2018 XC90 Reliability

#1
Hi all,

I'm seriously considering purchasing my first Volvo. It's a bit of a stretch financially for me, but given its safety reputation, I'm willing to spend the extra money. (Also looking at Subaru Ascent).

One thing I've heard is that Volvo XC90 second generation has a terrible reliability record. Consumer Reports consistently gives it 1/5. Have these issues been resolved with the 2018 model? Or should I expect continued issues? I know it's under warranty, but I don't want to take it to the shop all the time.

Also, I really hate the lack of buttons/i-pad screen to control everything. But given it's overall safety, and especially third-row safety, I am willing to put up w/ the ipad screen. It seems like very few other car manufacturers care about third-row safety.

Thanks!
 
#2
Volvo XC90 or Subaru?

Subaru makes great cars but I don't think they are in the same category as Volvo. Subaru is rock solid and reasonably priced. It is not a luxury vehicle company. I just purchased a 2017 XC90 T8 with all the bells and whistles (less the heads up display). It has taken me several days of reading and experimenting to get a handle on the vehicle. There are a lot of adjustments and new things that require a bit of time. My previous vehicle was a 2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Platinum edition. It was highly optioned and MSRP was about $52K. The Volvo easily exceeded that price by $30K. Is it worth it? I really like the looks and feel. It is a bit larger than the Highlander. It is miles ahead in luxury for sure. Is it worth the money? Given the exclusivity and the options I would say yes, given my age and circumstance. I really never imagined I would ever drive a Volvo. Having had sports cars most of my life I thought of the Volvo as something an old person drives. Well I am now that old person at 71 years of age. However, I don't feel old and am still fairly active physically and mentally. As for reliability, the simpler the vehicle the easier it is to maintain reliability. As you add complexity you also create opportunities for failures. The Volvo XC90 has an abundance of electronic sensors and components. I expect that as the car ages some of them may become problematic. The vehicle has a lot of safety features, air suspension, a complex 4 cylinder supercharged and turbocharged engine etcetera. Very different from a small boxer engine associated with the Subaru. This is my first Swedish/Chinese vehicle so I am not sure what to expect. I do not pay much attention to Consumer Reports. I don't really consider them to be auto enthusiasts. I prefer reports from Road and Track, or Automobile, or Car and Driver, or AutoWeek. That is not to put down the people at Consumer Reports. They just look at things differently then I do. Reliability while important is behind performance, and esthetics. Having said that, I had a 1991 Acura NSX for 5 years and a 2001 Acura NSX for 14 years (modified by supercharger, Coilovers, Big Brakes...). Both cars were superb. I doubt the Volvo XC 90 will have the same level of reliability as the Acura NSX. But having said all that the Volvo comes with a great warranty and free loaner. My Highlander was great but every time I took it to the dealership I had to rent a car if I wanted to go somewhere while my car was being serviced. I really hated that. When I had a Lexus I always got a free loaner. I hate not having that. Obviously you will pay for that convenience upfront. By the way, the Highlander was superb and very reliable as you would expect from the Japanese and Toyota. In three years and 30,000 miles the Highlander never had a problem. On the other hand I had a 1972 Jag Sedan that was great when running but required a lot of repairs. Today Jaguar has become a very competitive company producing great vehicles. Sorry for the rant.
 
#3
Please remember that you will interact with your car through the "iPad screen" every time you are in the car.
If you hate it, then whats the point of having it, I understand safety is your concern, but very few cars are not considered safe these days.
I love the touch screen and the minimal amount of buttons just just as I love my iPhone and iPad, that's what I skipped Q7 and Range/Land Rover.
My 2017 model has every single option even the Polestar, no issues except some battery problem that was fixed after the software update a few months after I got it.
I suspect most reliability issues are secondary to misunderstanding by certain owners how to use cars technology, it may be complicated for some owners for sure, my wife drives Lexus NX and she is basically scared to drive my XC90 due to complicated menus.
The car has so many customization options that there should be classes for this at dealerships on even online for some users.


Hi all,

I'm seriously considering purchasing my first Volvo. It's a bit of a stretch financially for me, but given its safety reputation, I'm willing to spend the extra money. (Also looking at Subaru Ascent).

One thing I've heard is that Volvo XC90 second generation has a terrible reliability record. Consumer Reports consistently gives it 1/5. Have these issues been resolved with the 2018 model? Or should I expect continued issues? I know it's under warranty, but I don't want to take it to the shop all the time.

Also, I really hate the lack of buttons/i-pad screen to control everything. But given it's overall safety, and especially third-row safety, I am willing to put up w/ the ipad screen. It seems like very few other car manufacturers care about third-row safety.

Thanks!
 
