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Volvo XC90

Citron (aka Swedish Lemon)

Constantly at the dealership for repairs
1) Blown supercharger at ~25k km
2) Failed front suspension at ~75k km (card would suddenly veer left or right, so I'd appear to fishtail up a road)
3) Persistant low oil warning light - have taken the car 4 times to the dealer where they have drained the oil from the car, weighed it and sent the data to Volvo (?Australia or Sweden). Now apparently the sourec of the leak is from cracked pistons (which need replacing!!)

Whilst this is "all under warranty" it is extremely disruptive as I have to take time off work to take the car in whenever there is a problem (approximately every month). Also, I would not expect this of a 3 year old $130k (supposedely well built) car. What's worse is that I had words with the dealer principal about the sorry state of affairs and he was completely rude and dismissive stating "....well all cars have some problems from about this age"....or its ".....due to driving style".....or "....the car is swerving because of a wheel balance/alignment problem. You probably hit a curb thats why its doing it"

Never, never again........

BadgeInscription
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedSep 2015

I could never imagine owning a different car to this one

I love the XC90. It is so well thought through - every detail is exceptional. It hugs the road, it is quiet, it is safe and it is very comfortable. There is nothing I don't like. I love my heated seats, I love the 7 seats and the extra air con for the back two seats and the turbo. I love the leather seats that just wipe clean, the great rubber mats and the integrated booster seat.

BadgeLE
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedApr 2010

I love this vehicle

I've owned this vehicle for 6 months. I did a LOT of research and exploring before I found the right car but it was worth it. I use the XC90 daily whether it's going to work, doing the shopping, taking animals to the vet or collecting a bale of straw (I'm not joking, I actually collect bales of straw!), I can do it all.
Okay so the vehicle is versatile but it's also extremely comfortable, easy to drive, sure-footed in any weather and comes with ample power for any situation. As the title says I love this vehicle.
In 6 months I've had no mechanical issues, in fact, no issues of any kind.
I highly recommend the 2009 XC90 but of course you need to shop around because like any used car there are well looked after ones and absolutely trashed unloved ones. If you're reading this review because you're thinking of buying one then, as you can see from my review, this is an exciting car which is a joy to own and a pleasure to drive.....just PLEASE shop carefully, be patient and find a good one.......then enjoy a fantastic vehicle!

BadgeD5 Executive
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedApr 2018

Many software bugs with bad childlock design

1. Bad Designs
a) Can’t control the child lock of rear door separately: When I want to release the child lock for my wife to get off the car, my baby often open the door. This may cause serious traffic incident.
b) The map the navigation system is much worse than the google map.

2. Reproducible Problems
a) When I set the language to Chinese, it still speak English in navigation.
b) I have 2 wifi spot at home, both are WPA2/AES. The car can connect to one of them but can’t connect to the other one.
c) When the Auto-Hold is set, it will often be braked automatically when I am parking.
d) I can never drive the car by using only electricity over 30km, even if I drive it on highway.

3. The problem hard to reproduce but have occurred for over 3 times
a) Recognize wrong speed limit, especially 80 to 30.
b) If I drive on curved road, it often show me red alert and sometime even brake for me.
c) Sometimes, I can’t use any camera at all, even if I stop and restart the system.
d) I often find the outside mirror in wrong position, then I have to press button 1 to recall it back.
e) The HUD position was often reset then I have to press button 1 to recall it back.
f) I know it’s very dangerous to release the child lock, so I never release it at all and would like to keep it locked and go out to open the door for my wife. But I was surprised to find out that the child lock was released automatically.

BadgeInscription
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedAug 2016

Perfect family car

Three years on and we couldn’t be happier with our XC90 2012 model. After doing quite a bit of research at the time, my wife and I couldn’t fault the Swedish Valiant. The previous transmission problems had been ironed out and for the price, nothing came close to the Volvo for solidity, safety, size and comfort. The quality of finish is far above that of similar Japanese cars. We have had no major faults, doing about 10,000 klms/yr. Fuel/Diesel economy is fair around town, but excellent on the open road. At 2.5 tonne, the car drives a bit like a brick, so if sportiness is your thing, then this is not a car for you. My only qualm is that we don’t get priority parking at IKEA and the turning circle is huge. It is a joy to drive and perfect for a family.

BadgeD5
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedJun 2015

VOLVO VOLVO VOLVO, ITS A RICH MANS WORLD

Arhhhhh arhhhhh, all the things we could do, in our Volvo Volvo Volvo, its a rich mans world.
Well, that's what ABBA may have sung if they had the XC90 around in the mid 70's.
It was time to update the Merc 350ML and we decided on an XC90.
There's something I cant explain about driving a Volvo but its almost as though the car wants to do its best for you in all conditions and the feel of the wheels and stability is second to none.
You may as well buy one as you wont find anything better and since ABBA, Ikea, SAAB Aeroplanes and 6' blondes come from Sweden, it gives you a great excuse to go pay them all a visit and not necessarily in that order.

