20 Useless SUVs That Will Crumble Off-Road
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    1. #1
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      20 Useless SUVs That Will Crumble Off-Road

      https://www.thethings.com/useless-su...le-off-road/9/

      Mentions Volvo XC90:

      "Volvo has used its Haldex-based all-wheel drive in so many of their sporty vehicles, but strangely, the XC90 is just terrible at off-roading. In fact, it doesn't even take mud, snow, or dirt for it to get stuck; it can even get stuck across slippery grass! If you're into off-roading, stay away from this one."

      This has NOT been my experience.

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    3. #2
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      Websites with lists is the definition of useless. My real world experience with our XC90's on unfinished roads in snow has been flawless. More clearance would be nice, but I don't have too many other quibbles.
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    4. #3
      Junior Member Dilinger's Avatar
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      Shi**y journalism.


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    6. #4
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      There are several YouTube videos of XC90 owners alive and well on sand dunes and off-roading in South Africa. A simple search would've proven an easy counterpoint.
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    7. #5
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      Did they even test all the SUVs listed on the list? Still referring to the ML Class. This was renamed to the GLE back in 2014 I believe.

      I have had no issues with my XC90 in the snow.
      2018 XC90 T6

    8. #6
      Junior Member schmitty8225's Avatar
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      Its not really wrong. I highly doubt these would do good in mud pits or rock crawling. The approach, breakover, and departure angles are terrible for off roading, as well as the low profile tires with huge rim and no real locker. No low range transfer case. Driving down an improved forest road is not off roading.
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    9. #7
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      LOL, thethings.com is known for useless BS lists such as this one, as a quick Google search will attest. I suspect those lists are clickbait to entice people to click on them for the ad revenue; there are a LOT of ads. I certainly wouldn't trust anything on that site or others like it.

      I doubt any auto manufacturer would seriously consider lending a vehicle to that site for a review...

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    10. #8
      Quote Originally Posted by schmitty8225 View Post
      Its not really wrong. I highly doubt these would do good in mud pits or rock crawling. The approach, breakover, and departure angles are terrible for off roading, as well as the low profile tires with huge rim and no real locker. No low range transfer case. Driving down an improved forest road is not off roading.
      XC90 is awesome and very capable when the going gets really tough. While I’ve not tested our 2017 T8 as thoroughly as our 2010 3.2, I’ve found out of adventure and sometimes even necessity that it handles fording fast flowing creeks as deep as 30” in parts and over rough rocks, traversed rock field (I did have to be judicious with my line given clearance), dealt with thick mud and thawed permafrost (and once over a 400 mi stretch while towing) and have yet to have any issues. Oh yes it also handles meter deep fresh powder well too and beach travel. Granted some this does require experience or skill behind the wheel which perhaps was lacking by the author that put together that list.

      I have many pics of our experience with our XC90 over primitive or non existent roads. Here’s one where I had to help pull out an overland buddy traveling in their “far more rugged” Land Rover. Another time we left a group traveling in their lifted Dodge RAM with big fat 33+ tires and a Jeep JK that where stuck going around a forest service road covered in deep crud (snow boulders etc) completely jaw dropping flabbergasted as we bounced around them through the crud that stopped them in their tracks.



      One of my favorite experiences - traveling through the NW Territories - loved every minute of it in our trusty XC90! I dream of doing that trip again and wouldn’t hesitate doing it with either of our Volvos. It’s a fantastic family friendly vehicle great for overland adventure that hangs with and impresses even our Landcruising, Taco loving overlanding buddies. I’m just waiting to wear out the stock Pirelli before I treat the T8 to more appropriate overlanding rubber.



      This permafrost/mud easily added at least a hundred pounds to our total weight; it was over 1” thick on the sides and dripping. After that long trip I had to take of each wheel and have the kids pound 2”+ caked on mud off their insides. Border control was not amused they couldn’t read our plates coming back to lower 48.
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    11. #9
      Global Moderator GrecianVolvo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by sdedson View Post
      https://www.thethings.com/useless-su...le-off-road/9/

      Mentions Volvo XC90:

      "Volvo has used its Haldex-based all-wheel drive in so many of their sporty vehicles, but strangely, the XC90 is just terrible at off-roading. In fact, it doesn't even take mud, snow, or dirt for it to get stuck; it can even get stuck across slippery grass! If you're into off-roading, stay away from this one."

