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JRC19S
11-02-2009, 02:17 PM
Hi Cross Countryers

I am in the process of changing my fairly ungainly diesel Pajero for a Cross Country as I'd like something a bit more road friendly. I drive up & down to Mt Victoria a bit and do the occasional bit of off road. I've had 6 Volvos since 1977 (145, 164, 142, 245, 240 then a Saab 9000 for 12y; currently have a 95 850 5 sp wagon) so I am no stranger to the brand.

What I'd like before jumping in completely is some help on is the true off road capability of the XC for example has anyone taken one of these through (each place named I have been in Pajero with no problems, in 4wd but did not need low range)
- Patterson's fire trail (Kurrajong to Bilpin)(this can't be hard I've done it on a mtn bike)
- Bridal Track to Hill End after rain, or Sofala - Turon River Road ?
- beach adventures eg Stockton ?
- dunes eg Bore Track / Innamincka?

I'd just like to know if the XC handles all this in its stride and simply drives nicely up or is there a whole heap of drama with spinning front wheels before the viscous coupling lets the back wheels do their work ? There are a few videos out there on youtube that would put you right off (search volvo cross country) climbing muddy hills or stuck in sand.

Also, as another new owner question; if its not too much to ask; what sort of L/100km are folks getting puttering around Sydney or other city; and how much on a trip ? is it as good as the 11 / 8 in the Volvo catalogue. I assume you all use premium unleaded in these but maybe you don't have to.

A lot of ask there! Thanks everybody and looking forward to being a 'muddy Volvo driver' (where can we get that sticker made?) in the future.

PJ810
11-03-2009, 01:01 AM
Firstly I'd like to say I like your history of cars. Likewise, I've had a range of 200 series and also an 850. Going from an 850 to an XC is a world of difference. Recently drove a friend's '86 9000 Turbo (manual), first one to make it into the country. Very nice cars too!

Re the famous Youtube video, that's nonsense. There was definitely something wrong with that particular car!

My parents climbed a very steep track in Queensland with their '99. They ignored police and local advice which said there was no way they could go up in anything less than a Landcruiser. The car had no problem with the gradient at all. My parents also crossed creeks that they really shouldn't have attempted. Do a search on this forum and you'll see some spectacular river crossing photos!

I drive my XC on the beach, but not too far and am very careful. I don't have 4WD experience and know that it is easy to get bogged. There's soft sand and hard sand and wet sand. I have taken it up a slight dune which I didn't expect to concur.

Did Hill End and Sofala in a Volvo 244 (many years ago before they fixed up all the roads).

A trip I did about 18 months ago with a group of 4WDers saw me chicken out at the same time as the Pajeros. We were well and truly into 4WD-only territory. I find uphills are easier for an XC than downhills. The challenge is lack of ground clearance, not grunt.

Tyres and their pressure will also make a huge difference for you. I'm now running high performance road tyres because I mostly drive on solid surfaces and that's the bias I choose. With the standard Pirelli Scorpions you should be fine doing most of the more challenging stuff without going very hard core. [thumbup]

JRC19S
11-03-2009, 02:45 AM
Thanks for that advice Patrick; very helpful.

I have to admit the Pajero has a few lowish spots underneath, eg the fuel tank and the exhaust routing. I have bent a lug on the Hayman reese towbar but that was doing an 'optional' road (into Baal Bone Gap).

I will want to take the car camping; actually the only difference I see with the pajero as far as roominess is concerned is the back section of the Paj is 200mm higher inside. Otherwise there is more room in the Volvo. If i do anything serious I,ll take out the 3rd row seat and put plywood sheet in and have the extra room. I am presuming the reason the car has a spacesaver spare is so the 3rd row seat can be fitted properly.

BTW my Saab was a 1996 9000 CS turbo manual (like all my cars). Picture on www.saab9000.com. I did get it to the glowworm tunnel and back with 3 adults & 2 children in the car. But i did take some sections a lot more carefully than I would have in a 4wd.

