Selecting & First Impressions of My 2020 XC60 T8 Inscription
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    1. #1
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Sep 2019
      So Cal, USA

      Smile Selecting & First Impressions of My 2020 XC60 T8 Inscription

      Selecting & First Impressions of My 2020 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Part 1 of 7 - Intro & Selection

      What led me to consider a Volvo? Many of the choices I made and why. While researching, I made mental notes of questions I had and some strong opinions in forums, reviews and watching YouTube automobile videos — that I’ve now been able to experience for myself. A lot of first impressions — aka my personal opinions — after just one week owning a 2020 XC60 T8 from a guy that is new to Volvo, but has owned Hybrids/BEV since 2005, and has special-ordered most of his Tesla, Lexus, MBZ, BMW and other rides over the past 40 years.

      If you enjoy A LOT of detail and have time to at least scan what follows, you may have found a few good bits.
      OTOH if you prefer short, sweet, and net summaries, you should exit now.
      I have attempted to organize this into multiple posts, each with headings and sections to help find areas of interest
      ...but it is still a very, VERY, VERY long series. You have been warned!

      My intent with what has become a novella, is to help someone thinking about a Volvo for the first time; or considering coming to a Volvo from a Tesla or Lexus; or anyone simply interested in a soup-to-nuts POV from a fellow enthusiast on his decision process, order and delivery experience, and a bunch of observations on how he sees things working in the first few days with his 2020 XC60 T8. I don’t expect anyone to like or agree with everything — we all have a POV. Hopefully though, something spurs a thought or helps in some way. It’s why I took so much time putting this together, to offer the community a thread that does not begin with a problem or complaint as most tend to on any forum these days, but rather, some facts, thoughts, ah-ha’s, practical detail, and the few things IMO that could be make this really great ride, exceptional.


      Details are important in most everything I do, and what makes something good for me into GREAT. I’m known by friends, family and associates as being a planner …and I admit to being a research hound and a very detailed kinda guy, especially when it comes to investments like my automobile.

      I care a lot about owning a car with the specific options I desire, even if it takes longer and may cost more than compromising on a readily-available off-the-lot purchase. I only purchase my vehicles, never lease. I personally hand wash and detail my rides — it’s become a hobby of sort. My rides are garaged between outings. Most I have kept at least a year or two beyond basic warranty expiration — when they still appear near showroom fresh. I have special-ordered nearly all of my vehicles, and was OK doing that again. Overseas Delivery (OSD) was not something I could consider this time around. I was not in a rush to replace my Tesla Model S, although I knew once I completed my research getting down to a short-list of possibilities, I wanted to check them out in-person, make a decision, and order something new to have a few months later.

      Over-Arching General Desires
      Like most of us I suspect, my priorities and what I’m willing to pay, vary with the specific vehicle I’m after, where I am in my life, and acknowledging nothing will be a perfect match. With my last new automobile pursuits, I forced myself to first prioritize the top 5 things that are most important to me, before I begin considering which vehicles should be investigated further. The degree some priorities may be equal or ahead of another is not always clear, but I make myself declare a sequence to myself, even if it takes a few days to get there. The order has rarely been the same, especially when I kept a 2nd less practical car as my “weekend toy, just for me” — but this first step has always helped me focus and get started. This time, my final general priorities were:

      1. Reliability, especially being able to get where I need to be, when I must
      2. Latest Technology, including safety & driver assist systems, with robust Infotainment capabilities
      3. Luxury, i.e. stying, options, and creature comforts
      4. Quality Build & Quality Service both pre and post-sale
      5. Performance & Handling

      Of Note, #3 & #4 were basically a toss-up. As much as a I care about quality, you may catch on later why Luxury (aka Styling) got just a bit more of a nod.

      Specific Vehicle Needs — Fall 2019
      I was in the market for a new Crossover/SUV to replace my Tesla Model S BEV sedan (another story as to “why” for perhaps another time.) The vehicle will be the single car in my garage, therefore must support both daily driver and extracurricular activities. Taking my broad desires to the next level of detail, I was looking for:

      • Mid-size Crossover/SUV physically shorter by at least a foot, and several inches narrower than my Model S, which had become too large for my needs. A size closer to my former RX450h would be fine, or the next model size down would be better.
      • Rides higher than most coupe/sedans with a hand-hold and perhaps air suspension, for easier (elder) passenger entry/access (which is likely to become more of a need during the life of this vehicle.)
      • Must look good with my preferred and perhaps older esthetic: Classy and elegant, yet sporty with a modern twist; Nothing that screams “look at me”, has an overly aggressive appearance, or could be mistaken as an angular something-or-other from Japanese Anime. Please, a few curves as part of the styling — somewhere!
      • Not enthusiastic to own another minimalistic interior design; I prefer to return to more premium luxury appointments with a very high quality build both inside and out.
      • Must have great Infotainment: Navigation with all the features incl real-time traffic; Multiple music sources; iPhone Bluetooth integration; (Wireless) Apple CarPlay; CD player not required, but superior USB music support is; iPod support would be great, but not a deal breaker if USB functionality is rich enough; Terrific sound quality; etc.
        Basically, the more complete capabilities and leading-edge tech, the better, to appease my music-lover self and what remains of a geekie heritage. Comparatively poor or aged Infotainment will likely eliminate a vehicle from consideration, despite everything else — it’s that important to me.
        The mfgrs privacy policy must also be acceptable in terms of any Infotainment data use and collection (e.g. voice commands and nav destinations) and smartphone app use/access.
      • AWD
      • Moonroof (that opens); A Pano Moonroof would be better
      • Standard (incandescent) headlights are out; HID (halogen) are the minimum; LED preferred; Not aware if next gen Laser headlights are commercially available yet, but I would be game to try them.
      • Towing or use of a hitch for a bike rack upon occasion would be nice, but is no longer the priority or requirement it was on former SUVs
      • I drive solo more often than not, but the vehicle must have comfortable seating for 4 adults upon occasion; It needs to have easy access and room for my Golden Retriever to lay down in her back seat (not the cargo area.)
      • Good interior cargo space when back seats are up (day-to-day), and down (home improvement runs, perhaps a bike in the back, hauling a few boxes.)
      • Safety and driver assist systems (the more, the better) — including SAE autonomous level 2 “hands-off” (still needs hand/wheel contact, e.g. Volvo PA); OTOH, I do not require a vehicle with marketing promises it may allow level 3 “eyes-off” or better one day. I’ll likely replace any new vehicle in a few years with then superior autonomous hardware & software systems — well before level 3 becomes an out-of-beta reality I will fully trust and use as more than an occasional toy.
      • Estimated annual mileage <7500. I no longer have daily commutes and regular trips involving interstate speeds and long distances. Daily use is more “around town” 0-20 miles most days, approx 50 on the weekends, with occasional highway roundtrips of perhaps 200 miles, and 2-3 longer road trips >750 miles per year.
      • Another BEV was preferable, but going back to a Hybrid of some sort was more likely. Having owned Hybrids and BEV since 2005, returning to an ICE was essentially a no-go (see Justifying a Hybrid below).
      • I have no desire to turn my relatively large SUV into a sports car, yet my daily driver can’t be gutless in terms of acceleration, or when going uphill with passengers or cargo in the back at higher speeds. I don’t go to the track, play games at stop lights, or off-road, but a daily driver that could provide a bit of extra fun when I want it is a plus.I prefer driving in a more comfortable, yet still responsive mode most of the time — far from what my grandmother’s floaty Buick land-yacht sedans were in the early 70’s, but also not on the other extreme where I feel every bump and steering is overly-sensitive when performance is the primary objective. It is not a requirement, but an ability to easily change the setup into a “sportier mode” (shifting, steering responsiveness, suspension, etc) upon occasion would be a plus.
      • Minimal roll around corners
      • I was willing to explore brands beyond Lexus, MBZ, or Acura (which I’ve not owned in 25 years), but must ensure whatever I considered had multiple dealers within reasonable distance of my home in case one lets me down pre or post-sale.
        I also needed to understand what dealerships and public BEV/PHEV charging there was or not on Oahu and Maui, should the vehicle move with me one day back to Hawaii where there are fewer choices... (I know, it’s a sad thing to be worried with. )
      • Given this will be my single vehicle, I did not want to consider first year model production, especially if it involved new powertrains. Pre-order of an announced but not GA vehicle with few details, or from a relatively new company is out. My days are done playing those games and taking the reliability/quality/service risks unless I win the lottery.
      • I prefer mfgrs that demonstrate increasingly sustainable manufacturing processes and a vehicle that is designed for more EOL recycling possibilities.
      • Prelim pricing analysis included vehicle MSRP with options, shipping, tax & license, less any Fed/State rebates, PLUS dealer-supplied scheduled maintenance for 6 years @ 10K max miles/year, with one brake & rotor replacement and two front-end alignments at today’s cost.

      Creating a Short List
      What we’re willing to pay of course, drives nearly everything else. Given all the variables and opinions, I never talk major purchase numbers with anyone, but I will say this for context: When I began this journey in late summer 2019, I had not paid close attention to new cars for several years, or what my Tesla Model S90D may be worth in trade or private sale. To help narrow down the models I would initially explore, I spent no more than 2 hours looking at Autotrader and a few mfgr websites that came to mind after my desires and needs work above was complete. From that, I landed on $55-75K as an initial out-the-door target price (with tax/fees, but before 6yr maintenance) and would see where my research took me from there.

      Over the next few weeks, I evaluated more than a dozen vehicles to varying degrees — running many mfgr website configurations to come up with prioritized color/option combos, reading 3 different owner manuals front-to-back, watching numerous videos, and reading through hundreds of articles and posts on forums including SwedeSpeed. A few data points went into a spreadsheet (model, price, 6-yr maint cost, key dimensions & powertrain specs, etc), along with my more subjective POV of reliability and unique desirable features or lack thereof. A number of models were eliminated as the analysis progressed, and I narrowed down what was left into a prioritized short list of 3-4 models to then go see in-person and test drive.
      For inquiring minds, in no particular order, the following models were more seriously considered as part of my broader list of possibilities: Model S (keep what I owned), Model 3, Model Y (yes, the elusive future vehicle), RDX, MDX, Q3, Q5, XT5, QX50, F-Pace, UXh, NX300h, RX450h, GLC, Macan, Macan S, various Jeep, XC40, XC60, S60.

      I was very surprised that both a Volvo XC40 T5 and XC60 T8 ended-up in my top 3 short-list to more closely consider — especially when I don’t believe I may have even ridden in a Volvo except perhaps as a kid in a friends parent’s car, let alone driven or ever considered owning one. Interesting, huh?

      The Final Choice: XC40 vs XC60
      Only after seeing and driving both Volvo in-person, did the decision points became more obvious. While there are subtleties, Volvo did a great job making the XC40 appear like the little brother of the XC60; Magically, the cabin appears similar in size and appointments — it’s only as you look closer differences begin to appear, e.g. XC40 rear seat backs are more vertical, it has a bit less cargo space, less leather and more plastics in secondary areas, different inside/out color combos, and XC40 lacks a few less obvious options and trim-level features like HUD, Bowers & Wilkins, and better Inscription seats (no front adjustable bolsters & thigh support, with massage). Under the hood, the greatest difference being XC40 has no T6 or T8 variant, and of course each has different est MPG. With a relatively short test drive, the XC40 T5 seemed more fun to drive likely because of it being physically smaller, which would also make life simpler maneuvering and parking around town. Since I primarily do city or shorter highway driving these days with just 1 or 2 in the front, XC40 would likely be fine — but longer hauls especially with more people or stuff, XC60 would prove superior with its Inscription seats and powertrain alternatives.

      It took only a couple hours to conclude I would “downsize” from my Model S to an XC60 T8, as an intermediate step to what will likely be an XC40-size SUV next time around. An XC40 T5 would have been more than adequate for me in most ways today, but I truly wanted (at least) a Hybrid again —PHEV was a bonus— and highly desirable options like HUD and Bowers & Wilkins were not available in the XC40. More subjectively, I felt the XC60 had the better interior and exterior aesthetic for my taste. Since I wasn’t into R-Design or Polestar Engineered trim levels, XC40 Inscription left me with a “cute and good looking” sorta vibe, whereas something about the XC60 Inscription, felt more refined (and had a preferred blonde headliner, with my preferred blonde leather.)

      All that to say, I ordered a larger and significantly more expensive 2020 Volvo XC60 T8 Inscription this past September from Alexandra (Alex) at Volvo Cars Carlsbad (Southern California, USA) I couldn’t be happier with my Sales Rep, the transaction itself, the recently renovated dealership inside and out, or the delivery process (You’ll find a reoccurring theme as you read on: My end-to-end Volvo sales experience was on-par with the best of my former Lexus special orders — which have held my highest excellence bar for years.)

      Continued in Part 2…

      Present: ‘20 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Past: ‘15 Tesla S90D; ‘14 SLK250; '13 RX450h; ‘09 335i; ‘06 RX400h; ‘02 SC430; ‘99 RX300; ‘95 SC300; ‘91 Legend...

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    3. #2
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Sep 2019
      So Cal, USA
      Selecting & First Impressions of My 2020 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Part 2 of 7 - Specs, Ordering, Tracking, Options & Detailing

      T8-1 mini.jpg

      A few more photos can be found here:

      My 2020 XC60 T8 AWD Inscription (USA) Specs
      Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

      • 2.0L 4-cyl Supercharged & Turbocharged Gas Engine
        Tank Size: 18.5 gal
      • 11.6kWh Lithium-ion Battery
      • 34kW Crank Integrated Starter Generator (C-ISG) Motor, 47 HP
      • 65kW Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD) Motor, 87 HP
      • Official Combined T8 Stats: 400 HP; Torque 472 lb/ft; 0-60mph 5.1sec; Top Speed 140mph
      • EPA Estimate City+Hwy: 27 MPG / 57 MPGe; Range: 520mi;
        Electric Only: 19mi, Time to Charge: 3.0 hr @ 240V Max 16A (SAE J1772 Lvl 1 & 2)

      Denim Blue Metallic
      20” 8-Spoke Inscription Wheels (#1012)
      Luxury Package

      • Blonde Perforated & Ventilated Nappa Leather
      • Driftwood Inlay
      • Front Seats Power Adjusted Bolsters & Thigh Support, with Massage
      • Note: Floor Carpet & Mats are black, not blonde with blonde interior as in some earlier MYs

      Advanced Package

      • Pilot Assist (PA)
      • Head Up Display (HUD)
      • LED w/ Active Bending Headlights
      • 360 Cam
      • Headlight Cleaning

      Park Assist Pilot
      Heated Rear Seats & Steering Wheel
      Adaptive Air Suspension
      Bowers & Wilkins Premium Sound
      Volvo on Call (VoC) w/ Smartphone Integration
      Wheel Locks
      Rubber Floor Mats
      Reversible Luggage Compartment Mat
      Polestar Optimization (Article 31491839, Polestar ID 2375)

      • Official Stats (ICE Only?): 318->332 HP; Torque 295-325 lb/ft; 0-60mph 5.3->5.2sec

      Ordering & Delivery Timeline
      NOTE: I likely hit an unexpected jackpot, which as a single data point I can’t call normal. It took only 109 days from special order to delivery of my 2020 XC60 T8 on the US West Coast, including 32 days at sea and the Christmas holidays. With the exception of Tesla, where the factory is just 450 miles from my home, my past special orders from Japan and Germany have taken 5 to ~17 months. Volvo is my new overseas special-order speed winner at just over 3 months — from Sweden, no less. Impressive.

      • 09/12 Order & Deposit, with an original ETA of approx 5 months
      • 10/17 Last Day for Order Change (LDOC)
      • 11/11 Build Week at Torslanda Plant - Gothenburg, Sweden
      • 12/27-01/06 Factory Estimated Delivery Range

      • 11/19 The Wallenius Wilhelmsen LCTC vessel “Tulane” —Voyage CD922-TUL— departed Goteborg, Sweden (then on to Bremerhaven, Zeebrugge, Southampton, Bristol, and started across the Atlantic on 11/27)
      • 12/08 Tulane arrived Savannah, GA, USA
      • 12/12 Tulane arrived Manzanillo, PA (Atlantic-side harbor adjacent to the Panama Canal)
      • 12/13 Tulane transited the Panama Canal to the Pacific Ocean
      • 12/21 Tulane arrived Port Hueneme, CA, USA; Vehicle unloaded to the adjoining Oxnard Vehicle Preparation Center (VPC)
      • 12/27 Vehicle arrived at the dealership late in the day via highway transport vehicle; Notification from my Sales Rep the XC60 was onsite and next steps she had already taken. (Service Dept is closed Sat/Sun; Delivery prep began Monday morning for delivery that afternoon.)
      • 12/30 Actual Delivery (Carlsbad, CA, USA)
        ODO: 12 miles; A full tank of gasoline

      Tracking your Vehicle
      I did not find this as precise as older threads may suggest is possible, but with some Sherlock Holmes initiative and other mfgr experience, I was able to pretty well guess what was going on.

      • Once your order is placed, it takes a few days to perhaps a month (depends on factory cut-offs) for the factory to accept the order, assign an initial build week and and estimated final delivery date range. If your dealer already had the same model on order and not assigned to another customer, your timeframe may be improved if they are able to change the configuration before LDOC — at least that’s how it has worked for me with other brands.
      • Your dealer can find the VIN once it is assigned as part of the build process — which is interesting perhaps, but no longer much help tracking your vehicle yourself. Unlike other brands I’ve ordered, my Volvo dealer was unable to identify the actual ship my car was assigned to, so I guesstimated which two it may be on based on estimated build completion and ships leaving Goteburg for Port Hueneme.
      • Once the VPC did its thing with my XC60 entering the USA, it was transported the last 160 miles to my dealer on California’s highways via auto transport, for final prep and delivery. My Sales Rep called me not 30 minutes after my car arrived at the dealership, to let me know what was going on — can’t ask for better than that!

      Volvo deliveries to the USA go to one of the nearby port processing centers in either Savannah, GA for east coast States, or Port Hueneme, CA (just north of Los Angeles in Oxnard) for the west.
      For cars built in Sweden, the Wallenius Wilhelmsen site can help you determine shipping schedules and ETA (which is updated if there are delays) from Goteborg to one of the two US ports Volvo uses, as well as vessel name, what the ship looks like, and more.
      Once underway, the MarineTraffic site or its iOS app provides realtime location of your ship. Available data is slightly different between the two UI, so try both. For Western US deliveries, if you’re diligent enough watching your ship on MarineTraffic as it waits outside the harbor in the Atlantic, or docks in Manzanillo before it transits the Panama Canal, you may catch it live on the cams as it goes through the locks on both sides.

      Tulane Miraflores Locks.jpeg
      Tulane (with my XC60 T8 inside) in the final locks before entering the Pacific Ocean

      Useful US Shipping Tracking Sites

      Self-installed Personalization
      Volvo OEM Front & Rear Mudflaps

      • I like ‘um. Simple removal of 3 star-head screws and re-install for each.

