A rocket-powered station wagon
One and only fault:
Rear window wiper faulty.
Things that could have been done better:
Alarm was removed; in winter storms in the mountains all it did was drain the battery ensuring you couldn't start the car in the morning. Kind of normal problem, but I think a Swedish car could have been designed better.
In very low temperatures (well below freezing) it sometimes happens that one of the doors won't unlock due to condensation in the door frame freezing while the car is standing. Very annoying. Also happens on my Audi A6 company car.
Eats front tires; but for 300BHP through 205/45R17s that has to be expected.
Would be nice if Volvo supplied protective rings for the rims of those 17" titanium wheels (which cost a fortune). In European cities its kind of impossible to park without hitting a loose/tilting curb-stone on an occasional basis.
A little reminder: Doesn't handle quite like a true sports-car, but it *is* a station-wagon and still out-corners most cars on the road hereabouts if you know what you are doing.
The car is spec'd at 250BHP, but I had it re-tuned to 300BHP at 13000km (8000mi).
The car is, despite sport-chassis and lowered/stiffened suspension, extremely comfortable as well as extremely fast and the fuel-economy isn't too bad either; around 10l/100km when cruising steadily on the motorway at 130kph.
The leather sports seats give sufficient hold when flexing horses on mountainous roads and the slight fish-tailing on those hairpin-bends becomes a great deal of fun. Wider tires (e.g. 225/45R17s) wouldn't go amiss, but, sadly, are not permitted in Austria under *ANY* circumstances due to vehicle typing - this would require re-typing the vehicle at a cost of around EUR 1000 plus some work on widening the wheel-arches. Not worth it - not yet anyway.
The 300BHP will take the car from 120kph/70mph to 200kph and beyond in a very short time indeed and I can do a 0-100 (0-60) in around 6.5 to 7.0 seconds if I can find a good surface to do it on. The car maxes out at around 270kph (165MPH) but handling (or what passes for handling at that speed) already feels flaky at around ~220kph. Due to its weight (1900kg with a full tank and a passenger) it is very important to remember that at higher speeds, >200kph/130mph, you are AIMING the car rather than steering it!
Standard sound-system is still installed, 8spk 4x75W w/3 CD-changer and the quality impresses people. Passenger seat - and even rear seats, is/are very comfortable - when going on group-vacation into the Alps people argue over who gets to sit in my car.
Loads of space in the back to put luggage, skis, hiking-equipment and so on in - it really *is* a sporting vehicle!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 11th January, 2004