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Volvo XC90 SUV



  • jcat707jcat707 Posts: 168
    There are probably alot of XC90 owners not experiencing any problems with their vehicle. I wouldnt just go by the forum. People are probably more likely to post when their car is having problems not while their car is behaving perfectly.
  • I have a 2006 2.5t (non AWD) with 1600 miles on it. I'm getting around 12 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. My problems is that 95% of my driving is in the city. I called volvo and was told to wait until 5000 miles to allow the engine to break in. Not satisfied
    with this advise, I called the service mgr and scheduled a fuel consumption test. They basically checked the computer for faults and checked for fuel leaks. They then filled my tank and took it for a road test. Guess where they road tested it? You guessed it, on the highway (23 mpg). I was told to monitor the next 3 full tank fills/odometer/trip reading and do manual calculations. Then, if still
    not satisfied, take it back with receipts for further eval.
    If you're getting this vehicle based on sticker city mpg. Buyer beware. We're talking Hummer Miles here.
  • Driver beware - XC90 IS NOT a sport coupe. Let off the gas pedal from the stand still and you will see 17.5-18 MPG.

    The reason that I believe it - your highway mileage is pretty much the same as our. Most likely, there is no any malfunctions with the car.

    What did you drive before? I really mean no disrespect - but city MPG IS mostly a reflection of your driving habits.

    My wife easily gets 17.5-18 coming from 2 consecutive Mazda MPV (160HP @ pretty much the same weight as XC90 with 208 HP), and I can do even better coming from F-150 and very mellow S80 2.9 non-turbo.
  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    I've got to agree...I've found mpg to be exemplary...
  • bigeddybigeddy Posts: 181
    "...we were told that we couldn't install a new radio with iPod capability in the XC90. Apparently, the radio is not located behind the faceplate in the XC90, but somewhere else in the car. When I asked where the actual radio is located, they couldn't answer my question. Anyway, my question: Is this info accurate?"

    Pretty much. There is no traditional radio in the XC90. Rather, the components are scattered all over the car: antenna and electronics in the roof, amplifier under the front passenger seat, and the head (display) unit in the dash. It's hooked together through a MOST (Media Oriented Systems Transport) architecture which is used in many premium cars. The problem is that this kind of system is "closed" and we have to rely on the car manufacturer to provide accessory inputs. Volvo is behind the curve here and it's a mystery as to why they haven't come up with a better solution than an FM transmitter. One enterprising owner with electronics savvy took apart the amplifier and added an input, so Volvo could do it if they wanted.
  • bigeddybigeddy Posts: 181
    "We really must have a dependable vehicle it is the whole reason we are shopping for a new vehicle. We're between an XC90 and the Lexus GX. But really like the third row in the XC90. "

    Neither vehicle is likely to leave you stranded. The Lexus will probably involve fewer trips to the dealer for little things, so with the Volvo much will depend on how you like the dealer's service department. Most of them are pretty good and often supply a free Volvo loaner, but some dealers are not there yet. Before buying any premium car, check out the dealer and ask some other owners of their service experience. The XC90 is our only car and has taken us over 50,000 miles without a significant problem.

    The XC90 and GX470 are roughly similar size but have many differences. The most obvious is that the XC90 is car-based with AWD and the GX470 is truck-based with 4WD & low-range. If you travel into the backcountry the Lexus will be more capable. If you stick to maintained roads--pavement or dirt--the XC90 will handle better and cost you less fuel. The XC90 also has more versatility in seating and cargo. And that Swedish style.
  • schatz32schatz32 Posts: 1
    My wife is interested in the 2.5 T and I'm totally unfamiliar with the cooling mechanism used on the turbo. What are Volvo's instructions on running the car after you stop, if any? Anybody had a turbo go out due to coking? Is this an issue to be concerned about? If so, would an extended warranty be a good idea? My knowledge base only extends to (1) don't drive a turbo hard the last mile or so before you stop, (2) let it run for a bit after you stop, and (3) switch to a full synthetic after breakin.
  • enginoneenginone Posts: 20
    The XC90 owners manual describes the same basic precautions you listed in items 1 and 2 above. In the early to mid-80s, it was common to hear about premature turbo failure. I owned an '82 GL turbo, took the above precautions, and still replaced the turbo at about 75k. But, the early turbos (early-80s) were oil-cooled only, and prone to coking the bearings if you didn't let them idle back down after hard driving. The replacement turbo included additional cooling from the engine coolant. Volvo (and others) discovered this problem in the mid-80's and created a retrofit kit to add the extra cooling lines when a replacement turbo was fitted. I believe they updated the design in the mid- to late-80s to include the water-cooled turbos from the factory. At the time I replaced the turbo in the 82, I was told that water-cooling extends the life to at least 150kmi. I didn't hang on to that one long enough to find out, but my other turbo is in an '85 Mercedes diesel, and is still running on the factory unit at >150k, so long life can be achieved with them if you use care.

