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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I already own an '04 HPT Vert, so I am a familiar with the platform, and what some of the S/V/C 70 has to offer. I am looking for a safe, reliatble car for my new teenage driving daughter that wont leave her by the side of the road, (or put me to sleep with no pick up!) So, which would be the strongest runner from 100K to 200K, with some levels of performance and safety? I am torn between:
"The Safe" AWD LPT - I live in snow, but is the AWD drivetrain reliable?
"The Sexy" - T5 with potential for mods
"The Slow and Steady" - S70 NA?

Which year/model has best longevity? Any known transmission issues? Which has Throttle/MAF issues?

PLEASE HELP! All of you can help me decide and I am open to offers (and will post my decision)

Thanks to all,
 

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I picked up a '99 GLT a few years ago for my teen driver and it was a great first car. I had two sets of tires - all seasons and winters. The GLT shod with winter tires was able to get my new driver to pretty much anywhere they wanted to go. I purposely looked for a FWD car as I didn't want to have to deal with potential AWD issues on a 12 year old car. Just remember though, stuff is going to break on any 12-13 year old car so expect repairs.
 

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99 - 2001 are the years with the Electronic Throttle Module (ETM). Check to see if its been replaced if one of those years. Im a speed guy, so T5 for me, and i HATE automatics. Theres a few T 5's on the classifieds right now...

Yep, sent from my rooted, rommed Galaxy Nexus....
 

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All that and i missed the teenage daughter part. Shame on me. Id go n/a auto for my daughter.

Yep, sent from my rooted, rommed Galaxy Nexus....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I drive the T5 convertible with a few mods, so I can relate.
 

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I too would go for a N/A model from '98 if you want no ETM issues. Then I'd just shop for the lowest miles you can find, knowing that you'll probably have to do a timing belt and PCV system, and probably the ABS module at some point. Otherwise they're bulletproof cars.

If you trust her not to be a speed demon and/or aren't worried about her ability to handle some power, then go for a turbo, but for a new driver I tend to think less power is better.

Although truth be told, the '96 and '97 850 is pretty much the same car, so i'd include those in your search, and if you find a well kept one it'll be cheaper and just as reliable.
 

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Agreed. Teens don't need power, they need experience. When my time comes (I still have 8 years to go :D ) I'll pick up something like an NA S70 and put some money toward a couple of HPDE sessions. Here in the Baltimore/DC area, the BMW CCA holds a beginner class called Highway Safety at Summit Point- they give students real life experience with high speed emergency lane changes, panic stops, and a skidpad session to learn what it feels like to lose control completely (and how NOT to).
 

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Skip the AWD unless you have lots of $ to spend.

It's a pretty finicky system, parts are pricey and there is not a huge benefit. If you live anywhere but Alaska, you don't even NEED it. Get a good set of snow tires which would be my advice to anyone with a winter climate and you will be fine. The GLT or the NA is a fine car. Wagon or sedan in FWD is pretty much the same car.
 

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lucien, you do any hdpe sessions? im hopong to get into some of that.

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Madspeed- not since kids arrived, and not in my Volvo. Back in my Subaru days, I did them, as well as RallyCross and Autocross. Ancient history it feels like ;)
 

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gotcha

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Skip the AWD unless you have lots of $ to spend.

It's a pretty finicky system, parts are pricey and there is not a huge benefit. If you live anywhere but Alaska, you don't even NEED it. Get a good set of snow tires which would be my advice to anyone with a winter climate and you will be fine. The GLT or the NA is a fine car. Wagon or sedan in FWD is pretty much the same car.
I appreciate the Alaska shoutout, but I can tell you from experience
that the AWD makes a difference ANYWHERE, in all kinds of bad weather.
Not to mention day to day driving. It's a much more "planted" platform.

I'm about to turn 133K on a '98 V70R and about 40K of those are mine.
My AWD has been pretty reliable. So far, just one PM item has come up.
I found a bad boot on the front CV of the rear drive shaft and have been
FWD for a month or so. I DO notice a difference. Some torque steer and
twitchy lane changes under power kinda bug me, but hey, different strokes.
And undoubtedly, FWD is always going to reduce your "Possible Problems" list.

