Volvo XC90. Yey or nay?

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  • Volvo XC90. Yey or nay?
  • lodious
    Member

    3 child is now less than a month off. We went looking at xc90’s yesterday. I fancy a four wheel drive car, as for the last few years it was a nighmare getting to work with the ungritted roads. The XC90 looks like a really good family car, but it’s going to be replaced in 2012. I usually carry my bike on the roof, and getting a bike on the roof of an XC90 looks like it’s not going to be easy.

    The car we are looking at is a 185 Manual, which is now a discontinued model. They have the car in stock, and I think we can get it for a decent price, which would beat the VAT rise.

    Any thoughts? In particular, does anybody put their bike on the roof of an XC90, how much do they cost to run, and what would be a better option of not an XC90?

    KT1973
    Member

    I say yay. My mate has one and it’s good. I’d go for an auto though or you’ll have problems getting rid of it.

    Premier Icon dawson
    Subscriber

    Thirsty on juice from what I hear – never had one.

    Get a tow bar rack so you don’t have to get the bike on the roof.

    Premier Icon jamesgarbett
    Subscriber

    I’ve been looking at these although they seem quite pricey used from a Volvo dealer (for peace of mind of 12 month warranty) – they are obviously still in demand although manuals much less so than autos – if you plan to keep it a long time this may not be an issue and you will save over £200 on road tax. I test drove one and the D5 engine was quite disappointing in terms of refinement. The main advantages for me were the great seats, 7 seats, and simple layout of the dash.

    I think if you never needed more than 5 seats there are better options out there

    Or a Disco if you do need 7 seats

    Premier Icon jamesgarbett
    Subscriber

    Also I wouldn’t bank on it being great in snow – most of these big 4x4s have standard tyres which make them poor in snow but I guess it depends what you have now

    lodious
    Member

    I’m currently driving a front wheel drive Mondeo.

    KT1973
    Member

    The X5 has seven seats too but are newer and therefore more expensive. Great drivers car though- v.good performance and economy for such a heavy lump

    lodious
    Member

    The X5’s look nice, but when I went to the BMW dealership the salesman took a look at me and obviously decided that I could not afford one, and was unbelievably rude. That makes me think, I’m not cut out for BMW ownership 😉

    spacemonkey
    Member

    If you get a good one then you’re sorted. However, there are plenty of bad ones around:

    A friend bought one new in 04 and sent it back in 05 because of all the faults – mainly electrical. She had an absolute mare and barely saw the car at all.

    Another friend bought a 54 plate about 18 months ago and had the engine replaced 2 months later.

    I don’t know anyone else firsthand who has owned one, so the above are just IMO/IME.

    jools182
    Member

    I like them, and they are a million times less offensive than an x5. My mind find has had one for about 5 years and its been faultless.
    Not sure about fuel economy, but I do know the new discovery is ridiculously thirsty

    spacemonkey
    Member

    The X5’s look nice, but when I went to the BMW dealership the salesman took a look at me and obviously decided that I could not afford one, and was unbelievably rude. That makes me think, I’m not cut out for BMW ownership

    I received the same when I had a Merc as a company car. Picked it up for its first service but had the audacity to wear shorts – was barely given the time of day. Took it back a month later for an electrical repair and was treated with the utmost courtesy (by a different person).

    Was also treated with disdain by a BMW salesman when I lodged my interest in anything from a 323i to an M3. TBH he looked like the archetypal ar5e. Returned 6 months later with an M3 I bought from Sytners and couldn’t have asked from better service from the service team – brilliant people for the 2 years I was with them.

    Moral of the story: it’s about you and what you have/want, not the response you receive from others.

    In a recent Car magazine test it came out top for overall drivability, comfort, handling etc (up against the Q5, BMW, Tiguan etc) IIRC.

    NikNak7890
    Member

    If you’re looking at a faux x 4, how about a Skoda Octavia Scout – they’ve just won the WHAT CAR award for best small family car, despite them being cavernous inside.

