New car from the neighbor. XC90 Mark II


Due to the sour attitude among some of our readers I cross out the text on my initial thoughts on the XC 90. It was no comprehenisve Road & Track test. Just what I could see and feel after a 5 minutes sitting in the car. I described what I could see from a Human Factors / Decision making and some haptics. I know that field of technology.

Volvo showed the car in public with open doors for the forest time at the Stockholm Car Show. I was invited to see that car 4 months ago at the Volvo Stockholm City Showroom, at that show the doors where closed. Maybe the should have bee closed this time as well. The quality felt very chinese, plastic flimsy. Like the plastic part between passengers seat and the center console with shifter etc. The input device for the info/com system felt very awkward with rolling stuff that was so slick that it could not be properly operated. The car was apparently a test/mock-up car. What is going on in Göteborg at the Volvo plant. Is it so hard to get a complete car for this public event.
The car looks pretty much like any old Volvo to me no real new thinking here.
Well this is the most modern Swedish car out on the market but be aware the parts content is getting more and more chinese.

66 thoughts on “New car from the neighbor. XC90 Mark II”

  1. First I was not sure about the new XC90. Now, I’m getting to appreciate it and it’s growing on me.
    There is a theme, focusing on safety and driveline tech. Volvo’s goal that no-one should die or be seriously injured in Volvo is a great start. The hybrid driveline is fantastic, at least on paper, with up to 390 bhp combined.
    However, even with an ever increasing chinese parts bin, the XC90 price is off the charts for me.
    Unfortunately, for a potentially new daily driver, I’m ever more inclined towards the Koreans, offering substantial value for money, as money is getting ever tighter….

    • Couldn’t agree more with your post Sandy. First of all, looking like “any old Volvo” is a great thing in my opinion. I like the looks of this car. I will tell you that I had the same exact reaction—-unsure about it at first, but the design and intent has grown on me too. The price is off the charts ridiculous, so it might be a slow seller—-but on the other hand, if marketed properly, they might at least get their fair share of families spending that much on a car. It won’t be big numbers but it might be improved market share. And yes, the Koreans are now providing the best value for money spent and it’s not really even close.

  2. Wonderful heads-up display, first class seats (with a little Swedish tag), first manufacturer to bring Apple’s infotainment system to the market, Scandinavian touches throughout – this is where Saab should be. If we only got it right in 2009 (or on the second try in 2011).

    And want to talk about “right-sizing” motors, the T8 is a 4-cyclnder/electric set-up with 400+HP that can do 0-60 in 5.9 seconds!

    I would certainly take the new XC90 over the X5, ML, and Q7!!! I love the R-design trim.

    • Easy on the eyes too—-great looking exterior. This is certainly a better place for Saab to be than where they are now. I don’t consider NEVS effort “a try.” GM tried. Muller tried. They both failed. NEVS? Don’t get me started.

  3. What is this article? Xenophobia, plus some superficial stuff that anybody can decide for themselves. It’s not what I expect from SU. If this is the “new thinking,” count me out.

      • biased and non journalistic. what happened to neutral factual info, your readers can judge for themselves thank you. Trued, you aint no Swade…….

        as far as the Volvos goes i predict it will sell like hot cakes. looks premium, hybrid available has a strong image and the price is not relevant, just look at the X5/Q5-7/macan-cayenne/evoque-discovery-range sport. all ridiculously expensive but in thesame time successfull.

  4. The Chinese part content on Apple products is damn near 100% too and somehow, those are doing pretty well. Frankly, I’d love to see Saab doing “this badly” with “flimsy” parts. It would sure beat the hell out of what Saab is selling now. Good lord. I’m happy for Volvo and for the people who love Volvo—they are still in the game. I helped someone buy a used car a couple months ago—it was a Hyundai Santa Fe that someone had traded in on a new Volvo—-the used car was purchased from a Volvo dealer. I used the opportunity to look around the showroom at the new Volvos and I thought they were nice.