For a teen in the Chicagoland area, a '96-'98 870 would probably be fine.
And FWIW, these turbos are very low maintenence. And that extra bit of
"empowerment" can keep a girl out of trouble with on-ramps - Your call.

Just don't skimp when it comes to Heated Seats! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks, all good advice. I am seeing a few 98s listed with 130-190k for somewhere around 5K. I will probably keep looking for that right combo of low miles/right model. Just not exactly sure which way to go just yet.
 

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Shop around. I got my now departed '99 GLT for $4.5 four years ago, car had 106k on the clock. That said, used car prices have actually gone up over that time. I would recommend the LPT and the ETM is really a non-issue in my opinion. I put 100k miles or so on my two '99s and never had a problem with ETM.
 

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The 850/70 platform is 20 years old now -- the 850 was the very first car with side airbags. Cars now have even more safety features like head airbags and stability control.

The cliché answer for a teenage driver used to be a Volvo 240 (114HP) or Mercedes 240D (64-71HP, really!). Now that most 240s (from both manufacturers) have rusted away, the choice might be an 850, S70 or S60.

For a teenager I'd also look for an NA (168HP) example.
 

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first consideration: how much of a deal breaker is the AWD for you? it helps, but be prepared not only for the extra maintenance, but also to replace all four tires at once, every time you replace any tire (even a relatively new one). also, the AWD cars are just heavier--although if you're in an R, there is still power to spare, even with the AWD. so, is the AWD a necessity?

Second consideration: speaking as a female, who was once a teenage girl, i would have died a thousand deaths if i'd had to drive a station wagon as a teenager. i also would have died of boredom without some pick-up. NOW of course, i'm on my fifth wagon, and there is always room for more speed and power, ha. how responsible is your teenager? because i'd hate to give a new driver an underpowered car, especially in an area that experiences heavy weather.

There are plenty of S70s (low pressure turbos, T5, and the occasional AWD) out on the west coast. Denver area has had oodles of AWD 70s on their craigslist (have been shopping them for almost 2 years now, and finally found the car I wanted in July). they're out there, if you're willing to poke around a little. And you'll see them in decent condition with moderate miles for their age, too. many of the Denver area cars I'd been seeing, especially the AWDs, were the 'winter cars', and were garaged in the non-snow months... 12 and 14 year old cars with 60-70k miles on them, not bad...

good luck with your search. post your find when you get it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks - Probably going to steer clear of AWD and look for right NA/GLT options. Maybe even a T5, but that might raise some anxiety, still mulling it over.
 

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If she could handle a really cool wagon, this will sell pretty cheap and is an excellent Volvo.


 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
update....

My Daughter is officially driving age and am activley shopping 97-00 P80s. I found a nice 97 non turbo with low miles, reached out to the 850 crowd with the following post, Feel free to add anything, feedback is much appreciated - thanks.

(....850 Forum)

After driving (and modifying ) my C70 T5, I am somewhat familiar with the P80 platform and am considering purchasing either an 850 or s70 for my teenage daughter's DD. Other than the electronic throttle issues for the 99/00 S70, I am not aware of other maintenance/reliability issues with these older cars. Would any of the 850 forum folks be able to share their thoughts on what I can expect to repair for a 97 non-turbo base model with 100+k miles? Also, what items must I be careful to inspect when I go to purchase this car?

Here is what I found under the 850 FAQ, any thoughts? Thank you!


ABS light / controller repair (video)
Key Stuck in the Ignition (video)
OBD-I Read/Reset Codes (video)
Odometer Broken, Reading Actual Mileage 1993-95 (video)
Odometer Repair (videos)
Rare, Sudden, No Start Condition (video)
Resetting Service Light 1993-95 (video)
TRACS and ABS Lights On Discussion
 

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How about a real nice, low mileage 1998 S90?
I have one with 109K miles, new t belt, brakes etc
Very nice, smooth and quiet not fast and a REAL nice interior.

$5995




 
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