Looking for a new ride...Mazda 3 hatch vs. Volvo XC70?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Looking for a new ride...Mazda 3 hatch vs. Volvo XC70?

    So I'm looking for a new ride.

    I currently have two cars, a '00 Firebird Formula (t-tops, 5.7L LS1 V8) and a '97 Grand Cherokee.

    The 'Bird is alot of fun to drive and fairly good on gas (22-23mpg avg).

    The Jeep is great for hauling stuff and bad weather, but only gets 16mpg on a good day.

    So the Bird is my DD in the warmer months, and in the winter I park it and drive the Jeep, which is great for getting me around i nthe snow, butrough o nthe wallet as I drive about 350 nmiles a week.

    I'm looking to get rid of the Jeep and semi-retire the Bird to weekend toy status, so I'm looking for a car that's decent on gas, with good cargo room.

    The main candidate was a '05-'07 Volvo XC70 (Cross Country) wagon. However, lately I've realized I REALLY like the look of the '05-'09 Mazda 3 Five doors.

    Obviously I want something to haul, mainly the bike(s), hence the wagon and hatch choices. I'd like to do a fork mount and stand the bike up in the car, but not sure if I can do it in either of these cars.

    I'm kinda torn....I like the look of both, but I can find a lower mileage 3 in my price range vs. the XC, and while I'm sure the XC will be tons better in the snow, the 3 should get better mpg. Although not by a whole lot, Volvo is rated at 19/26, and 3 is 22/29 for the 2.3L/auto.

    Does anyone own either of these?

    If so, please comment on mpg, reliability, snow performance, and how you carry your bike in it.

    Or if you DON'T own either, which would you pick?

    I actually have 2 specific cars in mind that I want to look at...

    '06 XC70, 100.7k miles, loaded, silver/charcoal leather, $9,350
    '07 MZ3 Hatch Touring, 2.3 auto, 41k miles, loaded, dark grey/black leather, $11,995

    Not sure of the book on the MZ, but the Volvo is a VERY good price despite the mileage.

    Opinions?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Andrew
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    Being the Mazda enthusiast I am, I would recommend the 3, but with $41k miles that price sounds a bit steep. Offer $9.5-10k.

  3. #3
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    Will a bike sit on a fork mount inside of a Mazda 3? I am curious as well, as I am possibly in the market as well.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by drizzoh View Post
    Being the Mazda enthusiast I am, I would recommend the 3, but with $41k miles that price sounds a bit steep. Offer $9.5-10k.
    REALLY?!

    And here I was thinking that was a good price. Most of the other MZ3 hatches I'm seeing listed locally are around the 100k mark and in the 9-10k price range. I thought with the heated seats, leather, and all that this one was a good price for the mileage.

    Any more info on the 3? How's the reliability, and is it as bad on gas as the impression I'm getting from the Mazda forum suggests? Ever drive it in the snow? That's a big one for me, as I'm quite spoiled by the Jeep.

    Thanks!

  5. #5
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    Ok, 99 views an nobody else has any opinions?

    Or if there's something else I'm missing that's economical, has good cargo room, and good in the snow (awd?) let me know!

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    My wife's 10 5 door (it has the 2.5l so it is a little different) and she gets 28mpg in her commute with mixed driving and traffic. It is nice to drive, but I have never shoved a bike into its hatch.

    I would really cringe at buying a car with 100K+ on it. The low mileage car should cost you les in the long run too.
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  7. #7
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    I would think the "total cost of ownership" would be substantially less with the Mazda after 5 years or so. I like the lines of the Mazda but I'm not making the payment so my opinion shouldn't count for much.
    On another note, I have a Thule fit kit for the mazda that i would let go pretty cheaply if you go that route. It is for the 480 Traverse roof racks.

  8. #8
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    how do you feel about an '06 CR-V?

    the price on the protege actually seems decent to me, esp with the low miles.

