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Great car overall for performance and handling. But...
...For professed safety conscious Volvo, a very sensitive indicator stem means that if you so much as breathe on it accidentally during a gear change, you get three unwanted flashes, when you want none - and you can't stop it!! Great if another car thinks you're turning off when you're not!!
The thick "A pillar" means you can lose view of entire cars, and fiddly console buttons and a stupid menu system means where one press will do to turn on the Traffic Announcements on any other car, this one needs six, and from three separate buttons, all whilst viewing the menu screen. Crazy!!!
For RH drive versions (UK), the handbrake lever is near the passenger seat, great if you have a beautiful women next to you (wife, of course), but not good if its some fat geezer (yes I speak from experience). When it comes to loading and use the 60/40 split rear seats these are not good either.
Assume a long load, and you want to fold (the potentially useful) front passenger seat (which won't fold flat 'cos the head rest is too tall), but you still want room for two kids. No can do. The 40% split is behind the driver, so instead you have to loose two rear seats (60%), even if you're only sticking a length of 2" x 2" wood in the car. And, again, even if you only want a little bit extra load space and want to fold down the 40% rear seat, you can't do that without all the palaver of removing the, otherwise brilliant, cassette thing that holds a brolley, a roll up safety net, and a roll up rear luggage cover. It's heavy and awkward to do and then you need to store it somewhere...
For a safety conscious image company, Volvo has really got it really wrong controls wise. Dangerously so in my opinion (I'm an Advanced Driver, and used to drive 40-50000 miles per year - no convictions or accidents to date in over 25years, so I feel reasonably confident in my assessment).
For day to day practical load lugging - this car is not too brilliant either, mostly because Volvo can't be bothered to change the rear seat arrangements for RH drive versions. The lack of door pockets (microscopic in the front, and none at all in the back) is poor too.
For image and external design they have got that right, and itís a delight to drive handling and performance wise- just don't knock the indicator or use the radio! Oh, and I'm getting 50mpg in urban traffic to and from work everyday.
So in summary, if you're looking for traditional Volvo values, forget it. If you want something that handles well gives good economy, and looks good too - then itís very good. Very black & white, no mediocre here, the things it does well, it absolutely excels in, the things it does poorly in, are really very very poor.
For me though, with grown up kids, and limited times I need to load lug - I would choose it again, if only because you can learn to live with its short comings, and I love the styling. Maybe Volvo should become Italian.