Picked this up at the end of January and so far it's been pretty nice. It just has the convenience, vision, and heated seats/steering wheel packages, with the conventional suspension. Ride quality and handling is very good; I took an extended test drive in an Inscription with conventional suspension and found it to be a little too floaty and rolly by comparison. The R-Design setup still handles bumps, potholes, and railroad tracks very very nicely but feels a little more planted. I'm very happy with the standard 19s - I know a lot of people are in love with large wheels but honestly these look great and having more tire is a good thing on a SUV like this as far as I'm concerned. A few very minor things I've noticed:
- The cargo cover is annoying and a couple of times has decided to roll itself to the "up" position when going over a speed bump, impeding rear visibility. Since then I've tried to make sure that it's properly in place and it hasn't done it again, but it still seems very fidgety.
- The sunroof cover rattles when it's very cold. Pulling it back slightly fixes it. I'd think this kind of cold-weather detail would be obvious to Swedes?
- It'd be nice if the car remembered whether the fog lights were on previously or not. Is there a trick for this?
- Infotainment boot-up lag is a bit annoying especially when trying to get to the rear-view camera. This is of course noted by everyone and I knew it going in.
- I love being able to turn on the car via On Call but hate that I can't do it via the key. I also wish that I could either control the climate system when I remote start it or that it did something sensible by default - on my last car if it was cold outside it'd turn on the front and rear defrost automatically (and the heated steering wheel but I figured out how to do that on the XC60 too).
- I didn't get the B&W audio system and the base system is easily the worst I've had on a car. With a little tweaking to the treble it's tolerable but it'd be nice if there was a mid-level audio option that didn't turn El-P's production into Run The Cubic Zirconia.
- The sunshades are mediocre quality with tiny mirrors and don't have extensions. Much cheaper cars have much nicer shades.
- Where am I supposed to put my phone? If it's in the cupholder area, why can't I run a USB cable directly into that area under the cover?
- It's super annoying that it applies the parking brake if I don't have my seatbelt on. In the winter sometimes I need to move the car a few inches while clearing it off or shoveling around a parking spot. I appreciate that Volvo wants me to drive safely, but I think I can handle driving a half a foot without the seatbelt on.
These are minor gripes and certainly not regrets. Mostly I'm noticing these because everything else is so good. For me the most important part of the car was the amount of space I have as a driver, combined with the adjustability. I'm 6'4" (193cm) and somewhat longer than average in the torso. My fiancée is 5'3" (160cm). Finding a car that comfortably fit both of us as drivers was a challenge. In many modern sedans and even many small SUVs my hair is in the headliner with the seat on the lowest position. This was certainly the case for the S90 and the V90, and my head was pressing up against the roof on the S60 and V60. The seats on most small SUVs were also a little too small, short, and narrow for my frame. Neither of us really wanted a larger SUV like a Pilot/MDX or a truck-based platform, which made the XC60 pretty much the only two-row option for us.
The things I'm enjoying most about the car are:
- Comfort. The R-Design seats are great and getting even better as I find the "sweet spot" adjustment and they break in a little. I can raise the seat a little to keep my legs straighter without putting my head into the roof or feeling like I'm looking out the top inch of the windshield. Nothing intrudes on my knee space. The extendable thigh supports are a must for me and do the job nicely.
- Visibility. Put simply it's amazingly easy to see around the car and get a sense of confidence when driving or parking it. The view out the front is panoramic and the rear window is nice and large instead of the tiny slot on some of the other cars I looked at (looking at you, Land Rover).
- Power. The T5 is more than adequate, especially in dynamic mode. I'm really impressed with how far small turbo fours have come in the past few years, and this one never leaves me wanting for power. Lag is well managed (unlike some of the VAG products I've driven in the past) and while it sounds like a four cylinder, pretty much everything else we looked at was a four as well.
- Ride, handling, and steering. Brake dive is worse than I'd expect but otherwise it rides and handles great, and I'm very impressed with how stable the car feels on the highway. I'm really enjoying balance between ride quality and feeling connected to the road.
- Space. Not just the space in the vehicle, but the sense of space in the interior. Even with the black headliner it still feels open and inviting.
- Infotainment and instrumentation. Once it's booted up everything works smoothly for the most part. I love having the map in the instrument cluster, and the road sign recognition is usually brilliant (except when it reads a frontage road). Being able to use CarPlay without it taking over the entire system is fantastic too. I set it to the minimalistic theme and it's like driving a Nokia.
- Interior design and quality. Very well done and feels properly premium.
- Exterior design. I'll admit I'm a bit disappointed that we couldn't get a color (we were shopping in a bit of a rush and had no time for an order or OSD) but even in grey it's brilliant looking.
Overall it's great and I'd like to keep it for a long time if I can. I'm considering getting VIP platinum for it - any experiences? The quotes I have are roughly $3000 for 10/100 with $100 deductible and ~$3600 with $0 deductible.