After racking up 18,000 miles in just six months, our beloved XC90 D5 has been switched out for a T8 Twin Engine in a bid to maintain its residual value
Matt Prior
8 August 2016

Oops. The Volvo XC90 D5 has had to leave the Autocar long-term fleet halfway into its supposed yearlong test because, in less than six months, 18,000 miles had appeared on its odometer — and a reading of 40,000 miles on a year-old car wouldn’t be great for its residual value.

Sorry, dealer network. What can I tell you? One, I drive a lot and, two, if you are covering a lot of miles, the front perch of an XC90 is a pretty choice place from which to do it.

So the D5 had been to Geneva once, the Alps once, Paris once and Wales more times than I can remember. Mostly it was with me at the wheel, but such is the appeal of the biggest Volvo that any time a colleague needed a ‘useful’ car, it was usually my inbox that pinged with the request.

The feedback from everyone was much the same, gratifyingly. First thing to know: this is a good car. Its front seats are terrific, the middle and rear rows likewise, albeit with correspondingly less head and leg room as you move farther back — but still, really, fine even in the smallest rear chairs.

Pop the back five seats down and you have something approaching a small van with a floor that can be lowered via (£2150) air springs. The front passenger seat doesn’t fold flat, but with it yanked forward and tilted as far as it’ll go, the car can still take a 2.4-metre-long plank.

Ergonomically, it’s great inside, too, with a good touchscreen (although a couple of augmenting buttons wouldn’t hurt) and serious clarity on all switchgear and dials.

The 2.0-litre diesel is a touch audible (newer ones are better, says Volvo) and the ride a little lively (likewise, engineers say). The XC90 is part of a new wave of Volvo models and, learning as it goes, Volvo is continually making updates.

Many of those are on the silver car you see here: a T8 Twin Engine that, gratifyingly, has replaced the D5 on our fleet, so we get to experience a rather different powertrain. But for no more than 8000 miles, they say. I’ll be careful. Oops. I’ve done 2000 already. Anyway, more on the T8 next time.

Temperature gauge issues

It had been a hot day so I was surprised to find the Volvo’s external temperature gauge reading -3deg C, albeit climbing rapidly.

It sometimes gives a wacky reading, but never before to that extent. I think early XC90s, the first Volvos to get a new infotainment system, have some gremlins. We will soon find out if later cars are better.

Volvo XC90 D5 Momentum

Price new £45,750 Price as tested £51,770 Economy 37.0mpg Faults Back fell off the key fob, passenger heated seat wouldn’t stay on, would often ‘lose’ sight of key Expenses None Last seen 22.6.16

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Comments
8

8 August 2016
That the figure the father in law's T8 has averaged in 40k miles. He didn't buy it for economy, but he was certain that it'd do better than the Lexus RX450hs he had for several years. Much nicer car though.

8 August 2016
Here's my name again wrote:

That the figure the father in law's T8 has averaged in 40k miles.

I thought the XC90 T8 had only been out since early March. If so 40k in less than 6 months is impressive, it's also a £14,000 fuel bill. Ekkk

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

8 August 2016
@XXXX

I've a photo on my phone of the mileage from the 30th January. It shows a Distance of 3737.7km, Duration 86h 42 min and 10.9l/100. He was told he received the first one in Ireland, although I'm not sure if that's entirely true. He definitely had a loan of the first D5 for a weekend.

8 August 2016
Here's my name again wrote:

@XXXX

I've a photo on my phone of the mileage from the 30th January. It shows a Distance of 3737.7km, Duration 86h 42 min and 10.9l/100. He was told he received the first one in Ireland, although I'm not sure if that's entirely true. He definitely had a loan of the first D5 for a weekend.

Sorry I didn't mean to sound disbelieving I was just amazed at the more than 80k a year, it would be a clockers dream car. Just as well Volvo are known for comfort!

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

8 August 2016
Oh I didn't take your comment that way at all. I wasn't sure of the date myself; but I knew it was early in the year, as I'd taken the photo when I was resetting whatever option he messed up - the man is a disaster with technology. I was the one who sold him on the possible fuel efficiency of the car so the figures kinda jumped out at me.

8 August 2016
40k miles in six months would actually be slightly below average for the man.

8 August 2016
It's pretty confusing when it comes to Volvo's. An equal amount of reviews say the XC90 has really good ride quality. Yet others say you need air suspension to achieve it. Yet other say even with air suspension, it's got a hard edge. Well what is it?

8 August 2016
winniethewoo wrote:

It's pretty confusing when it comes to Volvo's. An equal amount of reviews say the XC90 has really good ride quality. Yet others say you need air suspension to achieve it. Yet other say even with air suspension, it's got a hard edge. Well what is it?

I have heard the same, but as the review states, they are tinkering with it, and gradual small improvements are being made, I had an early on on test for a weekend, and even with air it was either a bit too soft, or too harsh around town, but settled down at speed, I drove one recently and it seemed to be lot better, more responsive, quieter and the auto gearbox was definitely smoother, I would honestly say, test drive one for yourself, but in my limited experience the later it was built, not the just registered the better.

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