PJ810
11-03-2009, 03:10 AM
I don't have a third row of seats and have a full sized alloy spare identical to the other wheels. I also have an extra storage compartment under the floor. The new model XC70 can be optioned with a full sized spare, but then you lose the secret storage compartment.

Search the forum and you'll find people have upgraded from various 4WDs to the XC70 and report it to be a better car for many demanding circumstances. It will surely be WAY more comfortable. Quieter, safer, and a much better handling vehicle on normal road conditions.

I find the shape of the Volvo load area incredibly good. Anything I try to fit seems to always fit perfectly. Be it a dining table with the legs attached, to laundry tubs and other weird and wonderful stuff. I carry it all! Plus the roof is usefull low enough so that you can use the roof rails!

Suspension will feel a bit rolly polly compared to your $aab, but once you get used to the handling and the AWD, the XC70 can be driven deceptively quickly in corners. :D

JRC19S
11-03-2009, 03:25 AM
Certainly agree with your roof thoughts. Getting a kayak on and off the paj has cost me 15 visits to the physio earlier this year. The other big plus with the xc over any 4wd (except the latest discovery) is it has an instant awning when you open the back.

Nice to know I can get a big spare in there if I take the seat out.

I daresay it would be a bit roly poly as you put it; my 9k had an aero suspension.

Lets see what happens...

PJ810
11-03-2009, 03:41 AM
Certainly agree with your roof thoughts. Getting a kayak on and off the paj has cost me 15 visits to the physio earlier this year. The other big plus with the xc over any 4wd (except the latest discovery) is it has an instant awning when you open the back.

Nice to know I can get a big spare in there if I take the seat out.

I daresay it would be a bit roly poly as you put it; my 9k had an aero suspension.

Lets see what happens...

Ah, another kayaker. :) Trust you've seen my XC/kayak beach photo I posted somewhere taken at Clontarf?

I have a second full-sized spare I take with me on longer trips. Thankfully never needed.

My friend with the 9000Turbo, which is really his dad's as we were too young in 1986, also had a 9000CS which blew up recently (which led to the purchase of a Corolla and subsequently divorce:eek:). Anyway, he drove my XC when he owned the 9000CS and loved the smoothness and ride of the Volvo.

There's a suspension compromise there, but I believe Volvo have done an incredible job. Had a modified BMW 635CSi try and shake me along the twisty roads behind Wisemans Ferry. No chance. :D AWD is a wonderful thing when you know how to use it.

myzomela
11-03-2009, 12:20 PM
G'day JRC19S,

On fuel consumption, yes I am so far matching the 11/8 you quoted from the catalogue. That's in Canberra, rather than Sydney. I do tend to drive gently, but then I drove a 145 until this year: "gently" was the only way to drive, and the habit has stuck.

When you have a source of "Muddy Volvo Driver" stickers, I'll get one too.[thumbup]

JRC19S
11-03-2009, 07:41 PM
That's encouraging.

Have you ever got it stuck or does yours handle the slippery stuff well?


I had a 145 once. 1971 white / blue seats. Great car - super simple - but a dolomite sprint drove into the side of it.

myzomela
11-03-2009, 09:49 PM
Slippery stuff: Haven't don't a whole lot yet, but in July we did a rather muddy drive to Tumut via Piccadilly Circus.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2496/4069057779_d12d399b75.jpg
I scarcely noticed the mud while driving. Another story when we stopped.

I'm suspect PJ810 will have more to say on this issue.

Like me, my four-year-old likes what we can do in the XC, but still misses the 145. Perhaps we should start a thread on the "All the other vehicles" forum for those who miss their 145s...

JRC19S
11-03-2009, 10:58 PM
I was looking for a 145 but it had to b e the twin carb with the long gear lever...1970 or 71. ended up getting an 850 non turbo with a 5sp box; a lot of fun for a 15 y.o. car.

