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Discussion Starter #1
I'll post some thoughts about getting acquainted with my '20 RDesign T5 with Polestar.

Until the beginning of this week, our garage had an '02 BMW 325 xi, a '90 VW Vanagon Westphalia, and an '17 Yamaha FJR-1300 motorcycle (all in a narrow two-bay garage!), with an '04 BMW X3 outside.

As posted here, it's taken a little time to adjust to the "double pop" shifting. Coming from driving nothing but manual cars since the late 70's (do the math - yep, I ain't that young), and rarely driving automatic rentals, adjusting to PRND has been amusing. So far I haven't hit walls in front or behind when starting to roll. Actually, the double-pop is coming almost ...ah-hem... automatically.

There is one McGuffin, though. Get a little enthusiastic and the car's in Manual. Which can be a surprise on a test hop When the motor winds up something fierce because the car's in M1. Oops.

Turning the motor off (push start/stop, not auto-stop) and the car's dropped into Park. The e-brake isn't set, though. Lots of people rely on Park and don't worry about the e-brake. The XC40 very nicely drops out of Park, of course, when going for anywhere on RNDM. Start to drive in either direction and the e-brake comes off. With a small bump, as a reminder to release the e-brake first. Or not. It's your car.

Next, thoughts about voice command. SPOILER - IMHO it sux.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
The voice control package is simply not ready for prime time. I've tried it with media and navigation. The success rate was maybe 10%? Driving to the dealer, I tried "Navigate to Volvo". There happen to be only three dealers in the immediate area. Rather than offering Doylestown (not very close, but close), Norristown, or Ft. Washington (destination and very close), it offered twenty dealerships, none near me.

I've stored Home in the nav system. "Navigate to Home" gave what amounts to "home undefined". It shows up on the screen, though.

Trying to dial by number "Dial 888-555-1234" produced "repeat that". Any version of that failed. Even if I spoke sloooowly and distinctly. If I used some expression or word it didn't know, it did put up, on the instrument panel, a list of possible commands. Not recommended reading while driving, though.

The only commands that produced at least some result, even if it was the wrong one, was in the media package. I got the FM radio portion doing something unwanted.

To be fair, my motorcycle intercom has voice commands, too. Much of the time it's clueless, too. But I have something like 50% success rate. Even while driving at highway speeds (I have a "full face" helmet, which limits wind noise).

Unless I've missed a trick or two about using voice commands, I don't plan on using it again.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I had a bring-back!

Driving down a major highway, between 60 and 70 MPH (100 - 130 km/hr) I felt a shake. Go faster or slower and everything was fine.

The dealer (Volvo of Fort Washington - northwest of Philadelphia) had room for me the same afternoon. Long story short, a 1/4 ounce (7 grams) wheel weight was missing. Either it wasn't there to begin with or fell off (the weights are stick-on, not clip-on). Either way, with the weight in place, no more problem.

Every system, complex or simple, has three states of repair. Brand new, there's so-called "infant mortality", normal service. and "end of service life". The missing weight is a simple case of "infant mortality". I won't be surprised if something else lets go in the next few weeks.

Once the car's been in service for a while, the odds are that all of the "exciting" failures have happened as "infant mortality". Somewhere out where it's fair to say the vehicle's hit the end of its service life, it'll become expensive again.

I sold our '04 BMW X3, with 116K miles (about 186K km) on it, partly because the suspension was beginning to need parts (front right strut failed and had to be replaced to get through our state's annual inspection). The X3 has all-wheel drive. The transfer case is known to "have problems" and ours was making expensive noises. $3K for the case, to say nothing of replacement. Bye, bye, X3, hello, XC40.

Am I upset about the bring-back? Nope. What about the wipers and heavy rain? Well... let's talk about that.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Our area was on the edge of Tropical Storm Fay. Here, maybe 100 miles (160 km), from the point of closest approach to the center of the storm, we had a total of 4 inches (11 cm) of rain. Some of it was between light and "the usual". Some was what I call a "frog choker" rain - heavy, heavy rain. Winds weren't too bad. I saw one or two small branches down, but mostly it was just leaves. In this weather, I drove to the dealer.

