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I test drove both cars back to back about 2 weeks ago and here are my thoughts:<p>Test conditions = Sunny day, dry streets, some urban driving on a busy street, then a 5 mile run on the freeway and ending with 3-4 miles of twisty country roads.<p>T6 (7 seats, 18 inch wheels, 3 adults and one child in the car): The car is peppy off the line with good linear acceleration that you can feel. Shifting is ultra-smooooooth and the engine is quiet and doesn't feel like its struggling to move the car. However, I found the suspension somewhat "floaty" with some body roll. At 90 mph on the freeway, the car was composed and quiet. There was some wind noise coming form the roof area and I am not sure if that was from the roof rails or something else ( I did not hear the same noise in the 2.5T). It gives a luxury and somewhat effortless and isolated feel during driving. The steering was kind of numb with very little feedback.<p>2.5T (5 passenger, 17 inch wheels, same passengers): The car feels sluggish up to 30 mph but takes off after that. (I guess the turbo then kicks in). This car has much more road feel and feels much sportier than the T6. However, you have to drive the car hard and keep the gas pedal pretty much floored if you like to zip around. The suspension felt tighter with less body roll than the T6. It felt more planted and much more visceral than the T6, with a penalty in noise, vibration and harshness. It is also feels louder and less isolated than the T6 as far as engine and road noise are concerned. The engine feels like its has to work hard all the time to move the car. The transmission was smooth but not as smooth as the T6 and I did not find it hunting for gears.<p>The brakes in both cars felt linear, and confidence-inspiring.<p>So, in the final analysis:<br>T6 = Smooth Luxury<br>2.5T = Rugged Sportiness.<p>I realize that other people who tested this car have opinions that differ completely from my impressions and that may be due to the subjective nature of any such analysis, and also maybe from some differences in the tester cars themselves. <p>The bottom line is that I still can't decide which engine I want!!!! <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emcrook.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Re: T6 vs. 2.5T: Driving impressions (mdxc90)

I posted this comment elsewhere, but why not repeat myself... Volvo is trying to position the T6 as "upmarket" vs. 2.5T, but in reality once you equip them the same the price is very close. The cost of upgrading to the six cylinder is partially reduced by the transmission downgrade. If the transmissions were identical I think you'd see a much greater cost difference between the T6 and 2.5T.<p>So its all about your driving preferences, not your budget.<p>Of course there is the V8 version, one or two years away depending on who you speak to. Meanwhile an upgrade to the T6 engine/transmission combo may be two or three years away (but I'm not in a position to know).
 

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Re: T6 vs. 2.5T: Driving impressions (mdxc90)

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>T6 (7 seats, 18 inch wheels, 3 adults and one child in the car): The car is peppy off the line with good linear acceleration that you can feel.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><p>I currently drive a 2001 Nissan Pathfinder with the 240-hp 3.5L V6 and this vehicle lunges when the accelerator is pressed. That being said, I actually found the T6 engine to be a bit sluggish off the line, it seems like it's thinking whether it wants to accelerate or not. This could account for the 0 to 60 time of 8.8 seconds (per Motorweek). But this characteristic is OK with me, not a deal breaker. Once the T6 gets going, it's gone.<p><BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> Shifting is ultra-smooooooth and the engine is quiet and doesn't feel like its struggling to move the car.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><p>I agree. I think the 4-speed tranny is a good combo with the T6. I did not experience any gear hunting.<p><BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>However, I found the suspension somewhat "floaty" with some body roll. At 90 mph on the freeway, the car was composed and quiet. There was some wind noise coming form the roof area and I am not sure if that was from the roof rails or something else ( I did not hear the same noise in the 2.5T). It gives a luxury and somewhat effortless and isolated feel during driving.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><p>I did not find the suspension floaty, it does a rather impressive job managing the feel of the bumps -- I could hardly feel any coming into the cabin. Compared to the Pathfinder, the XC90 has significantly less body roll. It felt carlike when I had it zigzagging on an empty street to see if I can induce the RSC. I did not even come close.<p><BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>The steering was kind of numb with very little feedback.<br><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><br>Yes, I totally agree. I think it's so overboosted. It seems like an unexpected sneeze could get a driver to pull the XC90 into oncoming traffic. It's too light.<p>I haven't testdriven the 2.5T so I will wait for that testdrive before I make up my mind which engine I would pick. But if I go on power alone, I would have to take the T6.<BR><BR>
[Modified by crikey, 11:56 AM 11-24-2002]
 

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Re: T6 vs. 2.5T: Driving impressions (crikey)

I'm sold on the 2.5T. Here's why I had the dealer change mine from a T6;<p>1) Promise of 20% better fuel economy (15/20 versus 18/24).<br>2) Almost the same performance at speeds up to 60mph. Actually quicker off the line and to 30mph than the T6.<br>3) Steering feel much more to my liking. Toiter.<br>4) Better handling with less understeer.<br>5) Costs less (net difference about $1800 pays for the Nav option).<br>6) 5 speed vs 4 speed (see 1 and 2).<br>7) Less likely to see a depreciating powertrain upgrade in next couple of years.<br>8) Even fully loaded (probably a rare sight), the T6 performance benefit still incremental rather than compelling.<br>9) Many of the reviews, especially European, have favored the 2.5T over the T6.<p>Believe me, I stewed over the decision and it was a tough one to make. There is that lure of the T6 because it is positioned as the top of the line offering. At the driving experience, those who had ordered cars all said the same thing; when I inquired as to what they had ordered, they responded, "The T6 of course, with the works." Nobody even gave the 2.5T any consideration. Such is the status SUV market.<p>At least 50% of the XC90s sold down the road will be 2.5T. I would assume that the dealers are favoring the T6 initially because, sight unseen, it is a better bet (for them). Once people drive both and compare, sales of the 2.5T will climb.<p>jvincent<p>
 