PJ810
11-04-2009, 02:52 AM
If it is slippery you don't want to be in anything BUT an XC70. :D

I've had all three of my 200 series Volvos unstuck in the wet. Once had a fright on a dry dirt road with the 244GLE. Turned round a corner, then lost all vision as the sun hit the dust on the windscreen at some particular angle. Had to do some quick correcting which saw the car slide all over the place.:eek:

I've driven a manual 850T5. [thumbup]

The family's 1996 850SE (auto) I didn't like much at all. On bumpy surfaces the front wouldn't stay tied down. I never quite understood why the 850 got all the hype about it finally being a "fun to drive" Volvo. 240, 740, 940, etc were all much more entertaining to drive. And in my opinion more fun to steer and chuck around corners than BMWs of that era.

Back to mud, get yourself an XC, go find some mud, and play around. Do a search on Youtube for Freelander and XC70 on sand. There's some great footage of both a Freelander and an XC70 performing admirably on a beach. Stopping hard, then pulling out of the self-made ditches. And climbing some minor dunes.

JRC, are you shopping for a pre or post 2003 XC? Pre 2003 you'll have to make do with the old viscous coupling AWD, which I have. Post 2003 you'll enjoy the quicker Haldex setup. I *think* 2005 went to Haldex3 and 2007 to Haldex4, but don't quote me.

For fun spirited driving I find my viscous AWD has a flat spot so to speak. Drive it merely quickly, and the FWD bias is a little annoying, with insufficient RWD action. No torque steer or anything nasty, just not the push from behind that a Volvo chassis seems to need. Go nuts, and you get bucket loads of power to the rear wheels and the dynamics change entirely. This characteristic catches people off guard. They drive it a little quicker than normal and think it's a bad handling car. But push it beyond that point of vagueness and suddenly it will put a huge smile on your face. :D

With wet slippery conditions, RWD power comes on quicker. I also love feeling the shift of power between the left and the right when two wheels end up in mud (I've experienced 100% traction through only the right wheels and none in the left!).

JRC19S
11-04-2009, 03:18 PM
I found the video Patrick. I'm glad the dog kept out of the way.

If the vehicle can handle that I'm sold. Soft sand is simply the worst stuff I've evr been on. Once got a landcruiser stuck near Anna Bay because of my own ineptitude. Anyway. I had to dig myself out. That XC made it look just too easy.

Yes the vehicle I am looking at is an 01 model. Much later gets a bit expensive & the folks at Swedeserve claim it is more like AWD in the pre 2003 models. Just as long as the rear comes in if you start slipping when going slowly I am happy. Most of the time I like to take the rough stuff carefully

myzomela
11-04-2009, 03:27 PM
Yes the vehicle I am looking at is an 01 model. Much later gets a bit expensive & the folks at Swedeserve claim it is more like AWD in the pre 2003 models. Just as long as the rear comes in if you start slipping when going slowly I am happy. Most of the time I like to take the rough stuff carefully

Lovely, will you have it in time for this Sunday's drive day?

JRC19S
11-04-2009, 03:57 PM
Not this Sunday. Trackcare day at Mt Vic followed by some climbs.

PJ810
11-04-2009, 07:38 PM
I found the video Patrick. I'm glad the dog kept out of the way.

If the vehicle can handle that I'm sold. Soft sand is simply the worst stuff I've evr been on. Once got a landcruiser stuck near Anna Bay because of my own ineptitude. Anyway. I had to dig myself out. That XC made it look just too easy.

Yes the vehicle I am looking at is an 01 model. Much later gets a bit expensive & the folks at Swedeserve claim it is more like AWD in the pre 2003 models. Just as long as the rear comes in if you start slipping when going slowly I am happy. Most of the time I like to take the rough stuff carefully

There's also a video of a woman getting an XC bogged on a beach. I guess a lot has to do with the driver. I'm reluctant to venture out too far on sand by myself just in case.