After three Volvo's this vehicle is refreshing. In fact, this vehicle is almost everything my last V70 should have been. It handles better. It rides better. It's MUCH quieter. It has great directional stability. It cost's only a very little more to fuel it, with regular fuel compared to Volvo's premium thirst.
I'm a large person (6ft,3in.) so I needed almost 2 months to get used to the drivers seat. The seat cushion is too short (I knew this when I made the purchase decision, but I also knew I could become accustomed to it). Even with it fully adjusted for rake it leans forward causing the driver to slide ever so slightly forward while braking even moderately. A nuisance which I intend to correct by raising the front of the cushion with longer bolts and spacers. Otherwise I have adapted.
We have recently returned from a holiday to Maine in it. It proved to be a worthy, and comfortable companion. My wife loves the car. Other people seem to like it also. In fact, we hadn't had the car 10 minutes when we were hailed by a person passing in a Honda and asked what it was, and where could she could get one. She thought it was beautiful. We have had many admirers since.
The interior looks very upscale, the HVAC, with dual controls works, just as good as our old Volvo. The defroster even better. The radio sounds good, but has weak reception. The storage bins in the cargo area floor are a bonus.
I did shop all the other comparable SUV's. They just don't compare in quiet, ride, or comfort.
Only one thing I wish for. Diesel power. I would buy it in a second, having had a couple of diesel powered Peugeots many years ago.
Note to current '07 Santa Fe owners. The roof rack cross bars are easily removed (less than five minutes, only a screw driver needed) and when removed makes the car even quieter. I found that they added wind noise at highway speed.
That's it then. I don't have any of the negative vibes I had developed early on with my last Volvo. I'm very upbeat about our future with this car. This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.