I bought a similar version in 2001 and drove my Volvo for over 185,000 with no issues other than routine maintenance. The engineering is fantastic, fuel economy is good considering size and weight of the vehicle. Safety is fantastic and overall, best car I have ever bought.
I just love this car. It's my first Volvo, purchased pre-owned with 110K miles. Now has 145K. Solid heavy car. Hugs the road like a leech. Peppy 2.5L turbo. More than enough acceleration for me even with a full load. Gas mileage is adequate around town (approx 21), very good highway mileage. Interior fittings are high quality. The leather is thick and supple. So far she has been very reliable. The front passenger window came off it's track, and the dealer had to replace part of the mechanism inside the door. It was partially covered by an extended warranty. The only other issue I have had is with the radio (HU650 standard factory radio) where the AM band stopped working. Bought a used unit off ebay and it works great. I would definitely buy another one. In fact after having now owned this car for almost 2 years, my wife wants an XC90 for herself. Like other posters mentioned, the turning circle is not good. U Turns can be tricky. And Volvo is not made for DIY. Even changing certain bulbs are unnecessarily difficult.
I've had numerous Volvo wagons, including a 740, 850 and V70T5. I've also owned from Acuras to VW's but nothing comes close to the R. Turbocharged engines have been used by the Swedes for decades, and are now more and more in vogue with certain German makers. They offer the low-end torque appreciated in our driving environment. The R has the ability to go from a high speed cruiser to a fun car that can be easily tossed around. It is the ultimate sleeper wagon with all the traditional Volvo attributes. The leather is beautiful and the interior is understated and built to last for decades.
Car looks beautiful, but has been an absolute money pit! Bought this car new put about 85K miles on it over the last 10 years. All just driving around town and an occasional road trip (normal soccer mom stuff). The scheduled maintenance was performed and documented as regular as rain. However, the, the maintenance cost will could drive one to drinking...we are just under $10K in maintenance and repairs in the last 12 months (mostly transmission and struts...yes, struts). This was our 3rd Volvo, but will be our last. Other observations: the turning radius for the car is poor and the turbo causes a very annoying delay when accelerating. My advice -- BUY SOMETHING ELSE.
This has been a fantastic car. Very comfortable for the long haul with outstanding seats, lots of cargo room and best of all, it flies! No one expects that a Volvo wagon can move so quickly. I often have cars trying to pass me on the right/cut me off, etc. I can easily close down any hole in the traffic with this car. Passing/merging is fun. Blitzing down interstate on-ramps is a joy. Clover leaf on-ramps are a treat as well. The upgraded sound system is worth the money. If you want a lot of go with very little show, this is your car.