      This has NOT been my experience.
      If there could be a troll title assigned to a website, this one would win it, hands down.
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    12. #10
      Junior Member Catfiend's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by GrecianVolvo View Post
      If there could be a troll title assigned to a website, this one would win it, hands down.
      I remember when I was doing research I saw one of these lists that had the 2020 XC60 near the top as a junk SUV, saying that carcomplaints.com was already overrun with complaints about the engine. That didn't sound good so I popped over to see what the issue was. I haven't found one single complaint there about the 2020 XC60. That's when I realized that this was some click-bait aggregator.
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    13. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by VolvoUhu View Post
      XC90 is awesome and very capable when the going gets really tough. While I’ve not tested our 2017 T8 as thoroughly as our 2010 3.2, I’ve found out of adventure and sometimes even necessity that it handles fording fast flowing creeks as deep as 30” in parts and over rough rocks, traversed rock field (I did have to be judicious with my line given clearance), dealt with thick mud and thawed permafrost (and once over a 400 mi stretch while towing) and have yet to have any issues. Oh yes it also handles meter deep fresh powder well too and beach travel. Granted some this does require experience or skill behind the wheel which perhaps was lacking by the author that put together that list.

      I have many pics of our experience with our XC90 over primitive or non existent roads. Here’s one where I had to help pull out an overland buddy traveling in their “far more rugged” Land Rover. Another time we left a group traveling in their lifted Dodge RAM with big fat 33+ tires and a Jeep JK that where stuck going around a forest service road covered in deep crud (snow boulders etc) completely jaw dropping flabbergasted as we bounced around them through the crud that stopped them in their tracks.



      One of my favorite experiences - traveling through the NW Territories - loved every minute of it in our trusty XC90! I dream of doing that trip again and wouldn’t hesitate doing it with either of our Volvos. It’s a fantastic family friendly vehicle great for overland adventure that hangs with and impresses even our Landcruising, Taco loving overlanding buddies. I’m just waiting to wear out the stock Pirelli before I treat the T8 to more appropriate overlanding rubber.



      This permafrost/mud easily added at least a hundred pounds to our total weight; it was over 1” thick on the sides and dripping. After that long trip I had to take of each wheel and have the kids pound 2”+ caked on mud off their insides. Border control was not amused they couldn’t read our plates coming back to lower 48.
      That is awesome! More pics please.
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    14. #12
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      "thethings" sites are the worst of the worst click baitey site ever. volvo do better than most in snow. if you can handle snow, you can offroad reasonably well. awd is strong, there are no low hanging bits on volvos. probably would be a weak rock crawler, but class V and VI roads, logging roads, forestry roads which is 99% of what "overlanding" is, most any xc will be fine with a decent driver. wish my tacoma had a front camera!

    15. #13
      Member Seti's Avatar
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      I disagree with the article author but I can understand why, in general, XC90 could get stuck and thus appear to be a bad off roader

      The software used to decide on traction is too slow to my liking, to be honest. It let's wheels spin for a little too long before transferring power.

      Frankly, BMW X3 and X5, just for a fair comparison, is much better than XC90 on avoiding offroad wheelspin. X3/5 X-Drive software "thinks" quicker and almost matches Land Rover Discovery's in precision. It has cut down wheelspin to a second, if not sooner as it immediately transfers power to other wheels as soon as it senses wheelspin, whereas XC90s would have the wheel spinning for several seconds before transferring power to other wheels with better grip.

      As this XC90 behaviour causes stop/ starts on slippery surfaces, it can cause the car to get stuck in muddy surfaces, thus make it a relatively poor performer in offroading conditions.

      I'll try and find the video showing the "superiority" of X3/5s X-Drive, which, surprisingly, performs even better than Range Rover Evogue's


      EDIT: Added video link of offroading capability comparisons

      Check out the video below, BMW X3, in my view came 1st, followed by Jaguar F-Pace. They both beat Land River Discovery Sport, Range Rover Evgue, Porsche Macan, Audi Q3 etc.

