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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Trying to decide which XC90 to get and was wondering how much of a ride difference is there between the regular model and R-Design. Is there a big drop in ride comfort? Handling? etc... I love how the R-Deign looks w/ the Cratus wheels but car is for wifey and I'm not sure if she appreciates the looks as much as I do. I test drove a used R-Design and a new base model and noticed a bit of difference in suspension softness but I'd like to know what are some opinions out there, especially from people that maybe owned both.
Any help appreciated, Thanks!
 

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The R-Design has some suspension changes (thicker anti-roll bars, quicker steering ratio I think) as well as super comfy sport seats and blue gauges.

There are likely some other features I missed.
 

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Building on the above, the suspension is firmer as well, and the R-Design is the only one on which 20" wheels are available. So, firmer suspension and lower-profile tires mean better cornering but a less comfortable ride than the non-sport/regular ones. The speed-sensitive steering is also adjusted to be more sporty.

The R-Design seats are more comfortable and have more bolstering (read: they hold you more), but being thicker than the regular seats, they do cut into rear legroom.

It all depends on which one you prefer... We need our legroom and priorotized ride comfort over cornering ability (it is an SUV, after all...), so we took the non-sport.
 

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We just purchased an R-Design and love it. It handles more like a sports car than a SUV. I also love the looks of it and you just don't see a lot them on the roads and I've always liked that. The seats really do hold you and are comfortable on long rides. We are very happy with it. I just wish they puts dual exhausts on it like the V8s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We just purchased an R-Design and love it. It handles more like a sports car than a SUV. I also love the looks of it and you just don't see a lot them on the roads and I've always liked that. The seats really do hold you and are comfortable on long rides. We are very happy with it. I just wish they puts dual exhausts on it like the V8s.
Did you test drive both models before going w the r-design? Do you have the dynamic pckg w cratus wheels? I do love the looks of the r-design but am a little worried that the ride will be too harsh.
 

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We just purchased an R-Design and love it. It handles more like a sports car than a SUV.
I guess that you haven't driven many sports cars (or anything close) in the last 20 years.
 

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Did you test drive both models before going w the r-design? Do you have the dynamic pckg w cratus wheels? I do love the looks of the r-design but am a little worried that the ride will be too harsh.
We have the stock 19" wheels, and it does ride a little harsher, but that is from all the suspension upgrades that help it handle better(IMO). That is why I made the sportscar coment regarding SUVs.
 

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I have the stock 19" wheels on my Sport and the ride was pretty harsh until I swapped the standard Pirellis for a nice set of Michelin Latitudes. It's still a little rough but it doesn't crash over bumps as much as it used to.
 

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Couple of other tweaks as well (for european market don't know NA)

*Adaptive Cruise control (heavier stearing when driving faster to minimize short movements of the car)
*R-design decal in front grille
*Sport seats with better grip + custom leather layout (white accents)
*R-design floor mats with white accent
*Standard no roofrails (although orderable with roofrails at no extra charge)
*4 exhaust tips
*Chrome mirrors
*brushed metal accents (front, side and rear)
*sports steering wheel with R-design decal and perforated leather upholstery.

and some other small bits :)

I test drove both non R-design and R-design and this is by far the only Volvo where the package makes a huge difference in handling and conrnering. It feels like a completely different car with or without the package.
If you prefer comfy, cruise => no R-design
If you prefer a more sporty suspension (but still comfy imho) => R-design...
 

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The 2011 R-Design was for my wife to haul kids. She is a car person, hates the behemoth SUVs. She and I fell in love with the R-Design due to the suspension, and she used to drive the BMW 335i Sport, a V8 Mustang, and a Jetta (with suspension and engine upgrades). Of course, this is compared to the other SUVs.
 

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I test drove an 07 R-design and a regular 07 and yes it's much stiffer suspension which brings a bit harsh ride than the regular. I took the regular xc90 with 18" and michelin pilots even that you can feel everybit of the road , imagine a 20" . But overall it's based on taste. R-design looks handsome compared to other lux SUV out der.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks to everyone for all the feedback! We went with the R (Black Sapphire), it's just not that common and it looks bad ass. We're hoping to pick it up early July in Gothenburg.
 

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One other suggestion

I like the cushy ride of the non R and the massaging/ventilated seats of the Executive. What I did is to buy a V8 Executive and then put in the IPD sway, end link and brace stiffener package. Great handling no noticeable increase in roughness. I have the 19 inch rims with 255/50/19 Nokes. Next set of Nokes WRG2 will be the 255/55/19 (still V rated and XL) and the ride should be just where I want it.
 

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We test drove both last weekend as we gear up to replace our aging '04 XC90-T6AWD with the 2012.
We both strongly preferred the R-Design for the suspension and the steering/handling. Everything felt "tighter", but not harsh.
In 2012, the packages are going to change, so the 20" Cratus wheels are std for R-Design, but you can opt for the 19's if you wish.
The only bummer is that the 3.2 looks to be the only engine. It "feels" about the same as our '04 as the transmission is a big improvement over the 4-spd we have today.
 
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