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XC90 2.5T, 3.2 or v8? Looking to buy

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on Volvo XC90s. The XC90 proved to be very popular, and very good for Volvo's sales numbers, since its introduction in model year 2003 (North America).
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MISSYGO98
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MISSYGO98

XC90 2.5T, 3.2 or v8? Looking to buy

Post by MISSYGO98 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:40 pm

Okay, I love my volvos. Have owned 240,850,v70,&xc70

I really really want xc90. I've had people tell me to stay away from certain models and years. I knew they had problems with the t6 & v8 in 2007 and older.
I'm so used to the 5cyl turbo and love how it drives.
2.5 are so hard to find. Is 3.2 the same as the t6 I heard so many bad things about? If 3.2 isint bad will I be as happy with that as I am my 2.5t wagons? Wound I want a bigger engine with the move to SUV? I don't plan on hauling big things & Im looking to spend around 13k. Any suggestions on years and engine type!?!?🤔
I love my 850 wagon. It's a Hot Soccor MOM Car!

cuhfs
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cuhfs

Re: XC90 2.5T, 3.2 or v8? Looking to buy

Post by cuhfs » Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:35 am

I'm happy with my 06 V8. Have it only for a few months.
95 850 Sedan Auto Trans
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traudesa
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traudesa

Re: XC90 2.5T, 3.2 or v8? Looking to buy

Post by traudesa » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:55 am

The 3.2 is not the same as the T6. The T6 was twin-turbo charged and had transmission issues, which ought to be remedied with a rebuild using a kit from Triple Edge Performance. Time will tell if it can be considered a final solution. The 3.2 was also a 6-cylinder, but was naturally aspirated and a completely different engine. The first year of V8s did have some problems with rusty counter balance shafts, but a quick check of the VIN will tell you if what you're looking at is subject to this danger.

I would try to test-drive each and decide for yourself, but the V8 and 2.5 engines seem to be the favorite among most folks. The V8 because it delivers fantastic power and a great sound, and the 2.5 because it gives good power for its size and is so tried and true (read: cheap to maintain, reliable). The biggest gripe about the V8 is that it's going to be more expensive long term. More fuel (obviously), and higher maintenance costs. The 3.2 is probably the easiest to find, but I've heard from a number of people that it feels very anemic. Others say they're perfectly happy with it, so you'll need to decide for yourself.

traudesa
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traudesa

Re: XC90 2.5T, 3.2 or v8? Looking to buy

Post by traudesa » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:59 am

I just remembered, there's a killer rundown on the various engines here.

xc62
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Re: XC90 2.5T, 3.2 or v8? Looking to buy

Post by xc62 » Sat May 13, 2017 2:53 pm

The Yamaha 4.4 V8 is a fine powerplant - great torque through a broad range and - for the mostpart (>2006 ser #s), highly reliable. Be prepared however, that certain parts prices (eg. PS, starter, pulleys, tensioner, and various odds 'n ends inherent to that particular motor) are - how you say, discouraging/frustrating :o . Prices are no doubt compounded by the relatively low number of the V8s out there (certain S80 and XC90 only) - this makes for less aftermarket opportunity. Additionally, servicing certain engine related items under that hood - challenging :x .

From what I understand, the driveability of the 2.5 is decidedly poor. Most owners out there from whom opinions can be derived will have the 3.2.

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ggleavitt
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ggleavitt

Re: XC90 2.5T, 3.2 or v8? Looking to buy

Post by ggleavitt » Tue May 16, 2017 10:29 am

For reliability and reasonable cost of maintaining, hard to beat the 2.5T, it's a tried and true Volvo powerplant that spans many years and many models in a number of variations. AW5x transmission also has a very good record across the models and years. Had mine for 12 years now, no major complaints. Sure, lots of satisfied folks with the 3.2, personally it's not for me. I also own a V8, outstanding power and lots of fun to drive, but just wait until something breaks and you're looking at a $1000 range repair easy.

All things considered, in my opinion the latter year (2006-2007) 2.5T is a very desirable model to own as far as powerplant reliability and cost of ownership. You'll spend enough on other areas of the car to not have to worry about the V8 engine (if SN <6833) and/or TF-80SC transmission (if SN <06J).