  5. No new thinking at Volvo? oh i could only wish Saab would be in this position… turbocharging, Hybrids, Fuel economy Safety thinking, strong designlanguage that connects past with future, highly modern interiors. In short Volvo is delivering the market what the market wants, now. This car will be a screaming success and i wish them well.

    and so should you Trued.

  6. Very strange article. Obviously Trued is sold on BMW nowadays but this rubbish about Volvo sounds more like sour grapes than anything else.

  7. This is a strange post… When our beloved Swedish brand is very close to die, I don’t think its clever to warn us about Volvo turning totally Chinese… Volvo is doing a great job right now, sales are really good. I think we should be glad for their sake instead of praising our friends from Munich all the time ;)…. In fact, I think the new XC90 will be a great success, and from all I have been reading about it, it seems like an innovative car to me!

  8. question: if a Chinese-managed SAAB would have introduced this car with the same plastic chinese parts, would Trued (and other SU-editors?) be over the moon with joy and enthusiasm?

    but now it’s a Chinese-managed VOLVO with chinese plastic parts, it’s rotten before it’s even available…

    • Obviously, we can’t know for sure because NEVS failed. But my guess is a resounding “YES.” I do believe you hit the proverbial nail on the head. Too bad Saab’s Chinese management was an epic failure.

    • SAAB was dead twice and ripped off of any technology related to the new models. While Volvo was sold to Geely quite alive with a new platforms and a new S60 ready for production. It’s a bit different story.

      • All true, I don’t disagree with you. But if the “the little engine that couldn’t” had no chance, they needed to stay the hell away from the bankruptcy fire sale in 2012. All they did was prevent a serious company with a chance at succeeding from getting in. Then all they did was nothing for 3 years.

        • Angelo, don’t start. It’s a pain for every SAAB enthusiast to be reminded that his beloved car company was sold to shareholders with corrupt business ethics and his team of laymen. I am aching from the very inside to see this agony, so are you, I believe. But one should remember that GM is likely to have wanted SAAB dead. And made it dead. And Chinese treatment to its remains did not help.
          My guess now is that only chance to drive the new SAAB car is if SAAB AB makes another child.

        • Yeah Angelo, there you go again with your SOUR reality based views ! Now is not the time to show up people, that what you have been saying for the past few years WAS INDEED logical thinking based upon real world factors, and the end result of this NEVS debacle, has pritty much turned out exactly as you (and i) thought it would…

          NO, NO, good SIR… NOW is the time from dreaming ! Yes… SAAB AB, didn’t you hear??… they are gonna make it all better, you’ll see….if you don’t see it, your not wishing hard enough!!

          • I like Eugene’s analogy and I’ll carry it further. Yes, GM wanted Saab dead and left them for dead. But this Saab was a fighter. Wouldn’t go quietly. GM thought their plan played out perfectly when Muller Saab drowned in red ink. “That’s that, perfect!” thought the General. But they underestimated the fighting spirit of Saab and Saab’s faithful. The body was buried, but wasn’t dead yet. Saab was scratching and clawing to get out of the ground and we saw the earth start to fracture, soil start to move. That’s when the Receivers put their boot on the throat of Saab when they put NEVS in charge—-NEVS—-the Three Stooges of the car world, and these Stooges included Curley Joe and Shemp—-they weren’t even the good ones.

            • TonymacUK, I know that. I just didn’t want to say a banal thing that chances to see a truly new SAAB are about a zero. At the same time, it’s not a completely accidental thing that two SU admins are talking SAAB AB in their posts. To my view, it doesn’t mean that SAAB AB will do something, but, there is a very little chance that they might be at least considering something.

  9. Hollandsaab. You are so right we are different. I am born in Trollhättan and own 6 classic and more modern Saabs. The Tasman has no Saabs.
    For the rest of You complaining, go check out the XC90 and see if I am right or not.

    • Trued, i am not questioning if you have a saab heart or not but the number of cars in your collection nor your place of birth has anything to do with your writing or journalistic skills. Sorry if i hit nerve but i stick to my comparison, I cannot see Swade writing an article like that.

