T5 with Polestar vs T6
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    1. #1
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      T5 with Polestar vs T6

      I just had an interesting opportunity to compare these combinations so wanted to give my opinion and hear if others also have an opinion.

      My V90 T5 FWD R Design with Polestar was in the shop for a day and I was given a T6 as a loaner and have had the day with the T6 so can now compare. I did test drive the T6 before deciding on the T5 and then subsequently adding P* but a test drive is so limited that I don't think it allows a fair comparison. One caveat - while I occasionally like a spirited drive I'm by no means a speed racer and couldn't be one even if I wanted with the state of traffic around here.

      When I test drove the T5 I was pleasantly surprised by the turbo lag - it was much less than I'd been expecting. And since Volvo chose to add the supercharger to make the T6, I assume partly to overcome the T5 turbo lag, I was even more surprised about this. The T5 did lack a little in the 2/3 gear range but adding Polestar had a definite positive impact on that (that's the extra mid level torque the P* adds I assume).

      The T6 on the other hand. It somehow seemed a little 'cruder'. The engine noise was much more distinct no matter what Drive mode I was in. The lag from a start really didn't seem much better in the T6 and if it was it was only a tiny difference. Regarding noise, the T6 is significantly noisier to me and the noise it makes seems more noticeable - I guess a combination of the supercharger and turbo. My hearing isn't the greatest (especially in high frequencies) but this was noticeable. The T5 originally was definitely quieter (or maybe teh noise was just more pleasant) than the T6 and the addition of the Polestar to the T5 adds a nice little growl which is much more pleasant than the T6 and is till quieter. When the T6 was warming up there was a definite whine from the engine that wasn't present in the T5 (may be specific to the car, I don't know). It seems that the supercharger can be heard all the time as well as the turbo and obviously the T5 lacks the latter.

      Regarding the 'feeling'. The T6 does have more 'grunt' in some conditions but comes at the expense of some refinement. The T6 in Comfort mode (I didn't try ECO) felt like the Dynamic mode in the T5, both of which rev too much and feel jerky to me. Dynamic in the T5 with P* is fun for a few minutes with the paddles but too much for daily driving so my Individual profile in the T5 has everything in Dynamic except the drive mode which I put in comfort. Dynamic in T6 is a little too much for me. The Polestar in the T5 adds that little extra to Comfort mode that makes it more nimble and fun, adds the extral low end torque that it lacks vs the T6 but without being too much (like dynamic is in both).

      So overall, these after-the-fact extended test drives confirmed my choice of the T5 with Polestar. I really didn't want/need the T6 and wanted to save the difference in cost but for me I actually prefer the T5 with Polestar for everyday driving. So while I may be predisposed towards the T5 with P* (or else I'd be admitting I made the wrong choice) I thought I'd share my thoughts. I'm sure others will think differently and that's OK.
      Last edited by Iamhives; 10-20-2018 at 10:24 AM.

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    3. #2
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      I first test drove a T5 CC with AWD. It had noticeable turbo lag. I then drove a T5 Inscription with FWD (sans P*) and it had hardly any. I wound up buying a T6 Inscription with AWD that I might best describe as a happy medium. I'm not convinced that the acceleration is as spirited as in the T5 FWD (even with the supercharger), but I have the benefit of AWD. Frankly, I was so impressed with the T5 FWD, I wouldn't have added the P*, though I'm sure it makes a good thing only better. All my test drives were in comfort mode.
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    4. #3
      I'm considering a purchase of a 2018 V90 CC, and deciding between the T5 and T6. I'd like the extra performance of the T6, but if it comes at the cost of engine noise - I will gladly take the T5.

      Can anyone else confirm the T6 is noisier?

      Quiet road noise and drive comfort are two of the main things I'm looking for in my next vehicle.

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    6. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by drericfautstein View Post
      I'm considering a purchase of a 2018 V90 CC, and deciding between the T5 and T6. I'd like the extra performance of the T6, but if it comes at the cost of engine noise - I will gladly take the T5.

      Can anyone else confirm the T6 is noisier?

      Quiet road noise and drive comfort are two of the main things I'm looking for in my next vehicle.
      You will hear the supercharger on the t6. It's a wining in the background. I enjoy the noise, others may not.