BadgeInscription
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedFeb 2018

Motoring perfection

Smooth, roomy family SUV. This vehicle has a 2.9 twin turbo engine, all wheel drive that is capable of comfortable long distance travelling.even on the not so extreme off roads. This vehicle is built to last and handle all road surfaces with ease.My 2004 XC90 is a 7 seater with leather all round and plenty of leg room for 7 people and a standard on board roof mounted DVD player for the rear passengers on wireless headsets.Running costs are standard compared to most vehicles in its range. Driving this car makes you fell superior and in control of a tamed beast.

BadgeT6
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedNov 2017

Transmission Failure at 78,000km $$$$$$$$$$

We purchased our XC90 in 2004 new and now it's 13 yrs on and only travelled 78,000km, this was from travelling around a small country town. We loved the car, it did all we wanted of it. But now at 78,000km we started having Auto Transmission Issues($9,000) and Brake Module Replacement ($3,900) We are now stranded in Perth and having to fly back to our town with no transport and a Volvo for a door stop. Searching online it brings up a lot of Transmission Issues with this model and a class action in America which was settled in 2013. With XC90 having the problem at around 65,000km to 100,000km in the 03,04,05 models with the GM Transmission. It would good to hear from other XC90 Volvo owners if they have had the same issues, We own and have owned numerous Toyota's and have never had an issue like this. Our dealer initially was wanting to help sort it out but then the manager rang and squashed this. We now need to try and raise it with Volvo Aust. You would expect to get at least 200,000km before any major repairs are needed not 78,000km,
Will keep you posted

BadgeT6
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedMay 2004

amazing vehicle

Recently purchased for growing family. The seats are phenomenally comfortable and the interior quality is second to none. The 4-cylinder engine is surprisingly responsive and it doesn't feel underpowered at all. In addition very little road noise. Perhaps the ideal family SUV with 7 seats. The sensus screen takes a little time to get used to but after a short time it becomes easy to use and is preferably to a multitude of buttons all over the cabin.

BadgeInscription
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedMar 2017

Brilliant design, absolutely hopeless reliability

We bought our 2008 XC90 Diesel four years ago. It's actually our second XC90, the first being a 2.5T petrol model, which was on a three year lease / company car. I loved this car, and had to settle for the petrol model at the time as the diesel motor wasn't an option. Thankfully I didn't have to pay for the gas...

We purchased our 2008 XC90 with just 60,000 km on the clock, and the fair price. It's now ticked over 120,000 km and something breaks on it just abut every month. So far we have repaired the following:
- three complete engine mounts
- the electric window panel on the drivers door
- a complete set of front suspension bushes
It's also got a fault with the inlet manifold butterfly throttle body ($2600 to repair) and the passenger side mirrors. We also had a fault with the turbo unit failing and the vehicle losing power, although it didn't require a replacement of the turbo unit itself.

Conclusion: great car, fantastic design, poor reliability. Buy a car with 100,000 km on the lock and prepare to spend money. A lot of money.

BadgeD5
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedApr 2013
1 comment
And the heater crapped out this morning...

Cheap, cheap, cheap... but not the price

I spent a lot of money on this vehicle, so I'm pretty irritated at the single USB point - really, Volvo, was it asking too much for the rear passengers to have power???

And I am VERY upset that the upgrade to the Mac app costs $700 when I was told by Purnell that it was part of the first service.
Sure, it is. For $700.

That is just unacceptable. I'm guessing everyone at Volvo uses an iPhone and a Mac? Archaic. They build the motor, very nicely, they forget that people actually use the machine for more than just driving about.

And finally ... a space saver spare. You've gotta be kidding. We are driving for thousands of miles and we get a flat. We drive out of it on a space saver?

Point 1 cheap, point 2, cheap, point 3, cheap.

BadgeD5
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedNov 2015

XC90 T6 Inscription - Well appointed quality Excellent Performer

Very comfortable classy car with good leg room even in the 3rd row. Excellent performance from small sized engine.
Handles well on open roads with more than enough power to overtake quickly and safely. Fuel efficiency is good. The interior and technology is right up there. Highway headlights are amazing for providing the best vision in any night driving situation. Compares favourably with all the top named competitors and in many cases it rates better. A good range of driver package options available. Air Bag Suspension gives a luxurious ride. Many observers remark on the beautiful body design. Have now traded into latest model - '18MY.

