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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We currently have a 2008 XC90 V8 and have been holding out for the 2015, but it is 18 months to 2 years away. With the XC90 being all new in 2015 and reading posts about the quirks with the technology package in the early XC60 builds, I have thought I might wait until 2016 on the XC90 -- which would mean we would keep a new XC60 for 3 years. We have been looking at the XC60 T6 to gain a backup camera, city safe (on the 2013s active up to 31 mph instead of 19 mph), and the technology package. Unfortunately, a XC60 with the technology package is a rare bird on dealer lots and I am not finding any within 150 miles to test drive. Any thoughts on its intrusiveness in day to day driving? Cheers or jeers at the system in general? Thoughts on the switch from a XC90 to a XC60? I have only driven a XC60 3.2 FWD and have not driven the T6 yet.
 

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I have the technology package and the only annoyances so far have been a tendancy for the lane departure warning to false alarm if you don't stay right in the middle of the lane when exiting. Once in a while befor the last Sensus upgrade it would go off as I passed an exit on the freeway. This might happen once every 4 hours of driving and I noticed it happened when exiting at certain exits so maybe it has something to do with the paint job of the exit lines. And every couple of days the city safety warning lights and tone will come on when I am not in danger of hitting a car. However, it did save my ass one time when a car stopped abruptly and I had taken my eyes off of it thinking it would continue off the exit ramp. Bottom line for me is that all the tech is a big plus and I put up with the infrequent false alarms.
 

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You can turn off lane departure warning for day to day driving. It is good for long trips IMHO. Adaptive cruise control becomes essential once you have had it for a while. The tech package is configurable, so you can set it up how you like it. As a former XC90 owner I suggest you go for it.
 

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The technology package literally is what totaled my 2007 S80 V8. It worked well but I only had the car for 5 weeks/7k miles. When I ordered our 2010 XC60 T6, keeping in mind my S80 experience, I declined to order the package. Considering the electrical gremlins we had, I'm glad I didn't order the package.
 

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Oh, and also we preferred the XC90 V8 that preceded the XC60 much more. Unfortunately Volvo did away with the V8 when we were looking so we went the BMW/MB route.
 

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Oh, and also we preferred the XC90 V8 that preceded the XC60 much more. Unfortunately Volvo did away with the V8 when we were looking so we went the BMW/MB route.
Which MB/BMW did you chose? Been through a few of them myself and love the brands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm not itching to change out our XC90 V8, because I do like the size better than the XC60. On the XC60, I have read about the glitches in the systems when released and hoped now that they had worked them out. The Sensus update seems to have fixed a lot of the infotainment issues. It would be disappointing to give up a vehicle that we are generally happy with and pay quite a bit to switch to another for safety features that end up being more frustrating than helpful.

njb8199, I went back and read your "bye bye S80" thread, but could not figure out how it related to the technology package. You can message me back directly on that if you prefer. Any new systems can have issues that take time to work out, sometimes things that you think should be solvable. I have a friend who has a BMW 335is with the double clutch automatic that has intermittent throttle woes. Randomly, when he goes to accelerate, it doesn't respond to the pedal. Then, as you push further with no response, suddenly it engages at the point where the pedal is now nearly to the floor.
 

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I have the technology package in my MY12 and have had no issues. BLIS occasionally burps when the sun is low and to the rear, but c'mon, that's a tough lighting situation for any system.

I drive with lane departure on all the time, even in the city. My daughter pointed out that it's a "public embarrassment" system because, unlike BMW's system on my F30 which vibrates the wheel, the Volvo system sounds an alarm the passengers can hear. Social engineering to make sure you drive attentively!

My issue with ACC is that it is "mechanical" in operation. Set to "three bars" distance, it tends to follow far enough away so that my fellow Massholes feel compelled to insert themselves between me and the car in front. This, of course, causes ACC to fall back quickly. That spooks the Masshole tailgating me. ACC works beautifully -- but not like a human driver. That means it's really unacceptable on crowded urban highways. I also think people should be licensed to buy it. It can "lull" you into inattentiveness. The operation is so automatic that you forget you still have to manage speed -- at the very least by compulsively watching the dash indicator to make sure the radar/camera has picked up the car in front.