      Volvo OEM Stainless Steel Rear Bumper Cover

      • I considered putting a strip of XPEL on the top of the rear bumper, but changed my mind before delivery. I don’t usually go for extra bling, but I like the look of this on my Denim Blue. It has a more subtle brushed finish vs. bright chrome, and fits in fine with the overall look.
      • DIY installation is a piece-of-cake with adhesive strips already attached to the back. Just pay attention to alignment with a dry run and strategically placed temporary blue tape when you’ve got the cover where you want it, so as you pull back both adhesive strips, the cover will remain where you expect. You only get one shot. Rear Seat Cover

      • I needed something to protect my rear seat when my Golden Retriever rides with me. Years ago I swore off cheap and sloppy generic covers that slip around. I couldn’t find a custom fit version for an XC60 from anyone in the USA. Canine Covers (Covercraft) who made premium quality covers (with price to match) for the rear seat of my last 3 rides does not have an XC60 pattern (they do have XC90 last time I checked.) Sigh, and yes I did send the request in to their customer service, so perhaps an XC60 version will become available one day.
      • The Titan Cover does not have multiple color choices (only dark grey), layers of padding and protection, or fit as well as I have come to expect from Canine Covers, but its semi-custom fit is better than a generic big-box version. It’s waterproof, but the material is a bit too slippery, not allowing a good foothold for my Golden to jump in/out on her own — I’m now lifting her in/out of my new XC60 and we’re working it through.
        Titan Covers provided great customer service to get my special order priced and shipped from UK to US within a couple email interactions. Shipping cost was nearly the same as the cover itself, but arrived super fast via international DHL — the Titan Cover was still 1/3 the total price I’ve paid before, so if I find something better or need to replace it one day, no problem.

      Custom License Plate Frames

      • I don’t do dealer advertisements or need to iterate what brand/model I have beyond standard badging, so I always come up with a snappy line or two, spend a few bucks to order a custom frame before my new ride arrives, then swap to my own version upon arrival. As I’ve said, little details make all the difference.

      Windshield Sunscreen

      • I once again went with a custom-fit “Heatshield” roll-up shade from; Reflective silver on the outside with white on the flip, along with a soft binding on the edges so I don’t worry it will harm my dash or visors (as happened once before with a cheap big box store version — never again.) This is the third Heatshield I’ve owned across 3 different vehicles — each lasting longer than I had the car. For storage, it rolls up with an attached Velcro tie. Sadly it does not fit under the rear cargo deck, so I put a reverse set of velcro on the tie and keep it attached in the cargo sides so it does not slide around. ...oh, and they have metallic gold with black on the inside, should you prefer that color combo.

      CARPLAY2air Wireless Adapter

      • After-market solution from providing wireless Apple CarPlay in vehicles with only native hardwired iPhone CarPlay support — sadly, like the 2020 XC60. See Infotainment Apple CarPlay, Infotainment CARPLAY2air, and Misses sections below for more.

      I have no plans to have Paint Protection Film (PPF) or Window Tint Film installed on my XC60, as I have to some of my former rides.

      Initial Detail
      As I always do upon arriving home with a new ride, I dedicated the next couple days installing my own options (see above) and doing a full detail of my new XC60. It’s a great way for me to quickly get to know my new ride up-close and personal, before showing it off and hitting the road the first time.

      There are many alternatives and opinions what products and methods work best, so I won’t go off-topic with too much of that here. I’ll simply summarize my first XC60 regime: Chemical Guys Citrus Wash (CarPro Reset are my normal suds); Contamination removal with CarPro Iron X, then clay; Paint inspection and very light mechanical correction; Gtechniq (ceramic) Crystal Serum Light + (2 layers hydrophobic) EXOv4 on paint & chrome; C4 Trim Restorer (refreshes & makes black trim, remain black longer); C5 Wheel Armor coating; Tuf Shine Tire Cleaner & Clearcoat; Optimum Opti-Lens permanent headlight and taillight coating; G4 glass polish, followed by G1 ClearVision windshield & exterior window coating (and G2 Remover); Gummi Pflege Stift on all exposed seals & gaskets; Gtechniq C6 Matte Dash; Leather Master Car Interior Rapid Cleaner S, Leather Master Car Leather Barrier (best on light/blonde) or Leather Protection Cream (any color); a few shots of Nextzett Cockpit Premium & Nextzett Deep Plastic Cleaner to clean up where needed; Scotchguard on carpet & carpet mats. (I switched out a couple of my former favorite coatings for Gtechniq this time around, taking advantage of a Black Friday sale to try something new. I’m very happy with the early results.)

      I’m admittedly obsessed preferring an almost always clean ride, done my way — with a few Golden Retriever hairs between washes. Now I can get on with enjoying my new toy until it’s time for the first hand wash.

      Continued in Part 3…

      Present: ‘20 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Past: ‘15 Tesla S90D; ‘14 SLK250; '13 RX450h; ‘09 335i; ‘06 RX400h; ‘02 SC430; ‘99 RX300; ‘95 SC300; ‘91 Legend...

    4. #3
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Sep 2019
      So Cal, USA
      Selecting & First Impressions of My 2020 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Part 3 of 7 - Fit & Finish, PHEV, Handling


      General Fit & Finish
      Exterior Panel & Trim Alignment

      • My XC60 is as good as what I’ve come to expect from Lexus, and that’s saying a lot from me. Remember the old commercial with a Lexus rotating on a gimbal, and the ball bearing that didn’t roll off as it traveled around the car between the panels? I suspect my new Volvo would be on par with the multiple Lexus I’ve owned. Wow.


      • Love the Denim Blue color, with a bit of grey and just enough sparkle to make me smile. For me the tone/color is different enough from some generic norm, without being in-your-face. No obvious chips, streaks or runs, and no poor port/dealer-applied wax job that needed repair. Yeah! Only 3 very minor flaws (smaller than a pinhead) in the paint that I found going over the finish multiple times in my initial detailing regime — nothing even maniacal Bert is concerned with. There is some minor orange peel, but again, not bad or something I’d complain about — certainly nothing like my former disastrous 335i orange peel the BMW enthusiasts seem to tolerate, but I never will again.
      • Lexus still holds my “very best” position when it comes to paint quality, Volvo and MBZ next, then Tesla, followed by you-know-who.

      Interior Panels, Fitment, Squeaks & Squeels

      • Excellent panel, knob/lever and component alignment. No scratches that I’ve found on knobs, panels or anything else inside the vehicle.
      • No squeaks, wind noise or other similar problems this early in the game, but of course my XC60 needs a lot more time on-the-road to make any real judgement.


      • I am a stickler for detail and a hawk finding fit & finish flaws, but found zero problems or consequence in my delivery walk-around and checklist, or during my first full detail once I got my XC60 home. That rarely happens. I had no complaints as I drove my new XC60 off the lot.

      Battery Size

      • My timing was right getting the larger standard 11.6kWh hybrid battery in the 2020 MY vs 10.4kWh in a 2019. Being new to Volvo and not having seen this improvement hyped in any of Volvo’s general marketing materials (STRANGE), I didn’t realize this change had been made until after I ordered, ran across posts in this forum, and put 2+2 together. TU!

      US EPA Ratings

      • A side benefit of the increased hybrid battery size is PURE mode (electric only) went up 2 miles compared to the 2019 MY, now at 19 miles on a full charge — which is an even better fit with my daily usage pattern; Combined rating on the XC60 T8 also increased 2 miles to 27 MPG.
      • My real-life actuals of course, need to be determined over time. I keep my own records using an iOS App called “Road Trip” on my iPhone & “Road Trip HD” for iPad, and am not reliant on only on-board statistics or number from the VoC app for history.
      • NOTE: Given there are trade-off’s between higher performance and increased MPG with various hybrid implementations, I went into this expecting Volvo’s current mild-hybrid implementation is more oriented towards performance than larger MPG improvements, whereas my former (full hybrid) Lexus RX400h & RX450h both prioritized increased MPG over performance — e.g. neither Lexus came close to the torque and 0-60 of my new XC60 T8, but I could easily exceed 30 MPG on road trips back-in-the-day with my older RXh. The larger hybrid battery in the T8 will certainly provide me a different set of benefits with many of my daily around-town errands. As I said, it’s all about trade-offs. The XC60 T8 won this time around because of many other other things I liked beyond just PHEV capabilities.


      • Owners Manual pp446-448 states minimum unleaded premium 91 octane gasoline should be used, which is the same as my former Hybrids/ICE. It then goes on to say super premium 93 is “recommended for optimal performance and fuel economy.” I won’t engage in the long-standing cost/benefit debate of “91 vs 93” others may enjoy.
      • Costco Unleaded Premium 91 Top Tier will be the norm in my T8, as it was in my former rides.
      • FWIW, 93 octane is not generally available around me here in Northern San Diego County I suspect due to air quality regulations (e.g. Costco sells only 89 & 91) …To head-off political commentary, please don’t go off on California for lack of 93 — I remember my elementary school years when the State was just beginning to get it’s act together trying to reduce air pollution, when smog was so bad many days per year, none of us were allowed outside the building until time to go home — no PE or recess — and my parents wouldn’t let us back outside at home until the red alert was dropped generally in early evenings. Yes, air quality was that bad not that many years ago — and no, I’m not yet on Medicare, so I’m not THAT old! AH HA HA


      • Despite what the Owner Manual says on p536 that VoC allows setting of charging start & stop times for a saved location, it DOES NOT. I’m sad, since other PHEV and BEVs in the USA have this ability. (See Misses below.)
      • I previously installed a dedicated 240V 100A circuit in my garage for my former Tesla Model S BEV which could draw up to 80A while it was charging at home.
        Before my T8 arrived, I had my electrician replace my Tesla Wall Charger with the latest model ChargePoint Home Flex EV Charger allowing EVs to draw up to 50A through the integrated J1772 plug (the T8 uses far less amperage, but my garage remains reasonably future-proofed.)
        While others may be OK fiddling-around taking charging cables in and out of the vehicle all the time, I LOVE being able to keep the mobile charging adapter permanently in my trunk, and instead just reach over and plug-in every time I park in my garage, allowing the ChargePoint to turn power on and off when my daily TOU rates are lowest (about 30% of my peak summer rate, with more hours of low rates on Sat & Sun.) The T8 takes it from there and begins charging when power comes on. No hassle; Optimizing what I have, what I use, and what I pay …with the side benefit my ChargePoint app shows me how many kWH were used and my utility rate cost for the last charge cycle.
      • Yes, there is a mild ticking sound coming from under the hood as charging is taking place. It’s not annoying, but slightly louder than my Tesla Model S was. What is annoying is how loud the (front left) fan is that sometimes comes on when charging (generally after driving, until things cool down under the hood) — it’s FAR louder than my Tesla Model S ever was charging in the heat of summer at 80A.
      • Unlike my former BEV, I do not plan to charge my XC60 T8 away from home — it would be an unusual exception if I do. I don’t have a regular commute where there may be free charging at my destination, nor do I frequent overnight places away from home with free charging stations. I have the big name EV network charging cards, but don’t see any benefit using them on a road trip with the T8’s horribly slow charging speed (2.5-3hrs) for a relatively small mileage payback (<19mi). OTOH, plugging-in each time I arrive home and not using the T8, it’s a no-brainer to gain a few (nearly free to me, with solar on my roof) electric miles.
      • I’m trying to remember to drive in “B-Gear” most of the time (opposed to traditional “D”). I’m very used to driving by wire in my former Tesla, and how that easing-off-to-slow process works, generally using the brake for only the last few feet or emergency stopping — allowing in the case of a T8, the engine to brake against itself and provide maximum battery regeneration at the same time. With only a few miles on my XC60 T8, “B” is different, but familiar, with the side benefit I should receive increased “free” battery regeneration, and I hope my brake pads & rotors last longer compared to other T8 owners using “D” for the most part.
        While there are different driving styles and explanations in this forum what D vs B Gear is all about, this FAQ clarifies the B-Gear difference:

      Justifying a Hybrid — Bert’s POV
      Even though premium gasoline was running $3.859 to $4.599/gallon around me in August/September when I was researching new rides, with my relatively low annual mileage, using math alone, I have never been able to justify the incremental price of any of my hybrids or BEV against a similar ICE. There, I said it. When friends/family have asked for my advice, I never try to force the tech on them, but rather provide some things to consider, such as:
      Analytic Starting Points

      • Hybrids and BEV may have substantial Fed/State/Utility EV rebates, including off-setting partial installation costs for home charging infrastructure. Your timing, where you live, and the make/model may make a difference (some incentives have recently been, and are being phased-out.)
      • Here in Southern California, Hybrids & BEV I’ve owned consistently had higher resale/trade-in value than their ICE-only counterparts, so some of the incremental entry price may be recouped on the back-end. Others will take exception to my POV, so you’ll need to decide for yourself if this plays for you in the market where you live.
      • With all the variables, I just broadly assume electricity to provide an equivalent number of road miles in a PHEV or BEV, generally costs less than gasoline to do the same. If you can make use of low TOU rates or have solar panels on your home as I do with both, electric charges to “fill-up” may be even further reduced helping to offset ongoing ICE fuel costs.
      • For some brands and models (not Volvo T8 that I’m aware of), hybrids may cost less to maintain over time, e.g. brakes may not need replacing as often (e.g. Lexus RX450h vs RX350.) Some BEV (e.g. Tesla) take that even further, requiring effectively no annual maintenance to maintain any of the warranties — beyond normal consumables an owner is almost always responsible for in any vehicle, such as wiper blades, cabin filters and 12V battery.
      • Compared to similar ICE, there are performance improvements with many hybrids or BEVs, especially when it comes to torque. As to putting a dollar value benefit on that, only the buyer can say — no different than other models or options they may consider.
      • All that to say, there are many variables, but total miles driven, the type those miles are (if on battery or gas, along with your driving style), and how long you keep the vehicle, have substantial impact on a Hybrid or BEV financials compared to an ICE, and make the resulting analysis different for nearly every potential owner. IMO there is no single answer, and especially if you only care about initial out-the-door price today, Hybrids and BEV will almost never win.

      My Subjective Overrides

      • For me, it’s also about wanting to give less of my cash to greedy oil companies. Given a choice, I’d rather give the same money to an auto manufacturer who builds my vehicle that is less reliant upon fossil fuel.
      • More importantly, I want to feel better with myself by trying to help reduce my footprint on Planet Earth. I believe each of our decisions and actions, no matter how small they may appear — add up some way in the bigger picture. I’m far from being wealthy with cash to burn, but within reason, I have for years spent a few more bucks for things that get the job done, and at the same time are better for the environment, my family, friends and people I’ll never know. I’m sure it is too philosophical for some, but it makes me happy.

      The Net
      My XC60 T8 is my 4th Hybrid/PHEV/BEV in continuous ownership since 2005. Each time, my choice ended-up involving a subjective override that could not be defended through financial analysis alone. I remain committed to these and similar alternative automotive technologies for the long haul.

      Hybrid-BEV Sign.jpeg
      My garage wall. Look close at the green & white sign in front of my XC60 T8.

      Overall Handling
      It’s Far From Being Gutless

      • My XC60 T8 is far from being a slug. It has plenty of torque when I put my foot on the accelerator out of need, or for just a bit of fun. It is certainly not as good off the line as my previous (non-performance dual-motor) Model S, but few ICE or Hybrids are. When it comes to performance, my XC60 T8 already feels superior to what I remember of my former RX450h AWD that was roughly the same size — I suspect in large part due to Volvo being more oriented to the performance side of the equation, compared to where Toyota/Lexus began with their hybrids being focused first on improved MPG.

      Drive Mode Selection:

      • I normally run in Hybrid Mode, but I LOVE how simple it is to switch to PURE when I’m jaunting around town on short errands, or into Power (ie “Polestar Engineered”) for a bit of fun. I have not yet set up an Individual set of preferences, but appreciate the possibility my XC60 provides.
      • The T8 defaults to “Hybrid” Mode which is fine by me; The default can’t be changed to e.g. “Power/Polestar Engineered” or “Individual” as some other owners have suggested would be desireable — I suspect that lack of a setting is related to the mode used for EPA certification, so others should just get over it.
      • The Orrefors crystal gear shift knob is the fanciest version I’ve ever owned. Bling! Bling!


      • It’s not a feature with a T8, as all hybrid technology vehicles have a more elegant solution switching between ICE and Electric as part of it’s fundamental design.
      • I did though try a (non-hybrid ICE) 2019 XC40 T5 with it during the test drive — Start/Stop having been a former disappointment, it was on my checklist to observe on each test drive. I found it noticeable in the XC40 if I paid attention, but not totally obnoxious as my first German car with the “new feature” (sic) was 10+ years ago. I had also read Start/Stop could be permanently disabled in 2019-2020 XC40/XC60 ICE models via user settings if I were willing to take some MPG and emissions hit for my choice. Start/Stop was therefore eliminated from possible concern with either Volvo I was considering. More of my POV:

      Corners are Great

      • Air Suspension is as seamless as I came to know in my Model S, but in my much higher profile XC60. Going just a bit faster around corners isn’t sloppy — I already LOVE my choice to have it once again. I can’t wait for my first road trip to give it more of a try on long stretches with varied road conditions, and see if I would prefer to create an Individual Drive Mode with something different than the default.

      The Sound

      • I’ve read and watched more than one review stating T8 noise levels are too quiet, “just not right”, or that a V6 is needed to keep up with the Jones’... I have little objection to the quieter ride a T8 affords me — except for that bit of a whine that comes with most 4-cyl ICE if I listen very closely (the cabin has great outside noise isolation — better than my former Model S.) I know it’s there and never love what I hear, but knowing I’m getting better MPG most of the time, and my turbo+supercharger+electric will kick-in if I want ‘um all, I can deal with the trade off.
        If I wanted more noise, I’d get some sort of gas-guzzling ICE and outfit it with all the aftermarket custom tricks that have been used for decades. If it’s not close to silent, I like a good tone, but it’s just never been my scene to take it to excess. I’m fine with my T8 as-is, but I’ll take more electric horses or a V6 any day, if it does not negatively impact my MPG.

