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Thread: Buying new car

  1. #1
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    Buying new car

    Hi folks;

    I'm ready to replace my Ford Taurus Stationwagon (1998) with a Volvo. Now i like the S60 but the XC70 fits more my lifestyle. Does anyone have any experience with the Volvos? I got really lucky with my Ford Taurus as I only replaced the rear shocks in 9 years for a total of $22 in repairs (other than gas and oilchanges, etc.). So what are the chances I'll get another car that will run for 10 years without any troubles?

  2. #2
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    I have a 2002 V70T5 (fwd, turbo, automatic transmission). It's a great car. Built like a tank, fast enough to get into trouble, and all the doodads and trinkets I could ever want. It's a great highway cruiser. The traction control/stability system is top-notch.

    That said, they're expensive to maintain. The engine takes more than a case of oil at a time and the owner's manual recommends synthetic - that makes it more than twice as expensive for an oil change as my Miata. Tires are large-ish and the car weighs a lot, so they wear out every other year or so. Fuel economy is mediocre - we average about 20mpg suburban driving. It does near 30mpg on road trips.

    The car has somewhere around 75,000 miles and no major repairs. We bought it as a certifired-used car from a Volvo dealer. In the 2.5 years we've owned it, the only issues have been a few bits of broken trim, a suspension bump stop that fell off ($10 part), and the car seems to burn out headlights at a higher rate than other cars I've owned (one set a year, it seems).

    Long term, the cars seem to have electrical issues (we haven't had any, that's based on internet forum reports). But, no more so than any other loaded import (BMW, VW, Audi, etc).

    Check your dealer's certified-used cars. Volvo's program is pretty good and there seems to be a good number of off-lease cars available (I'm guessing they're off-lease, as the dealer had a stack of 3-year old models). Between $10k-$15k in depreciation over those three years (that's faster depreciation than equivalent BMW, but damn does it make some great deals on the used market).

    Also, there are two traction control systems available on most Volvos. The basic traction control is pretty much standard. The Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) does a lot more and is one of the best systems available. It's worth the small price increase.

  3. #3
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    Also, when we were looking, we tested the Acura MDX (certified used), BMW 325 wagon (certified used), Accord (new), and a RAV4 (new). Also tested the base V70, XC, and T5 variants.

    The used Volvo (and BMW) had as much warranty coverage as the new Accord and RAV4.

    The BMW was slightly more sporty driving, but not as nice on the highway and rough roads. The interior also didn't seem to wear as well as the Volvo(though that may have been the particular examples we tested). The BMW was more expensive (by $3k or so).

    The RAV4 was horrible. Like driving a jacked-up too-tall Corolla. Well, that's basically what it is, I suppose. If it was $5k less, we might have considered it, but way overpriced for what you get, IMO.

    The MDX was a nice vehicle. It was our second pick. We just didn't like the dealer. It was less sporty driving than the Volvo, but WAY better than my old Caprice.

    The base Volvo had adequate power, but was slow. The XC was better (it has the low output turbo motor). The T5 was better yet, though still not "sports car fast". The optional sport seats were far more comfortable than the base seats. We also liked the dealer - they weren't pushy at all - simply gave us about 6 sets of keys and let us loose to test whatever we wanted.

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