  10. I saw a near final production version at the Washington Auto Show a few days ago. I thought it looked fine and could easily compete with audi and bmw, which as a reminder, is their current business plan.

    I spoke to a couple of the engineers and its clear a lot of thought and work has gone on this car. I think it will be very competitive, even at the 50 grand they are asking.

    I really liked the v60 cross country on display too, but the vehicle is too small for my needs ($40K in the US).

      • The only two major players not there were Tesla and Porsche (which is amazing when you consider the number of millionaires in the region). There was a nice 1960s Triumph TV6 going for $25K if you want a roadster 🙂

        I thought it was worth it but I also got to play with a lot of other vehicles I’m not sure the public were allowed to sit in (such as the BMW i8 and i3, the Chevy Volt 2016 prototype etc..)

        I would actually recommend going simply to see the Futureliner. A bus GM built in 1939 to travel to cities to promote STEM education (the side of the bus goes up and there’s a seats etc.. for speakers, and projectors etc.. and big lamps over head to light the bus and audience that sat on chairs outside). It was basically the prototype for every modern bus GM built afterwards. This particular bus had just been added to the Library of Congress’s historical vehicle register and had visited over 200 cities on its trips. This was the first time it came to DC.

        I also saw why Chevy reckon the Bolt is going to be competitive with Tesla as they are offering the vehicle as a lease for 0 down and $200 per month. That’s pretty good for a car that produces 400 lb of torque.

        I was very impressed with the BME i3 too. Nice design.

        • I have to say, the 2016 Volt looks like a big winner. I never, ever thought I would say that—-or consider one—-but I think they got the styling right this time and apparently have made numerous improvements. It’s always been infinitely more useful than Tesla or any other pure EV. It’s a car for real world driving—-but I didn’t like the looks of the first generation. The new one is really good looking considering the class of car it is. If GM prices these right, they might have the hit on their hands that they wanted the original Volt to be. And yes, I’ve heard bout that Futureliner bus. If I can find the time, I’ll try to go down there with my 10 year old.

          • You can’t sit in the 2016 volt but if you’re lucky they will open the door so you can see the huge improvement they have done to the dashboard.

            Their PR person told me with the first one the engineers went a little crazy and were given too much leeway. That’s why the drag co-efficient is so good but the back seat is terrible in the current version. The new one they had to listen a bit more to feedback from customers, so it has more head room in the back, making it easier to sit back there without banging your head (they still use the T-shaped battery so its still not useful for five). The co-efficient is roughly the same based on other techniques they developed to compensate for the headroom.

            Someone in our office has the current one and likes it a lot.

            The other big news was the new fast charging base stations. 20 mins to get to 80% charge from near empty. That almost makes electric competitive.

            • We just leased an i3 for pretty damn cheap. It’s a beautiful thing to have a warranty again ;P still have the NG 9-5 and a ’91 Volvo wagon with 334k miles. Loving our garage right now. “Pure EV” is the way to go if you still have your ICE beater on standby. The instant torque in mindnumbingly awesome. Volt for almost exactly the same money is an outstanding PHEV. More power to you if you want to go EV but only have the room/money for a one car garage.

  11. Oh, and other thing. Speaking to some of the suppliers and representatives at the auto show its pretty clear that all cars now have Chinese parts in them (because of the deal the manufacturers struck to get into the Chinese market. Hence a lot of their intellectual property has moved east and they are either supplying them direct, or offering cheap OEM parts on the open global market at significant prices below european and Japanese suppliers).

  12. I had the opportunity to drive it this weekend.
    All I can say is that this is dfinately a excellent premium car in par with Range Rover as far as quality and feel of materials go inside and out.

    Drove, rode and felt like a dream.

    My 9-5 feels better as a drivers car even as it is has lived 5 years longer, but the interior feel of the NG XC90 was a complete winner.

    • The 9-5 is still a modern car no matter what the editors of SU say.

      If Mahindra could get the rights to produce it (and the 9-4X) they just need to make a minor face lift outside and a bigger one on the inside to get it competitive. Maybe not aginst the big germs but against VW.