    Surf-Mat
    Member

    Decent cars. Better off road than an X5 and far less offensive too. Tales of sales people not taking customers seriously make me cringe big time. They should be named and shamed. I found Sytners service to be first rate for BMWs. Genuinely cannot fault them.

    tron
    Member

    Big, comfy, quiet, but horribly wallowy, which makes their weight really noticeable. Also a little long in the tooth – been in production since 2002!

    If you’ve 4×4, there’s a fair chance it’ll have a towbar – put your bikes on a towbar rack and save a fair whack on fuel.

    spacemonkey
    Member

    I found Sytners service to be first rate

    Hmm, perhaps your dealings have yet to be with Leicester? Ar5ey from my experience – it took a complaint to BMW CS to get them into gear, after which everything was handled impeccably by my local dealer.

    Tales of sales people not taking customers seriously make me cringe big time.

    Tell me about it!

    Had this again with Audi. A technician mate who worked at my local dealer gave me a contact – I went in and had the test drive, but the guy expected the car to sell itself and wasn’t interested at all in answering my questions. Complete pr1ck who put me off ever bothering with them again. Ended up spending virtually twice the money on another car – and my mate told the guy this. Apparently his face was a picture! Twunt.

    Premier Icon johnikgriff
    Subscriber

    I’ve got one. Had it 12 months. Had 4×4’s for the last 15 years and very impressed with it.

    I get 28mpg driving normally. Mine is an Auto, very good in the snow and ice last year, just put it in winter mode and nothing stopped it. Got up to the Llandegla trail center when everyone else was getting stuck.

    Bit wollowy, but its a big 4×4 and I dont drive it like a sport car, wife has a car for that. Swallows mega amount of stuff. Took me and 4 friends with bikes and all our gear to the Alps this year.

    I looked at X5’s and a lovely car to drive but….. way more expensive to buy and you can’t get away from looking like drug dealer…..

    Looked at the XC70?

    lodious
    Member

    yes, XC70 looks good, but only 5 seats. Might be an option though.

    Highland28
    Member

    Yeh, my mum has got one got it last year, not brand new but second hand for a good price, we stick the bikes on the back, can get 3 there but when there’s the whole family we have got mont blanc roof carriers too. I will admit it aint the easiest of cars to get bikes on the roof but it is doo-able. Had a pretty harsh winter in the Highlands with it last year and coped fine, didn’t let us down once in the snow.

    Premier Icon bruk
    Subscriber

    Colleague had 1 on lease and liked it so much he bought it at the end of it. Mind you he has 4 kids so is pretty restricted in what he can buy. Driven it and as you’d expect wallowy, v unresponsive from set off then takes off (D5 Auto) but comfy and his has stood up well to the abuse from his 3 boys in a cream leather interior too.

    Other colleague chopped his in for a Insignia estate though because his wife couldn’t cope with the size of the thing trying to park it in the supermarket!

    No probs with either in the 3 years.

    Ed2001
    Member

    My advice with volvo ( I’ve had a few over the years and really rate them) is to avoid the main dealers when it comes to servicing ( they are bandits) and find yourself an independent garage that specialises in volvos. In my experience you will get a far better service at a fraction of the cost.

    Dorset_Knob
    Member

    When it snowed last year, whenever I got stuck in a queue, at the head of it would inevitably be a yummy-mummy in in an XC90 tip-toeing along at 5mph in conditions that were easily safe for 35+, even in a 2-wheel drive car.

    Do you want to look like a yummy-mummy who can’t drive?

    How about a Skoda Yeti?

    Markie
    Member

    A friend with three kids (5,4,2) has an XC90. He can’t praise it enough, reckons it’s perfect for their needs.

    lodious
    Member

    How about a Skoda Yeti?

    4 month wait, and not big enough boot, otherwise, the Yeti looks good.

    squin
    Member

    we had a look at one years ago but found that the boot was really high and didn’t actually have much room for a car that can carry 7. Not as stylish, but something like a Galaxy or Alhambra – not as nice to look at but way more practical and much better fule economy. If you can squeeze 3 in the back of an X5, you can pick them up fromabout £5k – the Mecr ML’s have hasses of space too and some are 7 seaters!

