Bought my 2005 XC90 new in November 2004. Overall, I am happy with it, but also frustrated w/the number of the same problems over and over. Love 3rd row seats & integrated child booster. Hate that I have had to replace my tires 2x in the past 4.5 yrs. I have had continuing issues with the ball joints and tie rods that actually caused me to fail inspection. They have been replaced at least 2x & I am hearing the same noises again. There is not a ton of power or pick up with this vehicle. Also, I have had several fuses blow for the power outlets even though nothing is plugged into the very often. I would like to try the XC70 or the XC60 to see if I have better luck.
3rd row, integrated child booster, safety features in general, AWD
Fix the issue that causes the tires to be worn very quickly.
We bought a new 2.5T AWD four years ago and have been very satisfied with our purchase. We didn't need the 3rd row seating and since they add considerable weight and reduce 2nd row leg space, we had our dealer search for a 5 passenger model for us. I'm glad we did, because the 2.5T engine is just adequate, given the vehicle weight. We have averaged exactly in the 17-22 EPA mileage range - not bad for such a spacious SUV. The XC90 has attractive, timeless styling, is appointed excellently on the interior and has a smooth, secure, stable ride. The 2.5T won't win any drag races, but is fine for our every day normal driving. The XC90 corners pretty well for an SUV too.
We like it's understated luxury look and feel both inside and out. We were also impressed that it was one of the 1st SUV's with electronic stability control and side curtain head protection standard. You can't beat a Volvo for safety.
About a year ago with 53,000 miles on it, we started hearing a "whirring" noise. We were surprised that BOTH rear wheel bearings needed replacement. We've experienced on other problems. I've heard some owners say they got poor mileage from the stock tires, but we got 54,000 miles from our set!
I just picked up an 05 T6 with 40k miles from auction. The car is nearly flawless and appears to run beautifully. I found out I'm the 2nd owner, and the car has been meticulously maintained by a local Volvo dealer. My concern is that it's had 2 transmissions replaced, the latest 18 months ago along with the radiator. Not sure if I need to purchase a warantee. Dealers told me the problem is most likely cured, but if anyone has a comment, I'm all ears as I'm a bit concerned.
Our lease on the XC90 is up and we won't be leasing a Volvo again. The factory Pirellis lasted 12,000 miles and the replacements are going bald with about 18,000 on them. That's expensive; especially when you add a brake job at 20,000 miles which the warranty fails to cover. Other annoyances are a totally inadequate A/C, a stereo that picks up 1/2 the local stations and seats that don't fold up/down dependably. When compared to the Lexus and Acura automobiles we have owned, the Volvo is equal in price, but NOT EVEN CLOSE in quality. If you are looking at buying an XC90 make sure you get it CHEAP so you can afford the repairs.
Looks, comfort, safety.
Bigger entry level engine, brakes that last, factory tires that last, A/C for Texas summers, better throttle response, less complicated seats, limited slip differential (so tires don't constantly slip) & gas mileage that beats my Suburban.
The XC-90 that I have is a piece of junk! Fortunately, when I purchased the car used with 22k on it, the dealership offered, at no additional charge, a 100k warranty. Thank goodness! At last count, they have done over $10,000 in repairs! If you are looking for an upscale SUV, you may want to look elsewhere! The dealer has been great. It is just that Volvo was asleep when they built mine!