Very nice looking inside and out, very functional, tight and solid car
No problems as yet.
Rear seat leg room is quite limited, especially with front seats fully back.
Space between accelerator and brake pedals is barely adequate for people with larger feet.
Rear storage area COVER is rather obtrusive and should be more compact. Storage area itself is quite compact.
Storage pod between the front seats is quite small, would be more useful if it were larger. Storage space available to the driver (for maps, Cds, etc) is rather lacking.
Interior fit, finish, and aesthetics are very good; a pleasure to be in. It seems Volvo has finally gotten over their insistence on using faulty interior plastics that become brittle and break prematurely. This car has a "soft touch" plastic material partly reminiscent of silicone that will probably last better. Controls on the center console are excellent: a combination of easy-to-work knobs for primary functions and menu programming to set preferences. Controls overall are very intuitive and easy. Sound system is fairly good for the base model. Leather seats are comfortable and supportive. Safety features are many and appreciated, some of which go unnoticed till they're needed. Example; I once accidentally shut the driver's door on my child's fingers. To my surprise, there was no pain-- large tubular rubber seal prevented a pinch. Air conditioning system works well, and the heating system is first-rate; this car has the most rapid heating system of any car in my experience. The overall feeling of solidness and quiet inside the car is particularly good.
Performance: Acceleration is only fair with the base engine, but fuel economy is good; and it requires only regular 87 octane gas (unlike Audi, BMW, etc. competing models). Braking and handling are quite competent.
Dealer service package is quite good; much better than the Subaru Outback that I also was considering. It extends one year longer for the Volvo, and you pay nothing, compared to about $1300 (for one year less coverage) with the Subaru.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 13th December, 2005