I was reviewing the MY13 Owners' Manual for the XC60 and I noticed that ACC has been updated so that if you signal a lane change, ACC accelerates slightly. I can't decide if I like that or not. But I do know that in my MY12, once you feel the car slowing due to a car in front, if you want to pass, you need to be prepared for the car to attempt to regain the set speed very quickly. I've developed a technique of pulling into the passing late at just about "three bars" distance (or whatever the distance is set to) just as the car in the passing lane has reached that point. This seems to induce the system to accelerate more gradually than if you pull into a passing lane which is "empty" in front of you.

All in all, I would never buy another car without these advanced features. And, I must say, ACC/BLIS/LDW/PCC/Rear camera/PDC are all well thought-out, engineered and implemented in my Volvo. What truly sucks -- I am talking big, smelly, rotten egg-suck -- is Sensus 3.0, the navigation system and the lack of total voice control. Whoever designed such a menu-intensive system WITHOUT voice control should be demoted. I can't believe you can't simply say, "radio" to bring up the radio. Nor can I believe that there's no entertainment information when the nav is actively in guidance mode. Or that you have to scroll to a bug-frying-magnification to see street names.
 

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All in all, I would never buy another car without these advanced features. And, I must say, ACC/BLIS/LDW/PCC/Rear camera/PDC are all well thought-out, engineered and implemented in my Volvo. What truly sucks -- I am talking big, smelly, rotten egg-suck -- is Sensus 3.0, the navigation system and the lack of total voice control. Whoever designed such a menu-intensive system WITHOUT voice control should be demoted. I can't believe you can't simply say, "radio" to bring up the radio. Nor can I believe that there's no entertainment information when the nav is actively in guidance mode. Or that you have to scroll to a bug-frying-magnification to see street names.
Changes are coming.
 

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Changes are coming.
Like the restoration of Sport mode for the AT that you hinted was coming? (Man, is that needed. I don't know why I should either have a dog for throttle response or have to shift myself to enjoy the T6. Elimination of Sport mode was clearly a removal of capability since the normal mode was obviously left in its economy mode. The result is a binary system: dog or [manual] race-horse.)

And, when these "changes" come, how much agony will we all experience with the dealers, who have demonstrated for many people, not just me, how fatally incompetent they are at updating control systems in these cars?
 

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Like the restoration of Sport mode for the AT that you hinted was coming? (Man, is that needed. I don't know why I should either have a dog for throttle response or have to shift myself to enjoy the T6. Elimination of Sport mode was clearly a removal of capability since the normal mode was obviously left in its economy mode. The result is a binary system: dog or [manual] race-horse.)

And, when these "changes" come, how much agony will we all experience with the dealers, who have demonstrated for many people, not just me, how fatally incompetent they are at updating control systems in these cars?
I have to double check but I believe an upgrade to Sport mode may still be available a little later this year. At least that is what I have heard but I will double check t be sure.

Sensus upgrades are a lot easier to implement to previous versions than, say, automatic transmission or any other software.

Total voice activation is absolutely the way to go, s you wrote.
 

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I have really mixed feelings about voice control. We have complete voice control in our current car, including audio functions, even searching for music titles, but nobody uses it, because the primary interface itself, the steering wheel buttons, touchscreen, etc are all easy enough to use.

For common audio stuff, everybody just uses the regular interface. Really, who is going to say JUST "Radio" ? Sounds great. But what does "Radio" mean? Am? Fm? Which sat radio channel? How many people really will say "Sat 1" ? Or even better, "Sat [StationName]" ? And with what reliability will it interpret commands? I simply will NOT believe anybody that says their voice is 100% accurate for every single command issued. With voice systems, it's always the same. There are some great voice systems out there, but not one is perfect. Buttons can be PERFECT.