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    My wife has an '07 MZ3 and its been flawless so far aside from one recall. I sell cars and see these traded often and they hold their value rather well and always sell quickly. The Volvos, on the other hand, feel super klunky as they get up there in mileage... these Ford era Volvos don't hold their value worth a damn and its because of how sketchy they are reliability wise. Fortunately when we trade XC70's we wholesale them (I sell subarus and Volvos get traded a lot) because I wouldn't feel comfortable selling them haha.

    Sad, because I love old Volvos, which are fantastic.

    Oh, our Mazda3 averages 23 or so with mostly city driving.

    I don't believe a bike would stand upright with front wheel removed in either vehicle.

  10. #10
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    I have a 12' Mazdaspeed 3 (essentially the same as the first gen 3) I love it. I will not get the gas mileage as the basic 3 but i average 25.7 and see 31mpg on the highway! The reg 3 will be better than that. As far as cargo goes I love it. Tons of room for a little hatch and really fun to drive. I used to have a 2003 Ford Mustang Cobra making almost 600 hp at the wheels and although the Mazda is not rip your face off fast it is almost as fun to drive!

    I originially started out with a Thule roof rack with full stand up mount but after a few weeks I decided i didn't like it, especially the wind noise on the hwy (i commute 100 miles a day). I since installed a hidden reciever and just run a cheap bike rack on the rear and its perfect. Alot easier to remove than the rr.

    Mazda's have a much better resale value than Volvo and the Mazda will definetly be cheaper on maintenance.

    Good luck.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by boatcop1 View Post
    I have a 12' Mazdaspeed 3 (essentially the same as the first gen 3) I love it. I will not get the gas mileage as the basic 3 but i average 25.7 and see 31mpg on the highway! The reg 3 will be better than that.
    I hate you.

    I have only been through one tank in my 2012 Speed3.... but it was a lowly 22mpg... I can get 30-31 on the highway, but once I was back home and able to "play" some with the car.... yeah.... 22. I love my car though (I have had it for 1 week now) though and I wouldn't trade it!
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  12. #12
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    Thanks for all the info.

    I did alot of research on the XC70 board, and found that Volvos are pretty solid to 200k and beyond if taken care of, and that 100k isn't that big a deal. There's still a psychological thing about buying a car with that many miles though....I'm not a fan of it either. And I 26er WILL stand up inside a XC70, btw. A guy on the Volvo board posted a pic of his like that for me.

    Knight, is your wife's '10 the Skyactive model? That 28mpg is acceptable to me. I do a lot of highway, so I figure I'll at least be on the higher end of the scale, mileage wise.

    Bill, while I know the have a solid rep for reliability, I'm just not a fan of Hondas, and "cute-utes" in general. I prob wouldn't buy that type of vehicle, no matter who made it. And actually, my friends '06 Civic seems to keep having problems with the AC - problems that my 121k mile, 12 year old Pontiac has never had.

    The price on the 3 seems pretty good to me as well, as all the other ones I'm seeing are 9-10k in the 100k mile range, and aren't as loaded as this one. I need to go look at it soon.

    And the mileage you MS3 guys are posting seems pretty good. I actually average around 22-23 with my 5.7 V8 Firebird, but that's with alot of conservative driving and highway miles. I'm sure if I drove it the way you guys drive your 3 I'd get closer to 16 or 17!

    I really like the MS3, but the extra cost, and the fact that I already have one fast car that I need to fight the mod bug with precludes that.

    Now have any of you 3 guys driven them in the snow much? How do they do?

    I've also decided to give the Subies a look too.

  13. #13
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    Have 2011 Mazda 3 Grand Touring (2.5L engine, tech package, leather, blabla) - 29-30 mpg highway, ~23 city (if the place I live at can be called a city ;-) ). So far flawless, fun to drive but doubt you can fit the bike vertical in there unless it is a tiny frame size. Put a hitch on mine and a Thule platform rack...