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    7. #5
      Junior Member Volvolic's Avatar
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      I love the T6 whine too. Coupled with a K&N intake, the entire Intake-charger combo sounds really good to me especially on quite mornings. As of any other harsh engine noise, I have not noticed any. And being an Engineer, it cool to say you own the only production car in the world with dual-charging. Haha. But that's just me!
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    8. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by drericfautstein View Post
      I'm considering a purchase of a 2018 V90 CC, and deciding between the T5 and T6...
      You really owe it to yourself to test drive both and decide for yourself. I'd say that the most noticeable difference is the turbo lag and lack of low end torque of the T5 vs the supercharger whine of the T6. Do some 40-60 mph rapid accelerations as if entering a highway; punch the accelerator. There is a clearly perceptible difference in low end torque. And the noise of the supercharger (which is barely noticeable and in no way detracts from the driving experience IMO) is not constant.
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    9. #7
      Junior Member axl886's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Volvolic View Post
      I love the T6 whine too. Coupled with a K&N intake, the entire Intake-charger combo sounds really good to me especially on quite mornings. As of any other harsh engine noise, I have not noticed any. And being an Engineer, it cool to say you own the only production car in the world with dual-charging. Haha. But that's just me!
      The VW Scirocco did have a twin-charged 1.4L a couple of years back, but have reached EOL I believe.
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    10. #8
      Junior Member Volvolic's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by axl886 View Post
      The VW Scirocco did have a twin-charged 1.4L a couple of years back, but have reached EOL I believe.
      Yup. Also, the Zenvo ST1 seems to have dual-charging but I would hardly consider it a production vehicle.
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    11. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by drericfautstein View Post
      I'm considering a purchase of a 2018 V90 CC, and deciding between the T5 and T6. I'd like the extra performance of the T6, but if it comes at the cost of engine noise - I will gladly take the T5.

      Can anyone else confirm the T6 is noisier?

      Quiet road noise and drive comfort are two of the main things I'm looking for in my next vehicle.
      One thing of note: T6 comes with standard laminated side windows - many people say they're much quieter than the standards. N/A on the T5s.

    12. #10
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      My 2018 V90 T5 R Design has laminated glass in the front and rear side windows based on the laminated glass logo on each window.


      Quote Originally Posted by bm36 View Post
      One thing of note: T6 comes with standard laminated side windows - many people say they're much quieter than the standards. N/A on the T5s.
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    13. #11
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      I was leasing an '18 S90 T6 and purchased an '18 V90 T5 R-Design as well, and after spending 10-12K miles in both, I can honestly say I much prefer the T5. I found the T5 to be smoother, quieter, and just as responsive as the T6 for 99% of the driving I do. As such, when a super deal on a 2nd V90 came along, the dealer simply bought out the lease on the T6 S90 as a trade and it was gone. There were other factors involved in that decision as well: the S90L had the more squishy touring suspension which I wasn't ever much a fan of; the R-Design suede/leather seats in the V90 are vastly superior in comfort (to me, anyways) over the inscription seats in the S90 which were slippery and impossible to keep clean; and I still can't live without a CD player which was not avail in the S90.
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    14. #12
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      FWD is a deal breaker for me, which I believe is the only config with V90 T5's. FWD biased AWD is as much as I'll compromise with a $50K+ luxury car. With that said...

      A few months ago I drove a dealer loaner XC90 T5 RD AWD for the day, and I agree with most, that the power is adequate for cruising around town. The engine felt and sounded reasonably refined up to 2,500 RPM's, as most T5 Drive-e's do, at low rev's with the turbo pulling most of the weight. The Drive-e T6 sounds and feels a little gruff with a faint whine due to the supercharger, but not in a bad way, IMO. Where things get less refined with both T5 and T6 is during harder acceleration over 2,500 RPM's, where the 4 cylinder growl can be detected, due to the small engine working harder pulling more of the weight, though less so in the SPA than in the P3's. Our new V90's seemed to have lessened this growl further, whether through engine refinement or sound insulation.

      OK, back to T5 vs. T6: it's during harder acceleration (such as a highway on-ramp scenario) where the T5 runs out of steam, but the T6's turbo continues supplying power through the higher RPM range, especially with these heavier rigs. Still the Drive-e T6 has nothing on the 3.0 T6 for power and refinement through the mid to higher RPM ranges, though I haven't driven a Polestar optimized Drive-e T6 with its revised power curve.
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    15. #13
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      I hesitated buying my certified '18 V90 CC because every four cylinder loaner I drove while my '13 XC60 T6 3.0T was in for service was loud and raspy. My salesman suggested comparing my new one after a couple of tanks of hi-test.