For the most part, the wipers earned their keep. Once I figured out where the switch was for the rear window wiper (no complaint about that), it earned its keep, too. What didn't do so well was "rain detection" mode. Rain detection worked, of course. There was enough rain coming down that it'd be a bad day if it didn't. I expected the wipers would run faster as the rain increased. If it did, I didn't notice it. Our BMW's can do it, so where's Volvo on this?

Overall assessment, yes, it works, but expect to intervene if it's really, really raining.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Polestar... It's "all that" and more! I'm still getting used to the car, just using normal mode. I've pushed it hard a few times, and it hasn't bitten me. In the pouring rain (see wiper discussion) I went through one of my nearby "fun zones". Leaving our house, the entry to the "fun zone" begins by going slightly uphill before dropping into a moderately steep descent. Which means that it's a nearly blind entry, leaving me praying whoever is coming the other way isn't in the middle of the road or worse.

Over the edge of the rise the road turns left and drops, briefly going straight, before coming into a right-hand curve, running straight and flat for maybe five-seven car lengths before another right-hand turn leads into a climb back up, ending in a left-hand turn and out of the "fun zone". It doesn't last long, but it sure is fun.
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At "Granny driving to church" speeds it's simple. At "feel the need for speed" speeds it's fun because it's so short, and the changes come close together. Soooooooooooo...

Once I sort out the paddles, and spend some time in Polestar mode, I'm looking forward to trying on the "fun zone". And of course Granny will be going to church when I arrive. Of course.

When changing driving modes, the choice for "sporty" is now marked "Polestar". If Polestar isn't in the list of modes, it's not installed. It can be installed at any time. It's a firmware change. There are no major changes to the vehicle.

The option is marked at $1300 USD. I did a bit of "bargaining" (heck, the dealer saw me coming and used a "discount" to nail down the sale) on the price as part of the delivered vehicle. I doubt there's going to be a discount on an after-market installation.

There are several changes to the vehicle's behavior. The throttle response is "you'd better mean it" fast. There's an emphasis on increasing mid-range torque. Transmission shift points are different, and the transmission won't shift, in automatic mode, while in a high-G (tight and fast) turn.

While the RDesign with T5 is ...ah... zippy, the Polestar mods turn it into "no more Mr. Nice Guy". While anyone who wants to use Polestar heavily is not likely to worry about MPG or tire wear, Polestar will drain the tank in a hurry, and plan on buying new tires. A lot.

Is the car a waste of time without it? No. Does Polestar say "welcome to the fun"? You bet!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It may seem that the mat for the cargo area and raising that nifty shopping bag partition are mutually exclusive. They're not. It took me a little time doing origami with the mat to figure out the answer.

The mat is designed to fold at the lines running across the mat. The mat is the same width front to back. Sooooo... fold one end of the mat so the front (rough) surfaces of the mat are touching. Take the fold at the other end of the mat and fold it so the back (smooth ) surfaces of the mat are touching. At the end the mat is folded in thirds. Tuck into the floor space on the front side of the partition. The mat's out of the way and lining one part of the cargo area. Woohoo!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My wife just took her "get acquainted" ride in the XC40. She spent a little time getting used to the lighter, quicker steering. Her car ('02 BMW 325 xi) has distinctly heavier steering compared my X3 (OK, really cars of choice - the 325's nice, too, but there's only an AM/FM/CD "entertainment system" - no Bluetooth, no USB port. And the CD deck isn't 100%. I keep offering to put in an after-market head with at least Bluetooth and USB. No sale so far. Anyway...

The first thing I did was to set the car to Profile 2. I didn't bring my key along. I assumed its presence would cause problems. I assume that, at this point, the presence of Chris' key will have the car behaving, and set up, to fit her.

