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Going for her maiden cruise in a full on blizzard today by crossing the Cascade Mountains! Should be exciting to see about performance in the snow with the Nokian Hakkapeliitta's installed.
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Looks lovely. How was the drive?
 

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Going for her maiden cruise in a full on blizzard today by crossing the Cascade Mountains! Should be exciting to see about performance in the snow with the Nokian Hakkapeliitta's installed.
View attachment 2099
Please tell us more! Did you purchase a second set? Are they the new Nordic non-studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 winter tire? If they are a second set, what was your OEM set?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Sorry to have put this post out with so little detail. It has been a 48-hour whirl wind since taking possession of this beast. When I say beast, I mean the most refined, comfortable, and advanced, beast I know, save my wife and daughter who are amazing, beautiful and tough as nails simultaneously.

We ordered this car since we spend a lot of time in the mountains in winter. My wife is a ski coach, and daughter at 16 and retired from ski racing now dedicating herself to competitive soccer. We are pulled in different direction nearly every weekend and we needed a second car that could handle the Cascade passes and to support both our passions: skiing and soccer. Our mountain car has been a Honda CRV which has performed admirably, for the most part and we also own a Chevy Bolt EV which has primarily been our city car.

Before purchasing the Bolt, I committed to never buying an ICE again. When we identified the need for a second mountain car we were excited to find the XC40 recharge and also considered Tesla Y and VW ID4. We drove them all and really found the XC40 superior. We ordered the car in mid-November and picked the one with the nearest delivery time - boat arriving in Tacoma in two weeks. Turned out to be 4 weeks before we took possession, but we expected delays.

During the intervening period I tried to figure out a good approach for snow tires. I firmly believe in dedicated winter tires for the insane road conditions we have in Washington. We often start in 45 F at sea level, cross a 4000' mountain pass where we can often find low 20 or teens Fahrenheit. My ideal would have been to purchase 18" rims and use Blizzak tires which I love (our CRV runs DM-V2 Blizzak and they are great). You'all know the XC-40 P8 has asymmetrical tire size (front to rear) and as I learned the wheel sizes are also asymmetrical (7.5" F, 8.5" R). Seems obvious in retrospect, but this caused a lot of confusion and took a while to get the Volvo dealer to confidently tell me this information. The ultimate information said XC40s imported to the US are spec'ed for 19 and 20" wheels and the dealer said they would not support installation of 18" wheels saying something about brake rotors being too large for an 18" wheel to handle. This information does not make sense to me but I was in a tough spot all the sudden with vehicle arriving imminently and the need for good rubber on the snowy roads. I did not want to get sideways with the warrantee based on this input and decided to scrap the idea of 18" rims and replace the OEM 19" tires directly with any snow tires I could find.

Discount tire has been amazing to me over the last two decades, but they did not have any snow tires in inventory in F 235/50 R19, R255/45 R19. Volvo Seattle was able to find the Nokian Hakkapleiitta R3 studless tire and committed to getting the tires in the shop before my now scheduled Friday December 17 pickup, and they arrived Thursday 16th! I coordinated with the sales department to get the tires installed before I took possession of the beast on Friday 17th. It took getting the GM to motivate the service department in order to have them installed which they did! Bravo! I was concerned it was not going to happen.

So if you have read this far, Bravo to you! Sorry for the long winded setup. Friday night brought the car home, charged to 100%. Saturday morning, I loaded the car (full!), purchased a new roof box carrier, picked up the soccer player, and we headed into the afore mentioned blizzard. It was wild with snow starting in earnest near Skykomish at about 900' elevation. Car did great in the slush as snow accumulated on the roadway. 1/2 mile short of the summit, traffic stopped and it was DUMPING snow. I mean nuking on the order of 2" per hour. While we crawled the last 1/2 mile to the summit, which took an hour, cars and trucks with 4WD were sliding all over the place. Total Gong Show scene. Saw many big SUVs and sedans into the snowbank. While we were inching upwards, the state patrol closed the passes both directions but we were in the bolus that was allowed to continue eastbound once we reached the summit! See picture in next post.

The car performed awesome! I am pretty experienced winter drivers so we blew by the 10mph downhill traffic and continued on our way. When we got to our destination, we found 12" of fresh deep snow on our access road. We followed the tracks of one other car down the road and while we were surfing a bit, the beast did amazing! See second picture. It took two hours to clear the snow from the driveway to access the 240v charger location (my back is still recovering) but we had 27% charge left. I was not sure how the XC40 would do with this as a first test but I was pleasantly surprised!

Charged car to 80%, left cabin at 17 F, and made 45 mile round trip to ski area. So have used the beast with the Nokians in some pretty diverse and challenging conditions including really heavy rain, slush, packed snow, 12" deep snow, and climbing a steep driveway. Very impressed so far.

We drive our cars hard, so I will be interested to see how the XC40 holds up and will keep you'll posted!
 
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