      They just need to get the pricing right. Either keep the price at it was before but add more value to it or lower it if it stays on the same option level.

      I would order a 9-5 SportsCombi if they get it done right.

      • I agree to most of that.
        My friend who works in engineering at Volvo said that my 9-5 Aero was the nicest and most communicative car he has driven in that size.
        Handling and driving feel is not one of the 9-5 weeknesses.
        A minor facelift outside and major inside with updated interface would take the car far, but the big thing is to put in some new engines/ gearboxes.

      • Everyone laughed at Saab when it put a 4 cyl turbodiesel engine in the 9-5. Now every major manufacturer has one. An example where Saab lead the way yet again.

        • I agree zippy.
          The one I drove had a 2-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine. 330 Hp. Worked just fine.
          The TTiD and the 2,0 BioPower would have to be refined though.
          and the automatic would need to be a double-clutch.

        • The 9-5 may be nearly five years old now but its design is still head and shoulders above the current A6, E-class and 5-Series.

  13. In the past, I would not have considered Volvo (the Oldsmobile of Europe in my opinion). However, with SAAB out of action I took a look. From what I can tell, they offer only automatics (at least in the US). Just what one would have expected from Oldsmobile.

  14. Say what you want, I like the new XC90 (but too expensive a car for me, personally).
    Also, Volvo have increased their sales in China with over 30% which helped a total sales of over 466,000 vehicles… Congratulations to them!
    Now, how many did Saab sell, even their best years…?

    • Well, I’m not considering buying a SUV. But this one looks better than the BMW X5 or the Porsche Cayenne and all the other derivatives. But it’s not a car I would have liked to see launched by Saab. The Volvo Concept estate is a car I would love to buy, one of the most beautiful cars I’ve seen for years….

  15. I love the look of the new XC90 but it looks a bit washed out in these pictures. Looks a lot better in dark colours. I’d buy one if I won the lottery.

  16. Looks like a horrid amalgamation of an American car from the ’70s and an American car from the ’90s. It’s a bit… eww.

    • Somebody else could call that timeless design… I like the look as it is not too modern and over designed as e.g. many Asian cars today. There is some Scandinavian minimalism present.

      What I don’t like is matching parchment interior with the parchment exterior. Would be more stylish with black or dark brown leather seats with this paint colour.

    • From that article: “Colbeck is looking to add authorized service centers in areas of the country where many Saabs are in use. But he knows the business will shrink as accidents, use and time reduce the number of Saabs on the road to a point where it is no longer profitable for dealers to carry parts and offer service.” I would say this is a five-year prediction.

      • That sounds about right Paul. But also, I believe these service centers work on other makes of vehicles, so they will gradually transition away from Saab as it becomes less profitable. The one I go to still has plenty of Saab business but they sell other used cars and they’ll also service other makes.

  17. Not for me. As long as there is good old Saab’s 2007 – 2011 for sale I don’t need a Volvo. I hope Saab is “Back on Track” when I need a brand new car next time. Trollhattan is soon “Back in Business”. 🙂

  18. Tim and editors, you have been doing a great job. I’ve been a long time reader I just haven’t contributed much. Overall I have to say I like NEVS site here and my heart jumps a bit to even know that 2014 models were out. The 9-3 new model is gorgeous and I’ll say this website they have is great with good info and pictures. Yes they are small scale but they are professional and visionary and for that I think we should applaud them. I haven’t understood why many SU readers have been so down on them. We really should have rooted for them more. Other sites I have seen were pretty positive that Saab wasn’t dead and still around. If a car site can be positive, maybe we here as fans can remain or set the example. If I had money and lived in Sweeden, I would have invested and bought a new Saab from Nevs. And if I had more money, my mind would be planning logistics for a trip to Sweeden to buy a new Saab and bring it out of the country! Oh well, positive thinking for me helps me see what NEVS tried to do before financial troubles. They bought the company when it was on its “last tire”… running on fumes as they say. And their positive thinking led them to EV. Saabs are dream cars and we need to remember what brought us to them and what new models can mean.

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