#4
Volvo vs Subaru and Reliability

I owned a 2015 Subaru Outback Limited and ordered it brand new. It had radio/navigation issues from day one and the radio head unit Subaru admitted was an issue (needed improvements).
I traded the Subaru for my 2016 Volvo XC90 Inscription edition in June, 2016 and have NEVER looked back. Two totally different rides as far as SUV's. Volvo is world's ahead of Subaru in comfort, reliability and conveniences. Subaru has a lot of catching up to do but the price of the Volvo is basically double that of a Subaru so no comparison in pricing difference. Subaru is definitely cheaper to buy.
In the two years I have owned this car from new, it has performed as a reliable vehicle.
We have had multiple software updates, a pass. door outside thermometer replaced twice before being fixed and checked for a callback on wiring issue (no problem found). All the maintenance has been covered under warranty EXCEPT for the rear brakes (pads and rotors) having to be replaced at 30k miles. I thought/ think this is odd but am hearing this from other car lines when asking about it (electronic rear brakes and computer controlled).

We love our Volvo XC90 with 30k miles and Air ride suspension on it and would definitely buy one again.

The worst thing i can say about it is the factory Pirelli tires are noisy at speed. I won't be replacing the 21 inch. Pirelli's on this car in the future. Not a lot of choices but Continental is one.

Hope this helps.
 
#5
Reliability

As mentioned I am the first owner of my 2017 Volvo XC90 Inscription T8. The car was manufactured in April of 2017, so I thought it would be good to change the oil and filter. I understand that service is free. My car has only 2400 miles but the oil has been in the car for over a year. I wanted to see how the Volvo looked underneath and also get an idea as to how they approached the oil change process. Our manuals say nothing about do it yourself. I guess most would never attempt working on their cars. However, I am an old mechanic that really enjoys taking things apart and putting them back together. I had planned on having Jiffy Lube (a US business that specializes in oil changes) do the heavy lifting. I purchased a discounted coupon and went out and purchased the oil and filter myself. I wanted to make sure of what was going into the vehicle. Anyway I found Castrol Edge 0-30wt Synthetic and purchased 7 quarts. So I headed out to Jiffy Lube only to find that they no longer honored the Groupon Coupons. So I headed home and decided that I would do it myself. I put the car into rough road which raised it up a bit and then put jacks on both sides. I was able to easily crawl underneath. I saw that they had a cover that used star headed screws to secure. I undid the screws and then was able to remove the cover. Nice and clean inside as one would expect. I saw the oil filter housing that looks like it is ABS plastic. Using an allen wrench I removed the small screw that allows the oil to drain from the filter. That is a nice touch that I have not seen on filters in the past. Then I tried a bunch of oil filter removal tools but none of them fit. I pulled out a large channel lock from my tool chest and gently twisted and removed the filter. I then drained the oil pan by unscrewing the plug. The oil did not smell burnt, which makes sense given the low mileage. It was dark, but that occurs rather quickly sometimes. I replaced the filter element and the seals that were included and reattached the filter and filter housing to the block. It went on rather easily and I closed it up snug. In removing the filter housing I recall that it was not easy to turn. I had to be careful using channel locks so as not to damage the housing. Perhaps the rubber bushing was swollen due to heat or age? Anyway after adding 6.2 quarts of oil, I started the car and put it into pure mode so that the engine would start. It ran smoothly. I checked for any leaks and decided things looked good, so back on went the bottom engine cover. Overall, I am pleased with the engine layout and things were relatively easy to get to. Volvo did not appear to cut corners and did a good job putting things together. Since I am purchasing this vehicle and not leasing I want to make sure it is built well. I considered leaving the engine cover off the vehicle. I really enjoy looking at engines as they sit in the car. I removed the engine cover from my Acura NSX and really enjoyed looking at the engine. The T8 is unusal in that it has a supercharger for low end torque and a turbocharger for high end horsepower. Pretty clever those Swedes. Nice layout. Not necessarily meant for display. The engine cover is a high density rubber compound of sorts that probably is used to reduce engine noise. Something I kind of like depending on the noise. In the old days I would have junked the exhaust and installed headers and then duel exhausts. But given my age, I will probably leave it alone for now. Bottom line, very nicely organized and deployed 2 liter engine. Lot of horsepower out of a 2 liter. Speaks well to their design.
Manny
 
#7
I was having trouble with Pandora so I went ahead and uninstalled it. When I went back to install it was not there. Volvo dealer said I would need to have it reloaded. So I made an appointment and they reinstalled. I will need to wait for a couple of days to download from the cloud. They also did a complete software upgrade. That took over an hour. Now it is perfect. I thought the tech said the software was over 600 gbs. That would be very large. Maybe he meant 60 gbs. I know the maps needs a 64 gb flash drive as it is about 35 Gbs. My XC90 is the T8 so there are a lot more electronics in the car. My driver screen now shows the car and runs down a list of systems that run a diagnostic and shows a green light next to each one that passes. Kind of cool. Great vehicle. I am thoroughly enjoying the technology.
 


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