      It's not exactly night and day, but the difference still is huge. Using 91-93 octane gas has made the motor much smoother and quieter, as well as more responsive.

      Still, I can't help thinking how great the V90CC would be with the 3.0 turbo straight 6 that made my XC60 so sweet to drive.

    16. #14
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      I have driven too many of these on various platforms. The T5 FWD does seem to drive smoother and the transmission shifts a bit better. The lack of AWD sheds a few pounds and drivetrain loss, making it more spirited than a T5 AWD. The T6 shifts better in Dynamic mode but sometimes the engagement between the SC and turbo is noticed - it could be smoother. Back-to-back driving reveals how the T6 pulls a bit stronger for traffic merges and as expected the T8 pulls much better than the T6. For most, the T5 FWD is great. My recent drive in Banff, Canada with the 2020 V60CC was very enjoyable with the T5 AWD. The engine was plenty peppy without the Polestar tune.

      Nothing compares to the 3.0L 6cyl. I did multiple tests back to back between a '16 XC60 and a '17 XC60 earlier this year and the torque of the 6cyl set it apart. The 345hp version from the Polestar cars would help the heavy 90-series vehicles. I am considering upgrading my S90's turbo with the Drive-E Polestar's larger turbo (the 363hp version). Add something like the TDI box or HEICO and close to 400hp.
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      Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
      I am considering upgrading my S90's turbo with the Drive-E Polestar's larger turbo (the 363hp version). Add something like the TDI box or HEICO and close to 400hp.
      ^THIS! We need to see this!
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    18. #16
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      I know this is a little off topic - but if there are any gearheads out there perhaps you can answer this. I suspect that there are no mechanical differences between a T5 and T6 (other than the supercharger and related gear). Since the same engine can output 315hp and 295 ft lbs of torque (as a T6) and you can P* optimize which also increases the HP and torque, than I have to assume that the T5 is a very over engineered piece of equipment. Which I hope this means that it will be an extremely reliable engine. So getting a T5 with P* optimization might be the best engine choice because you avoid the complexity of a supercharger, get better MPG than a T6, and you have optimization of transmission shifts as well. And even spending the $1200 for the P*, you get more improvements than just HP and Torque for less money than the cost difference between a T5 and T6. So am I right in assuming that the vital internal engine components are the same in both configurations? I am using a 2019/2020 T5 and T6 HP and Torque ratings.

    19. #17
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      I used a lot of the same logic as GordonCs when I made the choice of a T5 with Poleatar vs a T6. I intend to keep my car for 10 years so want the simplicity/reliability...

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    20. #18
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      Quote Originally Posted by GordonCs View Post
      I know this is a little off topic - but if there are any gearheads out there perhaps you can answer this. I suspect that there are no mechanical differences between a T5 and T6 (other than the supercharger and related gear). Since the same engine can output 315hp and 295 ft lbs of torque (as a T6) and you can P* optimize which also increases the HP and torque, than I have to assume that the T5 is a very over engineered piece of equipment. Which I hope this means that it will be an extremely reliable engine. So getting a T5 with P* optimization might be the best engine choice because you avoid the complexity of a supercharger, get better MPG than a T6, and you have optimization of transmission shifts as well. And even spending the $1200 for the P*, you get more improvements than just HP and Torque for less money than the cost difference between a T5 and T6. So am I right in assuming that the vital internal engine components are the same in both configurations? I am using a 2019/2020 T5 and T6 HP and Torque ratings.
      There is a mechanical difference. T6 has a supercharger.

    21. #19
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      I suspect that there are no mechanical differences between a T5 and T6 (other than the supercharger)
      That's exactly what he said.

    22. #20
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      Quote Originally Posted by kartboy1234 View Post
      You will hear the supercharger on the t6. It's a wining in the background. I enjoy the noise, others may not.

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      I don't think I remember ever hearing it on mine.

      Cruising these cars are pretty damned quiet.

      When accelerating they can put out a little noise, and sadly its much less pleasant noise than previous generation cars before the current 2.0L straight 4.

      There was something magical about the sound of my old S80 with the straight 6 T6 at high rpm.

      The current lineup has more of a diesel like sound.

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