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I had cars (and still have one) for about 50 years with manual transmissions, the XC90 is my first automatic.
I don't find anything counterintuitive about the way the XC90 shifts in manual mode,
at least not more or less than if it were to shift up when moving the stick backward.
With a manual transmission, the gears are selected by moving the stick in a letter "H" shape,
so for some shifts up the stick has to be moved backward, for the next gear up backward.
That sounds (but in reality isn't) more confusing to me than the way the XC90 shifts.
Having 2 auto's that shift differently could be confusing, but does that mean that one of
them is right and the other is wrong?
 

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‘19 t6 inscription silver/brown w/air, b&w, lux, polestar, 21’s, etc
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I guess it’s that since the automatic shifter stays on the same vertical plane (like 3rd & 4th in my Cadillac/trucks and 2nd & 3rd in my dogleg trans bmw) it’s a little more difficult for my brain to adapt to the opposite. I didn’t have any trouble getting used to my wife’s previous cx5 shifter, which was forward to downshift and back to upshift.

It’s not really a big deal either way, since the Volvo is much more conducive to relaxed driving than aggressive cornering. Just the few times I’ve tried to have a little fun in the mountains, I found the shifter to be a bit irritating. It’s also the only automatic car I’ve ever driven (used to sell range rovers, bmw’s, and MB’s) that had the manual shifting arranged this way.
 

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Was just thinking that your other car must be a Tesla! :)
No, it's not. :) My wish list for a Tesla is much longer than that for Volvo, starting from adaptive headlights to that foot operated tailgate, not to mention some quality issues. But I love the electric drivetrain and I use our e-Golf daily.

[keyfob…] anyone can swap out to a leather/wood shell via Volvo accessories […]
Exactly, and I highly recommend this.
 

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2017, XC90 T6 INSCRIPTION POLESTAR+++++
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Because when you make ergonomic studies on an average population, 80 % of people prefer that way (pushing forward to speed up, pulling backwards to speed down)
The 20% remaining are the ones like you and me who dreamt of rally cars in the 90's where acceleration is high enough to help the hand movement
After driving my BMW for 10 yrs with the ZF steptronic tranny, am glad they never heard of the above study (or in their infinite wisdom choose to ignore it), but now for the last 6 weeks or so with my new to me '17 XC90 feels TOTALLY unergonomic to me......and am unable to use the manual shift feature.
Talk about messing with my head.....lol

The other thing I am disappointed over is that the xc90 tranny doesn't appear to have an automatic shift override in the stick shift mode like the BMW has!
 

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After driving my BMW for 10 yrs with the ZF steptronic tranny, am glad they never heard of the above study (or in their infinite wisdom choose to ignore it), but now for the last 6 weeks or so with my new to me '17 XC90 feels TOTALLY unergonomic to me......and am unable to use the manual shift feature.
Talk about messing with my head.....lol

The other thing I am disappointed over is that the xc90 tranny doesn't appear to have an automatic shift override in the stick shift mode like the BMW has!
My BMW328i and Volvo XC90 can both be shifted manually. My experience with both is that they choose gears so well is that manual shifting is really only needed on some long downhills. A lot of work went into the programming because there is no hunting, overshooting or choosing the wrong gear. Once in a while I do step through the gears to enjoy a bit of the thrill that comes from shifting a real manual trans. It's a vanishing joy.
 
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