      Polestar Optimization:

      • When the software upgrade became available soon after I ordered my 2020 T8, I called and asked my sales rep to have it installed at the US arrival port to avoid a return trip to the dealer after delivery.
      • I know the software update is installed, as “Polestar Engineered” displays where “Power” Mode would normally be on the center selection menu and IC (there is no “Dynamic” on a 2020 XC60 T8.)
      • The newer white Polestar Engine badge was preinstalled on the rear hatch door by my dealer. I also received a generic rectangular aluminum picture that is “proof of purchase”, as well as a certificate (actually a folded white card) with blank self fill-in-the-spaces for VIN, owner name and a stamp of some sort.
      • Sadly, I don’t know what my own official performance specs should be now that Polestar Optimization has been installed, because Polestar does not document stats when the ICE plus ERAD are running together. That’s nuts. See Misses below.
      • Summary: This was my second largest more-indulgent upgrade on this purchase. Looking back, as much of a research hound as I generally am, I pulled the trigger on this with more emotion than anything else. The upgrade provides a very small increase to what a stock T8 can already do horsepower and torque-wise when the ICE+Electric are running together. I didn’t expect the slight Polestar performance gains would be noticeable when I put my foot to the floor, except as numbers on paper. OTOH, I read repeated positive comments about smoother and more responsive shifting from other enthusiasts, which is what stuck with me as something I would appreciate. There was no possibility of my doing an actual back-to-back XC60 test drive with and without Polestar, yet I went ahead and added Polestar Optimization before delivery anyway.
        I’ll put it this way, I believe from all I’ve read the XC60 T8 Polestar Optimization improved something in what I now own, but if I had to replace my T8 today with another, I would not spend the cash to add Polestar Optimization up-front as I did in my first Volvo. I’d at least wait a few weeks so I could hopefully then recognize and better appreciate some number of improvements I paid a lot of money for.
        I thought about asking my dealer to let me know when an unspoken-for 2020 XC60 T8 hits the lot, but I don’t want to do a comparison now after-the-fact. What if I’m disappointed? That would be worse, and I’m probably better living in bliss. It was my bad for jumping the gun on this one, and I’ve moved on to enjoy what I have.

      Continued in Part 4…

      Present: ‘20 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Past: ‘15 Tesla S90D; ‘14 SLK250; '13 RX450h; ‘09 335i; ‘06 RX400h; ‘02 SC430; ‘99 RX300; ‘95 SC300; ‘91 Legend...

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    6. #4
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Sep 2019
      So Cal, USA
      Selecting & First Impressions of My 2020 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Part 4 of 7 - Exterior & Interior


      • Simply great. Meets all my desires without compromise, which I’m exceedingly happy with given how polarizing some other brands have become with their designs — hopefully growing their overall sales volumes, but driving some previously loyal owners like myself away because of looks alone.
      • I love the 2020 XC60 front end which has a distinctive appearance with the Inscription grille that seems to float, but is not oversized like an increasing number of competitors. The LED headlights are beautiful on and off, both day and night. It’s the detail that sets this one apart. The side lines on the hood are especially good keeping the front end sporty and modern, but maintaining an overall style that remains elegant for an SUV.
      • The rear-end compliments the tail lights that look awesome day and night... making this ride distinctively Volvo when someone comes up from behind.
      • The chrome bling compliments the panel lines — it’s not too much for my generally more understated taste. The 2020 mid-life refinements are a small, but a noticeable improvement. The elegant Inscription trim does not seem old, as I know what brand it represents today and I’m confident the look will hold up for tomorrow. The exterior styling is what first drew me to look further at the model and brand; the exterior quality build hooked me when I saw it the first time in-person, and my appreciation grew as I looked closer from there.
      • Blackout, de-badging, dipping, electroplating, etc to remove or change OEM chrome appearance, or adding a wrap or decals of some sort are not in my XC60’s foreseeable future. My XC60 Inscription looks great to me as-is, but I always appreciate seeing what others do, knowing that owner is someone who took the time to customize, and is an enthusiast like myself who cares about their ride as more than basic transportation.


      • I went with the 20” Inscription Rims with All-Season tires. I prefer the slightly larger look over the 19’s that come with Inscription. I have had good luck with 18-20’s in the past, both ride and tire longevity-wise. The more extreme 22” which were $3K+ more for either of the OEM Inscription options, were not visually my thing for the money, and I was even more concerned about ride quality — although how much my decision to add air suspension may have offset the larger rim size, will remain only a subject for others to discuss.
      • I don’t quite get the Wheel Bolt Caps, but they are what they are. Perhaps they’re pretty, but not real practical compared to just good looking lug nuts I’ve had on every other car.
      • Love the use of black balancing weights inside the rims to match the painted interior rims. It’s a nice subtle detail.
      • I added wheel locks as I always do. I know they won’t prevent a theft, but it will at least slow the dumb ones down.


      • Continental CrossContact LX Sport tires came on my optional 20” Inscription rims

      Spare Tire

      • None. A can of spray sealant and a 12V mini air-compressor. Complimentary Volvo road service, my iPhone, and AAA card remain at the ready no different than my days with other brands and run flats.


      • Thor would be proud. I have crystal clear high-intensity LED, which I prefer. They are elegant both day and night, providing brand distinction without being over-the-top.
      • The corner bending function is the best implementation I’ve owned across my last 4 vehicles with similar tech. I’ve read other threads where some owners don’t see value in it, but I have and do. I’m glad I have it.
      • My T8 Inscription trim-level does not come with fog lights — likely because of hybrid components unique to the T8 (T5/6 have fog lights). I knew that before I ordered, so its not a big deal except for just wanting all the bells and whistles to use when it gets thick out there a few times per year. Anyway, it’s a subtle XC60 “take away” difference to note if you’re looking at a T8, opposed to T5/6.
      • I could care less about the headlight cleaners that came as part of the Advanced Package. Their inclusion seem to be some European mfgr thing — my former MBZ & BMW also had them as part of upgrade packages I purchased, whereas IIRC, none of my US or Japanese cars have ever had them with even the highest trim levels and cold weather packages.

      Tailgate / Loading / Cargo

      • The power tailgate is something I’ve become spoiled with on my last several vehicles — it’s become a near must-have.
      • The new-to-me kick to open function will likely become another feature I’ll use when I begin remembering I have it, IF I can figure out how to consistently make it work. More time is required kicking between the Volvo “V O” and stepping back to see if I can get it to work as well as it should when my FOB is in my pocket. It’s an initial disappointment how finicky it appears to be. We’ll see…
      • Plenty of practical cargo space in the back with the rear seats down.
      • Rear interior cargo loading height is good; Love how far down the rear seats actually drop — nearly horizontal compared to so many other models. Not sure I’ll use the thoughtful rear buttons to adjust air suspension height a few inches ...but they are a smart detail that reminds me of useful refinements I’ve come to expect from many years owning Japanese brands and watching them evolve.
      • I don’t plan to use the cabin roof for additional cargo, although appreciate I could add the right load carrier or holder to the existing rails, if desired one day.

      Rear Wiper

      • I appreciate Volvo didn’t cheap-out as some other mfgrs, and has a rear windshield wiper on the XC60. I rarely have a need for it, but when I do, it’s nice it’s there. It’s also a pretty neat setting to have it turn on if the front wipers are on and you put the car in Reverse. Great detail.

      FOBs & Key

      • 2 FOBs, 1 Waterproof Sport Key, and 2 Glovebox Keys came with the car.
      • NOTE: FOBs are now charcoal-colored leather complimenting the floor carpeting/mats with blonde leather seats — not a blonde leather FOB as you’ll find in (earlier MY) pictures; It’s probably a good change.

      Styling - Blonde Leather with Charcoal Accents and Driftwood Inserts

      • Beautiful. Tasteful. Great craftsmanship. The driftwood inserts are unique and certainly exude a Nordic vibe unlike anything I’ve seen or owned before. The combined look is as distinctive as what I last enjoyed with ecru (off-white) leather and polished maple trim in my long-awaited 2002 SC430 convertible.
      • The blonde (off-white) leather is not something I’d select if I had young ones, but it’s quite the looker with my almost always adult-only situation these days. It may require a bit more attention to keep visually clean than say black — but I doubt nothing more than I’m used to with all the previous light interiors I gravitate toward more often than not.
      • My blonde leather interior has black carpet (not blonde as in earlier MY)

      Use of Metals; Harder & Softer Plastics and Man-made Materials

      • Unlike some other vehicles, I have found few places in my XC60 that bother me where synthetic leather or harder plastics have been used. If there were one place where leather would be a better choice, it would be on the sides of the center console -- it's an an area that is touched and seen often. IMO Volvo did a good job balancing design, cost & durability with the XC60 Inscription. While perhaps subtle, this is one of the things I mentally noted as a difference between XC40 and XC60 — XC60 is just a bit more luxurious with interior materials when you look closely. Other posts lead me to believe XC90 owners say the same thing comparing to an XC60.
      • Love the felt-like coating on the inside door storage which helps reduce clatter traveling down the road

      Passenger Space

      • I’m good with the general interior space and volume — physical seat sizes, legroom, shoulder and headroom for 4 adults comfortably. This vehicle does not have the problem some do in the rear where your adult head almost hits the headliner above the door when you sit up straight — odd, I know, but something I for some reason notice when riding in the back of some other cars, especially around corners.
      • Good armrests, in the places where you need and expect them for all occupants. Rear center drop-down armrest and mini storage area is great when carrying passengers in the back.
      • Legroom behind the driver seat is not stellar, but usable and reasonable. I cannot say the same for other vehicles I’ve owned where only a very small person could sit behind me while I was driving, or a very slim purse or grocery bag could perhaps be stored on the floor if I were lucky.
      • If the XC60 had another 1” of rear passenger headroom like the XC40 enjoys, it would be better. It’s not a complaint for me as-is, being just under 6’ sitting in the back with room above my head to spare.
      • Glovebox is big enough. No “cooler” in the the T8, but that’s not of concern to me — I wouldn’t use it, if it were there. Rear seat lower tablet storage areas are a well-thought out addition I’m sure families would appreciate. In general, the XC60 has more than enough cubbies to store my stuff out-of-the-way — except for sunglasses (See Misses.)


      • I used to believe Lexus seats couldn’t be beat, balancing comfort with support, elegance, and wear-ability. I never got used to the very firm and slippery upgraded leather sport seats in my (more sporty vs sedan-like) BMW or MBZ convertibles. I agree with most every review I’ve read — these Volvo seats may well be the best I’ve ever owned. Time will tell after a few road trips, and I see how wrinkles and wear patterns do or don’t develop.
      • The adjustable bolsters and thigh support are both a plus. The massage function is a luxury and a first for me. My challenge is now figuring out which type of massage I prefer — likely Advanced. What a fun problem to have.
      • Heated seats and steering wheel are great, especially having rear seat controls on the back of the center console. The heat isn’t wimpy as it is in some other models, for sure.
      • Being able to adjust the front passenger seat from the driver’s side is useful. I’ve already used it, rather than trying to explain how to use the side buttons to infrequent passengers while I’m driving.
      • LOVE also having passenger seat memory
      • Rear seat back angle is reasonable compared to XC40, that to me appeared much more upright and likely not as comfortable for adults in the rear on long trips. I’m happy with the XC60 trade-offs.
      • Love the ability to drop the back seat headrests when no one is in the rear to increase visibility via the center display — a useful feature.
      • I‘m sad not having the button in the rear cargo area to drop the rear seats, that big brother XC90 has.

      Ambient & Mood Lighting

      • The interior looks elegant, yet cool at night. Night lighting is not an afterthought, as it absolutely seems to be in some other vehicles just to check a marketing comparison box or as a way to hike trim package prices. I LIKE riding in my XC60 when it’s dark outside. There is something about the experience it provides — it does not take away from the job-at-hand: Driving — but the ambience is luxurious and makes me feel like I’ve treated myself to something special. Well done.
      • The combined interior and exterior appearance when it’s dark outside, is just great to my eyes the degree, I’m trying to figure out why I need to drive somewhere again tonight, when I have no place I really need to go. It’s a good problem to have — especially when it makes you smile.
      • Not sure I need to change interior mood colors, but it’s fun to have a choice — Blue is my present choice.
      • Home Safe Lighting. I don’t understand any good reason why Volvo has the “push the left stalk forward every time” process to keep ambient lighting and headlights on for a short while after exiting. For me, it’s easier to do what the Japanese and American brands have done for years, and just have an easy exit setting that always does (or does not) do the same thing when the ignition is turned-off and you open/close the driver’s door. I’ll get used to this manual process once I remember it’s there, but Volvo’s lack of a full “Easy Entry/Exit” implementation is a clear miss compared to my former vehicles in this regard (See Misses below.)

      Pano Moonroof

      • Love it, especially the integrated and automated sliding shade. I’ve not yet experienced driving in summer through the SoCal desert, so don’t yet have an opinion how good a job Volvo has done with standard overhead UV/heat control.
      • Hate the overly complicated and touchy multi-function single control (see Misses below).

      Tonneau Cover over rear cargo area

      • Happy it comes standard. I would have bought it as an accessory if I would have had to. It keeps things a bit cooler out of direct sunlight, and reduces the possibility of prying eyes when running errands around town and in packing lots.
      • I’m not fully sold on Volvo’s implementation of what happens when you drop the cover to put something tall in the back... it’s a floppy mess necessitating removal of the whole thing, compared to what I knew in my RXh where the cover retracted much further back when not in use. IDK… I need a lot more time to try and get used to this Volvo implementation — it’s different.

      Head-Up Display (HUD)

      • VERY happy to have a HUD again, providing me the ability to keep looking ahead and visually see the most critical driving/nav information without looking at the IC or center display. Really good implementation how icons spread and Nav info is put in the center only when you’ve input a destination.
      • IMO, HUD is one of those features people who have never had it, or only tried in a test drive or two, tend to write-off as unimportant until they experience it day in and out for themselves. HUD availability is one of the primary reasons I have an XC60, not an XC40 today. I would have it on every future ride I own if I could.


      • I like the vents on the B-pillars for the back seats. I know my Golden Retriever and occasional passengers will as well. I do though wish there were independent controls for the rear like XC90 has — ah, Bigger Brother has to have a few things my XC60 doesn’t, other than an additional row of seating!
      • I have no complaint thus far with the cabin heater not working sufficiently, or being overly slow as some others have reported. I do live in more temperate Southern California. I may also have different expectations when I run on PURE or even Hybrid, coming from a BEV where I learned to not first turn-up the cabin heat — except as a last resort after I had put my “butt warmers” on high (all to save battery and therefore increase driving range.)


      • It works fine with my 2 much older Liftmaster garage door openers. Programming was a couple minute process for each, and worked the first time. Use for specifics — it’s more detailed for your model and region than generic owner’s manual instructions that can’t handle all the variations.

      Built-in Mountings for the Optional Steel Protection Grille or Nylon Net

      • My greatest interior design gripe is with the 4 more-than-obvious plastic inserts (rectangles with rather large dual butterfly holes) in the headliner above the side windows.
        I suspect the percentage of owners who actually buy the optional steel grille or nylon net is small. IMO it would be much better if the standard design instead had a solid cover in these places that could be popped-off and replaced with the hole version when the grille/net were purchased — IOW, make the attachment point disappear for the majority of owners, and not keep it so obvious that something is missing. I couldn’t figure out what these holes were for and had to ask my sales rep, then research more what the grille and net options were for. This early into my ownership, it’s already the #1 thing I have been questioned about when new people check out the interior.

      Continued in Part 5…
      Last edited by BertL; 01-06-2020 at 04:56 PM. Reason: Formatting

      Present: ‘20 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Past: ‘15 Tesla S90D; ‘14 SLK250; '13 RX450h; ‘09 335i; ‘06 RX400h; ‘02 SC430; ‘99 RX300; ‘95 SC300; ‘91 Legend...

    7. #5
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Sep 2019
      So Cal, USA
      Selecting & First Impressions of My 2020 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Part 5a of 7 - Infotainment

      Infotainment & Sensus 2.x
      For ContextMy desire for, and attention towards a feature-rich and high quality Infotainment system may be beyond your own expectations.

      • For clarity, my 2020 XC60 came with Sensus 2.x available in November 2019, not the new Google Android-based OS that has been announced for the XC40 Reload and beyond.
      • I’m generally comfortable with user technology, having been around it all my life. I simplified my personal computing needs from PC/Windows/Mix-and-Match that I’d been a part of since 1981, to a “less-options, but works together” Apple & Mac environment several years ago.
      • Music-wise, I’ve been collecting music approaching 50 years. All 1500 CDs in my personal library have been ripped into lossless ALAC, which are part of more than 1800 albums and 27K tracks in my (formerly iTunes) Music Library. It is all accessible across each of my devices via highly curated metadata and 150+ playlists. My music is on nearly every place I go, including my vehicles from the time I enter, until I exit.
      • I appreciate it has become the new norm for many these days, but I do not primarily stream music via monthly subscription services. I already “own” most of the music I prefer listening to across multiple genre, and almost always prefer listening to my own selections or playlists vs. what someone or something else plays for those on the receiving end.
      • FM HD is occasionally used when I want current events or live chatter, and AM works well when I see a temporary road sign to tune-in around construction zones, special events and airport parking for more info.
      • iPods were easy getting nearly all my music and playlists into my past 2 Lexus, MBZ, & BMW. My challenge in the past 4 years was attempting to get my former Tesla to play “my music, my way” —or as close to it as I could— via USB alone.
      • Needless to say, a vehicle’s Infotainment system including Navigation and especially Music, can make or break what I consider an acceptable ride is for me these days. Both must be feature-rich and high quality. After my last automobile, I know Infotainment is that important to me — perhaps not for you. It’s something that should “just work and have the features I expect”. I won’t assume or easily compromise on it again (and I didn’t with my research, and test-drive exploration before placing my XC60 order.)

      Central Sensus Display

      • Love the screen size and vertical orientation. I’m still adapting to not seeing the at least 3X sized display in my former Model S.
      • Sensus UI is intuitive enough for me. I’m also OK with HVAC using touch controls, but agree with some reviewers that a couple extra physical buttons may have been simpler. I don’t get why CR and other reviews consistently cite most UI including Sensus, being too complex. They, and everyone else, would complain if features were not in the vehicle somewhere, if the driver couldn’t control things sufficiently, or there were too many physical buttons like you find in other brands. All UI have varying learning curves. I just expect there will be some, and learn my way around with each new vehicle I buy.
      • I agree with some reviewers that Sensus takes some time to come alive after startup on my 2020, but it’s not annoying enough for me to declare it a problem — and I hate to wait when it comes to any computer or UI response. I like the fact Sensus begins coming to life after I unlock and open a door before I even get in — that helps get the ball rolling while I get settled. I have no complaints about general screen responsiveness once everything is active.
        With all the complaints I read elsewhere before delivery, I did some rough tests sitting in my 2020 XC60 beginning with the car 100% off each time to get various music sources playing. Repeat tests were within a couple secs of one another and I averaged them together:
        - FM HD 15sec
        - USB 40 tracks = 6sec (after initial scan before this test, with the device remaining plugged-in)
        - USB 7K tracks = 25sec (after initial scan before this test, with the device remaining plugged-in)
        - iPod touch 14K tracks = 27sec (after initial scan before this test, with the iPod remaining plugged-in)
        - Hardwired iPhone 11 Pro 22K tracks via USB to Apple CarPlay = 35sec incl confirmation screen
        - Wireless iPhone 11 Pro 22K tracks to CARPLAY2air Adapter via USB to Apple CarPlay = 37sec incl confirmation screens
        It’s really NOT that bad, but I get we live in an impatient world, and yes I’m sure there are techniques Volvo could and hopefully will make in next gen systems to improve this further.
        - NOTE: It appears more tracks on dumb USB devices take longer, but smarter players like iPod/iPhone that help offload Sensus processing, the number of tracks makes little difference once you get past initial handshakes and overhead. Additionally, unlike USB and iPod, using CarPlay with my iPhone has no initial scan time — it takes roughly the same amount of time to get going every time it connects, no matter what may or may not have changed on the iPhone.
        - FOR CONTEXT (not bashing), if I put a new USB SSD in my previous Tesla with ~7K tracks, it would take 8-10 minutes to do an initial scan (yes!), but as long as the device wasn’t removed and Media Player didn’t crash, the track would continue playing almost immediately.
        - What I’ve found will make 2020 XC60 Sensus startup time worse, or cause touch screen responsiveness to become more uneven, is if you have any downloading or updating (e.g. maps, voice, apps) that resume at the same time as Sensus startup, or if it’s the first time Sensus finds you have plugged-in a new/updated USB/iPod as the initial scan takes place to map tracks into the UI (which IIRC took up to a couple minutes to process ~7K tracks on either one.) I did not try native Sensus App streaming sources, but suspect they will be at least as long as FM, if not somewhat longer given their need for decompression and other overhead involved with playback and metadata presentation that varies from service to service.

