Monday, January 9, 2017

Used Car Review - Volvo XC90 (2003-2015)

This Swedish wonder is our used car for this week.

2003-2015 Volvo XC90

Throughout history, Volvo Cars never had an SUV on its stable especially on a line-up focused mostly on station wagons (raised ones with all wheel drive are their best sellers). In 1999, the Volvo Group sold their passenger car ventures to Ford in an effort to concentrate on commercial vehicles. Under the Blue Oval's helm, the Swedish brand gave birth to two Sport Utility Vehicles, one of which we will be reviewing this week.

Started life as the Adventure Concept Car previewed at the 2001 North American International Auto Show, the XC90 had its actual debut a year later and production started in August 2002. It was sold for 14 years straight with some minor updates, which means that its long life span had rivals introduce two or three generations of their models and had two owners throughout its selling life. Fast forward to 2015 in which a new generation model was introduced, this particular model is still produced in China as a low cost option with necessary tooling from Sweden being shipped.

August 2003 saw the local launch of the XC90 with a 2.5 turbocharged gasoline engine. Other engine options followed suit and like its worldwide approach, it enjoyed a long selling life with the second generation model being available just last year.

Value and Costs
Unlike its German counterparts, Volvo resale values are lower which will give you a better bargain while retaining a touch of class and luxury. With units costing you for as low as P600,000 to P1,000,000, rivals do cost more but this one has a lower price tag even when its new.

Since this vehicle is sold for more than 10 years, some reliability quirks may have been fixed towards the later models although it pays to check the car thoroughly. Best head to Volvo's Certified Pre-Owned selection for peace of mind and do check for these items: electronics, worn leather seats, noises on the all wheel drive system, and transmission if its abused.

Exterior and Interior
No-nonsense and plain is what this vehicle shouts outside. While retaining Volvo trademark cues such as the shoulder and vertical rear lights, this one hides the bulk well while having a clean design which is discreet.

Stylish when new but became outdated with the influx of newer competition, the smallish monitor and keypads that resemble Nokia phones of the time period is a dead giveaway of which the car is introduced. When it comes to interior space, the first two rows are roomy while the third row is tolerable for children but not as impractical as the X5's.

A multitude of engines are available throughout selling life, so do your research to see what powertrain suits your needs well. There exists three gasoline engines which includes a turbocharged 210hp 2.5 which has gobs of torque but struggles at weight, a 238hp 3.2 which is quick but thirsty for fuel, and a Yamaha developed 315hp 4.4 V8 that is very fast in both acceleration and fuel consumption. Our pick would be the D5 diesel which has more torque (reachable for as low as 2,000rpm) and is friendly to your pocket.

Driving Impressions
Sure, it may not be as engaging as the BMW but it does the job well without any drama. No thanks to its bulk, cornering will give you some leans and a heft. Besides, you're buying a Volvo for safety and styling, not for driving excitement.

Ahead of its class during its time, a used XC90 is one good buy if you take care of it. Its safety features may have trickled down towards some of the vehicles you are driving now for less the price and luxury levels are on par with the Germans without the hefty cost.
The Good:
  • Safety is a priority
  • Seats seven comfortably
  • Practical
The Bad:
  • Not a spirited driver
  • Looks plain
  • Feels old in the competition
The Pick: D5

Engines: 2,435cc B5254T2 I5, 3,192cc SI6 I6, and 4,414cc B8444S V8 gasoline; 2,400cc D5244T I5 diesel
Power: 210hp @ 5,550rpm (2.5 gas), 238hp @ 6,000rpm (3.2 gas), 315hp @ 5,850rpm (4.4 gas), 185hp @ 4,000rpm (2.4 diesel)
Torque: 236Nm @ 1,500-4,500rpm (2.5 gas), 320Nm @ 3,200rpm (3.2 gas), 440Nm @ 3,900rpm (4.4 gas), 400Nm @ 2,000-2,750rpm (2.4 diesel)
Fuel Consumption: 4-6km/L (city), 10-13km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed automatic (2.5 and 3.2 gas), 6-speed automatic (4.4 gas and 2.4 diesel)
Suspension: Front McPherson strut, rear multi link

Price (New): P3,700,000-P5,000,000 (depending on year and variant)
Price (Now): P600,000-P800,000
On Sale: 2003-2015
Rivals: BMW X5, Land Rover Discovery, Mercedes Benz M Class

Volvo Makati - (02) 893-6621

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