    Btw - previous gen had 2.3L engine from what I remember...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight511 View Post
    I hate you.

    I have only been through one tank in my 2012 Speed3.... but it was a lowly 22mpg... I can get 30-31 on the highway, but once I was back home and able to "play" some with the car.... yeah.... 22. I love my car though (I have had it for 1 week now) though and I wouldn't trade it!
    Lol fun cars aren't they? I have 6500 miles in mine and the fuel mileage has steadily got better. I also commute 100 miles a day all I95. I just set the cruise control and go. Prob why i'm averaging slightly higher than you. Trust me, once the cruise comes off i drive it like i stole it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    Knight, is your wife's '10 the Skyactive model? That 28mpg is acceptable to me. I do a lot of highway, so I figure I'll at least be on the higher end of the scale, mileage wise.
    Nope. My wife's car is the 2.5L Sport model (Skyactiv just came out this year). A Skyactiv model will easily get 28 all day long and will pull into the mid 30s for highway (with no problems.

    As for snow, I am a North Texas resident.... we don't get snow.... we get 1.5 days of ICE a year and as anyone that has spent time on snow will tell you, ice and snow are NOT the same.
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    Quote Originally Posted by boatcop1 View Post
    Lol fun cars aren't they? I have 6500 miles in mine and the fuel mileage has steadily got better. I also commute 100 miles a day all I95. I just set the cruise control and go. Prob why i'm averaging slightly higher than you. Trust me, once the cruise comes off i drive it like i stole it.
    I am trying to "behave" on my commute to and from work (17 miles each way ALL city)... but then the weekend comes and seeing my wife smile and giggle is just too much fun. As the car ages and the power isn't so new, I am sure I will do better... but coming from driving a 96 Accord and a 91 Integra since October 2009, the power is too much fun!
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    Will a bike sit on a fork mount inside of a Mazda 3? I am curious as well, as I am possibly in the market as well.
    Wife has a 04 Mazda 3 and while you can fold down the seats fitting a bike in it will take up the entire back end. Should state I'm 6'2" and mostly ride 29ers. If you have a small bike I suppose it is possible standing a bike up, but for size large or with 29ers height would become an issue.

  18. #18
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    My 2011 Mazda3 5 door has about 7k miles on it. A bike cannot stand up in the back, but I have been able to fit any of my bikes in the back with the rear seats down and front wheel removed from bike. I installed a Curt hitch and often use a hitch mounted rack.

    Snow... when I bought the car last year I also purchased a set of snow tires (General Altimax Arctic) mounted on steel wheels. This past winter was not a good test in Ohio as we had much less snow than typical. The couple times I drove in the snow the car did great, but I attribute this more to the snow tires than the car itself.

    I have a short (less than 10 mile) commute to work, 50/50 highway and city, and get about 26mpg. If spend more time on the highway the mileage will be 30 to 32 mpg. The car has been flawless so far.

    Most people that ride along for the first time comment on the bolstered seats, the tight steering/cornering, and sporty ride. It's a fun car to drive!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Looking for a new ride...Mazda 3 hatch vs. Volvo XC70?-mazda3_1.jpg  

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  19. #19
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    Nice ^

    I've owned both brands go with the Mazda
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  20. #20
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    Also decided to look at Subarus.

    I was a fan of the '05-'08 Outback, but those seem to be expensive unless they have a ton of miles on them.

    I also found the Legacy 2.5GT wagon, which looks interesting. It has the same 250-hp 2.5 turbo that the Outback XT has, with arguably cleaner lines of the non-Outback Legacy. It's lower, with 17" wheels, but has the same AWD so it should still be great in the snow.

    I still think I'd kind of rather have the OB, but it's not like I'm going to be taking it offroad (other than the occasional fire road through a state forest), I just like the look. Although the GT looks good too, being lower it looks much cleaner and sleaker. And the one I found is a '05 with 83k miles for $8,999. It's an auto, but from the little research I've done, it appears the manuals are very rare in the GT wagons.