Couple of other links that might be help (opinion only):
http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthread ... of-Concern
http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthread ... ore-buying
2005 2.5T AWD-199k
2008 V8 AWD Sport-130k

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Roger_850T
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Roger_850T

Re: XC90 2.5T, 3.2 or v8? Looking to buy

Post by Roger_850T » Tue May 16, 2017 7:55 pm

I have a 2005 V8, and I'm very happy with it. And yes, I have one of the "at risk" earlier ones. It's not a big deal if you understand the issue.

The issue is that some people like to wash their engine. Water collects at the back end of the balance shaft, and doesn't drain, so after you wash your engine, the back balance shaft bearing sits in water, and the bearing rusts. Eventually the bearing fails. Starting with Engine s/n ~6833, the factory added drain holes, so that if you do wash your engine, the water drains out. If you have an earlier engine, you can disassemble (remove one cylinder head and the balance shaft) and drill the drain hole in the appropriate location, and the issue is handled. The other solution is "don't wash your engine". You can wipe it down and keep it clean, just don't run water all over it.

I've had mine for ~40,000 miles with no issues. As long as I don't wash it, I expect I will be good. And yes, the engine is really smooth and nice and powerful, and the gas mileage is about the same as cars with the 3.2 or 2.5T. It's a big heavy car, don't expect Prius mileage out of any of them.

Cheers!

Roger
'05 XC90 V8 140k
'95 854T 310k
'02 V70 159k
'03 S80 111k (crashed)
'93 945T 217k (gone to be parted out)
'87 245 300k+ sold, still going
'84 264 Diesel, RIP at 160k
'78 242 manual everything.
'73 P1800ES, fun until the rust set in...

xHeart
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xHeart

Re: XC90 2.5T, 3.2 or v8? Looking to buy

Post by xHeart » Fri May 04, 2018 8:00 am

Happy anniversary to this thread!

I'm looking at XC90 in 2007-2013 year range. V8 is exciting and cabin feels nicer, but too much for urban life with no plans for towing away life.

3.2L B6324S is readily available for 2007-2013. However, I've zero knowledge and workings of 6 cylinder. Is it possible to translate my 850 N/A and V70XC experience to a 3.2?

TIA.
--
Golden Retriever | 2014D VIDA DiCE | 2013A XC90 +144mi/231km | 2001 V70XC 1st Owner +196mi/ +315km | 1997 Volvo 850 NA 1st Owner +180mi/ +289km
Past: German Shepherd | 1989 Volvo 740 GL | 1979 Volvo 240

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mrbrian200
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mrbrian200

Re: XC90 2.5T, 3.2 or v8? Looking to buy

Post by mrbrian200 » Fri May 04, 2018 6:34 pm

Some say the 2.5T low pressure turbo 5 is a little under powered for the XC90. It depends whether you ever really plan on hauling a full compliment of 7 passengers + luggage straight up the side of a mountain. My sis has an 03 2.5T. Most of the time it's just her with no cargo on rolling/flat terrain. The 2.5T is plenty powerful in the XC90 in that scenerio. I've driven it with 1 to 3 adult passengers along, it's more than adequate. One time helping relatives on a short move we put all the seats flat and had it packed tight up to the ceiling with lots of heavy junk. In that situation it still seemed adequate (through flat surburban stop and go) like my cousins Tahoe that has a 5.something liter (NA) V8.

Now a 2.5L *non turbo* in the XC90 (I think there are a few, but they're uncommon) probably would be under powered if you tried to load the thing up. If you think you're going to load your XC90 with a half ton of people and a trailer, then yes, you probably would want to hold out for a L6/L6 turbo or the NA V8.

wanderdüne
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wanderdüne

Re: XC90 2.5T, 3.2 or v8? Looking to buy

Post by wanderdüne » Sat May 05, 2018 9:10 am

I prefer the 2.5T as well, '05 and '06 have a larger side seat airbag then the '03-'04. I would not shy away from the T6 as long as the transmission has been rebuilt AND has been reprogrammed after the rebuild. The trans on my '03 has 130K mi. after the rebuild and performs well, 180K mi. on the XC. I don't particularly like that it has twice as many turbos to go bad, but overall, I enjoy it. That said, if a 2.5T comes up for sale near me, I will certainly consider it and sell my T6 if I buy it.

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