    I haven't been able to spot the turbo in my XC90 (in the 5 days I've had it) to confirm if it includes coolant lines, but it would make sense that the design keeps the water cooling -- maybe someone here can confirm?
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    All Volvo turbo's are both water and oil cooled.
    As long as you change the oil when you are supposed to, and let the engine idle down after high speed driving the turbo should last the life of the car.
  • enutsenuts Posts: 2

    I just bought a fully loaded 2006 Volvo XC90 v8.
    In the four weeks I've had it, I've put about 400 miles on it and it has BROKEN DOWN twice!

    The first time, my wife and I were on a road trip to Baltimore. I though it would be nice to take my week old luxury SUV for a nice long drive. BIG MISTAKE! To make a long story short, I drove to my friends place in Baltimore, park the XC90 and that’s it. Once I parked the SUV I could never get it out of park. I had to have the car towed to NY to have it fixed and my wife and I had to fly back home.
    Volvo and my local dealer did the right thing by paying for the $1,000 towing bill. However no one has offered to reimburse us for the airfare.
    Once my local dealer looked at my XC90, they were able to quickly point to a manufacturing defect in the wiring and fixed the SUV in less than half a day.

    Now, I get back form a week long business trip and the brand new $50K SUV sitting in my drive way wont start. It may just be a dead battery, but any vehicle much less a brand new car should be able to sit for a week without discarding its battery. I guessing there’s some systemic electrical issues in my XC90.

    Has anyone had any success in getting their dealer to exchange a brand new car that has turned out to be a dud?

    I ask because this SUV clearly is not a functional vehicle given the amount of time I’ve owed it, the miles I’ve put on it, and the number of times it has turned into a pretty black paperweight.

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.


    I&#146;ll update this post as I get more information back form my dealer.
  • cv2006cv2006 Posts: 23
    bigeddy~ That's the most thorough explanation I've gotten so far! Thanks!
  • nssvolvonssvolvo Posts: 1
    I have a 2006 XC-90 2.5 - bought in December 2005. Within a week I got a warning saying "anti-skid service required". The message goes away and then comes back. I took the car into the dealership and they ordered a new sensor. After they replaced the sensor, the message came back the next day. The dealer is not sure what will need to be done next. They have offered a loner since he indicated that it could take up to a week and a half to correct the problem (if they can fix it). He also informed me that they had a 2004 in their shop that they had been working on for a week and a half. I haven't taken it back in yet, hoping they can figure it out on someone else's car first.

    Did your problem ever get resolved?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Now this is an XC90! (Straightline)

    Steve, Host
  • Can you post more information on the owner who hacked into the amplifier? Do you know who it is? Do you know what they did exactly? I am planning to do something similar to install a Harman Kardon Drive Play and would love to get some pointers. Thanks.
  • bigeddybigeddy Posts: 181
    Per forum rules we are not allowed to link to other sites; I tried once and had my message deleted. If you search around the net you will come across references to people modifying the XC90's audio system in various ways. There seem to be new car audio interface products coming on the market every month so it is just a matter of time before there is a sanitary solution.
  • bigeddybigeddy Posts: 181
    It sounds like your mind is made up so I don't see what assistance we could provide. I would just recommend that you work through these apparently minor glitches and don't let them ruin the car for you. There is no reason to think there are "systemic electrical issues" that make the car a "dud." There are lots of possible reasons for a dead battery. If the dealer can fix it promptly why get upset?

    Having a new car not start is annoying and inconvenient but it happens with any brand. As for the airfare, that was your choice to fly back and I would not expect Volvo to pay for it. Every time we travel something unexpected can happen that may delay us. Good luck and take it easy.
  • Thanks for the response. The only thing I have found surfing the web is in swedespeed where someone did some work on another model, a 50 I believe, to add the unit that I am looking at (the Harman Kardon Drive & Play). If you know of other sites maybe you could post key words that are guaranteed to find the sites through google or something? Thanks.
  • enginoneenginone Posts: 20
    Sorry you're disappointed to date -- has the dealer been able to resolve it yet?

    Regarding the dead battery, is it possible that you left the parking lamps on by accident? I did just that today, and killed the battery. Thankfully, it started on a jump OK.

    I had noticed earlier that I don't get any warnings when I open the door if the headlight switch is left in this position, but this is the first time I completely forgot to switch back to automatic before I left the car for a long period.
  • enginoneenginone Posts: 20
    Does anyone know if a headlight warning should sound if the light switch is left in a position other than automatic? Mine doesn't, and it seems like it should (common feature on every other car I had, including other Volvos).

    Also, does anyone know if autolocking is programmable by the owner, or can it only be done by the dealer? If dealer, is it complimentary, or is there a typical fee?