    Kuco
    Member

    I had one slide towards me in the snow last year, it wasn’t even going fast. Luckily no one was on the pavement meaning I could drive onto it moving out the way, It just clipped my wing mirror. The driver said it’s the worst vehicle she had ever brought and wished she had stuck to her Discovery.

    Doesn’t the XC70 have the 2 extra seats like the V79?

    28 posts and only 2 people have told you to buy a Skoda instead. Took a while too, standards aren’t the same as they used to be around here.

    I have just got an X5 with 7 seats and it’s fantastic. Drives like a car (not a bus) 32-35/MPG. Seats in the back are proper seats too that grown ups can sit in for short (less than an hour) periods.

    Bought the thule bike carrier that goes on the tow bar (3 bikes + extra attchment for the 4th)

    Can put roof bars on at the same time.

    Possible to take 4 grown ups / 4 bikes / 4 kayaks and all necessary kit for the weekend. FANTASTIC! or using as a family wagon comfortably takes 7.

    Steve

    Premier Icon mos
    Subscriber

    Dad had one & liked it, 28mpg seems right. V comfy, wish i’d bought it off him. Boot wasn’t as massive as you would think though.
    Put some Pirelli Scorpion ATR’s or General AT’s on it & snow won’t be a problem, but as you would expect they will slide about on worn normal road tyres.

    Have you considered a Disco 3? I’ve got one and love it, bigger boot too.

    nickf
    Member

    I’m just about to get rid of one, which we’ve had for the last 4 years and 90k miles. Only swapping it out as I need more space, and the 2 seats at the back are no good for teenagers other than for a short hop.

    Mine’s a manual, and gets 30-35mpg depending on how it’s driven. Showing 33mpg at the momemnt, last reset in the summer.

    Handling is, erm, OKish – it weighs 2 tonnes, so what do you expect? – but it’s a great family bus. Manuals are fine, but using the foot-operated parking brake on a hill is an acquired art!

    Overall, highly recommended. It’s been in production for 8 years now, and little has changed, simply because it really didn’t need to.

    Our car’s now at 120k and has had almost nothing go wrong, though the stereo has recently started to misbehave. People have scare stories about almost every type of car; the only problem with this one was a leaking gearbox oil seal which was fixed under warranty. Other than consumables, nothing else comes to mind. Servicing isn’t cheap at Volvo dealers, and I’ve used independents for the last 50k without incident.

    Having said all these positive things, my Disco 3 beats it on everything other than fuel consumption. The 2 rear seats are hugely better. It’s something you might do well to consider, though I’d advise against a manual Disco.

    Surf-Mat
    Member

    An XC90 may well weigh two tonnes but a Disco is near THREE tonnes (2.8 unladen). To me that’s just too damn heavy.

    X5 is very porky too – around 2.5ish tonnes I think.
    While 4x4s are obviously big and heavy, there are limits. Everything suffers from more weight – tyre/brake wear, mpg, performance, etc,etc.

    Disco 4 with the new twin pot 3.0 diesel looks like a good un though.

    Premier Icon jamesgarbett
    Subscriber

    This is only relevant if you don’t need 7 seats but I drove a Lexus RX hybrid the other day and was surprised how nice it was – I think I was expecting something completely geared to the US market. Absolutely no use off-road though (I didn’t try it) but part-time 4wd and unsuitable wheels/tyres can’t be great in the mud.