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    ~cough cough~ head gasket failures ~cough cough~

    They are nice while they don't have problems, but Subaru still hasn't REALLY fixed some of the worst problems....
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    Also decided to look at Subarus.

    I was a fan of the '05-'08 Outback, but those seem to be expensive unless they have a ton of miles on them.

    I also found the Legacy 2.5GT wagon, which looks interesting. It has the same 250-hp 2.5 turbo that the Outback XT has, with arguably cleaner lines of the non-Outback Legacy. It's lower, with 17" wheels, but has the same AWD so it should still be great in the snow.

    I still think I'd kind of rather have the OB, but it's not like I'm going to be taking it offroad (other than the occasional fire road through a state forest), I just like the look. Although the GT looks good too, being lower it looks much cleaner and sleaker. And the one I found is a '05 with 83k miles for $8,999. It's an auto, but from the little research I've done, it appears the manuals are very rare in the GT wagons.
    I've got a 2008 Outback XT and I absolutely love it. Rain, Sleet, Snow and Sand. The wagon is unstoppable and a real stealth mobile too. Deceptively quick and it doesn't attract the attention of Johnny Law.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight511 View Post
    ~cough cough~ head gasket failures ~cough cough~

    They are nice while they don't have problems, but Subaru still hasn't REALLY fixed some of the worst problems....
    How many miles is enough out of one engine on stock gaskets, 200K? For the most part, the gasket failures were pre 02 or so, and the turbo engines had almost none.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    How many miles is enough out of one engine on stock gaskets, 200K? For the most part, the gasket failures were pre 02 or so, and the turbo engines had almost none.
    Well by the time my Subaru had 120K on it, I had been through 4 sets of head gaskets.... so using a little math... I guess Subaru thinks 30K is more than enough. I would NEVER send a friend to buy a Subaru and will never buy another. Aside from MANY problems that were well documented, the company (both Subaru of America and the local dealerships) treat customers with problems like criminals.

    There are still many reports of 02+ engines having the same problems (maybe taking a bit longer to appear) but they are still losing head gaskets. Subaru never truly addressed the problem and hopefully, the new engines don't suffer the same fate. Anything with the EJ25 can be subject to the problem. For anyone who doesn't know, in 2002 when Subaru acknowledged there MIGHT be a problem, the recall/TSB was issued to add a Subaru Coolant Conditioner to the cooling system, this "conditioner" was a radiator stop seal product that anyone can buy for any car on the shelf at Autozone. Adding a sealer (that still didn't fix the problem as I had it added after failure #1) is not a fix to a problem.

    A little searching turns up this:

    I don't understand the basis for such discussion. On page 11-13 of my 2008 Owners Manual, Subaru says:
    Quote
    Always add genuine Subaru cooling system conditioner whenever the coolant is replaced.
    If that is still in a 2008 manual, they didn't fix anything.

    ('03-'05) Coolant Conditioner - am I supposed to put THIS into my Subie? - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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  25. #25
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    Head gasket problem is not encouraging. At least the Volvos don't have engine problems, it seems like the 2.5T in the wagons is pretty much industructible, I see plenty of them with over 200k, and I've never read about any major engine probs on the Volvo forum, at least none that were't timing belt failure related, which also goes for the Subies.

    Undecided on the LGT/OBKT right now, after looking at the gas mileage. It appears they don't get any better (if not a little WORSE) mileage than the 5.7L, 305hp V8 in my Pontiac. I realize they're more of a jack-of-all-trades car than my Firebird, but still, 20-23 avg. mpg from a 4 cyl is pretty poor.

    Also remembered the Volvo V70 R....50 more hp, plus a larger, and much nicer, interior than the Subies, with comparable mileage. Just gotta find one!!