BadgeInscription
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedDec 2015

Great SUV & Powerfully Refined

I bought a 2006 Volvo XC90 recently as my old clunker Holden was written off.
What surprised me was that for $8k ($110k new), I have an AWD SUV with all the bells and whistles, heaps of power being a 2.5L 5 cylinder turbo model and not too bad on fuel unless you hit the gas hard on take off all the time. I've been off road once in the sand dunes and it did ok for an AWD, nothing compared to a 4WD though, even still it handles very well. I'm very happy with this purchase and would recommend it to buyers of used and affordable SUV's.

BadgeLifestyle T
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedNov 2016

Great Car, 2016 T6 Inscription

Good to drive. The Petrol Engine has enough power, and very quiet when cruises on freeway. Air suspension works well.
Great interior and technology. Love the driver support pack.
Plenty of space for family. Easy to get into the third row.

Voice control does not work sometime. Touch screen is not responsive sometime.

BadgeT6
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedAug 2016

XC90 2016 T6 Inscription - Great car

Lovely car to drive and ride in. Plenty of space for family trips. Diver support pack is fantastic after driving a car with standard cruise control. Twin charged engine has plenty of power.
Much better value than X5 or Merc 7 seater and a nicer design and not a run flat tyre in sight!

BadgeInscription
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedAug 2016

Not outstanding

This is regarding the 2010 model with most options;
Overall it was outdated even in 2010. My wife bought used but still a big price tag (valid given research ). Numerous minor electrical faults, not overly comfortable for long trips, medium fuel mileage,
Ruined my want of another Volvo really.

Badge(No Badge)
TransmissionAutomatic
Date PurchasedFeb 2015

Disappointed with reliability

Roomy and good sized boot even with the 3rd row of seats up....hmm can't think of much more to say on a good note. It has the turning circle of a house boat which creates dramas getting around car parks.
Rear visibility is all most non existent with the 3rd row of seats up. (reversing sensors only no camera).
The ride is quite stiff on the R-Design due to the low profile tyres on the wider rims.
No spare wheel, just an air compressor and a tub of goo that you fill the tyre up with if you get a puncture, although if the wall of the tyre is damaged then you are stranded and need a tow truck.
New brake pads mean you have to renew the discs as well.
Trying to find a garage that can service the thing is a drama. Main dealers charge $950 for a routine service which means they change the oil and oil filter. Ok so they give it a wash but that works out at the most expensive clean in history.
50,000 needed new wheel bearing
110,000 needed new rear diff and new angle gear. the latter has a design weakness with the oil seals giving up and the gears wearing.
120,000 Oil level sensor needs replacing
130,000 intercooler pipe comes apart and needs replacing
140,000 error messages coming up for the transmission indicating its on its way out.
Maybe someone will read this and think that doesn't sound that bad but I'm from the old school where things were originally built to last. (My 20year jeep has done twice the Km's and still running fine on the original diff, transfer box, transmission.

BadgeR-Design
TransmissionAutomatic

Best car I've had after BMW

I bought this car 2nd hand from a bad dealer with horrible reputation (I didn't know then) with 170K on the clock.
Car had some issues which I gradually fixed and cost me around 5k.
Should I have bought a newer model with less mileage and paid more? Maybe but at least I know what I have done on this car.
It was not car's fault that I didn't check the dealer's history or didn't check the car and trust that con artist.
Anyway this car is fantastic to drive, plenty of room,even 3rd raw of seats, you can still sit there comfortably with having a separate aircon at the back.The computerised AWD system works great, I've taking the car to off roads where Mitsi and Holden SUV got stuck and Volvo just smoothly found its way.
Sound system is superb with 10 speakers and fibre optic instead of wires.
It is very safe and even 2.5 litre engine can handle the big 2500km car. That engine a little bit slow for the start but having turbo will sort it out easily.
Leather seats are very comfortable and there are 3 layers of steel on the roof and multiple airbags ,so it is very safe.
The cost of repairs as others say is high but most of the time, problem is the owner who leaves the car with mechanic and expects to get it serviced or fixed cheap.
Basically if you have a European car, you have to find the fault first, buy the part online from USA, then ask around for the cost of labour and usually the cheapest ones are the mobile mechanics.That's what I've been doing in last couple of years.When mechanic quoted $1100 to replace a radiator, I got it done $550 by buying the part from USA(shipped to AUS in an impressive 5 days) and paying a mobile mechanic to fit it.
Ford bought Volvo around 1999 to 2001 and during that time used GM transmission which is horrible, so better stay away from T6 and GM transmission if you want to buy one.
Look for full service history specially around 10 years services, since timing belt needs to be replaced and also a very good regular oil service, failing to do on time oil service will cause the oil pump dies soon.
The petrol engine has breathing system like diesel one, so that is another thing you need to check, if it gets blocked,it put a lot of pressure on the oil gasket and engine starts leaking eventually.
How to find if it is blocked? Just when engine is warm and running, take out the dipstick and look for smoke.