      Backup & 360 Cameras

      • Extremely high quality, on-par or better than what I had in my former Model S. 360-view is a new feature to me with my XC60, but I’m already impressed with the clarity and how useful it has already become — it’s just another thing I have to remember to use.


      • Love the integrated Sensus Phone function which syncs not only names and phone numbers from Contacts, but also addresses and contact photo — allowing a touch to set an address as the Nav destination.

      Sensus Navigation

      • Feature rich including multiple routes and RTTI (via Bluetooth or WiFi). LOVE the integration with the IC and especially the HUD with directional graphics. Use of color is appropriate and not gaudy or overdone.
      • Maps were out-of-date upon delivery of my XC60, by just one release given the car was in-transit when the last update appeared online. WiFi update is slow — IMO only reasonable if doing longer commutes, as you can’t easily do it in your garage unless you want to “burn” gas or electric to keep the car ON (the car turns accessory mode off after a time, so you have to keep going back to turn it ON multiple times — a pain.
      • Being able to update maps FOR FREE via USB or WiFi is a significant plus (See Vehicle Software & Infotainment Updates below.) I don’t take that for granted and noted it as a distinct Volvo benefit before purchase, as similar availability or not is all over the place from other mfgrs.
      • Some owners may miss the lack of Satellite and Hybrid views — I shouldn’t have any issue with that 99% of the time. I had built-in live Google Maps Nav in my former Tesla Model S for 4 years which has perhaps the largest touch screen display of any auto out there. I never kept Tesla Nav in the more detailed and photographic Satellite/Hybrid view for long. It was great to show off to passengers (always an ooohhh or ahhhh with a comment about “you have live Google Maps”), and was useful in more rare occasions to zoom in finding where the entrance was to a new-to-me building, facility or subdevelopment — but for me, Satellite/Hybrid view was always too hard to quickly glance at where I was trying to rapidly find overlaid street names and highway numbers, compared to Line Mode with it’s better contrast both day and night, and the majority of data I need most of the time. Line Mode is not as sexy as Satellite/Hybrid, or what I suspect people that game a lot demand these days, but for me, Line Mode is simply more practical with a quick glance, so I can keep my eyes on the road where they belong. It’s subjective. I’m sure YMMV.
      • RTTI (INRIX Traffic is my provider)
        - It works with my VoC connection alone, even before initial Bluetooth pairing with my iPhone. My 2020 XC60 does not require a Sirius XM subscription or other WiFi connection as has been suggested by some in other threads.
        - RTTI does not appear as thorough as what I had with integrated Goggle Maps (Waze) on my former Tesla. RTTI seems to have far less secondary roads due to I suspect, lower crowd-sourcing input — it’s fine for the highways but does not provide data on some of the 45-55mph secondary roads I frequent (where I used to see data in my Tesla.)
      • FWIW: I have not yet tried Apple Maps within CarPlay to any large degree. (I want nav data in IC and HUD, so will likely not use Apple Maps. See Misses.)

      Voice Commands

      • My Voice Control files were current from the factory when I attempted to update them using the 10/2019 version available online.
      • My initial reaction is native Volvo voice commands don’t work so great in my XC60, but I’ve not yet found recognition to be very good in nearly any ride I’ve owned. Siri does a good job for much of the Infotainment it has responsibility for when CarPlay is active, but sadly can’t get to other basic car systems like HVAC. (I don’t use Google Assistant or Alexa — and won’t because of my lack of trust with past and/or present privacy policies. I know your choices are likely more tolerable than my “an elephant never forgets” ways.)
      • My last MBZ with it’s high-end Infotainment option had a method for training on-board voice recognition. It worked OK after I went through that IIRC 10-20 min process, but I then had to create a 2-column cheat sheet for my car on what phrases worked, because I couldn’t remember more than a few of the exact phrases and syntax it would recognize. I used manual controls 99.9% of the time unless I was showing off to a passenger or bored-stiff on a long trip and wanted to amuse myself.
      • My Tesla, with what I believe was also primarily on-board voice recognition, was as problematic as my Volvo seems to be — I only used the Tesla to “Report” problems back up to the mothership from time-to-time so screen shots and car status was sent with my short verbal notice of something that was wrong. OTHO, the few times I used Tesla’s Nav to verbally find Yelp locations (under-the-covers I believe via Google Assistant in the cloud), voice recognition was as good as I experience with Siri (also in the cloud).
      • My reality is — until in-car voice services can understand MY conversational English — perhaps not today’s ever-evolving slang I have to look-up more often than not — I just won’t generally use voice control except to show-off. I understand generic voice recognition from any mfgr sounds like a progressive alternative, but I’ve not yet found it to be very good in any of my vehicles for day-to-day use. All voice systems from now 5 different mfgrs I’ve owned, require specific syntax, and in the case of Volvo, even odd out-of-normal-sequence dictation (at least for us in the USA) when it comes to Nav Addresses (street number after street name). To be truly useful in my vehicles, these voice systems must ON-BOARD (and without internet connectivity) understand how I talk to be a useful alternative to a well designed combination of dials/buttons and GUI menu selection that minimize the time my eyes are off-the-road. Until then, these voice systems are not something I will use every day (and Volvo going to the Google Android platform does nothing to improve my POV unless Volvo’s implementation gets it right.)

      Internal Sensus Storage

      • My XC60 T8 has 12.284GB capacity, of which 11.834GB remains available after full North American Maps and 3 Sensus apps were added — plenty of space for growth if Volvo chose to use it.
      • This storage is not accessible for user USB music/video storage like my previous MBZ or BMW with their larger physical hard drives (but I never used those in practice after an initial try or two, given the multiple steps required to move tracks onto the drives — it was just easier to keep everything on the USB device I moved between my Mac and the car.)

      Internet Data Connectivity (from an iPhone/iOS perspective)

      • Bluetooth. Simple pairing with my iPhone. First time, no problem. Phone & Contacts (names, phones, addresses, even contact photo) — all as expected. Map or Sensus app updates, or Sensus apps (Weather, streaming, etc) all work. I can keep my iPhone in my front pocket when driving and connectivity remains strong — no problem reception-wise.
      • WiFi. Three options:
        1 - Built in (limited) data access riding along with VoC service. Works fine with RTTI, but not all services. It’s a “free” side benefit, so don’t complain. Major gotcha with this option is if you use Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth cannot be used simultaneously, forcing you to one of the other 2 options.
        2 - Built-in Vehicle mini-SIM. Free 3-mo AT&T access, after that requires sign-up for a dedicated car plan, or to tag along with your cellular data sharing plan. My cost would be $20/mo or ~$14/mo.
        3 - Car to WiFi, e.g. your home WiFi network (great if parked and working on the car) and/or iPhone Personal Hotspot when you’re mobile.
      • Bert’s Use: I don’t often stream music, carry passengers that game realtime, or watch movies — nothing requiring an in-car data hotspot/tethering for passengers or a dedicated “unlimited” WiFi data plan. Because I want to use CarPlay, I’ve done this (at least for now, after reading too many posts and trying multiple combinations myself the pst few days):
        1. Paired my iPhone with the XC60 using Bluetooth. My car connects and provides voice (phone), Sensus (including RTTI), and WiFi functionality for any apps I may use each time I get into the car. Data used is part of my iPhone’s data plan. If I don’t enable CarPlay, this works perfectly well.
        2. Created an iPhone Personal Hotspot (with a long and cryptic password), and added that WiFi SSID to my XC60. This gets used for both voice & data connection to the car if I enable CarPlay. Data used is part of my iPhone’s data plan. NOTE: You must keep the Personal Hotspot ON all the time for the car to connect.
        3. Additionally added my home WiFi network to the XC60, so I could have data connectivity while working on my XC60 in the garage and driveway without my iPhone. I just keep my iPhone out of Bluetooth range and the car connects this way when needed. The benefit over #2 is speed and it’s part of my home (not cellular) unlimited internet plan.
        4. FWIW, when my CARPLAY2air Wireless Adapter (see below for description & use) is plugged into the white USB port on my XC60, and Apple CarPlay is active via the Sensus Menu, it uses a separate WiFi connection between it and the iPhone Personal Hotspot (similar to #2.)

      Bowers & Wilkins

      • One of my two largest and perhaps totally unnecessary indulgences with this purchase. As long as I’ve been into music and AV gear, I never heard of this British brand before I looked at a Volvo, but I love the extra visual glam the speakers provide in the interior, and even more appreciate the sound quality when listening to music I’m familiar with. The debates are endless if this option is just pricey overkill — and it likely may be for many, but even this early into my ownership, I couldn’t be happier with my choice and would easily buy it again assuming I had the cash to burn.
      • The Tests. As important as my music is to me, when I went for my first test drive, and again when I returned to place my order, I took a sampler USB stick with a few cross-genre tracks from my music library, that I had ripped from CD into lossless FLAC and know very well — several where I’ve seen the live performances one or more times. I listened to those tracks on my home system I’m most familiar with before heading to the dealer, then sat in 2 different XC60 with both of the music systems Volvo USA sells, listening to portions of the same tracks.
        While I’m the first to say that any car will be louder on the road and you’ll loose some definition at the more reasonable volume levels I generally listen to, I decided the Harmon/Kardon Premium would have been more than acceptable — on par with Mark Levinson I’ve had in former Lexus and thought was great. OTOH, the Bowers & Wilkins to my ears, had noticeably better quality in several passages (esp. deep bass & higher-end female vocals). Without changing equalization from the default or enabling any processing options, there was also clearly something about a better overall “room” or surround experience with the B&W (likely because of the different/additional speakers and/or maybe extra power). It sounds like I’m blowing it out of proportion, but I’ll put it this way — I had goosebumps listening to a couple passages in at least two different sample tracks, so much so, I reversed and listened to them again. I did not have that same feeling with the Harmon/Kardon Premium at similar volume levels. I listened to the same tracks on my first drive home with my new Bowers & Wilkins. I was not disappointed smiling all the way home.
      • I chose to treat myself to a very expensive luxury option that is not what most XC60 owners will likely consider given its cost. The difference to me was perhaps subtle most of the time, and only clearly distinguishable at times, but when it happens, it’s as good as the rare chicken-skin moments I cherish from live performances. My car audio is something I’ll use nearly every day and every moment I’m driving. To each their own with what’s important and what makes them happy. I love my choice, as I’m sure you will yours — whatever it may be. Listening to music in my XC60 may have become the next best thing to closed-ear headphones I’ve not used for years, or my more familiar multi-$K family room audio surround system.

      Continued in Part 5b…

      Present: ‘20 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Past: ‘15 Tesla S90D; ‘14 SLK250; '13 RX450h; ‘09 335i; ‘06 RX400h; ‘02 SC430; ‘99 RX300; ‘95 SC300; ‘91 Legend...

    8. #6
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Sep 2019
      So Cal, USA
      Selecting & First Impressions of My 2020 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Part 5b of 7 - Infotainment

      AM/FM Radio

      • As basic and perhaps old-fashioned as OTA radio broadcasts are, I appreciate how refined Volvo’s UI is, including enablement of more recent features such as FM HD, traffic notices, etc. Little details like providing a user setting to continually scroll or not the playing track name, is well implemented — something my former Lexus didn’t have, nor did my otherwise software-rich Tesla.
      • Sadly the T8 does not have an AM radio if you wanted to use it for traffic alerts, airport & event parking, and the like as I occassionally do. You’ll be relegated to using an Internet-based AM radio service if this is needed.


      • SiriusXM 3-month trial begins on day of delivery — so use it, or loose it. I don’t plan to register or sign-up for a subscription.

      Bluetooth Music Streaming

      • It works as I expect from my iPhone, including basic controls via the Sensus touch screen & steering wheel. It’s basic, and there is nothing special, but I also don’t expect much from Volvo or any other mfgr. I suspect other music devices capable of streaming via Bluetooth (like old MP3 players) could be just as good.
      • Audio Formats: Normal implications apply, influencing sound quality from the original source content and the format/bitrate the track is encoded with. For the most part, if your media player can play it, it will likely stream to Sensus.
      • Sound Quality: Can be worse than what you expect from the audio format alone, depending how your player is capable of connecting to Sensus. Generally, much older players use older Bluetooth profiles with compression methods that have noticeable sound quality degradation — that’s not as significant a problem with newer devices from the last few years that use A2DP (Stereo Bluetooth).
      • Bert’s Use: I rarely, if ever use Bluetooth Streaming. It is my last choice to listen to my own music, primarily because full control requires taking hands off the wheel and fiddling with your physical device to start streaming, change albums or playlists, etc. (only simple volume, pause and forward/back are available).

      USB Music (& Video)

      • Perhaps the easiest solution getting your own music into the vehicle at the highest quality, while maximizing access to your tracks using the built-in Volvo UI and steering wheel controls (with caveats — read on).
      • Device Support:
        - My collection of 4GB-256GB USB 2.0/3.0 sticks & 450GB USB SSD all work. Of note, the center console USB ports are USB 2.0, so if you have a 3.0 device, you’ll have better speed creating/maintaining your USB device via PC/Mac, but no noticeable benefit in-vehicle during playback.
        - See Owners Manual for formats, maximum files, folders, playlists, etc. Of note, there is a max 15K tracks and 100 Playlists (with 1K tracks per playlist). WARNING: DO NOT EXCEED THE LIMITS or unexpected things WILL happen, e.g. too many tracks and it will take several minutes before the UI finally appears to populate tracks & playlists, but then a playing tune may stop, and nothing else becomes selectable within the USB app; Removing the USB device and reducing the number of items to within the documented limits will resolve the problems you created (yes I did, all in the name of science.)
        - I tried plugging both my iPhone and iPod touch into the “non-white” USB port, and albums, playlists, etc are accessible using the Sensus USB App similar to other vehicles, again, as long as you don’t exceed those documented limits. It’s just not very sexy or as good as using Volvo’s native Sensus iPod App or Apple CarPlay (see below). In theory, a generic MP3 player should operate similarly, but I didn’t try any.
      • Audio Formats: Normal implications apply, influencing sound quality from the original source content and the format/bitrate the track is encoded with. Good general format support including lossless FLAC — see the Owner’s Manual for specifics. Of note, lossless ALAC is not supported (but it is a fast and easy conversion on your Mac/PC to FLAC retaining the exact same quality.)
        Hit me up with a follow-on post if you’re interested in the tools and apps I have used to extract files from my (iTunes) Music library and perform format conversion.
      • Sound Quality: This is a hardwired connection, providing quality as good as what your source audio format contains.
      • Metadata & Album Art:
        - WARNING: If you choose to enable the Gracenote Online Search Setting, it may wreak havoc on your USB track metadata within the UI. See Gracenote below for more.
        - ID3 Artist tag is literally used (as it was in my previous Tesla and Lexus.) The UI does not attempt to parse the tag for compilations with multiple artists in this tag, as better Mac/PC players will, so in the Volvo UI, you end with what look like duplicate/split albums depending on the view you use to access the tracks. I personally use an app on my Mac to substitute the ID3 Album Artist tag data into Artist as I’m extracting tracks to my USB device to workaround most of this problem.
        - As I don’t plan to use USB very often given other media options, I have not tested for other tag usage and possible UI anomolies, e.g. how the UI handles multi-disc albums.
      • User Interface (UI):
        - Initial scan when you insert a USB device is fast — a few seconds if you have only supported filetypes (opposed to minutes for the same device and tracks in Tesla Media Player.). The more tracks on your USB device, the longer it will take for audio to begin playing when Sensus starts up — just like other vehicles, and we’re not talking eternity here.
        - Artist, Composers, Album, & Genre tabs always drill down to Albums and tracks they contain. You can then play individual tracks, or all tracks within that album. It’s a bummer you cannot however e.g. play all tracks on your device by a single artist or within a genre from the UI. A workaround would be to create your own M3U playlist(s) in advance providing that functionality, then maintain each one as you add/delete/change tracks on your USB device in the future — that’s too much for me to even consider.
        - It’s documented the Sensus USB interface ignores any folder structure you have on your USB device. You cannot therefore create one or more poor man’s playlists by simply organizing tracks within folder, and playback via a Folder View as some other players allow (notably Tesla Media Player). I would put this on my “Misses” list, but given Volvo has announced they are moving to the Android Auto platform, I won’t waste my time beating an effectively dead horse.
        - IOW, on USB devices if you don’t make your own M3U Playlist(s), you can search and access individual tracks through different views, but only play a single track, all tracks within an album, or all songs on the USB device.
      • M3U Playlists are possible (max 100, 1K tracks each), although it can take some work to create and properly connect with the files on your USB device if you don’t have a PC/Mac app to do it for you. That’s not a Volvo problem, and is almost never as simple as a drag-and-drop of an existing playlist on your PC/Mac music app to the USB device.
      • Video: I don’t plan to watch movies while parked, or listen to only the soundtrack while driving — and have not tried either (yet). The Owners Manual documents supported video file formats, including the more obscure DivX which I’ll certainly never use.
      • Bert’s Use: If I don’t use Apple CarPlay or Native iPod App support, USB is my preferred method for storing and accessing my music. With my master music library and playlists in Apple (formerly iTunes) Music as mostly lossless ALAC, tracks require conversion to FLAC for Volvo USB playback, and there is no easy way to sync or manage existing playlists as I can do automatically with an iPod or CarPlay. I have semi-automated methods I developed to do parts of this for my former Tesla, but with my XC60 offering CarPlay and iPod support that Tesla never has, I hopefully won’t have to go through any more days-long routines creating unique USB media devices for my car.