The problem with voice I think is that until they can make the system absolutely without a doubt 100% reliable and capable of understanding human sentences of VARIOUS forms, it's just not worth it. And it's got to work 100% reliable over all other noises in the car, windows down, sunroof open, etc. I tested our voice alot and it works pretty well. It works very well. But it doesn't work 100%. I don't think any voice system I've ever tested is 100% reliable. And, however fast some people say they can do things with voice, I'm sorry, with a proper button interface, for a lot of the most common functions, the buttons will be faster. The only thing voice is truly good for are really specific targetted things.

Maybe if I was alone I would use it more often? But.... IMO, there are primarily two types of audio users. At any given moment, they are either A) after something really specific, OR B) they are just after something better to listen to, doesn't matter where it is.

For A, sure, without a doubt, a good voice system can be very helpful. But how often are people really always in A mode? I can say specific stations to our voice command and maybe if I was more often an A user, then I would use our voice more. But I know how to get to those specific stations pretty quick with the steering wheel buttons and who knows, along the way, I hear something better. I have used our voice to find specific stuff, and I'd say it's 80% good for that, once the commands start getting a bit more complex. But for some reason, I just don't find the voice experience satisfying. It's fast, but it's just not the instant response that one gets from a button.

That is why I am mostly a B user, 99% of the time. Do I really want to push a button, SAY "Sat [StationName]". Listen for a few seconds, then push the voice button again and say another station? Does it really make sense to use a voice command to get to a certain audio group, then use buttons to loop through presets or tracks on that source, then use voice command again to switch to another source and then back to buttons agains? Do I really want to talk to the car constantly looking for something good on? My family would go crazy just hearing me talk over and over again. I would probably go crazy sitting in a car listening to somebody talking like that to their car constantly. No way. IMO, for B type users, Sensus is EPIC fail, even if it had the best voice control in the world. Even if the voice offered such a simple command like "Next Source", would you really choose to keep doing that voice command over and over and over again versus just having that dedicated button on the steering wheel that Volvo really should have that so many other cars have had for years? With our current car, I can get in it with my eyes closed and I can find good music to listen to without having to talk to the car or take my hands off the wheel. And I know I can easily find something good without fumbling around with a scroll wheel.

My wife rides a lot in other peoples car and I know some of those cars have voice functions too, and I asked her and nobody uses voice in those cars either. I have never ever been in a car that I know has voice and seen somebody use voice. Maybe it's being shy? Maybe people don't like other people hearing them interact with their car? Maybe if I was a lone commuter I would use voice more often?


Now, I am NOT saying that they shouldn't offer voice. They should. They NEED to. But it really needs to be as good as possible. BUT, IMO, it should NOT be a replacement for a proper normal steering wheel/center console interface. This is where I think Sensus sucks. Volvo is essentially relying on voice as the backup fix for a lousy menu driven Sensus with extremely bad button placement and layout.


Why do TVs not offer voice control? Why is almost nothing else in our lives voice control? It's humourous watching people try to use Siri. Sure, I've searched for stuff using voice to enter keywords. Why is it that I can pick up my tv remote and accomplish everything I need to do without actually looking at the remote? This is the test that Volvo engineers should task themselves with. They should blind fold themselves and see if they can accomplish the most common tasks needed. ONLY THEN, once they have successfully designed a steering wheel/console that can pass the blindfold test, should they then focus on voice commands for all the harder stuff. IMO, Volvo is tackling this problem BACKWARDS.

Why not voice commands for AC? For cruise control? For turn signals? For the sunroof? Windows? Simple. Because they haven't screwed those buttons up yet and too me that just proves buttons, levers, and knobs are the better interface. Ford is getting reamed because they don't even have real buttons anymore that you can feel. And people don't want to be interupting everything so that the car can listen.

Would you really buy a car with the world's most advanced voice system, and NOT ONE SINGLE button?

To me, this issue is just like touchscreens. I think all cars should have touchscreens BUT I don't think the touchscreen should be the primary input device. It should just be an enhancement for more advanced use of specific features that are not so common. Engineers should design their car without a touchscreen, perfect that interface, then finally, just add the touchscreen as an addl way to accomplish some tasks even easier.


