We have experienced what appears to be a complete failure of the control systems of the 2016 XC90 T8. It started out with an SRS error and has become a complete reloading of all software, replacement of poor door lock module, AC water leak under the carpet and not a faulty 'connector'. Been at the dealer service center for the past 14 days and is expected to be there for at least another week or so.
DO NOT BUY THIS VEHICLE - Ask them about the software issues before you buy. You will find out the since the XC90 T8 for 2016 is a brand new vehicle, they are experiencing issues that they have to learn how to diagnose. If you want to be a guinea pig like us, buy. If not, wait of find something else.
This is our first and last experience with Volvo ownership. Period.
This is a phenomenal vehicle. I have 3000 miles on my T8 Inscription and could not be happier. I drove BMW, new Audi Q7, new MB and Porche; the T8 is the true winner. If you are considering a T6 or T8, the first option I would recommend is the air suspension. It is a gamer changer offering a smoother, quieter ride and improved handling. Going for the Inscription package raises the interior seating and finishes to an extremely high level. Then of course Intellisafe safety features are wonderful. And finally, if you are into music, the BW sound system is uncompromising. Wow.
The T8 plug in hybrid's battery cost 50 cents to charge and it provides enough electric only miles for most of my city driving needs. We charge between 1 and 5am using a timer to get the lowest electrical rate of 4 cents per kw (here in Arizona). In the electric mode, the car it incredibly quiet. Really magical.
Bit spoilt also having a tesla (hence the infotainment system seems slow and buggy compared to the tesla, even though it's miles ahead of typical cars) but the interior is really nice as is the lane follow and adaptive cruise. Very relaxing on long journeys.
Had problems with the electric parking brake locking on, stranding my wife in the school parking lot. Volvo said the car needed to be towed to the dealer; I found this thread and someone mentioned pulling the parking brake fuse to reset the system (open hood, look inside fusebox cover to identify the fuse, pull, leave a minute, replace, done) - this fixed the issue totally for us. Going to get the dealer to check for a firmware update for that component at the next service.
My initial experience with the car is overwhelmingly positive. So far I have put about 1000miles on the SUV, about 75% mileage comes from local driving - commuting to/from work, driving kids to school and other places etc. I have yet to take a long trip or push the car to its limits. Therefore it can?t qualify as a complete ownership review. But for whatever it worths, I share my $0.02 with current and will-be fellow Volvo owners.
Maybe we start with some low lights
Sensus Touch Screen
Technologies are awesome, but also can be difficult to master. This is true in 2016 XC90. Its central touch screen has 3 views to slide from left and right, plus a ?car setting? view that is pulled from the top. The screen navigation is complicated. After two weeks, I still have trouble remembering how to get to certain settings. I tend to consider myself a techie and quite adept at picking up new things, Volvo central control proved that I am not as smart as I thought I was.
It?s a classy design with leather wrapped around bulk of surface area. It carries touch of a fine watch. Function buttons are located on the either side, and that is where the trouble comes. The buttons are small, difficult press and even more difficult to feel which is ?lock? or ?unlock?. You will have to see it. My key fab leather is blonde, matching the car?s interior. However, Being in the pocket and rubbing against other stuff all the time isn?t the formula to keep key fab clean. The key fab frame is aluminum. My key has received a couple of small dents on the frame so far. Volvo, if you are reading the post, please make the frame stainless steel. The aluminum frame doesn?t match the leather wrap nor the $80K car price tag.
Park assist, Camera - bird?s eye view
My T8 comes with vision package, a great value and a must-have in my opinion. I especially love the synthesized bird eye view of the car. I found it much more useful than park assist. I, for one when equipped with the overview camera, don?t have trouble maneuvering the car regardless parallel parking or back up parking. Park assist, on the other hand, reacts slowly. While I can see its usefulness for many, I only tested it for a couple of time before reverting to much faster manual parking. BTW, park assist did work quite well when I used it. The bird?s eye view image becomes wonky when other tall objects are nearby. This perhaps is the only knock on the vision package. I think it can be corrected via software algorithm. I hope Volvo has a future software update for this.
Works about 80-85% of time. The number might seem high, but in day-to-day usage, it is not very dependable. Volvo obviously has some catch-up to do with Google etc in the voice recognition domain.
One USB port and no SD card slot
Dealer told me XC90 accepts micro SD card, but I am unable to insert the micro SD card to the slot next to the glove box release button. No place in the manual refers to micro SD card either. This interlude attests how much a dealer knows about this new vehicle. And one USB port in this connected era spells major inconvenience for the owners. I have to keep swapping between my phone, USB stick and passenger?s phones.
Having said all of that, there is a lot to like, or may I say the word love, about XC90 T8. First and foremost,
Quite and Smooooooth
The twin engine combo has far exceeded my expectation. The transition between the electric and gas engine is so seamless that I often fail to notice the switch taking place. Thanks to the hybrid powertrain, the car starts with electric engine with zero noise and gas engine kicks in when more power is needed or cruising at high speed. The result? no 4 cylinder whining at low gear. the start/stop also works fabulously well in T8. In many way, the car waltzes around with V8 like grace, smoothness and tranquility.
Not only twin engines augment each other well, regenerative braking and mechanical braking work in perfect harmony. I don?t believe any non-racing driver would be able to tell which braking is at work unless he peeks at the dashboard.
I?ve not floored the gas pedal and rev the engine to the red line. The car is still breaking in, I have to be easy on the throttle. So I can?t verify the 5.3 sec from 0-60 mph, yet?. Even with that, XC90 T8 has plenty of juice at the low end, cruising around effortlessly with 5 people on board. With a gentle push on on gas pedal, freeway overtaking comes with ease. 400 horse power brings about the reassuring feeling. While I won?t use it every time when taking the freeway on-ramp, I know all the ponies are there there to haul the heavy SUV when I need to.
Except Telsa which I haven?t used, Volvo?s touch screen beats Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Lexus etc. in my opinion. The screen is clear under the direct sunlight and responsive to inputs. It may be prone to finger prints, but courtesy protective screen cover and mic
If you have a desire to be part of the Volvo pit crew, purchase yourself an XC90 Hybrid Inscription. We received delivery of the first one in our city just over a year ago, and its been back to the dealer 7 times, receiving software updates for bugs 5 times. Volvo needs to get the electronics working in this car, really disappointing.