      iPod Music (Native Sensus Apple iPod App)

      • Via the native Volvo iPod application from the Sensus menu. I’m able to have up to 15K of my (formerly iTunes) Music library tracks, metadata and playlists reside in my XC60 — including any Apple Music subscription albums, tracks, or playlists that have been previously downloaded or can be streamed realtime via the iPod’s network connection from Apple Music or iTunes Match. Nothing is necessary to convert formats, copy files, or manipulate playlists. My iPod touch just remains plugged-in, tucked away in the center console, and my own music is available without much fuss.
      • Device Support: iPod has become a broader term over time — in this case I tried: an ancient Apple iPod Nano, and a currently available iPod touch 7th Gen, or an iPhone or iPad plugged into the “non-white” USB port. They each appear as an iPod to the Sensus iPod App after a few seconds of initial scan time.
        WARNING: The perhaps not-so-obvious limitation is, Volvo appears to place some of the same USB music maximums on iPod support, meaning e.g. you can have a max of only 15K tracks on the iPod itself — and if you go over, weird things happen (see USB above.) That’s too bad, but I also recognize iPods have become a dying breed, so won’t complain more than this.
      • Audio Formats: Anything your iPod supports, including lossless ALAC (like FLAC). Normal implications apply, influencing sound quality from the original source content and the format/bitrate the track is encoded with. No conversions are required (see Hint 3).
      • Sound Quality: This is a hardwired connection, providing quality as good as what your source audio format contains.
      • Metadata & Album Art: Metadata is identical to source tracks, as is the (first Front Cover) Album Art. With my initial spot checking, Sensus does not appear to engage Gracenote (thank goodness.)
      • User Interface (UI): Almost to a fault, the Sensus UI acts like an iPod. It noticeably lacks an alpha pick list that would dramatically speed-up touch selection when you have dozens or thousands of items and don’t want to keep scrolling up/down via Sensus a few items at a time. That’s also too bad, and I will try to not complain more than this.
      • Playlists from your master (formerly iTunes) Music library, Apple Music, iPod and iPhone work seamlessly across all the devices without modification — normal and Smart Playlists alike.
        NOTE: In the Sensus Playlist tab, Playlist folder names are shown first, as if they are an empty playlist or track themselves — it’s odd. Just ignore the displayed Playlist folder names and scroll down to find all your playlists have been placed alphabetically into a single list if they were part of a folder or not. (I suspect the Volvo iPod app simply has never been updated since Playlist folders were added to iTunes several few years ago.)
      • Bert’s Use: If I don’t use Apple CarPlay, native iPod support is the next best thing for me. I have most of my 3-5 star-rated tracks, a few complete albums and all playlists available on my iPod, always in my car. More recent music, meta changes and playlists can be kept in-sync with my master Apple Music/iTunes Match library by simply enabling WiFi connectivity. The only minor drawback is if I don’t drive the car for a couple days, the iPod will drain it’s own power as it keeps its WiFi connection active (see HINT 1.)
        - HINT 1: Consider placing your iPod in Airplane Mode and turn off Bluetooth when it’s in your car. While you’ll loose OTA streaming access to Apple Music if you wanted it while driving, this reduces internal iPod battery drain when your car is off. This way, if you don’t drive your car for a couple days, and your iPod battery becomes fully drained, you won’t have to wait several minutes the next time you get in your car for the iPod to receive an initial charge, then be prompted to enter your passcode on the iPod before resuming music playback.
        The disadvantage of keeping wireless connectivity off most of the time, besides being able to access only music physically contained on your iPod is, your iPod won’t stay in-sync realtime with music changes you make in the cloud if you use Apple Music or iTunes Match. I plan to just occasionally temporarily turn on iPod WiFi while I’m detailing the XC60 in my garage/driveway, allowing automatic music sync to catch up and apply any iOS/app updates that have taken place via my home WiFi. Easy enough.
        - HINT 2
        : Assuming you maintain a passcode on a more recent iPod, consider changing iOS Settings / FaceID & Passcode / USB Accessories — to ON. This change will relax physical lightning port security a bit, so after 1 hour, if you power off/on your car or unplug/plug-in the iPod to your XC60, you won’t be prompted for your iPod passcode again. (As security minded as I tend to be, I consider this an acceptable risk for my dedicated in-car iPod where I keep all iCloud services turned-off except for Music, there are no other apps of significance on my iPod except for Music and Podcasts, and after 10 attempts with the wrong passcode, the iPod will clear it’s contents.)
        - HINT 3: If you maintain a very high quality source music library (e.g. lossless ALAC), and space on your physical iPod becomes a limiting factor, consider placing “lesser” 256kbps AAC on your iPod for playback in your vehicle. This will give you the ability to house perhaps 2-3 times more tracks in the same physical space. While the debates are endless, when you are driving with increasing ambient road noise, any quality loss will be far less perceptible than critical listening you may do with quality closed-ear headphones or an expensive audio system. The trade-off for me is reasonable, allowing me to have most of my music library and playlists wherever I am, including my car.
        256kbps conversion is simple: 1) Via “the cloud” if you use it, by just downloading tracks to your iPod from Apple Music or your iTunes Match subscription (both are 256kbps max), or 2) If you still do a hardwire sync with your master Music/iTunes library, you’ll see the 256 AAC option on the same Music/iTunes app screen — tick the box, and Music/iTunes will handle the conversion as it exports tracks to your device.

      Continued in Part 5c…
      Last edited by BertL; 03-24-2020 at 05:49 PM. Reason: No AM!

      Present: ‘20 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Past: ‘15 Tesla S90D; ‘14 SLK250; '13 RX450h; ‘09 335i; ‘06 RX400h; ‘02 SC430; ‘99 RX300; ‘95 SC300; ‘91 Legend...

    9. #7
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Sep 2019
      So Cal, USA
      Selecting & First Impressions of My 2020 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Part 5c of 7 - Infotainment

      Apple CarPlay (via Hardwired iPhone)

      • When CarPlay is active, my music is available in my XC60 no different than when I use my iPhone away from the vehicle. The interface additionally replaces some standard Sensus functions with familiar Apple versions: Phone, Messages, Calendar, Podcasts, Audiobooks, etc — all with Siri integration using a short press of the steering wheel button. Apple Maps becomes available as well, although there is no integration with the IC or HUD (see Misses below.)
      • Unlike Volvo’s iPod support, there appear to be no imposed USB restrictions, and Gracenote does not seem to get in the way (see Gracenote below.) With enough storage on my iPhone, I’m able to have 100% of my (formerly iTunes) Music library, metadata and playlists accessible in my vehicle — including any Apple Music subscription albums, tracks, or playlists that have been previously downloaded or can be streamed realtime via WiFi or LTE. Nothing is necessary to convert formats, copy files, manipulate playlists, or anything I must do to keep everything in-sync across all my devices — changes I make on my Mac or any iOS device flows to the others automatically.
      • I LOVE the way the CarPlay interface is integrated and coexists with Sensus, so I don’t have to completely start/stop/switch between two different UI, unlike other mfgr implementations when you want to move between Infotainment and car settings such as HVAC, Air Suspension, Driving Assist systems and more.
      • Device Support: A supported iPhone physically plugged into the white USB port. See
        Volvo not providing wireless CarPlay connectivity is something I knew would be a big disappointment with my 2020 XC60 before I ordered it (see Misses below). As such, I’m trying an aftermarket USB adapter to hopefully workaround that fail, called CARPLAY2air (see below.)
      • Audio Formats: Anything your iPhone supports, including lossless ALAC (like FLAC). Normal implications apply, influencing sound quality from the original source content and the format/bitrate the track is encoded with. No conversions or changes are required.
      • Sound Quality: This is by default a hardwired connection between your iPhone and the USB port, providing quality as good as what your source audio format contains.
      • Metadata & Album Art: Metadata is identical to source tracks, as is the (first Front Cover) Album Art. Gracenote isn’t fiddling with anything (hurray.)
      • User Interface (UI): As someone who uses Apple products daily, I was able to quickly use CarPlay, and have found no problems with the way I can access music or search, including via Siri if I prefer. Everything can be improved, but in my first days using CarPlay, it’s as good and beneficial to my driving experience as I hoped.
      • Playlists work seamlessly across all my devices without modification.
      • Bert’s Use: Apple CarPlay is what I prefer to use 100% of the time — it’s more full-function and integrates with most of my organizational, communication and entertainment tools I already use everywhere, every day. I will likely only use native Volvo CarPlay support with my hardwired iPhone on long road trips where simultaneous recharging may be necessary. I instead prefer Wireless CarPlay for daily use and plan to use my 3rd party CARPLAY2air adapter to try and fill the void Volvo has left. (See CARPLAY2air and Misses below.) If CARPLAY2air does not work out, I’ll drop back to native Sensus iPod support for my music, with Bluetooth connectivity for voice and native Sensus apps.
        - Given CarPlay Maps do not integrate with the XC60 IC and HUD, I’ll sadly relegate Apple Maps to be a backup only — depending upon Sensus Nav for my day-to-day navigation needs. I can’t envision myself using 2 different Map applications at the same time like some owners reportedly do, but time and experimentation may change my mind as I settle in with my new ride.
        - I’m not hopeful Volvo may improve Sensus with Apple iOS 13 CarPlay improvements. If Volvo does, I’ll be overly thrilled and one of the first trying to exploit it — even if it means I pay the hourly labor rate to have my software updated before annual service is due. I knew what the features were in my 2020 XC60 when I placed my order. I also understood Volvo did not give me life-long entitlement to free feature improvements beyond warranty correction (fixing what’s broke) — anything I do receive will be unexpected and appreciated. With my old business hat on, I don’t feel Volvo has any legal reason to further improve what they sold me, other than for customer goodwill (if that suits them), especially now they have publicly stated Volvo is moving away from the Sensus platform to a new Google Android code base beginning with the 2020 XC40 Reload. We’ll have to see where Apple CarPlay sorts out in Volvo’s future — I hope, front-and-center with Android Auto, as they both are today, or I won’t have a Volvo next time around. For now, I expect at a minimum, Apple CarPlay will continue to operate with the functions I had when my 2020 XC60 was delivered over the course of my warranty period.
        - HINT 2 & HINT 3 for iPod Music above, also apply to your iPhone with Apple CarPlay

      CARPLAY2air Wireless Adapter

      • It’s a relatively new worldwide after-market solution from providing wireless Apple CarPlay for a wide swath of vehicles and mfgrs including Volvo, that otherwise provide only native wired iPhone support with CarPlay — sadly, like the 2020 XC60. In theory, this is an elegant workaround for owners like myself that wouldn’t otherwise use wired Apple CarPlay because of the hassle plugging/unplugging the phone each time I enter and exit the car. It’s so much easier to not think about my phone — just keep it in my pocket as I always do on shorter drives and running errands around town, then only plug it in directly to the car (replacing the CARPLAY2air dongle) on the far smaller number of long trips I do where simultaneous phone charging may be useful. Thank you to another SwedeSpeed thread for bringing this product to my attention.
        NOTE: If you order one, free shipping really seems to involve “a slow boat from China.” The website says most orders are received in 5-9 days … mine took 30 days from China to California, arriving via USPS. If I did it all over, I’d pay the extra shipping for express.
      • Device Support: This is a plug-in USB dongle that remains out-of-sight in the center console of my XC60, and requires no vehicle modifications: Turn the car on; Plug the dongle into the white USB port (as you would a hardwired iPhone with CarPlay); The dongle performs a one-time pairing with your iPhone via Bluetooth, then switches over to WiFi via your iPhone Personal Hotspot while in-use. Conceptually, when your iPhone is within range and of course your vehicle accessory power is on, the vehicle thinks there is a wired iPhone where the USB dongle is plugged-in, and built-in CarPlay functionality becomes available between the iPhone and vehicle no different than if was hardwired.
        - Connection automatically takes place as I turn on my XC60, CarPlay is activated by Sensus, and my music begins where it left off taking just a second or two longer than a hardwired connection.
        - The same iPhones are supported as with hardwired CarPlay. See Apple CarPlay above.
        - After updating to the most recent release of the adapter’s software made available 12/10/2019, I’ve not yet run into any major problems… but I’m sure there will be some with anything like this over time and as releases of Sensus, CarPlay and iOS evolve. It was an initial fiddly update process — just follow the instructions to the letter (an email from the developer indicates new orders won’t have to go through the same as this latest release has an auto-update function that prompts on the Sensus screen when there is an adapter update to apply.) My initial impression is the CARPLAY2air developer continues to seek feedback, is on top of changes, and wants this to be a success — that’s a good start for a $159 accessory.
        - I’ve had occasional very quick drop-outs (like what a silent “pop” would be) — no different than I have had in the past when I used Bluetooth streaming. I don’t consider it a big deal at this point. More time is needed to form a solid opinion, but assuming I don’t run into unacceptable failings of the wireless CARPLAY2air adapter, I would almost certainly keep the convenience of wireless CarPlay over a few minor issues, and (heaven forbid) even a small sound quality difference if I noticed any. As I’ve said before, time will tell. Let’s put it this way: As much as I care about my music, I’m already optimistic. My USB SSD and iPod are already sitting on a shelf in my office. As of now, Apple CarPlay via my CARPLAY2air adapter to my iPhone 11 Pro is my default each time I get into my 2020 XC60 T8.
      • Audio Formats: No difference from Apple CarPlay with a native hardwired iPhone
      • Sound Quality: As with the other media, basic playback quality is first only as good as what your source audio format contains. From there, the connection to Sensus may make it worse. When I use my CARPLAY2air adapter for wireless (WiFi) connectivity with my iPhone 11 Pro, I have not (yet) noticed a audio quality difference through my Bowers & Wilkins audio system with my own two ears. Those special tracks and passages that gave me goosebumps during my test drives using USB FLAC, and caused me to select the B&W, still do the same with the wireless CARPLAY2air adapter.
      • Metadata & Album Art: No difference from Apple CarPlay with a native hardwired iPhone
      • User Interface (UI): No difference from Apple CarPlay with a native hardwired iPhone
      • Playlists: No difference from Apple CarPlay with a native hardwired iPhone
      • Bert’s Use: Apple CarPlay is what I prefer to use 100% of the time — it’s more full-function and integrates with what I already use everywhere, every day. I’m hopeful the CARPLAY2air adapter I’m using will continue providing the wireless iPhone connectivity to CarPlay, all Volvo lack. If the adapter does not work out, I will likely drop back to wired iPod support for my music needs. In any case, USB Music will remain a backup that I’ll seldom use, with Bluetooth streaming gathering virtual dust, and apps like Spotify and Pandora I’ll never even try.
        - HINT 2 & HINT 3 for iPod Music above, also apply to iPhone with Apple CarPlay


      • The on-board Gracenote database is outdated and not being maintained with downloadable updates (last version 5/2017). Instead, it appears Sensus really wants us to use the online version for USB access, which requires you turn the option on and maintain full internet data access from your vehicle.
      • WARNING to anyone who cares about or has imbedded ID3 metadata in USB tracks: “Settings/Media/Gracenote/Gracenote Online Search” has a (horrible IMO) unexpected negative effect when you turn it on. The feature ignores some of your imbedded metadata and instead uses Gracenote tag data from the cloud. E.g. while my USB tracks themselves were not physically modified, over time, the Sensus interface changed many of my tracks within the UI to what it thought were better genre, artists, etc. It became a mess from my POV. Turning this option ON does a lot more than what I thought it would from it’s title alone (there is no complete description anywhere.) I KEEP THIS SETTING OFF as I have spent years carefully curating tag data in all my music tracks for improved consistency so I can search and find what I want — I don’t want some crowd-sourced thing to override my hard work.

      Volvo on Call (VoC) & iPhone App Access

      • Major App functions appear to be available and operate as I expect with my initial testing, including Car locator, preconditioning, remote open and start.
      • Send to Car is one of those little things I never thought I’d use back when it started becoming available years ago by other mfgrs, but I find it useful to just highlight a unique address while sitting at home in my armchair using my iPad or when at my Mac, and then go out to my car and go.
        I’m very happy Volvo has taken an extra step, so not only can you use the VoC Map tab to send a destination to Sensus, it becomes integrated with the iOS Share menu, so pretty much no matter what iOS app you’re using — including Apple Maps, Contacts, etc on your iOS devices, you can highlight the address, click the “Share” icon, then the VoC app icon — and the address will be sent directly to your car via VoC. Great job. Now, if I could only do the same thing on my Mac like I could with BMW 10+ years ago, I’d be 100% happy.
      • In-Car Delivery (aka Key by Amazon)? No way, no how will I enable this, but I’ve read others have. I don’t give Amazon or anyone else access to my smart garage door opener or a keyless front door lock either.

      Continued in Part 6…

      Present: ‘20 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Past: ‘15 Tesla S90D; ‘14 SLK250; '13 RX450h; ‘09 335i; ‘06 RX400h; ‘02 SC430; ‘99 RX300; ‘95 SC300; ‘91 Legend...

    10. #8
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Sep 2019
      So Cal, USA
      Selecting & First Impressions of My 2020 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Part 6 of 7 - Updates, Safety & Driver Assist, Privacy, Maintenance & Service

      Vehicle Software & Infotainment Updates
      The Now, with my 2020 XC60:

      • My dealership updated vehicle software to the most current version as part of their prep process on day of delivery.
      • Volvo’s clarification they will provide free vehicle software updates (outside normal warranty repair) when the owner has annual maintenance performed at a dealer is good enough for me — and frankly, better than what some other mfgrs provide.
      • I’m happy being able to perform my own free Infotainment map/data updates with a manual download from the web every few weeks (assuming Volvo fixes the macOS problem they have gotten themselves into, so I can actually do it myself — see Misses below.)
      • Being able to update Infotainment map/data over WiFi (perhaps not all, given experiences cited by other owners in this forum) is a great option, except perhaps for the possible impact to owners with limited data plans, and the vehicle having to be ON to complete the download and update. My initial test of this via home WiFi in my garage is probably my last use, and I’ll go back to the USB option. It’s great both update processes pick up from where they were when the car comes back on — but I must say if you want to just get the updates done while parked, e.g. in your garage, it’s far from convenient either having to keep your car ON or keep going out and turning Accessory mode back on after it times-out over-and-over again. I’m spoiled by my former Tesla that performed all downloads and some updates like on-board maps, regardless if the car was ON or OFF, and charging or not.

      The Future:

      • OTA vehicle software and Infotainment map, etc updates would be best. Volvo has recently stated that will happen in future vehicles, starting with the XC40 Recharge, which is great. If all downloads and non-driving-system updates can happen quietly OTA in the background, even when the vehicle is otherwise OFF, that would be even better. We’ll see what Volvo’s implementation is soon enough.

