bet and the lowest risk in my personal opinion. I've never personally driven a FWD XC90 and I fully agree that having the working AWD system on this car really makes it a lot more fun to drive (wet or dry) but I'm guessing it still drives okay as a manufactured front wheel drive.

No harm no foul, I know what was meant but I wanted to put some perspective on the statement. Having driven a V8 with a broken angle gear, I know exactly what it feels like when the AWD is being driven as FWD and it's not fun in the least.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I live in TX, but may be moving back to the East Coast (DC/VA/MD) soon. I prefer AWD (and for that location reason only), but I also want power & the AWD seems to have that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This will be my second Volvo ('83 240 DL first one) and based on cost and possible maintenance, the 3.2 FWD seems like the wisest choice. However, I really want an AWD, but based the forum reviews, the FWD might be the safest bet. My mechanic suggests looking into a 2009 & above XC90 model because he said FORD stopped production on them by 2008-09 and believes they are better car since FORD ceased production on them. He views Volvo as a premium car & believes they got back to that level after FORD got out.
 

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3.2 is 3.2 so no more power in the AWD. There are lots of extra expenses in keeping the AWD working in an old XC90. If you get desperate put studded tires on the FWD model for winter driving.

BTW before this post I didn't even know they made a FWD model. It wouldn't have made a difference though because my wife wants the AWD.
 

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The 3.2 and V8 engines were offered in the North American market segment from 2007 until 2011, then it was just the 3.2. Ford sold Volvo to Geely in 2010, couple shifts in part suppliers but nothing I ever saw that made any major impact (the vast majority of my replacement parts still have labels noting manufacture in Europe).

Anything after 2008 is a decent bet, if you get a V8 you'll like the feel but it'll cost more over time (valve cover gasket reseal as example), and if (when?) the angle gear gets stripped you'll be out $4k to get it back to working.

If I did not do much of my own work and was coming to this forum looking for a "newish" XC90, I would lean in the direction of a 3.2 whether FWD or AWD.

My opinion, for what it's worth.
 

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The 3.2 got some good upgrades in 2011: The READ system has a revised set of bearings, and the A/C bracket doesn't require special tools to align. I've been really pleased with mine. The Volvo dealer said they stopped seeing transmission problems in '07 with the TF-80SC.

As others have said, if you don't do your own work, these things can bleed you dry.

Avoid the T6 like the plague.

-Ryan
 

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I live in TX, but may be moving back to the East Coast (DC/VA/MD) soon. I prefer AWD (and for that location reason only), but I also want power & the AWD seems to have that?
AWD will not give you added power, and you won't need AWD in VA/DC/MD.

-Ryan
 

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This will be my second Volvo ('83 240 DL first one) and based on cost and possible maintenance, the 3.2 FWD seems like the wisest choice. However, I really want an AWD, but based the forum reviews, the FWD might be the safest bet. My mechanic suggests looking into a 2009 & above XC90 model because he said FORD stopped production on them by 2008-09 and believes they are better car since FORD ceased production on them. He views Volvo as a premium car & believes they got back to that level after FORD got out.
Your mechanic is woefully incorrect. Ford was a very good steward of Volvo. Gheely did OK. Same plant in Sweden made them through the transition, and mine still has FoMoCo stamped on all the parts. Changes to the car are simply a coincidence. Ford sold Volvo to stay afloat during the crisis of '08. The new engines and transmissions were going to happen either way.

-Ryan
 

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Your mechanic is woefully incorrect. Ford was a very good steward of Volvo. Gheely did OK. Same plant in Sweden made them through the transition, and mine still has FoMoCo stamped on all the parts. Changes to the car are simply a coincidence. Ford sold Volvo to stay afloat during the crisis of '08. The new engines and transmissions were going to happen either way.

-Ryan
I would say Ford did an adequate job - not very good.
When Ford acquired Volvo, they bundled Volvo into their Premier Auto Group (PAG) portfolio which included at the time, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, & Volvo.

Ford realized Volvo had something very very good in the chassis and component design of the P2, and the food chain went from Volvo > Ford. Ford's derivative of the P2, the renamed D3, was used in Ford products all the way through 2015 Ford Explorer.

However, Ford > Volvo transfer wasn't very good. Ford pushed the global architecture initiative and saddled Volvo with the C1 and EUCD platforms.
Designing something to the cost aspect of a vehicle that has to be used in a cost conscious, budget MSRP vehicle like a Ford Focus and Mondeo - then pressed into service for mid-level luxury vehicles usually means compromises are made. Compromises that do not benefit the more expensive vehicle.
 

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There's a bunch of history relating to the Ford acquisition of Volvo and a number of car manufacturers benefited from the many technology transfers that occurred.

One can postulate all sorts of outcomes and associate opinions as to whether these were "smart" business moves, not sure how pertinent it is when considering the purchase of a used Volvo XC90 (which is what I thought this thread was about).
 
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