There are lots of good forums around and if you ask a question, they will answer you quickly,but if you are not good with cars,better buy Japanese or Korean and miss the fun.

BadgeLE
TransmissionAutomatic

It's a good car. But do your research.

The only reason I wrote this review because I missed the XC90.
Sold it in 2013 to get a Prado D4D for 4WD.

After many moons of research, I went ahead to get a brand new XC90 3.2L in 2009
The car model is not new, so all the little tweek had gone to make this a reliable car.
Truly enjoyed the car. Hit 170km/h easily and can go faster.
It is safest car around because of BORON cage. That is 5 times stronger than steel.

For a used model, 2.5L model is okay - 5 speed (Japajnese Aisin gearbox)
But you need to be wary of the 2.9L version - 4 speed. Ford took over Volvo during this period.
and change the gearbox to GM. Lots of problem with this gearbox model.
Later on, Ford sold off Volvo and engine went to 3.2L (inline 6) and 6 speed (Aisin).

The 3 years plus I had the car, no issues. My only gripe was the space saver tyre. Why? - I actually purchase an additional full size tyre and rim and kept it at home. R-design was worst - no spare tyre.

XC90 is NOT a 4WD. I got stuck twice in the soft sand. But I truly love it for the ride and comfort.
Wifey and kids have been unhappy (in Prado) ever since I got it. (Been off-road only once since). And now I realised it was mistake to let the XC90 go.

BadgeLE
TransmissionAutomatic

XC90 Intercooler

Volvos build quality is clearly not that great anymore and their warranty sadly is well below Korean and Japanese brands. We found out this fact the hard way. We bought our car about a year ago second hand from a private seller. We have been very happy with the car though the servicing and repair costs and parts are inflated.

The other day the car started making an awful sound and broke down. It is a 2012 model with 70k on the clock, so not overused. It's also been maintained at Volvo service agents all its life. The culprit was an faulty intercooler. The cost of repairs was $1650 (the part was $1150!). On a sub four year old car! - the warranty is 3 years. Thinking this was a major part of the car and was not caused by user error I hoped Volvo would pay or at the very least reimburse for the part.

Having a young family and both working, we of course had gone about as long as we could without a car, so we paid for the repairs and bought the car home, having spoken to the repairer about any recourse with Volvo earlier that day.

Volvo's response?
1) It is out of warranty (great brand promise there guys) and
2) reimbursement MAY [read no chance] have been possible if I had contacted them early on before paying the bill.... "all Volvo authorised dealerships are independent franchises, that is to say, separate companies to Volvo Car Australia and as such, we are unable to reimburse you for a retail repair, authorised and paid for by yourself, that has taken place between yourself and [said repairer]"

So, my advice is to consider the warranty as repairs cost a fortune. Once a car changes hands, you have no recourse and Volvo don't care though they offered me their positive intent which filled my heart with joy.... "we make this decision with all positive intent towards you as a valued Volvo owner". I did point out that positive intent to their customers really is empty, doesn’t pay the bills nor does it fill me with 'positive intent' to consider buying a volvo in future!

BadgeD5 R-Design
TransmissionAutomatic

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Questions & Answers

Can I take my 2018 Volvo XC90 on the soft sand four wheel driving?
1 answer
Just remember the car is an AWD, not a 4WD. We have taken our XC90 on soft sand and had to reduce the tyre pressure considerably. As with all off-roading, every situation is unique and careful consideration is required. Don't forget, if you get bogged, do you have road side service that covers this and look about........are there any other off-roaders around that may assist you. And if you do reduce tyre pressure, do you have an electric/battery pump to reinflate your tyres. Good luck

I'm thinking of buying a later xc90 saying 2009 to 2011 model, which is the better motor out of the D5 engine or the 3.2 ltr motor (love the 4.4 v8 too but really hard to find) doing a lot of round town drop off's/pickups
2 answers
Hi Dan, This would depend on whether you are a diesel or petrol fan, I guess. I prefer diesel personally. Can’t kill them! I’d go for the later models = less klms. Good luck with the search!Petrol version unless doing 200+ kilometres per day. Too many people buy diesel and don't realise what diesel vehicles are designed for - that being shifting heavy weights over long distances. The maintenance on diesel vehicles is very high if only running around town, especially that rotten DPF that can cost up to $6000+ to replace and $1500 just to service.

Hi the Volvo XC90 , how much should you look at paying for one? Are they a good car and nice to drive? Never had a Volvo before. Bmw Toyota Audi
1 answer
Hi Pam, Costs depend on what year you’re after. Check out Redbook. They are a lovely car to drive. Very comfortable, safe and a great family car. I can’t fault them.

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