      Safety & Driving Assist Aids
      A number of these systems operate behind the scenes, so hopefully I’ll never know how good a job they do protecting me and my passengers. OTOH, it takes time to create a meaningful opinion how other more front-and-center driving assist features work and may benefit the owner in day-to-day use.
      I have spent a lot of money over the years buying early gen versions of every safety and driver assist option I could across multiple brands of my special-ordered vehicles. I love not only the evolving tech, but what it may potentially provide safety-wise. I really like Volvo’s corporate approach including an increasing number of these systems as standard — it’s not just good for the owner, but their passengers, potentially other people, and surrounding property.

      Lane Keeping Aid

      • I appreciate the tech and what it can potentially do safety-wise. My Tesla with AutoPilot had something similar. Need more time to play with Volvo’s implementation and figure out if I’ll change the default warnings/response settings in my XC60 or not.

      Pilot Assist (PA) w/ Adaptive Cruise Control

      • I’ve had “Radar Cruise Control” for years — back when it was one of those seldom seen in the wild, and almost always special-ordered options on former Lexus, MBZ and BMW. I also had AutoPilot “V1” in my former Tesla Model S, and found it extremely useful on long highway drives and stop-and-go freeway traffic. PA appears to be similar to what I know — my challenge is to now get to know Volvo’s implementation and it’s specific limitations.
      • While not a showstopper, my one early wish is that Volvo did a better job in stop-and-go traffic, actually resuming by itself (including after 3 sec) when the car in front begins to move — like my Tesla did very well. I don’t see this as a safety design thing other than Volvo perhaps being ultra conservative, more perhaps Volvo needing to do some refinement of their Level 2 Autonomous system.
      • ...and just to be sure I’ve said it: I firmly believe in “at least one hand on the wheel at all times” and always keeping one’s mind focused on the driving task at hand. IMO, any of these Level 2 systems can give a false sense of security, especially if you’ve never experienced the odd exception as I have (not in my Volvo), when they do something fast and unexpected that puts you and perhaps others at risk — even with both hands on the wheel that requires rapid manual intervention. VENT ON: I continue to be appalled every time I see posts and videos of drivers trying to override some the safeguards mfgrs are putting in place with these autonomous systems. It’s not just their life if something goes wrong, but potentially those around them. VENT OFF.

      Curve Speed Assist (CSA)

      • Very excited about this functionality with PA & ACC. It’s the thing that scared the @$%(* out of me more than once while learning the ins & outs of Tesla Autopilot. Tesla’s implementation would sometimes actually speed up on large curved multi-level ramps, I suspect because it lost the car in front from both radar and camera (therefore didn’t believe it wasn’t following any more as it saw nothing over the edge of the barrier.) AP also never accounted for the more natural thing drivers tend to do on curves — slow down. I’m looking forward to exploring Volvo’s implementation more — as long as it’s not too aggressive creating false-positives, it should be a great refinement.

      Blindspot Information System (BIS) & Cross Traffic Alert (CTA)

      • I love having the visual blindspot indicators back on the mirrors where they belong (Tesla has it only on the Model S/X IC or Model 3 center display, so if you don’t look there, you don’t see the warning.)
      • Cross-Traffic Alert is new to me and I suspect will be a major plus in parking lots providing some visibility to what the driver can’t see… but I have not yet had it go off, which is also a good thing.

      City Safety

      • Very happy Volvo has prioritized these “likely forgotten post-sale” types of assistive safety systems, before deploying other Level 2+ autonomous features some other mfgrs are maniacally focused on. All of what City Safety does can be an immediate game changer if the tech ever jumps in to assist in a moment of need. IMO, it’s all needed on the way to self-driving, but I’ll take hidden-in-the-background functions like these that may save a life today, before most of the other glitzy beta stuff we hear about in the headlines and see on YouTube from other mfgrs.

      Park Assist

      • Not sure I’ll use this software option often, but after buying an Inscription and with my love of technology, another $200 was a no-brainer. My sales person used Perpendicular Park Assist each time we brought a car back from a test drive. It was decisive and never failed the 3 times I saw it in action.
      • FWIW, I had parallel parking assist like this on my former Tesla, and only used it successfully once (too many false positives on what it thought were available slots when not, and slots I could park in manually that it didn’t identify as being eligible.) One mfgr’s implementation is no way like the other, so I’ll be sure to give Volvo’s Park Assist more than a single try over time. I don’t though, have high expectations I’ll use Park Assist often over the long haul.
      • I suspect I would use Park Assist even more, if its functionality were extended to include basic Tesla Summon capability (which is simply GREAT when someone parks too close parallel next to you while you’re away, so standing next to your vehicle, you can use your FOB (or App) to move the vehicle forward or back a few feet, then easily get in and take off.)


      • It may seem basic and something many owners never read, but “Thank you, Volvo” for documenting the vehicle, Infotainment & connectivity in a robust manner — onboard, downloadable PDF Owner Manual, online FAQ and videos, & iOS Volvo Manual app.
        NOTE: Documentation is not static. Use the Volvo Manual app (or get there via the VoC app) to view and receive notifications of updates.
      • Unlike some other notable premium vehicle mfgrs (Porsche!), all current MY documentation was available on the Volvo website to potential buyers like myself, allowing personal research and more informed purchasing decisions. Yes, I read both 2020 XC60 T8 Manuals before even going for a test drive.

      I know I’m in the minority. I actually do seek out and read privacy policies before signing anything, and in a few cases have refused to use a service or sign-up for a website because of policies I felt gives my data to a company, more than I see value it’s service provides me. I have nothing to really hide, but I simply don’t like the idea of being tracked, or my personal data and history being given to someone else, or any of it being used in a way I don’t understand or approve of to begin with.
      Volvo Current Policy (last read 9/2019)

      • The Net: I’m OK with Volvo’s current privacy policy and treatment of my personal data with Sensus 2.0 and their websites.
      • Unlike some other vehicles, with on-board Sensus, Nav destinations and routing are handled in-vehicle and not connected with “the cloud” in some way; RTTI is anonymized; Voice Commands are also done in-vehicle.
      • It’s my choice to install and use other apps with Sensus (e.g. Pandora, Messaging, or connecting my own Smartphone with a streaming app, etc.) that each have their own privacy policy. That’s fine too — I appreciate choices.
      • Where the Volvo privacy policy primarily comes into play for me today is if you want to connect the car to Volvo on Call (VoC) — you are also allowing “something in the cloud” to know your whereabouts and connect/control your vehicle. It’s the purpose of the function you’re after, but the question is, what does “the cloud” then do with your data requests, timestamps, etc? I’m OK with this too how Volvo describes their actions — I’ll take the convenience VoC provides me.

      For the Future

      • I am concerned how Volvo’s corporate privacy policy will likely change as they move to the Google Android platform replacing their proprietary Sensus (part of XC40 Recharge and beyond). What data Volvo shares with Google, if it is all anonymized or not, how long Google retains access to it, if I have to login with my Google Account, etc., could become deal breakers when the time comes hopefully years from now considering my next Volvo.
      • I’m watching how this evolves — it’s not an issue for me with my 2020 XC60 running Sensus 2. Any real concern I may eventually have will be made when the facts are known in the months and years ahead.


      • I was very impressed that part of the delivery process was my sales rep going over the Volvo Cars Carlsbad privacy policy — no selling/trading of my personal information, spamming, etc., and the ability to alway opt-out or unsubscribe. PERFECT.

      Maintenance & Service
      I don’t maintain anything under-the-hood myself. I have always had recommended service performed by pros who are trained and certified by the mfgr — in my case, by a dealer. The exception being new tires, where most of the chains offer better repair/replace policies along with purchase. I’m not an engineer with intricate design knowledge of my automobile, or someone who has access to fleet performance and warranty stats, so I try to not second-guess what the mfgr or their hopefully qualified representative recommends. I appreciate others may think I waste money. We each make choices that are best for us.

      I make a service appt based on time or miles as indicated in the service guide. Over the years, I have only delayed the alternate-year minimal annual maintenance for a few months when my Service Advisor(s) specifically suggested I do so because of my low mileage, relatively easy driving habits, and locations I frequent — while ensuring any warranty obligations were maintained.

      I anticipate no service problems from the Volvo dealership I purchased my XC60 from. The Service Advisor I was introduced to on my first test drive day, and plan to use, has been there for nearly all of the 28+ years the dealership has existed. If for some reason I do receive service that isn’t up to my expectation, I will deal with it in a professional manner, and if I don’t believe it was a “one-off”, guarantee I will go to another Volvo dealership the next time — even if that means I drive 45 mins vs 10 to get there. Having spent a career working to sustain exceptional customer satisfaction while we grew a profitable business, quality service in all it’s shapes and forms is a big deal with me (and the primary reason I sold my former ride before I otherwise intended to. )

      HINT: I have already added recurring reminders to my calendar for

      • Bi-monthly tire pressure check
      • Bi-monthly washer fluid check (I seldom use it in mostly sunny SoCal )
      • Annual service appointments (based on time)
      • Annual FOB battery replacement
      • 30 days before basic warranty expiration
      • 30 days before hybrid powertrain warranty expiration
      • 4-yr free VoC expires
      • 6-yr consider tire replacement if not already done
      • 6-yr check & consider spare tire replacement
      • Tire sealant expiration (check can for date)

      Continued in Part 7…

      Present: ‘20 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Past: ‘15 Tesla S90D; ‘14 SLK250; '13 RX450h; ‘09 335i; ‘06 RX400h; ‘02 SC430; ‘99 RX300; ‘95 SC300; ‘91 Legend...

    11. #9
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Sep 2019
      So Cal, USA
      Selecting & First Impressions of My 2020 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Part 7a of 7 - Misses, Future, Summary, & THE END

      Nothing is perfect, and I don’t expect my automobiles ever will be. There are always things that can be improved, some larger than others. I’ve separated my early “Misses” on my 2020 XC60 T8 Inscription into two groups — the bigger true problems as I see them, and smaller changes that could be refinements for a next generation.

      The ProblemsNot deal breakers, since I knew about or anticipated these things before I took delivery, but they are the first things I’d like changed. The missing features and annoyances I think about more often than I should in a ride of this caliber.

      Fix Broken Volvo Mac Apps That Allow Download/Unpack of Map & Voice Updates via USB

      • Volvo clearly took their eyes off the ball despite years of warning old-style 32-bit app support would be sunset. Volvo’s Mac apps became broken when Apple’s update to macOS Catalina became generally available on October 7, 2019. Volvo Customer Support indicates the problem is being worked with no ETA as of this posting. I’ve been a Mac-only kinda guy for years now, so I’m stuck waiting without additional expense and going through a bunch of technical hoops. Sigh.

      Steering Wheel Power Adjustment & More Complete Easy Entry/Exit System

      • Up/down & in/out, integrated with easy entry/exit profile
      • IMO Volvo should provide this in at least the higher-end Inscription level interior, integrated as part of a full Easy Entry/Exit function like other mfgrs have had for years. An XC60 Inscription has most, if not all, other amenities higher-end premium vehicles in this class provide, except a power steering wheel and the final bit of software/settings to integrate it all together. A disappointing miss I think about every time I enter and exit my otherwise luxurious XC60.

      Apple CarPlay Enhancements

      • I appreciate Apple CarPlay is standard here in the US, but it’s just not realistic for me to physically plug-in and disconnect my iPhone every time I enter and exit the car — especially when running errands and doing that repetitively over short spans of time as I do most often. If I had a daily commute, or for the few times a year I take a road trip, plugging-in for CarPlay makes sense when I also need to charge, but otherwise, it doesn’t work well for me.
        WORKAROUND: I’m trying an aftermarket $160 USB dongle that has huge promise: CARPLAY2air Adapter (See Infotainment above.)
      • CarPlay navigation needs to additionally display in the IC and HUD. I appreciate there are notices on the IC when CarPlay music tracks change, etc., but further Apple Maps integration is needed to maximize its usefulness.

      In-car Charging Schedule

      • US T8’s don’t have one on-board and/or via the VoC app. As a workaround, I purposely purchased an outboard charger that provides similar scheduling functionality to make use of my lower TOU rates (see Charging above.) I appreciate I could have put a timer on a plug for a lot less money — it’s just not as elegant given I wanted a hardwired J1772 to replace my former Tesla wall charger anyway.
      • As a company dedicated to increasing EV use and from what I’ve read in other threads, this capability supposedly exists in European-delivered T8’s, but not here in the US. What’s up with that, when other mfgr BEV and PHEV have had on-board (and via App) charging schedules in the USA for years? Volvo has most of the tech in place, because preconditioning is on the VoC App, but why no full charging schedule like the owners manual on p536 says is possible? BIG MISS.

      Improved Pano Moonroof and Sunshade Controls

      • Given how ergonomic and carefully thought-out most of the controls and UI are in the XC60, the single multi-purpose button that you pull, push, slide part-way or all-the-way, is just too challenging to remember and consistently accomplish what you want to do each and every time — especially when driving and trying to keep your mind on the road. It’s a clever piece of engineering that I’ll get used to over time, but new owners trying to read the manual how to open/close/tilt and move the sunshade will be confused and befuddled — me too, I hate to say, and I’ve still not remembered the right combinations.
      • It would be superior to simply have 2-3 levers in the same space like other mfgrs have to accomplish the same tasks — or just add the controls to the Sensus touch screen, similar to multifunction seats that have an alternative GUI control in addition to the somewhat complex dial/lever on the side of each Inscription front seat for lumbar/massage/bolster/thigh support.

      “Brake Press-Through” Auto-Hold

      • I’m glad my XC60 has auto hold, but requiring a manual push of the center console ((A)) button to engage it is not as useful as what some other mfgrs do with just “pressing through” on the brake pedal after you are stopped, to engage their equivalent “Hill Hold Assist”. I used this all the time in the hilly area I live without thinking at stop lights in my former Lexus and Tesla. I have been spoiled by a superior (Japanese/American vs German/European Mfgr — IDK?) implementation.

      It Could Be So Much BetterSome of the smaller things that could make a fine ride, even better. Many have workarounds, or I’ve just accepted they way it is and moved on to enjoy my XC60 as it is.

      US License Plate Mount

      • It’s dated and bad. 4 built-in screws that require use of ugly anodized (not chrome) nuts to secure your plates and frames. Volvo needs to change like most other mfgrs did years ago, to only 2 standard screws that go directly into the back of the tailgate so better looking “nut caps” or improved safety screws can be used to hold the top of the license plate and frame.
      • WORKAROUND: I removed the mount, took out my Dremel tool and removed the bottom two screws, replacing them with rubber bumpers. At least my custom chrome 2-hole frame and plate will now mount and be flush to the rear of my XC60, albeit I’m stuck with those ugly anodized nuts. Harumph. I know, it’s a little thing, but small improvements move closer towards perfection.

      Standard Sunglasses Holder

      • The Swedes must not use larger wrap-around sunglasses when driving. Neither of my pair will fit in the optional Volvo accessory that replaces the entry/exit handle above the driver door. There is not enough room in the small T8 center console cubbies. Putting them in the glovebox is possible, but not very convenient or ergonomic, needing to stretch across the cabin. I have them stuck in my door side panel cup holder for now. My tidy-self just won’t let me hang sunglasses from the visor, or let them slide across the beautiful drift wood center console and eventually mar it up. It’s a nuisance I knew I’d have before I took delivery, but I don’t like it. I’ll be exploring possibilities as time goes on, perhaps some sort of clip under the dash in front of my right knee…

      Polestar Optimization Specs Should Include Hybrid Stats

      • What’s odd is the official 2020 XC60 T8 Polestar Optimization Spec Sheet only shows improvements for the software update against what I assume are the ICE part of the T8. It does not further show combined output when the ERAD kicks-in like all other Volvo Marketing specs and reviews do for the T8 Hybrid. Unlike non-T8 models, the base starting numbers in that spec sheet match nothing in Volvo sales or marketing literature, which led me to believe the specs are based on the ICE alone.
        Additionally, according to the Owners Manual, “Power Mode” on which “Polestar Engineered” is based, locks in AWD (ICE + ERAD), so I would think the combined stats are more appropriate to report on the Polestar Spec Sheet — or at least show both sets of numbers if that is what Polestar thinks they should do for some reason. It’s weird, whatever Volvo/Polestar have and have not done.
      • Further, I consider it a missed marketing opportunity to show in the Polestar Spec Sheet that max horsepower with the upgrade becomes 332, when a base non-Polestar XC60 T8 is 400 in all sales/marketing material and reviews — and perhaps new combined horsepower is really something more like 414 (IDK — that’s the point) if a customer pays $1K+ for this software-only optional upgrade. (Do you follow what I’m saying? What’s the shaking-my-head-in-confusion emoji?)

      Software & Release Level Reporting

      • It would be a plus for enthusiasts today, but is an absolute requirement as OTA updates are provided in future vehicles to have an easy and consistent method for the owner to display ALL software level(s) in the vehicle — the car’s major OS, any major subsystems/modules if independently maintained by the mfgr or owner, and installed options (e.g. Polestar Optimization, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto) — as well as the release levels for user-controllable databases such as Maps, Voice Control, Gracenotes, and on-demand downloaded Apps.
        I appreciate a dealer or someone with VIDA can already figure parts of this out, but a simple “About” screen for the owner, with all the detail in one place like we have come to expect from other modern devices is a reasonable request — no matter how Volvo elects to do their module/system updates.

      A One-touch Method to put the XC60 into or out of “Carwash Mode”

      • See Owner’s Manual p641 and the 3 “(!) Caution” boxes tucked in the very back of an electronic document many owners will likely never read.
      • I only hand wash and detail my rides, and never go to a carwash, but just the same — having to remember 6 different steps to deactivate Auto Brake and turn off Auto Parking Brake in Settings before you enter a carwash — then put it back after you’ve been through the chain drive — is ridiculous when there is so much other automation and shortcuts for nearly everything else in the XC60. Admittedly, other mfgrs have similar complex procedures because of their Auto Parking Brake, but I’ve got to believe this is at least an ongoing nuisance for a large number of owners and people that work at carwashes around the globe, that the smart engineers at Volvo could improve.

      Optional Envelope-Style Cargo Net

      • No, not the optional flat version Volvo offers across most of the cargo floor, but rather one that is suspended across the back, in front of the tailgate like other mfgrs offer with reinforced locations and dimples from the factory on either side of the cargo area walls for simple screw attachment with the accessory. In my former SUVs and even convertibles, this was perfect for grocery bags and most anything else I didn’t want rolling around — even transporting a homemade cake or pie upon occasion. Simple, unobtrusive when not in use, and easy to unhook when larger items need to be slid in/out of the back.
      • WORKAROUND: There are generic nets on many WWW sites that may work. The problem is, exactly where do you want to drill a hole on both sides of your new XC60 and take a chance it will hold the top of both sides of the net when it’s full of stuff? Until I get my head around that, I placed my old “Rola 59000 Rigid Base Interior Organizer” in the back (from my former Tesla, that seeks a similar solution.) It works well enough, just not as convenient as the envelope net that Volvo could make a few bucks off of as an accessory.