    Realisticaly I know the 3 5-Door is prob the way to go, but I really had my heart set on an actual wagon and not just a hatchback.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    Head gasket problem is not encouraging. At least the Volvos don't have engine problems, it seems like the 2.5T in the wagons is pretty much industructible, I see plenty of them with over 200k, and I've never read about any major engine probs on the Volvo forum, at least none that were't timing belt failure related, which also goes for the Subies.

    Undecided on the LGT/OBKT right now, after looking at the gas mileage. It appears they don't get any better (if not a little WORSE) mileage than the 5.7L, 305hp V8 in my Pontiac. I realize they're more of a jack-of-all-trades car than my Firebird, but still, 20-23 avg. mpg from a 4 cyl is pretty poor.

    Also remembered the Volvo V70 R....50 more hp, plus a larger, and much nicer, interior than the Subies, with comparable mileage. Just gotta find one!!

    Realisticaly I know the 3 5-Door is prob the way to go, but I really had my heart set on an actual wagon and not just a hatchback.
    I thought those R series Volvos were pretty sweet. Subaru AWD is superior though! Gas mileage in my XT admittedly isn't great but I blame the turbo, a heavy foot and AWD for that! As far as I know the head gasket issues weren't as prevalent in later models.

    Wagons rule!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrnHrnt View Post
    I thought those R series Volvos were pretty sweet. Subaru AWD is superior though! Gas mileage in my XT admittedly isn't great but I blame the turbo, a heavy foot and AWD for that! As far as I know the head gasket issues weren't as prevalent in later models.

    Wagons rule!
    I actually found an R Vovlo not too far away! It's an '04 with 83k on it for 12,600. It's "titanium silver" (a dark silver) with black and blue leather and pretty much every option (stability control, active suspension, etc) It's an auto though, which is a shame, but other than that the car looks very clean. With no roofrack, 17's, and the little lip spoiler over the hatch, the car looks slick! Not sure about spending that much on an 8 y/o car though.

    And what kind of mileage DO you get with your XT? How about if you behave....what kind of highway mpg do you get?

    And fyi - I HATE it that things have gotten to where mpg is such a concern to me. I'm in my early 30's and this is the first time it's ever factored into a car purchase. If it didn't, I'd propably have said screw it by now and just gotten another SUV.

    And yeah, wagons DO rule!! I remember when I was a kid in HS....I had tons of fun borrowing my dad's '87 Chevy Celebrity wagon. And a friend of mine had a Peugot 505 wagon....we used to go out "waggoning", lol.

    I can't ever imagine driving a sedan, unless it's something like a CTS-V or Mercedes CLS. Otherwise I'd rather have a wagon or SUV. Ultimate car- CTS-V wagon!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    I actually found an R Vovlo not too far away! It's an '04 with 83k on it for 12,600. It's "titanium silver" (a dark silver) with black and blue leather and pretty much every option (stability control, active suspension, etc) It's an auto though, which is a shame, but other than that the car looks very clean. With no roofrack, 17's, and the little lip spoiler over the hatch, the car looks slick! Not sure about spending that much on an 8 y/o car though.

    Yup! I was looking at these wagons before the Subie and definitely thought they were pretty slick. That is not a lot of miles for 8 years though.

    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    And what kind of mileage DO you get with your XT? How about if you behave....what kind of highway mpg do you get?

    I haven't reset the MPG calculator since I got it. Currently at a little over 20 MPG with combined highway and urban driving. It will drop down to mid 18's and up to low 23's depending on which way the driving skews and how heavy my foot gets.

    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    And fyi - I HATE it that things have gotten to where mpg is such a concern to me. I'm in my early 30's and this is the first time it's ever factored into a car purchase. If it didn't, I'd propably have said screw it by now and just gotten another SUV.

    SUV's are cool but the planet is cooler. One thing to remember is that the XT requires premium fuel. It's a factor for some guys, but I think that extra buck or two per fill-up is well worth it.