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Re: T6 vs. 2.5T: Driving impressions (jvincent)

I just test drove both tonight. I enjoyed driving the 2.5T over the T6. Much "snappier"--I got a solid squeal off the tires when I launched from a stopsign. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emsmile.gif" BORDER="0"> The 2.5T just felt more nimble, IMHO. On my brisk 5mile loop the T6 got 10mpg and the 2.5t got 13mpg according to the computer.<p>I do like the seating for 7 that only the T6s currently have and I also like the stereo setup and rear controls, also the booster seat. The T6 stickered just over $44k and the 2.5t was around $40k. <p>I see the HIDs being standard on the T6...or at least they should be. My dealer is looking tomorrow to see what their other dealers have available and also possibly consider swapping their white T6 for a 2.5T if they have one optioned the way I'd like.<p>My dealer is not as up on info as Yannis - he didn't even know of the roof mounted DVD availablity or much of anything else. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emsad.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>
 

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Re: T6 vs. 2.5T: Driving impressions (mdxc90)

Would someone please explain why the 2.5 would have "sportier handling", "better road feel", "less body roll", and "more wind noise" than the 6? I understand that there is a different drive train, and the 6 has assisted PS, but does it have a different suspension or suspension tuning? Does it have more insulation and sound deadening? <p> From the specs I have read none of this is true unless I have missed something. <p>This all adds up to wierd if you ask me. 34% more HP in the T6, but most drivers don't notice much difference. Sportier, more active handling and feedback in the 2.5T, but aside from the steering assist, no difference in suspension or set up which accounts for this. <p>I am obviously new to the board, and am fairly new to the XC90. My wife and I have studied and driven the MDX, Pilot, 03 4Runner, GX470 (looked only), Explorer, Aviator (Looked only), and the QX4. The T6 XC90 was the last we tested as it just became available, and we were immediately taken with the look, refinement, ride, and the comfort. The seats are magnificent!! Never owned a Volvo, but are looking forward to it.<p>Anyway, I am just curious about these seemingly unexpected differences between the two models. I also would like to clearly point out that I am not questioning the validity of the poster's opinions. <br>Thanks
 

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Re: T6 vs. 2.5T: Driving impressions (gohode)

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>Would someone please explain why the 2.5 would have "sportier handling", "better road feel", "less body roll", and "more wind noise" than the 6? I understand that there is a different drive train, and the 6 has assisted PS, but does it have a different suspension or suspension tuning? Does it have more insulation and sound deadening?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Handling and body roll issues might have a lot to do with weight. The T6 is 160 lbs heavier and I'll bet a large part of that is in the front end. I noticed less understeer on the 2.5T than the T6 which definitely translates to better balance/handling. The T6 spent a lot of time on the outside front tire. The "better road feel" is probably a result of the steering being more communicative and less boosted. "more wind noise"? I didn't notice, but it could be that one car had the roof crossbars and the other did not. My understanding is that the 2.5T has more powertrain noise. <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>This all adds up to wierd if you ask me. 34% more HP in the T6, but most drivers don't notice much difference.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> 29% more horsepower and 19% more torque passed through 20% fewer gears! The 4 speed auto in the T6 is a compromise that probably wastes some of the power advantage. The torque on the 2.5T is very good and peaks lower, so the performance off the line is improved. The T6 only has 4 gears to work with. If that were no big deal, everyone else wouldn't be bragging about their new 6 speed.<p>You should really drive the 2.5T. Your experience might be different. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emwink.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>jvincent<BR><BR>
[Modified by jvincent, 8:15 PM 12-4-2002]
 

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Re: T6 vs. 2.5T: Driving impressions (jvincent)

Ok, today drove a T6 again. A couple of things..... <p>First, the one I drove was a different vehicle than the one I drove the other day. At speed, I noticed quite a bit of wind noise which I did not recall from the last test. I chaulked it up to the strong North wind until I mentioned it to the salesman. He agreed, and pointed out that the version I was in today had the cross bars in the roof rack. The other one did not. He said that they had recognized a significant wind rush associated with the bar. So good call jvincent - probably the wind noise another poster attributed to the 2.5T was in fact a cross bar.<p>Secondly, the taupe leather in the vehicle definitely was showing some dirt. The side bolsters and edges of the seating area are a textured "leather" and were looking a little dirty. They are extremely comfortable, and the material seems to be of a high quality. Anyone else notice quick soiling? Is Volvo leather known to be durable and high quality? <p>Thanks<p>
 

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Re: T6 vs. 2.5T: Driving impressions (gohode)

Just wanted to add something to jvincent's excellent post. Wind noise is one of those sticky subjects. If you test drive a car looking for wind noise, you will notice it. There are a ton of factors that play into wind noise like what is going on in the environment outside. <p>The 2.5T and T6 should be about the same as far as that is concerned, but the points made about road-feel, body-roll, and handling are spot-on.<p>-Drew
 

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Re: T6 vs. 2.5T: Driving impressions (jvincent)

Tricked the wife into going to the Volvo dealer today. She actually test drove the T6 and 2.5t. Here first drive was the 2.5T - she liked it. She then drove the T6 and her first response was that the steering felt different but she didn't really notice any difference as far as power other than it seemed to pull a bit harder longer....she's not all that picky when it comes to noticing that stuff. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emsmile.gif" BORDER="0"> She likes the 2.5T and doesn't think we need the third row seating.<p>Now I just need to find a 2.5T before Christmas eve. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emsad.gif" BORDER="0"><p>
 
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