    Thanks in advance
  • buroskyburosky Posts: 90
    I have not had a reason to manually turn on the headlights and I bet this is partly the reason why there isn't a warning. Their engineers might have other reasons. As for the autolock, I had to take mine to the dealer. I suppose you can do it if you own one of those computers they use to program stuff into the car. I was told there is a charge for getting things like that programmed but on mine I was able to get them to commit to doing things like that for free when I was negotiating the price of my XC90. You can probably sweet talk them into doing it for free. It's not like it cost them money to do it. If anything it's just the technician's time they are charging for. Then again, I don't think it takes that much time to do it. Probably just a few minutes.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    The programming is free if done @ the 7500 mile service. Otherwise a charge will apply.
  • enginoneenginone Posts: 20
    Thanks to both of you for the fast answers.

    Still bothers me about the lack of a warning for the headlight switch -- I'll just need to train myself to keep my hands off it.
  • beaster4beaster4 Posts: 10
    A while back I asked for input on replacement tires for my 2005 XC90 V8. I chose Michelin Synchrone4x4 P255/55 R18. After about 2500 miles, I can give them very high marks. I live in central NC. They are not noticably noisier than the OEM Michelins. Dry traction is outstanding. Wet traction may be a little bit better. And I think that they are a little more in keeping with the look of an SUV tire, rather than a 'sedan' tire.
  • kd2mdkd2md Posts: 5
    Hey all, new guy on the block about to pick up a 2003 XC90 T6. The wife and I have driven Volvos for the last 15 years, from the 700 series through the current 960. I am not so keen on losing the 960 (shoulda kept the 940 too) but the wife is seriously drooling over the prospects of that XC90. The question of the day is, having seen a great deal of input regarding Volvos apparent loss of quality over these XC's and tempering it with my mechanical knowledge, which says things do wear out and things do go wrong, does anyone know the following. I am also a diehard Ford fan, and one thing Ford did several years ago that also had a negative effect on its transmissions / differentials was to lube everything with Dexron. In Arizona Dexron barely cuts the grade in a full automatic transmission. Not knowing the specifics on the XC's (and excluding the obvious transmission itself) transfer case or rear end, is there any reason either of those could not be lubed with full synthetic gear lube, or like we did in the Fords, synthetic 20-50 motor oil? Doing this in the Fords dramatically improved their longevity and durability.
    All this talk on transmission failure leads me to wonder how many of those folks did not REGULARLY change the fluid. Most owners are notorious on believing transmissions and rearends are 'lifetime' lubed. Mileage alone is not acceptable for scheduling, temperature extremes do more to break down oil than the number of miles traveled. If you only drove 10k miles a year, that would put your oil at 3 years of summer to winter exposure, and overdue for change.
  • soxfansoxfan Posts: 25
    i'd also be intrigued about the amplifier modification. volvomax - how much to replace an amplifier if you mess it up trying to attach an ipod? ;)
  • bigeddybigeddy Posts: 181
    The '03 T6 was the most troublesome XC90 because it was the first one off the assembly line and had a mismatched transmission. Could be a good deal if you check it out carefully and verify that all applicable TSBs and recalls were made by Volvo dealers. The GM--yes, GM!--transmission is a weak link and no amount of replacing fluids will change that. If it hasn't been flogged it may be fine, or not--check it out with a critical eye.

    Volvo has no scheduled transmission fluid replacement in normal driving up to 150,000 miles, although they recommend changing the fluid every 50,000 when towing. I don't know what fluid is specified for the T6's 4-speed but the 2.5T's Asin-Warner 5-speed uses Mobil 3309 and does not like substitutes, especially Dexron.
  • kd2mdkd2md Posts: 5
    Thanks for the info, one added question. Is there a way to tell from the VIN # what the production date was for these cars? I have seen where the early ones were more prone to issue than the later builds. This car has one very wild thing with it. It had 45,000 miles put on it in 16 months (according to CarFax's info). This is either a condemnation of CarFax's accuracy, or someone flat out drove every day of the year in it!
  • bigeddybigeddy Posts: 181
    Wow, that's like 90 miles a day! I have heard of people who commute over a hundred miles every work day but I'm not sure I would want their used car. With that kind of mileage I would have it thoroughly inspected, including things like the bevel gears, bushings and joints. And get an extended warranty, for sure.

    Volvo's website has VIN and VIC decoders under Owner's Info, Search Library. AFAIK you would need to know how to correlate the chassis serial number to the date of manufacture to get the week it came off the assembly line. However, you can find the month & year of manufacturer from a label on the back of the left B-pillar (open the rear door on the driver's side).

    Unless the price was really good I would look for ones built March 2003 and later. The XC90 had an unusual early MY 2004 release in mid 2003 where many of the initial glitches were corrected.
  • dougjdougj Posts: 4
    The CD player in the Volvo XC90 does not play MP3's or WMA's right?
  • No, it does not. The new generation that starts with the S80 2007 will, though.
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