    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    And yeah, wagons DO rule!! I remember when I was a kid in HS....I had tons of fun borrowing my dad's '87 Chevy Celebrity wagon. And a friend of mine had a Peugot 505 wagon....we used to go out "waggoning", lol.

    My wife grew up driving a wagon too! I just think they're great vehicles. They'll do anything with AWD.

    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    I can't ever imagine driving a sedan, unless it's something like a CTS-V or Mercedes CLS. Otherwise I'd rather have a wagon or SUV. Ultimate car- CTS-V wagon!!!

    That wagon is sick. Not sure where it falls on the utility scale though. My current dream vehicle is the new Audi allroad. That wagon is sweeeeetttt!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrnHrnt View Post
    Currently at a little over 20 MPG with combined highway and urban driving.

    One thing to remember is that the XT requires premium fuel.

    SUV's are cool but the planet is cooler.
    ...not sure if serious...

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    BrnHrnt,

    The miles on the Volvo aren't bad for the year, but I think financing a car that old could be tricky, or at least expensive...I'm thinking high interest rate.

    Plus as cool as the active/adjustable suspension is, I read on the Volvo board that parts for that are crzy expensive - to the tune of 4 x the price of a standard strut. I wonder if after 8 years it's not going to need some expensive work shortly on.

    Still very tempting though.

    And premium fuel is no pr4oblem for me. People freak out about it, but does an extra .20 or .25 cents gallon REALLY make that much of a difference when you get to prices in the 4 dollar range? Oh no, I paid $53 instead of $50 to fill my car...boo hooo!

    I look it as you gotta pay to play. And my Firebird only lives on 93 octane, so I'm used to it. I tried 89 once, and the drop in mpg made that tank cost MORE than a tank of 93 in the long run.

    And when we're talking about cars that can barely get over 20mpg, we really shouldn't be saying anything about SUV's....they're not much worse. When my Jeep was stock it'd get about 18.5mpg on avg.

    Ans my neighbor just traded his '01 XC70 for a new Allroad! It looks amazing in white (and with a bike rack on the roof!) and I drool a little everytime I see it. I'm sceptical of German car reliability, but it must be nice having a new one with a warranty!

    And as far as the Caddy, I'll give up a little utility for 556hp and a 6speed stick anyday!

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    Remember that the interest rate depends little on the year of the car as it mostly depends on your credit. What will matter with the car's age is how LONG you can finance it for. 12-24 months I would expect and that would mean a higher payment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrnHrnt View Post
    I thought those R series Volvos were pretty sweet. Subaru AWD is superior though! Gas mileage in my XT admittedly isn't great but I blame the turbo, a heavy foot and AWD for that! As far as I know the head gasket issues weren't as prevalent in later models.

    Wagons rule!
    It's not the automatic is it? That 4-speed is what kills mileage with the XT.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    It's not the automatic is it? That 4-speed is what kills mileage with the XT.
    Nope. It's a 5-speed auto. AWD is what kills the gas mileage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
    ...not sure if serious...
    Tongue in cheek, but when I see a honking Hummer or Escalade driving around town with one person in it (and no sport racks or mud on it), it does drive me a bit batty.

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    @StuntmanMike,

    It sounds like you are doing your research so I'm sure you'll weigh all the variables and find the sweet spot. There might be a 3-series off-lease sport wagon floating around too if you like them, most likely better financing terms on a certified pre-owned at the dealership. Knight511 is probably right about the duration of financing on an 8 year old car and the subsequent cost.

    My Dad's Cherokee is getting 16 mpg on city driving. Subie looks pretty good next to that. Also let's remember that the XT is an '08.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrnHrnt View Post
    Tongue in cheek, but when I see a honking Hummer or Escalade driving around town with one person in it (and no sport racks or mud on it), it does drive me a bit batty.
    No doubt.