      Continued in Part 7b…

      Present: ‘20 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Past: ‘15 Tesla S90D; ‘14 SLK250; '13 RX450h; ‘09 335i; ‘06 RX400h; ‘02 SC430; ‘99 RX300; ‘95 SC300; ‘91 Legend...

    12. #10
      Junior Member
      Join Date
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      So Cal, USA
      Selecting & First Impressions of My 2020 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Part 7b of 7 - Misses, Future, Summary, & THE END



      • From everything I’ve read and been told, I have confidence coming into the Volvo family for the first time. I didn’t purchase a first-year tech or production vehicle that comes from nearly any mfgr with it’s own potential set of new challenges. Over 40 years buying new cars, without question, I’ve had the worst reliability and the most poor quality build problems with German & American brands, compared to any of the Japanese models I’ve owned. I only hope my new Volvo ends-up closer to the high reliability and build quality I’ve consistently enjoyed from makes HQ’d in Japan.

      Warranty & Beyond - My situation and logic, not necessarily yours

      • My vehicles are not a cheap disposable asset, and they have always been treated as such. I purchase, not lease, and may keep my XC60 longer than the base warranty covers. I’m now retired, when making one’s monthly/annual budget more predictable is always a good thing. This automobile is a complex mechanical thing, with increasing amounts of software controlling it. Volvo is relatively new to the Hybrid/EV game and does not have the history, volumes or track record for both sales and service of it on a global scale, compared to say Toyota/Lexus with similar and more mature hybrid tech — so there may well be unexpected longer-term problems beyond what is covered by Volvo’s base warranties, it’s hard to say. Repair parts and labor rates only increase over time.
      • If I were to “private sale” my XC60 one day after the base warranty is expired, having a transferrable prepaid OEM extended warranty will likely be a plus in both asking price and in speed of sale — certainly as a differentiation point against similar used private sale vehicles in a direct-to-private buyer, and perhaps even becoming comparable against a CPO. (FWIW, my former 4-year old Model S sold in 5 days to a private buyer when there were other similar models available in my vicinity — including direct from Tesla as CPO with their additional warranty, in part because mine had nearly 4 years left on a prepaid transferrable OEM Extended Warranty.)
      • I have not always made the same decision, but to hedge my bets, I purchased a Platinum Volvo VIP Extended Warranty with $0 deductible, the day I brought my XC60 home from my delivering dealership. I knew that is what I was going to do before I even purchased my XC60 — it was simply a question of price and what dealer I would buy the policy from. I will be able to get a partial refund if I trade or don’t keep my XC60 for the duration.
      • Deciding to purchase an extended warranty was also a significant reason why I was able to become comfortable adding Air Suspension to my build — given my standing opinion that no matter the make or model, as a vehicle ages, Air Suspension will sooner-or-later have a problem, and when it does, it is almost never cheap to repair. I’ve found Air Suspension can take how a vehicle rides, up to the next level, but it is also a mechanical thing with moving parts that simply break or wear out. It’s not an option a risk-adverse buyer should likely add to their ride if they may keep it beyond warranty expiration and are concerned about unexpected repair costs.
      • Each of our situations and risk tolerance is different, but for me, the piece of mind purchasing the OEM Extended Warranty for my XC60 T8 is worth my up-front investment. OTOH since I take care of my car finish and interiors, do not have kids, and do not lease, I would never consider an appearance protection package of some sort. Similarly, I don’t have extreme rim sizes with low profile tires that cost thousands of dollars extra per set, drive off-road, have a gravel driveway, or frequent places with a lot of potholes, so wheel & tire protection policies don’t make a lot of sense for me either. Again, YMMV. Insurance is all about each of our individual tolerance for risk.


      • There seem to be an unusual number of posts about the need for (early?) brake pads and rotors compared to past non-German vehicles I’ve owned. I was never close to replacing them on either of my Lexus RXh in the 10+ years I owned them, let alone my BEV I had for 4 years which showed almost no brake wear with the drive-by-wire approach I took driving it. OTOH, my former BMW & MBZ were getting close by the time I sold them before the 4-year mark, so maybe this is another “European mfgr thing”, or it’s because of Volvo’s “mild hybrid” implementation. IDK. I at least came into this with my eyes wide open, brakes and rotors may become necessary while I own my XC60 T8.

      Interior Door Panel White Residue:

      • No signs of this, but it hasn’t been even 3 months since my XC60 was born. I’m on the watch. Perhaps with my regular interior maintenance regime, it won’t have a chance to appear. Time will tell.


      • My dealer is 10 minutes away and has been in business for something like 28 years. The Service Advisor I will be using has been there nearly as long, so I’m hopeful my long-term service experience will work out well. If not, I have 2 other Volvo dealerships within a 45 minute drive — neither as convenient, but I have reasonable options if it ever comes to that.


      • To close-out one last thing I mentioned at the beginning, if I move back to Hawaii one day and downsize to a condo from the home I presently own here in SoCal, there is only a single Volvo dealership in the State — on Oahu (meaning if I were to live on Maui, I must barge a Volvo between islands for purchase, warranty and non-Indie service.)
        Additionally, with just 1M people and 3 so-called Interstates on Oahu, the islands have a relatively poor public EV charging network compared to what is growing and improving across the mainland (gasoline is now also $1 less/gallon on Oahu than here in SoCal, but let’s not get off-track.)
        Given the relatively slow charging speed of a T8, without being able to easily plug-in while parked in my own future condo parking space, a pluggable hybrid looses part of it’s benefit — the “P” part of PHEV becomes a waste of money. I suspect I will say goodbye to my XC60 PHEV if I move back to Hawaii some day — unless treating it as a Hybrid that never gets plugged-in again is something I choose to do.
      • All that to say, where you live can present more or less of a challenge being able to effectively use plug-in automotive tech from any mfgr. Additionally, if you don’t live near major metropolitan areas, you may not have many alternatives of nearby Volvo dealerships for purchase and service needs.
        As my sales rep put it, “Volvo is still a boutique brand here in the US.” There is a lot of truth to that in some of the different considerations I went through before purchasing my XC60, especially compared to the mass-marketed and more commonly available brands I’ve frequented in the past. I don’t see it as a problem for me going into this new Volvo where I live today, but in terms of sales and service alternatives, a Volvo certainly isn’t a Toyota, and I’m glad I at least thought about what that may or may not mean for me some day.

      I’m just a week into owning my first Volvo, but ecstatic with the sales and delivery experience, the features and functions, looks and elegant appointments, with what initially appears as a quality build. While I’m admittedly still in the honeymoon phase, this was a good change that I’m proud to have made and call my own. Now the real test begins — living with my new XC60 T8 over time.

      Thanks to all the SwedeSpeed contributors who have helped my learning thus far, and for your continued assistance and pointers along the way. I hope to be a more than satisfied member of the Volvo and SwedeSpeed community for years to come.

      ...and THANK YOU to anyone who has read this far. Hopefully the time has been worth your while. Phewwwwwwww.

      THE END ...for now.
      Last edited by BertL; 01-06-2020 at 04:30 PM. Reason: Formatting

      Present: ‘20 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Past: ‘15 Tesla S90D; ‘14 SLK250; '13 RX450h; ‘09 335i; ‘06 RX400h; ‘02 SC430; ‘99 RX300; ‘95 SC300; ‘91 Legend...

    13. #11
      Join Date
      Dec 2017
      Congrats! Beautiful car! And I don't need to add more words for T8!
      Your photo makes the Denim Blue like Bursting Blue and surprised me.
      Rolling, Fusion Red - 2018 XC60 - T8
      Running to retire, 2000 V70XC 236+k miles

    14. #12
      thanks for great write-up. We are expecting to pick our T8 in April via OSD, and do some visits in EU - and then back home.

      Mac user here, with 2500 CD in ALAC; curious on what tools you used for ALC->Flac conversion.

      Have fun !

    15. #13
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Nov 2018

      Selecting &amp; First Impressions of My 2020 XC60 T8 Inscription

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us. You have indeed done some serious digging into your car specifics.

      I’d be interested to learn how you would grade the native Spotify app sound quality, since I have believed it gave the highest fidelity, providing its set to use the extreme setting? Or anybody else for that matter :-)
      Last edited by HitTheRoadJack; 01-06-2020 at 06:41 PM.

    16. #14
      Junior Member Catfiend's Avatar
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      Nov 2019
      Olympic Peninsula
      Thanks for the details. Not all of them will apply to me but it's nice to see the thought process laid out. Maybe my wife and I should do the same thing (I did it for my last bicycle purchase but never for a car.)

    17. #15
      Junior Member Catfiend's Avatar
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      Nov 2019
      Olympic Peninsula
      One note on our decision making process. We've decided on the XC60 T8, but we're waffling on Momentum or Inscription trim. The bling doesn't do a thing for us, but the City Weave upholstery that's only available on the Momentum trim is looking pretty interesting.

    18. #16
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      Sep 2019
      So Cal, USA
      Thanks all for the kind words. I like to try to give back to places I've learned so much from, and I'm sure will continue to.

      @Kleks, Early congrats on your OSD -- should be fun. I build one or more Music (iTunes) playlists to get the tracks identified I want to extract, then use the "Export for iTunes" app from the Mac App Store to take those playlists and put the source files into a temporary directory. From there, I use dBPoweramp for all the rest of the track transformations. There is a version for Windows and they keep the Mac version not far behind feature-wise. dBPoweramp served me well with all I went through trying to workaround so many shortcoming in my previous ride's Media Player (numerous metadata and filename changes, album art sizes, etc.,) so simple changes from ALAC to FLAC are fast and a breeze. It's what I used to build my sampler USB stick before checking out Volvo, as well as my initial USB sticks once I brought it home with 15K, then about 7K tracks I now have as backup. Additionally, if you have a multi-core processor, dBPoweramp will use all simultaneously to speed things along -- really helped as I built previous USB SSD for my Tesla, even then, it took 2.5 days on my 3.6GHz 8-core i9 for just 7K tracks -- there was that much work to be done. Sheezzz.

      @HitTheRoadJack, unfortunately I can't help with Spotify -- I don't have a subscription as I'm a competitive Apple Music kinda guy. AHAHA Hopefully someone else will chime in.

      @Catfriend, just don't go super detailed as I do with your first round. It will drive your wife nuts. Big requirements first you both agree on, and drill down from there. For me, knowing what's most important vs nicer-to-have's before I look at any product in detail -- be it bikes, appliances, solar panels, or automobiles keeps me focused. I then don't impulse buy as some folks do seeing the bling-bling or hearing a sales pitch, and sign on the dotted line without considering what I really need first, and ensuring any must-haves are there and "not-haves" are truly non-existent. Good luck.

      Present: ‘20 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Past: ‘15 Tesla S90D; ‘14 SLK250; '13 RX450h; ‘09 335i; ‘06 RX400h; ‘02 SC430; ‘99 RX300; ‘95 SC300; ‘91 Legend...

    19. #17
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      So Cal, USA
      Quote Originally Posted by Catfiend View Post
      One note on our decision making process. We've decided on the XC60 T8, but we're waffling on Momentum or Inscription trim. The bling doesn't do a thing for us, but the City Weave upholstery that's only available on the Momentum trim is looking pretty interesting.
      I understand about the bling and some folks really preferring non-leather seats. Do be sure you research the other more minute feature differences between the two in case other specific features are important to you, e.g. HUD is only on Inscription, different wheel options, and some options are exclusive to Inscription if those are of interest. I listed the features most important to me, then carefully researched which one was or wasn't in each trim level -- that drove me to more things to explore and helped in my decision process. Good luck.

      Present: ‘20 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Past: ‘15 Tesla S90D; ‘14 SLK250; '13 RX450h; ‘09 335i; ‘06 RX400h; ‘02 SC430; ‘99 RX300; ‘95 SC300; ‘91 Legend...

    20. #18
      Junior Member Catfiend's Avatar
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      Olympic Peninsula
      Quote Originally Posted by BertL View Post
      I understand about the bling and some folks really preferring non-leather seats. Do be sure you research the other more minute feature differences between the two in case other specific features are important to you, e.g. HUD is only on Inscription, different wheel options, and some options are exclusive to Inscription if those are of interest. I listed the features most important to me, then carefully researched which one was or wasn't in each trim level -- that drove me to more things to explore and helped in my decision process. Good luck.
      Oh, I don't particularly have a problem with leather seats, but the City Weave, at least in pictures, looks amazing and I'm happy to have something that stands out in the crowd.

      According to the package description the HUD is part of the advanced package on the Momentum as well. The ventilated seats aren't, nor is the air suspension or the automatic parking feature. We've decided against the first two and I'm wondering if the latter can be added at a later date if you have all of the cameras and sensors to begin with.

    21. #19
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      Jul 2018
      Congrats on your new ride and thanks for the great review. I've been waiting and looking forward to it as I knew from past experience it would be pretty comprehensive.
      2019 XC60 T8 Inscription, Denim Blue, Maroon Brown Nappa, 20" wheels, 4C Air Suspension, Premium and Advanced.
      2012 Mercedes SLK350

    22. #20
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      Feb 2008
      Bert thanks for sharing such a great write up. If you don't mind? What is the actual MPG on a highway run? Thanks, Tom.

    23. #21
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      Feb 2012
      Pretty incredible review there Bert! Really comprehensive and well-written. Bravo.

      I can relate to doing heavy analysis on a car purchase. We test drove 19 different SUVs before we bought our XC60 back in 2012 - the finalists were put on spreadsheets, etc.

      Given that we own an older Model S and a 2012 XC60, and I have toyed with replacing one or the other with an XC60 T8. I would be interested to hear your comparison to the Model S. The biggest drawback for me on the T8 is the modest range. My wife and I work from home these days, but most of our miles come from trips that are closer to 50/55 miles roundtrip...getting less than 50% of those on electric is a bit of a bummer. Still, my guess is that it will be a better "car" in many respects than the Model S.
      2012 XC60 R-Design - Passion Red / Off-black/Cream Accents, Platinum, Polestar, & Climate
      2013 Tesla Model S P85+ - Multicoat Red / Black

    24. #22
      Junior Member PSamy's Avatar
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      Sep 2019
      Southern CT
      BertL, Congratulations! and thank you for such a detailed post. Volvo dealers should learn from you!
      2019 XC60 - T6 - R-Design - Polestar - Air Suspension W/Four-C Chassis - Advance - Crystal White Pearl - 21" R-Design Wheels

    25. #23
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      Mar 2018
      Thank you for sharing this with us! Very useful!

      A quick question - you wrote " the Bowers & Wilkins to my ears, had noticeably better quality in several passages (esp. deep bass & higher-end female vocals)." Would you mind sharing which tracks these were? I will be comparison shopping also..
      Future: 2020 V60 CC Birch Light with Advanced Package and Bowers and Wilkins (OSD summer 2020)
      Current: Subaru Outback 2015, Limited

    26. #24
      Junior Member stocis's Avatar
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      Oct 2019
      Like everyone else, thank you for sharing and congrats on the T8. Hope you have a wonderful time with it.
      Current: 2020 Volvo XC60 R-Design, 2018 Volvo XC40 R-Design
      Previous: 2009 Volvo C70, 2006 Volvo XC60, 2003 Saab 9-5, 1999 Mitsubishi FTO, 1998 Land Rover Freelander, 1995 Suzuki Swift Sedan

    27. #25
      Junior Member stocis's Avatar
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      Oct 2019
      Quote Originally Posted by ap17 View Post
      Thank you for sharing this with us! Very useful!

      A quick question - you wrote " the Bowers & Wilkins to my ears, had noticeably better quality in several passages (esp. deep bass & higher-end female vocals)." Would you mind sharing which tracks these were? I will be comparison shopping also..
      Having the B&W for quite some time now, in relation with the powerful Dynaudio on my C70, I'd say that the difference in quality is extraordinary for some genres, but not all of them.
      I've seen a huge difference in Trance, Hip-Hop, Rap, Electronic, but not as much in Rock / Metal / Blues.

      Try these:

      Dance Monkey - Tones and I
      Satoshi Nakamoto - Gramatik
      Smokid All Stars - Smokey Joe and the Kid
      Legends Never Die - Against the Current
      Invaders must Die - Prodigy
      Back to Black - Amy Winehouse
      Yonder Wall - Freddie King
      Cognac - Buddy Guy
      Hey Now - London Grammar
      How U Like Me Now - Savoy
      Black - Pearl Jam
      No Excuses - Alice In Chains
      Current: 2020 Volvo XC60 R-Design, 2018 Volvo XC40 R-Design
      Previous: 2009 Volvo C70, 2006 Volvo XC60, 2003 Saab 9-5, 1999 Mitsubishi FTO, 1998 Land Rover Freelander, 1995 Suzuki Swift Sedan

    28. #26
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      Nov 2018
      Congrats on the new car.....I can pretty much guarantee, no one has ever told you to RTFM,lol awesome write up
      2019 XC 60 T8 Inscription Osmium Grey
      2017 Honda Africa Twin

    29. #27
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      Sep 2019
      So Cal, USA
      Thanks for the positive responses. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about you-know-what. I think this morning it's time for the XC60's first hand wash... it was a bit breezy yesterday that added a layer of dust over the film it got driving by the coast over the weekend. Ah, Big Boys and their new toys!

      Quote Originally Posted by peterwT8 View Post
      Congrats on your new ride and thanks for the great review. I've been waiting and looking forward to it as I knew from past experience it would be pretty comprehensive.
      Yeah, some things never change, do they? I don't get a new ride as often as I'd like, so go a bit over-the-top with my write-up when I do. AHAHA

      Quote Originally Posted by Tango View Post
      ...What is the actual MPG on a highway run? Thanks, Tom.
      I have not yet been through 1 tank of gas -- just a quarter down tooling around town for the most part on electric/hybrid-mode, and not more than maybe 50 mi on the interstates. More to come!

