Just new to Volvo after driving Japanese for all my life (except Audi for a wonderful 3 years). Compared to previous MDX and 4-Runner, the XC90 has all the luxe one would expect at this price. Great seats, simple control-layout, great ride, decent power and capabilities. Low road noise and nice, high perch. Great grocery bag feature at back that beats a cargo net hands down. Handsome exterior design.
Looks, simplicity, safety and security, stability control in wet weather, ride, quietness, comfort and overall Euro-ride experience.
Lack of storage for simple change/sunglasses/cell phones in front, small cup holder will not hold Nalgene or Sigg containers, some cheap rentals have better safety such as easier sound systems and seat warmers that don't require your eyes to find, AWD not that great compared to Audi or Subaru.
Overall, I am satisfied with the car. On many levels it compares well with other imported SUVs, and is more reasonably priced than many of them. The cargo room it provides is quite good. 2nd row seating is tight front and aft when the third row option is installed. Volvo has a very skimpy maintenance plan, comp. to others', just the first is free. Gas mileage: try as I might, never more than 17mpg. A BMW X3 is much quicker and with beter mileage. Reliability: the shift lever will not leave park on cold days for up to 1min. Even a "fix" didn't help. Traction: Problems with 4wd engagement led to recall, but mine still spins through in FWD on even just slightly wet surfaces. Very annoying
Controls for climate, sound, etc are laid out well, and once you know them, can be operated by touch without looking for them every time (many new cars don't have that any more). Under seat heating ducts for the back pass. Do not use these yet, but the kid-booster and third row are nice features
Gas mileage. Fix to the dynamic AWD engagement. This system is not nearly as good as BMW's xDrive. (I get up my steep driveway no sweat with the BMW X3, but takes 2-3 tries with the XC90 under same conditions.) Could be a bit quicker (prob. hard to do as it is a very solid car).
My wife and I purchased our 2007 XC90 3.2 in April of 07. We have had multiple problems with this vehicle including a chronic rattle (5 weeks in the shop), a defective DVD entertainment system (almost caused a fire), improper oil change (1 1/2 quart low)and a stress cracked windshield / improperly installed from factory (took and act of God to get Volvo to take responsibility for). While the build quality of this vehicle and design of the XC90 looks good, we have experienced many problems that should not have occured in a vehicle in this price range. We would not recommend Volvo and particularly the dealership we worked with.
When we are not finding problems with our XC90, we do enjoy driving it. The 3.2 liter engine is underpowered, or at least our is (the demo I drove with the same engine we much quicker- go figure).
Better attention to detail in manufacturing and quality control. The temperature gauge and fuel gauge should be reversed backwards location. Tall folks will find that the steering wheel cuts off their field of vision into the instrument cluster. Ent. system hard to work with. V8 is too expensive.
I saw this car at a dealership and bought it as a birthday gift for myself. First Volvo and I love to drive it. The V-6 has plenty giddyup on the interstate. The third row seats give you flexibility and stows away nicely with a cargo mat when not in use. The XC is large enought to get the job done and stylish enough to look good doing it.
Independent third row seats and the integrated child booster seat. This is a family car.
Bundle the front heated seats option with another package, perhaps the third row leather.