I get it though, voice is about keeping ones eyes on the road as much as possible. And ironically, Sensus is just about one of the worst systems out there because of so much needing to take ones eyes OFF the road to read the %&@#^@#ing menus. And MANY reviews have complained about this. Again, a very good steering wheel/center console can solve most common requirements without needing to take one's eyes off the road.


Volvo, please focus on making your cars as easy as possible to use without resorting to voice. People that know NOTHING about a Volvo should be able to get into one and immediately and easily accomplish tasks. Voice should just be an additional enhancement ontop of an already super easy to use car. Voice should just be the next logical extension for even more advanced use. It shouldn't be the replacement to traditional car interface design.
 

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Look what article came out today at autonews: First or Worst

Ford's decision to remove many traditional knobs and mechanical switches in favor of touch-screen controls has been a major point of criticism. Instead of being able to locate a familiar button with a quick glance or by feel, drivers lament having to take their eyes off the road to locate the proper spot on the screen, or buttons that are designed to be flush with the center stack rather than protrude. Common tasks that should be simple, such as adjusting the temperature, can require multiple finger presses.

Among the changes Ford made in response to customer feedback was to move the heated-seat control onto the home screen instead of burying it down several levels of menus.
I kind of have to agree with the article. My wife likes the MyTouch features, but she agrees with me, the interface to those features and the rest of the car sucks.


In my prior post, our current car, we have a Chrysler UConnect system, and I have to agree with their comment near the bottom

Chrysler started simple and gradually added functionality and features. Unlike most parts of a car, infotainment systems can be upgraded relatively seamlessly after delivery, either by a dealership or even by the consumer, in some cases with wirelessly transmitted software updates.

The latest version of Chrysler's Uconnect system, which features an 8.4-inch touch-screen, has received positive reviews from the critics of MyFord Touch. Consumer Reports says it likes the comparative simplicity of Uconnect, arguing that it is far easier to use and less distracting while driving.
The updates for UConnect are easy. I knew there was an update, I called them, they mailed me a CD, and it upgraded itself. What a concept.....

But even UConnect is not perfect however, there are things I would improve on it.

I just wish that Volvo could tackle this problem better by going out and seeing what others are doing, seeing how people are reacting to the other systems, and then design something that should hopefully be better.
 

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Sensus updates should be applied to current cars (as Sensus 3.0 is).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
To get back to the technology package, is it significant enough with City Safe to warrant changing to another vehicle to get it (ie XC90 to XC60)?
 

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To get back to the technology package, is it significant enough with City Safe to warrant changing to another vehicle to get it (ie XC90 to XC60)?
Without a doubt, adaptive cruise is a really nice feature. I use it a lot. It came "included" with our last car. If not, if it had been an option, I probably would have passed on it, and not ever known what I was missing. Now that I have it, the thing does really work well. If you do LOTS of highway driving, this feature really does make things easier and safer. I even use it around town.

Most the other stuff in the "tech" package is worth it also, but I doubt I would ever go out of my way to get them, especially since the XC60 already has City Safety standard anyways. I think the Forward Collision in the tech is more of an enhancement to the City Safety and it adds the pedestrian safety.

The only feature in tech I've heard people gripe about is the lane departure warning and that it can get annoying and they turn it off.

Now is it worth $2000? The fact that they are rare birds means most people don't think it's worth it and that even Volvo thinks most people won't get it. Of all the features in the tech, the adaptive cruise is the one I would want most, BUT, not enough that I would have that one feature alter my buying decision. I don't know what I would do for a future car if I was faced with it being both a $2000 option and also a rare bird. I'd probably pass (unless I got really lucky) or I'd switch to some other car assuming I can find that other car the way I WANT IT.

I wish Volvo would just make adaptive cruise standard on pplus/platinum cars or break it out into it's own package.

What I find confusing is that it sounds like you are "itching" to get a new car, and the only reason you are thinking of going to the XC60 is because of CitySafety and the tech package, but what you really want is a new XC90.

If you are happy with your XC90, then I would just stay in the XC90.
 
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