    Also surprised they seem a little cheaper used than equivalent Discos/XC90s.

    sharkbait
    Member

    I’ve had [the same] one since May 2002 and here’s experience. We’ve got 3 girls (two of them born in 2002 the other in 2000, so needed room for 3 x car seats) and had two dogs…. now down to one 🙁
    Our XC90 is the 160 D5 and the new one is better for the extra 25bhp but I’ve never felt the need to get more power.
    Internally the car is fantastic. The seats are very very comfy and the dash is clean and just works. Iodious, do you know that you can very easily remove the glove box between the front seats and then pull the centre ‘middle’ seat right forward? Great for dealing with little dude’s needs while on the move.
    The seats in the back are certainly good enough for kids and adults on a short trip. They are slightly higher than the middle row of seats so that the occupants can see forwards – the X5 rear seats are lower than the middle row and my girls tell me it makes them feel sick as they can’t see whats going on.
    Boot space even with the rear seats up the pretty good and better than the X5. Without the rear seats up the boot is pretty massive.
    Handling is fine…. it’s a big car, what do you expect? The standard fit Continental tyres are fairly crap and you’re better off fitting general Grabbers or Nokians – both of which will improve winter handling.
    Reliability-wise we’ve had to replace rear shocks, rear disks, the flywheel ( 🙁 ) and various suspension bushes. There was also an issue with steering racks with early cars but they’ve fixed that now – but I had to fit a new rack out of warranty.
    The sub-woofer on our [brilliant] premium sound system also failed within warranty but would have cost about £1000 to replace!
    Fuel economy over the life of the car has been 29-30mpg but we mainly do short country road trips.
    I’m not sure I’d go with a manual but that’s up to you.
    Overall I’ve loved having the car and frankly see no reason to change it. It’s a fantastic family car and the fact that Volvo has basically left it unchanged in 8 years speaks volumes.
    Oh yeah….. put a towbat on for the bikes. I’ve put dinghies on the roof (when there’s been something else on the towbar) and it’s a long way up!

    Edit: BIL has an X5, but he’s an estate agent and a mate has just sold his disco as he was fed up with it breaking down. I like the Q7 but it’s soooooo big.

    xiphon
    Member

    If you’ve got the spare cash to buy a chelsea tractor, don’t worry about the running costs. If you’re really that worried, buy a cheaper car and use the difference in cost to run it!

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    You’ve got the same issue as me – most 5 seaters aren’t actually any use for 2 adults plus 3 child seats. If you’re an active family and want to take a bunch of bikes off camping but still need a pram or stroller you’re seriously limited in what’s available – you’re down to XC90 / X5 / Disco or S-Max / Previa (?? if Toyota still make em). Any other ideas appreciated.

    Obviously I want an XC90 (which seems the pick of the bunch to me) which does 50 mpg and squats automatically down to get the roof box on. Moon on a stick please. Think I’m going to have to suck up the cost at some point in the next year or so but it pains me to have to pay out so much on a car.

    lodious
    Member

    Test drove one yesterday, pretty much what I expected. The seating arrangement and interior design looks really good. Can’t decide if I should to go for it or not, I might see how we go on when the baby arrives in our estate car. Interestingly enough, the back seats are not wider than on our Mondeo or a Golf.

    I also looked at a CRV, which give it was similar price, looked like a plastic toy (although i’m sure they are cheap to run and totally reliable…)

    Brassneck – you hit the nail on the head with those requirements!

    sharkbait
    Member

    most 5 seaters aren’t actually any use for 2 adults plus 3 child seats

    Exactly. We also had a V70 when the twins arrived which we thought would be wide enough, but we couldn’t fit 3 child seats across the back. Luckily the XC90 had just come out (I didn’t want a ‘people carrier’ in the old sense) and I managed to by-pass the 12 month waiting list and buy an ex-demo one – but it came at a big price tag as I had to pay over list for it! Luckily I had some money at the time, unlike now 🙁
    But I’ve still got it and I’m happy. We do use the Golf for 90% of the running around now.

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    I was shocked at how few did – Honda Accord was the closest to being a goer I found, though I didn’t look very hard at Audi/BMW – no car allowance and wife not working = nothing to spare on frivolities like transport – but living out in the boonies means you have to have some way to get around as a family.

    We have a Verso to trash at the moment which just about fits everyone in and can take a reasonable amount of luggage but it’s a squeeze – it was also the cheapest option by a country mile, no one wants the manual petrol it seems. I’d like to get something a little more spacious and comfortable once I’m off my silly fixed rate mortgage.

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