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    If you live in snow country, rust is a consideration. Here in VT I see tons of 5-6 year old Subarus and Mazdas with serious rust.

    None of my European cars (an '87 Audi 4000 quattro, '87 Saab 900, '99 Saab 9-3, or '00 Saab 9-5 Aero) have any serious rust. Japanese cars may be reliable, but they are still tin cans.

    The regular XC70 should be relatively cheap to run...the R cars are far more complex/pricey to service. The Allroad, while cool is a nightmare with the airbag suspension and the 2.7T is known for eating turbos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 8valvegrowl View Post
    If you live in snow country, rust is a consideration. Here in VT I see tons of 5-6 year old Subarus and Mazdas with serious rust.

    None of my European cars (an '87 Audi 4000 quattro, '87 Saab 900, '99 Saab 9-3, or '00 Saab 9-5 Aero) have any serious rust. Japanese cars may be reliable, but they are still tin cans.

    The regular XC70 should be relatively cheap to run...the R cars are far more complex/pricey to service. The Allroad, while cool is a nightmare with the airbag suspension and the 2.7T is known for eating turbos.
    The new allroad won't have those issues. It's based off of the A4 platform and doesn't have the adjustable suspension like the original.

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    A good friend of mine is an Audi tech and his advice is always "don't buy a German car outside of warranty" - out of the cars you've listed the Mazda will probably cost the least when you factor in initial price plus service and maintenance for total time of ownership
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by 8valvegrowl View Post
    If you live in snow country, rust is a consideration. Here in VT I see tons of 5-6 year old Subarus and Mazdas with serious rust.

    None of my European cars (an '87 Audi 4000 quattro, '87 Saab 900, '99 Saab 9-3, or '00 Saab 9-5 Aero) have any serious rust. Japanese cars may be reliable, but they are still tin cans.

    The regular XC70 should be relatively cheap to run...the R cars are far more complex/pricey to service. The Allroad, while cool is a nightmare with the airbag suspension and the 2.7T is known for eating turbos.
    Yeah, someone pointed that out to me a while back. I've yet to see a rusty Volvo (or at least one made in the last two decades), and I actually saw somewhere that the XC's had a 144month corrosion warranty - that's 12 years!

    A guy that I work with who's big into Subies mentioned that rust is something to look out for on them.

    I like the look of the previous gen Allroads, but read the same info about them being a maintenence nightmare so I took them out of consideration.

    I agree with you on the R, after further consideration I realized it's probably too complex a car to be very reliable at this stage in it's life - I don't need expensive headaches. Plus I already have a fast car, while I love the sleeper aspect of the R, it's just something else I'll be tempted to mod and/or bring to the track (that would be pretty awesome though!).

    While I know the Mazda will be the most practical, cost of ownership-wise, I still REALLY like the XC70's, and am focused on one of those.

    I plan on driving the Mazda though, and the drive will play a big part in my choice. As much as I want the larger AWD wagon, if the Mazda is alot better to drive I'll prob go with that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Bye View Post
    A good friend of mine is an Audi tech and his advice is always "don't buy a German car outside of warranty" - out of the cars you've listed the Mazda will probably cost the least when you factor in initial price plus service and maintenance for total time of ownership
    Makes sense to me!! I have no idea why people have this idea that German cars are soooo reliable. VW's for instance....not only do people think they're reliable, they have almost a premium car reputation (despite recent cost cutting...hello rear beam axle and 2.0, aka 2.slow!). 3 of the 4 people I've known with Jettas have had major problems with them.

    I know the Mazda is the practical choice, but I don't always make the practical choice!

    Me being practical here in my search for a wagon is not getting a Dodge Magnum Hemi!!

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8valvegrowl View Post
    If you live in snow country, rust is a consideration. Here in VT I see tons of 5-6 year old Subarus and Mazdas with serious rust.