For Chris, a car is a way to get from A to B and back, with maybe carrying something in back.IMHO she's not the world's best driver. But you never heard me say that. LOL

Once she got used to the steering, she was fine with that. She commented on the smaller steering wheel diameter. I've noticed it, too. Not a gripe, just a "wonder why" - probably it's because of the smaller cabin. So what.

Chris has always been a "brake at the last possible moment" driver. It drives me nuts. I know it cuts into tire wear. I gave up arguing about that years ago. In the XC40, I think she's having a harder time gauging how fast she's going when she gets into the brakes. Grrr... There was no complaint about brake feel or pedal response, though.

We found a surprise with locking the car that I still don't understand. She pressed the Lock button and the doors locked as they should. The odd part was, while standing next to the door, the door didn't unlock. We went through a few rounds of Lock, Unlock before the car went back to proximity sensing. Strange. I have no idea about what happened to cause this.

The center panel is a mystery for her. I showed her how to pick radio mode. She can manage that, but otherwise doesn't want to touch the panel. Fair enough. She was a lawyer, not an IT specialist.

The other major comment was about the stiff ride. So it goes with 19" rims and low profile tires. Too bad we couldn't get a car with the 4C suspension.

We have a common gripe about the headrests. They project too far forward, forcing driving with the headed "nodded" or somehow sitting so the upper back isn't supported. To be far to Volvo, we noticed this in the '20 BMW X1. We both dislike this. Grrr...

Overall, Chris still prefers her 325, but doesn't dislike the XC40. Fair enough.

PS - I watch the inflation of the 325's tire pressure. Obviously the steering is heavier with under-inflated tires. So say nothing about bad tire wear.
 

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Loved your posts and I share many of the same observations! I have gotten fully used to the headrests. And, yes, the voice commands are totally unusable. Absolute waste.. half the time it does not even understand "Yes." Also wish the Nav would use Google for actual routing and not just the map searches in the app. I really can't use the Nav unless I just really don't care when I get there. I suppose Apple Car Play has made native systems irrelevant, but then they should allow integration into the full-screen as well as the gauge cluster nav display.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I generally assume any GPS routing is a suggestion. If I agree with the choice, fine. Otherwise, it' isn't the GPS that's doing the driving. :D

Apple/Android Car Play is, for me, a non-starter. Once I get the car set the way I want for any trip for go-fer to serious distance, the last thing I want is any device demanding my attention. There are too many crazies/idiots to be distracted by anything in the cabin. I guess also spending time on a motorcycle (mostly long haul) helps maintain paranoia even inside a "cage".
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Um... being an Android user, Apple Car Play probably won't work too well for me. ;)
 

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Voice commands is poor... no question about it. The only thing I use it for is "Navigation".... "Take me home..." That's about it. I can never get the calls to work or anything else. Then again, my accent probably threw the system off.
 

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I tried Navigate Home... "Home not defined", even though it works working through the screen, and there's even a home icon right we live. Sigh...

I hoped there was some sort of learning process but, if there is, it isn't working here. Grrr...
 

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I tried Navigate Home... "Home not defined", even though it works working through the screen, and there's even a home icon right we live. Sigh...

I hoped there was some sort of learning process but, if there is, it isn't working here. Grrr...
try this instead.... "take me home" So the full sequence is you: "Navigation" Volvo: "what do you want to do?" You: "take me home" Volvo: "home address set as destination"
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Isn't that a lyric from John Denver? ;D
 
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Sigh... I found out there's a distinct vibration between 60 and 70 MPH. That was fixed by re-balancing the front right tire and add 1/4 oz. weight. OK, old news. But the saga continues.

The overall ride has been on the harsh side. 19" rims, low profile tires do not make for a cushy ride. Still... that's it?

Vibration, hard ride, bad assumption (right tire pressure). BZZZT!! Wrong-o tire air breath. All the tire pressures were 41-42 PSI in cool tires. What the h*** is this s***?!? There will be words about that.

I dropped the pressure to 33 PSI, just like it says on the door frame and... oooohh! Nice, but firm, ride. Feels better in hard cornering. Life is just tickety-boo. Or is it?