      Volvo would have probably done it, but it would have had to suffer from multiple wheelspin before overcoming this obstacle tract

      https://youtu.be/xL-Ka5bKSvg

      Lemme know what you think
      Last edited by Seti; 01-26-2020 at 12:46 PM.
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    16. #14
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      Tires likely account for more off-road capability than nearly anything else. For rock climbing or more intense stuff, then you'd care about approach/departure angles, ground clearance, and underbody protection. Finally, then things like locking diffs and the actual locking of the center coupling.

      Funnily enough, Haldex is probably one of the best center diff techs out there right now... It's just that it's often found in consumer cars with road tires (as Haldex is one of the most packaging/fuel efficient AWD solutions), so it gets a bad reputation. Also, effectively implemented brake torque vectoring is nearly as good as locking front/rear diffs, for most non-serious off roading.

      Yes, if you're going rock climbing, sure, get a Wrangler or whatnot. But to say there's much difference between comparably equipped luxury SUVs is just silly.

      Anyway, I too saw this article in my spam feed, and thought it was pretty dumb. Funny to see it posted here!
      Last edited by shammyh; 01-26-2020 at 01:35 PM.
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    17. #15
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      In my opinion, the authors of this article need to learn how to drive off-road. I have been on some serious off-road trails in snowy Central New York weather with no issues. You just have to know what you're doing. It doesn't look like they do.
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    18. #16
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      It is a poorly written piece filled with errors. That being said, an SUV needs to have some basic criteria for be considered off road worthy. 4-low being an absolute must. Also pretty important: decent ground clearance, some type of under carriage protection, off road worthy suspension, decent tires

      I belong to an offroad group and every so often someone comes along with their 'SUV' to join in. We usually steer them to a 'stock friendly' run which means any true SUV in stock form should be good (wrangler, FJ, 4runner, xterra, etc.). This guy shows up with a HEAVILY mod'd subaru and it got totally f**ked in no time flat, mainly due to lack of 4 low. These were basic class 4 roads that my stock 2014 grand cherokee could handle with zero issue.

      I realize the bias here is volvo and they make a beautiful and very safe "suv" (which is really more of a sportwagon). We love our xc90 but it aint no offroader. Driving around in the sand doesnt count in my book (a RWD VW can do that)
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    19. #17
      Member Seti's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by specepic View Post
      It is a poorly written piece filled with errors. That being said, an SUV needs to have some basic criteria for be considered off road worthy. 4-low being an absolute must. Also pretty important: decent ground clearance, some type of under carriage protection, off road worthy suspension, decent tires

      I belong to an offroad group and every so often someone comes along with their 'SUV' to join in. We usually steer them to a 'stock friendly' run which means any true SUV in stock form should be good (wrangler, FJ, 4runner, xterra, etc.). This guy shows up with a HEAVILY mod'd subaru and it got totally f**ked in no time flat, mainly due to lack of 4 low. These were basic class 4 roads that my stock 2014 grand cherokee could handle with zero issue.

      I realize the bias here is volvo and they make a beautiful and very safe "suv" (which is really more of a sportwagon). We love our xc90 but it aint no offroader. Driving around in the sand doesnt count in my book (a RWD VW can do that)
      I hear you, but when buying XC90, we don't expect it to do what a Wrangler can, but it should be able to traverse this type of terrain at best, because we know normal sedans with front or rear wheel drive won't overcome it.

      The type of terrain shown in the attached video clip is normal in some parts of our rural areas and we don't want to use Wranglers to traverse it.

      https://youtu.be/xL-Ka5bKSvg


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    20. #18
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      Clearly, IMHO, this video from TFL, shows how uninformed the article is. Having said that, it is also clear to me that these Volvo SUVs are not rock crawlers like Wranglers. In addition, there also is some offroading skill/experience/knowledge involved in this activity. Given the terrain in TFL video, I personally would not even attempt to traverse that road.

      https://youtu.be/keio0LRPjFE

    21. #19
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      Tires and ground clearance contribute more to off-roadability than anything else.
      Then transmission, and finally the finer engineering points: Traction algorithms, departure and break over angles, suspension, wheel travel and articulation, etc. etc.

      That said, I would imagine almost none of the target audience for the XC90 has intention of taking this deep off-roading on more than a sporadic basis. If they're an avid off-roader or mudder, they like to challenge Moab and Baja, I guarantee you the XC90 is not their go-to.

      This article is silly.
      Last edited by ShadowDancer; 01-28-2020 at 01:09 PM.
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