    None of my European cars (an '87 Audi 4000 quattro, '87 Saab 900, '99 Saab 9-3, or '00 Saab 9-5 Aero) have any serious rust. Japanese cars may be reliable, but they are still tin cans.

    The regular XC70 should be relatively cheap to run...the R cars are far more complex/pricey to service. The Allroad, while cool is a nightmare with the airbag suspension and the 2.7T is known for eating turbos.
    I have owned 4 mazdas and they are not prone to rust here in the midwest. I think you confused mazda with toyota....or anything from the big 3

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    LoL.... I have never heard anyone mistaking a German car for something reliable. Almost all of the German owners I know all get rid of their cars before the mfg warranty runs out because of the issues.... yet they keep buying them? There must be something about the way they drive or the way they stroke their egos.

    I have been a Honda fan for a long time..... but seeing how bloody boring their cars have become, I left them for Mazda.... I will likely never look back. I will be ordering my hitch for my Speed3 next week, so I can finally haul more than just ass in the car! FWIW, I am on week 3 of owning this car and I have gotten my mileage up to 24.6 in almost all city driving. I have found that if I just drive and stop worrying about mileage, I have more fun and I am getting better mileage.
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    I'm leery of Mazdas, but that's based on my experience with one car...

    My 06 mazda 3, 2.3l spun a bearing at 60k. The oil was changed religiously but admittedly, I rarely checked it in between changes. I always check a couple hundred miles after the change to make sure that it's not leaking but then don't check again until its about time to change it. About halfway between changes, the motor spun a bearing. It had very little oil with no evidence of where it went. There are no drips where I park it, there was no sign of leakage under the car at all and there is/was no smoke.

    The end result is an out of warranty motor swap, so that ordeal has left a pretty bad taste in my mouth with regard to Mazda.

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    Don't own one anymore, but I have owned several Volvos and they are really great vehicles. Can't help but to vouch for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adim_X View Post
    I have owned 4 mazdas and they are not prone to rust here in the midwest. I think you confused mazda with toyota....or anything from the big 3
    Nope...tons of guys in my local sports car club have mazdas...miatas, 3's, and 6's. Unless they arent winter driven, they all have major rust. Especially 3's.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrnHrnt View Post
    Nope. It's a 5-speed auto. AWD is what kills the gas mileage.
    Not as bad as you'd think, my WRX got about 28-29 average (2.0L) and that was pretty good, way way better than a 4spd forester. That was mixing between highway and city. 20mpg city was fairly normal. 30+ for highway was normal unless you were cruising at 80, then it wasn't bad, but more leading to the average posted above. The forester won't even approach 30mpg due to that 4 speed. Yes, AWD does eat up some extra as well, but the subaru system doesn't have some of the craziness going on that other awd systems have. Did a big trip in the Subie and got 31mpg one way (6-7hrs to San Diego) and 29 on the return. You can keep city driving reasonable if you stay out of boost and work the rpms right. Everything else equal, with a small turbo 2.0 and that car, 35mpg or slightly more is probably reasonable if it didn't have AWD, but that 4EAT is terrible as far as mileage, especially at highway speeds where it's turning high RPMs. It's also going to burn more gas due to accelerations as it downshifts and gets into boost easier.

    No argument about the effect of awd on mileage really, but the terrible transmission choices with the US FXT are what really affect mileage on that model. If it was a 5spd, then AWD would be a bigger factor.

    On the other hand, I'm pretty good at squeezing out the mpgs, I wouldn't necessarily call it hypermiling, as you won't find me cruising at 60mph in a 75, but acceleration/deacceleration techniques, utilizing uphills and downhills differently, using AC vs. windows at certain speeds, RPMs and shift points (engine only lugs below about 1000rpm), and so on allowed me to squeeze out 27mpg with my camaro SS from AZ to Idaho last week, and then from Idaho to Seattle 26.6 (more hills). Including the full tank, it was 3.5 tanks of gas (filled up 3x while en-route, arrived with more than half a tank).
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