I invested some toll money to move along ...ah... briskly. I also got caught in construction and had to slow down. Between the two, I tested anywhere from 50 MPH to 80 MPH (or more??) and... The 60-70 MPH vibration is gone. Sort of. There's now a continuous light vibration from about 40 MPH to (don't ask how far above the 70 MPH speed limit). Drop below 40 and it goes away.

Is it a flatted tire or odd tire wear from over-inflation? Possible but the vibration rate seems constant - not a "road speed" item. It doesn't seem to be an "engine speed" item, either. It's just there.

The car's already scheduled to go to the dealer to took into original 60-70 MPH vibration, I'll just hand them this new item in its place. Good thing I'm getting a loaner...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Lane Assist... I am not a fan of lane assist systems. I turn them off in rent-a-racers. But, hey, I paid for this one, so lets see what it does. What it does is confuse my wife and me.

First, when it and the pilot function shine... in my speed run, I tried the auto-pilot (yes, that's a pun) and it seemed to work. At least the little green steering wheel stayed green except when changing lanes. Nice! I had my doubts about how well it tracked the fog stripe (name for the white line on the edge of the road - honest). In the construnction zone, the barriers (concrete or Armco) were only a foot or two from the fog stripe. Putting a wheel on that line would be very, very, very expensive. However, I found a couple of "pull in here" gaps - the fog stripe seemed to be detected. Overall, this thing works. Yea!

Now, on normal roads with boring speed limits... sometimes Lane Assist (no cruise control, no auto-pilot) either buzzed the wheel or shoved the wheel. In other places it didn't. The little Lane Assist icon on the instrument panel was grey when the middle stripe was ignored (hit the on-coming truck - I don't care if you do). Sometimes the stripes would turn white, which I take to mean "awake and watching". And get zero feedback from setting a tire on either the center line or fig stripe. And occasionally the icon stripes would turn yellow and I'd get feedback.

Either my Lane Assist is a bring-back item (Grrr...) or I haven't a clue as to how to use it correctly. "Input! Need input!" - Johnny-5 (robot - extra points for knowing the movie title)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The hard ride from over-inflated tires had me beginning to lose my religion on the XC40. Dropping to the correct 33 PSI has made a major change in ride. My religion is restored.

While the notes above are, in some measure, critical of my car, I still can't wait to find another excuse to drive around. Shelter in place... Grrr...
 

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Turning the motor off (push start/stop, not auto-stop) and the car's dropped into Park. The e-brake isn't set, though. Lots of people rely on Park and don't worry about the e-brake. The XC40 very nicely drops out of Park, of course, when going for anywhere on RNDM. Start to drive in either direction and the e-brake comes off. With a small bump, as a reminder to release the e-brake first. Or not. It's your car.
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I set my profile up so that when I turn my XC40 off, the e-brake is set automatically. You need to go through the settings to find this option.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I found two good excuses to get on the road again (Hmmm... isn't there a song title in there somewhere?). The first ended in a quick run down a delicious piece of road. (Same piece of road, running at about 1/2-2/3 speed -
)

I had Polestar on and used manual mode. I still don't have them wired in yet, but it was still an adrenaline rush running at about 3/4 speed. Where I could. A pesky UPS truck killed the first 1/4 mile, and a slow car got me at the end. But in between? OH, MAMA! Aside from the trees(!), the next stop, on the left side, is Unami Creek. Get this race course wrong and it won't be fun. 8-O

The second ride was a friendly, no hurry ride to the local farmers' market (one-way flow, masks mandatory (and checked), no eating on site (used to be picnic tables), and distancing.

Overall, with the right tire pressure, this is the car I expected the XC40 RDesign to be. Happy, happy, joy, joy.

ADDED: The Sony FDR-X3000 is a darn good action cam. Each demo mode runs about five minutes. By the last section, you can see how bumpy the road is. The XC40 never bottomed the suspension or left a wheel in the air while coming over bump. Darn fine suspension. Even though she understeers.
 
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