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<b><i>Here are my impressions of how my day was spent on Monday September 23, driving the XC90 and taking a very close look at it, structurally.<p>Complements Bive's comments below (in Sweden).</i></b><p><br>Volvo brought to us THREE XC90s; one 2.5T (badged "XC90 2.5T AWD" and "XC90 T06 AWD"). The 2.5T was Silver Green Metallic w/ Graphite Leather and it had (as options) the Climate package, Premium Package and 17" Neptune alloys plus AWD. The T-6 model was Black Sapphire Metallic w/ Taupe Leather. It had Climate package, Security package (sans the tinted windows since it was a Swedish model) and the Premium Package, Bi-Xenon lights but without the 18" alloys.<p>All cars had Swedish plates, kilometers on their speedos and Celsius on their climate control displays. But the trip computer had language downloaded for the US (miles). <p>I drove the T-6 first...very smooth but not as powerful as I expected. But I think this stemmed from the fact that during the past 2 weeks I have been driving a 2002.5 S80 T-6 which is very fast. The car was quick but not like an S80 T-6. We drove on the highway and also through some very winding roads...Boy, can this car handle the curves! I expected great handling but I was impressed! Visibility was great and the Dolby Pro-Logic II system is AWESOME! All XC90s had 6-CD in dash changer. The T-6s were 7-seaters while the 2.5T wasa 5-seater (the amount of room in the trunk was unreal...made my wagon look like a compact).<p>After having driven the T-6, I expected HUGE disappoinment with the 2.5T. Guess what? If I had not known the difference in HP and would disregard that the 5-cyl. engine made more noise than the 6, I would have thought that they were the same! Right off the start, the 2.5T was impressive! Tremendous! On the highway, you could tell a difference but not huge. Most of our orders have been T-6s (about 80%) but I think that this will change when we will have demos to test drive.<p>We also had a Mercedes ML-320, an Acura MDX and a Lexus RX300. The Mercedes; what a piece of crap that truck is!!! WEAK (I raced it with the 2.5T and kicked its ass!), bumpy, difficult to maneuver (in comparison to the XC90 and the rest of the SUVs), the third seat is a serious afterthought...not functional at all..SHAMEFUL product!<p>Lexus; nice...drove it for the first time two years ago, as largely unimpressed. This time, it seemed a bit more refined. Had the best wood trim from all the cars present (incl. the XC90), leather seats were very comfy and good looking. Handling a bit soft, power was OK. But very small for a premium SUV.<p>Acura; not bad at all! Nice handling but its engine power did not support te fact that it is rated at 240HP...plus, under ful throttle, it GROWLS like it is hurting. Even the 2.5T was not as loud. Nice cockpit, seats were comfortable but a bit firm. Its trunk space is rated at 14.1 cu.ft (with the third sear up) vs. 11.6 of he XC90....But guess what? We tried fitting FIVE small suitcases (whichever way possible) behind the 3rd row and it was impossible. In the XC90, we had absolutely no problem!!! We fit them standing up! Amazing! Acura is very tricky in measuring VERTICAL space but they do not mention that the third row is angled sharply toward the liftgate thus cancelling out their "advantage". Plus the heads of their passengers (kids) are much closer to the glass than those in the XC90...Not very nice.<p>The side panels of the MDX are very plain...looks like a minivan. And if it is equipped with the Nav system, ALL controls are integrated in the touch screen...not very safe while you are driving...<p>Anyway, it was nice experience. At night, I got to drive the T-6 a bit...boy, those Bi-Xenon lights are AWESOME! Very clear light...<p>We had a good event that night...we added 12 more deposits to the orders that we already had.<p>Yannis<p>
 
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