      Quote Originally Posted by ap17 View Post
      ...A quick question - you wrote " the Bowers & Wilkins to my ears, had noticeably better quality in several passages (esp. deep bass & higher-end female vocals)." Would you mind sharing which tracks these were? I will be comparison shopping also..
      I just pulled up the sampler track listing I had created for myself -- 32 tracks, 9 different genre. I didn't listen to all of them sitting in the dealer lot. I first randomly switched around and skipped to favorite parts of some tracks to get a general sense of the system, then spent more time with the handful that were special to me. I'll add a couple different genre from what @stocis suggests:

      Gaia / James Taylor - Hourglass 2:30-4:25 (clarity, very deep bass)
      Vienna / Linda Eder - Linda Eder 2:50-3:30 (female vocal clarity)
      In His Eyes / Jekyll & Hyde (1977 OBC) 1:25-4:01 (clarity between the female vocal duet)

      Water Under the Bridge / Adele - 21 2:10-3:57 (female & chorus vocals, bass)
      Lei Pikake / Hapa - Hapa 0:00-1:00 (male solo, Hawaiian guitar)
      Full Sail / David Arkenstone - Sketches from an American Journey 0:00-1:50 (instrumental clarity)

      ...It's so subjective and everyone's music tastes are so varied, but I suggest if you really care about your music, be sure to also put in a couple tracks on your stick that you know by heart, and can essentially listen to at least passages in your head without it actually playing (I know, it's weird.) See if the systems then bring parts of those tracks to life when you play them, and what you sense may or may not be better between the different systems when you do. If goosebumps appear, you'll know you hit something special ...the first 3 in that list above did it for me.
      Last edited by BertL; 01-07-2020 at 09:42 AM. Reason: Spelling!

      Present: ‘20 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Past: ‘15 Tesla S90D; ‘14 SLK250; '13 RX450h; ‘09 335i; ‘06 RX400h; ‘02 SC430; ‘99 RX300; ‘95 SC300; ‘91 Legend...

    30. #28
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      So Cal, USA
      Quote Originally Posted by flames9 View Post
      ...I can pretty much guarantee, no one has ever told you to RTFM,lol awesome write up
      That's hysterical, and a honestly a good observation. I do try to do my research before stating something as fact, and keep it clear if I'm giving just an opinion.

      Present: ‘20 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Past: ‘15 Tesla S90D; ‘14 SLK250; '13 RX450h; ‘09 335i; ‘06 RX400h; ‘02 SC430; ‘99 RX300; ‘95 SC300; ‘91 Legend...

    31. #29
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      So Cal, USA
      Quote Originally Posted by cab View Post
      ...Given that we own an older Model S and a 2012 XC60, and I have toyed with replacing one or the other with an XC60 T8. I would be interested to hear your comparison to the Model S. The biggest drawback for me on the T8 is the modest range. My wife and I work from home these days, but most of our miles come from trips that are closer to 50/55 miles roundtrip...getting less than 50% of those on electric is a bit of a bummer. Still, my guess is that it will be a better "car" in many respects than the Model S.
      OK, so I've been putting off going into this because I don't want to come across as bashing my Tesla -- It's likely gonna, but that isn't my intent. I really did love that car, miss it and owning a true BEV, but as I put it in my final post on a previous Tesla Forum I used to frequent, I finally hit my tipping point where the little issues added up to something larger than the benefits I was receiving, and it was time for me to just move-on. Without spending a lot of thought-time on a better articulated reply, I'll just let my thoughts spill-out:

      • Loved Tesla's tech, and Elon/Tesla really being first to market establishing BEV as an "everyday man and woman" vehicle, that made the established auto brands finally wake up. Loved Toyota's initial burst into the hybrid world in what, 2004 or thereabouts, but they really have since been resting on their laurels for a long time, and other brands IMO only dipped their toe into alternate fuel tech because laws like CA put in place and others around the world forced them to try. Tesla made headway, and the old guys saw the new startup gonna eat their lunch if they didn't do more, so they jumped on the bandwagon at last. Loved being part of Tesla driving that industry and world change.
      • Tesla did it right building their Supercharger network and expanding that along with the growing fleet. Without it, I would have never considered a BEV being the single car in my garage. Range Anxiety was real when I began considering a BEV, but I worked my way through lots of analysis on short/long routes I'd travelled and bucket list places I always wanted to go -- looking at where Superchargers or secondary (slower) stations where and what that would add to traditional travel time. Ordered the Model S, and after my first road trip, Range Anxiety was gone; Learned more as I experienced e.g. really bad weather, cold, etc; Today with the even larger Supercharger Network, no worries from my POV here on the mainland US.
      • Exterior styling on my Model S was great for me when I purchased and was still holding up -- so much better than what Lexus had done with their angular messes that forced me away from a brand I thought I'd be buried in. The Tesla minimalist interior was OK at first, but didn't grow on me -- More high-quality luxury appointments and features was one of the things I wanted to go back to. As I started looking at new vehicles last fall, I began feeling my Model S interior was not just minimalistic, but also a way to cut cost -- I won't say cheap, because it wasn't that, but it wasn't luxurious as most others in the class.
      • I'll be blunt and just say build-quality of the non-BEV components of my Model S was the worst I've ever owned. Panel gaps with varied distance all over the place, foggy sealed lamps that were fine at first but steadily got worse, gaskets and things that wouldn't stay in place, popped-out, etc. Newer builds are perhaps a little better, but I doubt any owner would say it's even close to a Lexus. The basic amenities were there, but it was far from mature that most of us buying premium vehicles expect with the many subtle details -- weird things like Blind Spot Monitoring only showing on the IC, and no lights on the side mirrors that are standard on a Volvo and most other vehicles (Model 3 is worse, with BSM indicator clear over in the center display, way out of normal driver line-of-sight along with everything else). With Elon's march toward machines-building-machines, there are far less options today on any new Tesla than even when I bought mine 4+ years ago -- less color combos, no moonroof option, etc., etc -- it's almost like going back to the original Ford days when you could get only black.
      • Loved getting live OTA firmware updates and new features like Summon, GPS proximity open/close of my Homelink garage doors, etc that I didn't expect or have on day of delivery -- although there are negatives to getting unexpected updates as well ... e.g. they changed the IC layout when AP was released a month after I purchased, and I never since was able to see idiot lights or even speed without ducking my head every now and then, because top of my steering wheel covered those areas when positioned for my best comfort (I'm not that odd stature-wise, nearly 6', but like my father/grandfather, a bit longer on my torso and shorter below the belt line than avg, so my eye level is a little higher than others of same height. BTW, no issues like this at all in my previous Lexus or new Volvo.) Otherwise, Tesla did a lot right with firmware updates in the background, etc. -- I just wish they more consistently provided release notes what was changed when new updates were provided -- too much guesswork trying to figure it out as an owner looking through menus, or just shrugging it off until I read something on a forum or in the press.
      • Had so many promises of feature/functions and their delivery timeframes over my 4 years of ownership that came and went -- some never happening as Elon moved on to other things with tunnels, Mars, machines-building-machines (which influences a lot, e.g. that new truck design -- yikes.). I got over most of that because I told myself I knew what I had when I purchased, not what I *may* receive for free later -- just the same, it may have been good for Tesla Marketing, but certainly wasn't for my view of customer satisfaction with continued disappointments.
      • I knew going into Tesla, it was a startup and on shaky ground as such (still is.) I expected initial service problems, but my optimistic-self said those would be addressed and as sales increased and time passed, it would all get better. Sadly, it really didn't. Many examples over my time, including earlier-on what was a 2.5 hour 1st year annual service that took 6 weeks (with my car sitting outside and I found a sprinkler had been shooting on it all that time -- took me days re-polishing panels, glass, and plastic lens to resolve); Early traction battery failure where I was keeping track of the detail, but each service advisor told me something different I should do or not -- some contrary to the owner's manual and different than the SA before -- I finally wrote a business-like return-signature letter to corporate asking for help and got no response -- a year later the battery was replaced by techs during normal maintenance and their telling me something wasn't right; leather seat stitching along the airbag that came apart, and long-story-short took 1 year to resolve after more than half-dozen of my follow-ups; received a postcard that Takata Air Bag needing replacing and parts were in, so make an appt -- I did, went in, and no parts available until months later; door gaskets that came off because they are only applied with double-sided tape, so I had them fix it every time I took it in for some other service, and I did it myself in-between; etc... Tesla is trying to be more and more "online-only", so making a service appt is now done online with a little comment box -- fine. My last service appt before selling my Model S, I made 30+ days in advance, I arrived and the advisors chatting amongst themselves look at me with puzzled faces (and oddly, I see no flurry of other Tesla's around) -- oh, yeah, they are moving locations and can't do my service today -- I politely talk them through it and it eventually gets done while I wait except for the alignment as that equipment has already been packed-up, but there was no notification to me of this in advance. My service stories like these could go on-and-on, and given my heritage in that stuff, I'm a really polite and business-like guy dealing with front line personnel -- just don't ask what I was really thinkin'. Yikes.
      • I'm glad I never had an accident in my Tesla -- it's something I dreaded even more owning the specific brand, and not because of safety which I always thought of as great. The issue being if a body shop needs parts from Fremont, it is still taking weeks for delivery -- Tesla says it's greatly improved from what I've read as "months" for other enthusiasts on forums. My insurance agent told me last week she was in a fender-bender a few weeks ago with her new Tesla, and it's been 4 weeks her body shop has been waiting for a new one to continue work. I'm hopeful it would not be that bad with even "Boutique Volvo" given the broader and more mature operational infrastructure, and corporate governance they have.
      • Tesla has great realtime Google Maps and uses their own nav routing algorithms, which were so-so the first couple years, but greatly improved functionality-wise in the past two. They still don't offer what I'd consider basics like "alternate routes" you can select from. All Tesla have only basic smartphone (Android & iPhone) integration. No CD, iPod, CarPlay, Android Auto, etc. when it comes to Infotainment. So if someone like me wants to listen to my own music, I have to use USB or stream via Bluetooth (which is not my preference, safety-wise). OK. I knew that going into Tesla. Problem was, there was almost no documentation (3 short paragraphs) what was supported (formats, meta, etc), limitations (max tracks, folders, etc), and the player itself was clearly designed by non-music lovers that had literally a few handful of tracks in their test cases -- not part of a library. Basic functions, but inconsistent implementation that didn't make a lot of sense. I spent man-weeks of effort sorta reverse-engineering to determine what worked and didn't -- documenting that back to one of the Tesla forums, then over weeks of trial-and-error came up with my own set of workarounds to make things reasonable acceptable most of the time. Others picked-up and used much of that. The problem was, besides the occasional crashes, reboots and then waiting 8-10 minutes for USB scans to take place for just 7K tracks while you wait or drive in silence, many times an OTA update was delivered and something got changed in Media Player -- workarounds then had to be adapted if they could, and it kept going on. Individuals like myself wrote business-like suggestions to the right places, with sometimes a reply that "the right people will get your idea." The forum community multiple times did extensive work (once, more than 200 owners in a very analytical way) to narrow-down and prioritize top things we'd like to be improved -- people with "inside contacts" provided that back to "Tesla Execs." Nothing. Some people watched Twitter (not me!) to try and get Elon's attention, as has worked a few times with other things. Nothing, except continued new useless Easter eggs that make some people chuckle (Santa & Reindeer on the IC instead of cars; James Bond Submarine, Atari Games, and the latest Netflix on the display) -- all while basic software functions remain broken or out-of-the blue reboots happen... Just frustrating to an X-programmer and technical support/service delivery kinda guy who ran those sort of business units most of my career, when the $30 boom box in my garage from Target can play USB music better than my $100K+ Tesla did.

      Anyway, so there are the sort of reasons I decided it was time for a change. Many Tesla (or other) owners will say I'm nuts with "little" things that caused me to jump ship -- but I bet most would agree, after awhile little things that get under any of our skin, can add-up and get to a point where you don't believe it will really get better and you hit a boiling point. Then, you either start complaining and becoming a nuisance to those you do (does that sound familiar like a couple folks around SwedeSpeed I put on my ignore list weeks ago? ), or you do as I finally did after trying to constructively provide suggestions and ask for help from Tesla while my loyalty and brand enthusiasm diminished over 3.5 years, and just say it's time for me to take a bit of a financial hit with my paid-for car, and move on?

      @cab, for you and your wife: Given all that, now go back and look at my priority lists in the first post of this thread. Many of the reasons I see my XC60 T8 as hopefully being an improvement for me are there. It should pretty well connect.

      The biggest drawback for me going back to a hybrid and the T8 is exactly as you cite, I won't have a full BEV -- more of my money goes back to the greedy oil companies and I increase my footprint (not as bad as an ICE.) In my case, I put solar panels on my home the year after I purchased my Model S. I oversized the kWH to cover my estimated annual electric usage to charge my 90kWH Model S and put myself on TOU rates so I get far lower rates off-prime time. Net for me charging my monster-battery Model S essentially 100% of the time at home, was I had a nearly $800 credit on my annual electric true-up bill again last year, and cost for my panels looks like it will break-even now in 5-6, opposed to 7-8 years. I was also able to do an almost full charge of my Tesla 90kWH battery in 5 hours in my garage with my 100A circuit, so it was always ready for 250+ miles -- all while the low TOU rates were in place every night. Now I'm going to be paying incremental cash for gas and wait in those Costco fill-up lines that I have not done for 4 years.

      A Hybrid for me is the next best thing to a BEV -- PHEV being even better since I can get some of those BEV benefits back. A 2020 T8 PHEV with the larger battery will get you 19 miles via EPA estimates, but realistically this early for me seems closer to 17 without doing anything special on PURE. That's enough for a couple stops doing errands around town each day -- more that what I could get with most other hybrids on electric-only today (and most are not PHEV.) Yes, I can't do a longer trip on all electric like I could in my BEV (I'd like to, for sure). In terms of practicality though, my S90D (90kWH) Model S could realistically get perhaps 250 miles at 70mph with average environmentals, and with my 2020 XC60 T8, a full tank of gas and charged-up battery, EPA says I'll get 520 miles. So no matter what that will be in reality below that extreme estimate -- I'm gonna get far more distance on a "single fill-up" from my T8 than even a new Tesla with a 100kWH battery. Different environmental impact, but the T8 will also "fill-up" on the road at a gas station in 10 minutes, opposed to 20-30+ for a new Tesla with the new faster Superchargers (which my and your older Model S won't be able to take advantage of speed-wise, so it's more like what, 40-50+ mins?) As I said in my original write-up, this whole Hybrid/BEV justification thing can be different for different people, so as much as I still WANT a BEV, I can also see the T8 being a decent choice for me. One thing I won't need to do any more, is think ahead before longer trips as I did with my BEV, creating options where I may want to charge and adding time in my plans to the destination -- it's back to the "just go" mode I was in for all the years before.

      Environmentals, charging, and distance on a "single fill-up" are part of my equation. Hands down though, I'll take my new Volvo XC60 T8's build quality, the luxury appointments, attention to detail, what I already know as a better Infotainment system despite some anomalies, CarPlay, HUD, and yes, having a service network that is not owned --only backed up-- by a more mature corporate HQ. Nothing's perfect or a guarantee, but the latter provides me additional options if I ever have service problems -- going to a different dealer or even Indie, that I didn't have in my Tesla days where the mfgr is also the only service game (maybe) in town. The last thing as I'm rambling on is, I didn't own a performance model Tesla -- only a "lowly" 2015 AWD Model S -- but get this, my insurance rate is now 50% with my brand new almost fully-loaded 2020 XC60 T8 Inscription, compared to my previous 4-year old Model S. I'll take that! Whoo-Hooo!

      Good luck with your longer-term decisions. If I can help some way as you move along that journey, just reach out.
      Last edited by BertL; 01-07-2020 at 02:59 PM. Reason: Formatting

      Present: ‘20 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Past: ‘15 Tesla S90D; ‘14 SLK250; '13 RX450h; ‘09 335i; ‘06 RX400h; ‘02 SC430; ‘99 RX300; ‘95 SC300; ‘91 Legend...

    32. #30
      Junior Member RootDKJ's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jul 2010
      North Jersey
      I've read a lot of Internet forum posts over the years, but this is the most detailed one I've ever seen. Yes, I skimmed it. Kudos Burt for writing so much and congrats on your T8!
      2019 Bursting Blue XC60 R-Design T8
      | 21" Wheels | Exterior Style Kit | Advanced | 4C Air | B & W | CPO 10yr/Unlimited |
      2010 Maple Red XC60 T6 retired at 173,375 miles

    33. #31
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      May 2014
      Queens, NY
      Congrats Bert and that is a serious write-up!... Welcome to the Denim Blue club ... now for keeping it clean

    34. #32
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Sep 2014
      Toronto, Canada
      Well that took the better part of my night to read, but it was a pleasure. Great write-up and cheers to your new T8!
      2018 XC60 T5 Momentum

    35. #33
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Feb 2019
      Long Island NY
      Holly macro. That was a short read Welcome to the family.

      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    36. #34
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Dec 2019
      Bay Area, CA
      I just murdered an hour reading this post... I'm surprised BertL kept thing so short. I didn't read anything about the flavor of coffee in the showroom or how he haggled the price.

      But, one thing does jump out at me... OP didn't didn't opt for the exterior styling kit option. Since it's already a custom ordered high-end Inscription T8 with 20"... adding the quad exhaust ports and the little metal bits on the valences goes a long way. Things basically wrap around the car leveraging the chrome of the Inscription rocker panels. One day BertL will pull up behind a Denim blue XC60 Inscription with the extra chrome bits and he'll be like "arrrrggghhhh"

      Is it too late to go back and start this process over? hehe. Kidding aside, congratulations on the purchase! I'm pretty sure this car is going to stay in the family for decades.

      By the way, the Bowers & Wilkins is worth it if you can afford it. The extra NVH padding to quiet the interior is totally noticeable, especially at higher speeds or over some of the harder asphalt roadway compositions. I was shopping for a bling-bargain XC60 (oxymoron right?); so my choices were much more limited. I was eventually able to find a strangely optioned T5 Inscription that languished at a dealer lot for months... it was just waiting for monster year-end discounts haha. But having tried the Inscription with the Bowers and the regular Inscription stereo, the upgrade is totally worth it for people with the coin.
      Last edited by Holeydonut; 01-08-2020 at 06:27 PM.

    37. #35
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Sep 2019
      So Cal, USA
      ^ So funny, but ya know, my fingers are getting back to normal movement today after all that typing.

      Options are so great. In my case, I looked closely at the Exterior Styling kit — back-and-forth, back-and-forth — loved the different exhaust, but was not enamored for $1500 having the additional plates on front/back that made me feel like I’d be driving more of an off-road vehicle than a luxury SUV (reminded me too much of a Jeep), and then found with further research the rear “kick-to-open” location moves from under the more natural “V O” area, way to the left (beyond that plate) which seemed less natural where I’d probably be standing to open the rear hatch.

      Agree the B&W is awesome. Makes me smile every day, and was so worth it. My only problem is, I won’t turn it up as loud as I’d like when my Golden Retriever is in the back — poor girl hates loud sounds — especially booms and bass, so hey, I do as I need to. But when she’s not with me, up goes the volume and if you ever see a Denim Blue with a guy and a huge smile, you’ll know it’s me.

      Present: ‘20 XC60 T8 Inscription
      Past: ‘15 Tesla S90D; ‘14 SLK250; '13 RX450h; ‘09 335i; ‘06 RX400h; ‘02 SC430; ‘99 RX300; ‘95 SC300; ‘91 Legend...

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