RussellH Reader
8/14/11 3:19 p.m.

I don't know anything about these newer volvos but they seem to go for a lot less than their Honda/Acura/BMW counterparts. I'm looking for reliability where I can get in the car and not be afraid to drive it across the country. Just curious what's the verdict on them.

Vigo Dork
8/14/11 11:04 p.m.

Only thing i can personally say is my mom bought an 03 s80 2.9 w/95k for $5k on my recommendation and has been living with it for a year and 25k+ miles. In black, with dark tint and the nicer factory 17 alloys, it is a major looker imo, and i like the way it drives. I REALLY like how 'right' the drivetrain is as far as responsiveness, noise, and mpg, even though it is not "fast". It gets 25mpg.

They made a twin turbo 2.9, and i want to drive one now. I REALLY like the non-turbo more than i can explain, for a 3400lb car with ~190hp.

I did the timing belt and water pump on it.. not too bad. I did have to replace a seat belt mechanism.. dealer wanted $400, used was still $120.

Like this except with black tint (on a black car = badass) and different, but still nice, wheels:

Vigo Dork
8/14/11 11:07 p.m.

Oh and as for s40s, i REALLY liked the mazda3 i had, if that helps.

mad_machine SuperDork
8/14/11 11:51 p.m.

it might just be me.. but I prefer the "v" versions

bigdaddylee82 New Reader
8/15/11 12:28 a.m.

S40 isn't really a "Volvo" but a good car, S/V70=850 until around 2001, S80 is a big cruiser. All three of the models you have listed are quite different.

S40 is a rebadged Mitsubishi with a 4 cylinder Volvo White Block, assuming you're talking 1st gen ('95-'04). 2004+ are a P/C1 (Ford Compact Car) i.e. Focus, Mazda 3, Mazda 5. The S40 is more of an entry level car to the Volvo brand, but I'd drive the wheels off of a '04 or newer T5 AWD 5 speed.

S70 is basically an 850 with the edges rounded off a bit more. Reliable as a hammer if cared for. A lot of parts available, largest support community of any of the models, and pretty easy to work on. They've got their quirks, but great cars.

S80 is the big cruiser "luxury flagship" of the line. Super comfy, and eat up miles with little effort. The T6 is very quick, but goes through transmissions like most other cars go through tires. No manual option in the States on any trim levels, and has a computer controlling just about everything but the floor mats. I too suggest going N/A on this model, or the T5.

You don't have it listed, but check out the 1st gen ('03-'09) S60R, AWD, 6 speed manual, and dead sexy.

I'd pick V70R, S60R, or the S40 T5 AWD.

  • Lee
sanman Reader
8/15/11 1:00 a.m.

From what I recall, the 05+ s40 2.4i (non-turbo) reached honda levels of reliability. Electrics can be an issue as they are in many luxury cars.

Joshua Reader
8/15/11 1:11 a.m.

What about the C30? I love their look!

Vigo Dork
8/15/11 3:12 a.m.

c30 is an s40 hatchback. So yes.

11110000 Reader
8/15/11 4:54 a.m.

I have an '06 S80 AWD and love it. The 5cyl turbo is a torquey powerplant, and the electronic AWD is slick and capable. It has been a trouble-free DD for me over the last 2 years.

The CANBUS system is the biggest potential troublemaker. Without an investment in some special electronic tools, and a little familiarity with computers, diagnosing more complicated problems can be difficult. That said, these types of problems are usually rare - it's the double-edged sword of technology.

Josh Dork
8/15/11 7:14 a.m.

I've been really thinking about a V70R as a more practical daily driver once I get another year or two out of my 328i. I love the E36, but I would really like to be able to haul some crap every once in a while, and since we never got E36 wagons in the states, I'm looking at other alternatives. E46s are nice, but you can't get a 330 wagon, and manual E46 wagons seem even rarer than V70Rs, at least around here.

FlightService Dork
8/15/11 8:34 a.m.

C30 is a C1 (Focus, Mazda3 etc) platform.

Awesome looking car IMHO

mad_machine SuperDork
8/15/11 9:07 a.m.

I agree.. the C30 would be on my list if I were looking for a new car.

Now that ford has sold off Volvo.. I am surprised they still make the C30

driver109x HalfDork
8/15/11 3:02 p.m.

I would like the 1st gen V70 t5 withe the rare manual trans and i think the '98 is the preferred year...j

integraguy SuperDork
8/15/11 8:53 p.m.

I've also noticed that "newer" Volvos have what look like lower than expected price tags, and wondered if that has to do with Volvo's inability to join the ranks of BMW and M-B or if the Asian takeover has lowered the brands " street cred ". My local AutoTrader has a 2004 S40 for under $8K, and a S80 of the same year isn't all that more expensive.

8/15/11 10:24 p.m.

I bought a loaded 09 AWD 2.5T S60 for 13K. I love the car, great gas mileage for its size, very well mannered in the twisties, builds boost fast, and fun to drive. Cops and insurance companies don't think your a hoon either - win!

asterisk New Reader
8/16/11 12:00 a.m.
driver109x wrote: I would like the 1st gen V70 t5 withe the rare manual trans and i think the '98 is the preferred year...

I think that was the only year with the high pressure turbo and a manual. A local Volvo dealer had one which was a little beat up but I didn't realize what it was at the time. They only wanted 4K for it.

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