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My daughter is in her final year of high school. We would like to get her a newer (but still used) car for college. She loves the XC-70 and might consider the V70 or V50 as alternatives. She's wagon girl at heart I guess :).

We've been owners of a XC-60, and now a V60, but would love some advice on other wagon options. We're looking at a used model at about $20K (or less). I've found the Sweedspeed community to be extremely helpful so I wanted to ask for advice.

Safety, operating expense, and reliability are our top focus. Living in Texas, AWD isn't needed, especially for college pizza runs. R-design is overkill (and expensive). What would you recommend in terms of model year and engine options?

I believe 2011 brought in FWD as an option. Were there any other major changes from 2010 - 2014 that need to be considered? XC-70s appear to have been left untouched for, what is even for Volvo is, a "while".

I think the 3.2 6 cyl has a history of oil issues. What else should I look for mechanically? PCV issues? What would you be on the look out for during a test drive/inspection?
 

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How about a late model V50 r-design? I believe they came with the T5 engine.
 

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The V60 wagon with the T5 (5 cyl, not the Drive-E package) and fwd would make a great car for her, imho. Enough power, enough room, more than enough safety ;). It's not the best sounding engine Volvo makes, but it's also one of their tried and true workhorses and should keep running for a long time with limited issues. They've had more than enough time to work out the kinks in that setup.

And you definitely raised her right!!
 

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V70 is FWD in North America.
does she love Volvo? is XC70 her best option of a Volvo or of any car?
I would suggest A4 Avant for a college girl who loves wagon, or Passat which has FWD wagon. XC70 is a bit large for a girl, and it burns more gas than any other wagon of its size. XC70 is reliable but once has to be repaired, it could be expensive for a college girl.
 

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My daughter is in her final year of high school. We would like to get her a newer (but still used) car for college. She loves the XC-70 and might consider the V70 or V50 as alternatives. She's wagon girl at heart I guess :).

We've been owners of a XC-60, and now a V60, but would love some advice on other wagon options. We're looking at a used model at about $20K (or less). I've found the Sweedspeed community to be extremely helpful so I wanted to ask for advice.

Safety, operating expense, and reliability are our top focus. Living in Texas, AWD isn't needed, especially for college pizza runs. R-design is overkill (and expensive). What would you recommend in terms of model year and engine options?

I believe 2011 brought in FWD as an option. Were there any other major changes from 2010 - 2014 that need to be considered? XC-70s appear to have been left untouched for, what is even for Volvo is, a "while".

I think the 3.2 6 cyl has a history of oil issues. What else should I look for mechanically? PCV issues? What would you be on the look out for during a test drive/inspection?
AWD is very very handy even in the rain. Plus, your daughter, once graduating, might not always live in a snow-free climate right?

Get an XC70 T6 from the P3 era (2011+ ideally) or go for the older P2 XC70 model (2006-2007 ideally) with the 2.5T engine.
V50 T5 AWD is also very nice but it is quite a bit smaller than the 70 series.
 

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AWD is very very handy even in the rain. Plus, your daughter, once graduating, might not always live in a snow-free climate right?

Get an XC70 T6 from the P3 era (2011+ ideally) or go for the older P2 XC70 model (2006-2007 ideally) with the 2.5T engine.
V50 T5 AWD is also very nice but it is quite a bit smaller than the 70 series.
Yes, what he said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Great replies... keep em coming!

Several responses.

  • We had assumed the V60 was out of reach financially ($20,000), but from what I can tell after looking at cars.com, we might be able to make that work. Great idea.
  • Late model V50 r-design is absolutely in the running. My choice for her.
  • We (her parents) think a XC70 is a bit large and thirsty... but the XC-70 is her favorite for it's versatility, rugged looks and non-pretentious attitude.
  • She is partial to Volvo. We visited the factory when she was younger. She doesn't want a BMW or Mercedes because those come with "baggage" but I think a Audi A4 or Acura TX would work.
  • I'm also partial to Volvo for the safety, but Audi and others are similar.
  • She applied and has been accept to her first choice school (in Texas) so snow is likely a non-factor if she stays there. The comment about AWD and rain is well taken.

What would be the advantages of a Late P2 over a P3? I'm just not that familiar with the XC70s to know.
 

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The P2 XC70s are not the best-looking car (imho) but are still nice wagons. But, they can be underpowered and other-thirsty. A regular P2 V70 with fwd is an EXCELLENT car. Maybe not as inspirational to look at as the P3 XC70, but with a nice set of wheels, some light tint, and the right color, you have a great-looking car. And you can probably snag one for a great price. I think you can get the low-pressure turbo 5 cyl in those cars,m which is a very reliable engine. The interior may not wear as well as a P3, particularly the gobi leather, and most will likely have higher mileage, but it's worth a look for her.

ex: http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?zip=02026&endYear=2007&vehicleStyleCodes=WAGON&modelCode1=V70&showcaseOwnerId=75523&startYear=2001&makeCode1=VOLVO&listingType=used&listingTypes=used&searchRadius=100&mmt=%5BVOLVO%5BV70%5B%5D%5D%5B%5D%5D&listingId=409009134&Log=0

There are also the outstanding P2 V70Rs...but the maintenance on those might be scary if you get one that needs work.

Unfortunately, I doubt you'll be able to get her into a P3 XC70 for $20K, though.
 

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Not sure of your location but cars.com has a listing for a one owner 2011 V50 r-d red with 56k miles for $14,900 in California...

There are others listed as well.
 

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What would be the advantages of a Late P2 over a P3? I'm just not that familiar with the XC70s to know.
If your budget was 10K, you would be much better off with a late P2 XC70 (previous gen) with low miles. The only P3 XC70s in that price range are the underpowered 3.2 non-turbo models with high miles.

If you can find a V50 T5 AWD in your price range and that is "big enough" then that is a fantastic choice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If your budget was 10K, you would be much better off with a late P2 XC70 (previous gen) with low miles. The only P3 XC70s in that price range are the underpowered 3.2 non-turbo models with high miles.

If you can find a V50 T5 AWD in your price range and that is "big enough" then that is a fantastic choice!
Still being the XC70 newbie here... how underpowered is the 3.2 non-turbo in a XC70? Being slightlyunderpowered isn't necessary a bad thing with a younger driver. We got the 3.2 in the XC60 and it was adequate for our needs here in the flat lands.

Agree on the V50. We're looking for one to do a test drive.
 

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I would say "woefully underpowered: :(

In all honesty, the V50 is probably the perfect car for a college student.
 

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Random thoughts... The Cargo spaces are:
Volvo V50: 27.4 ft³ behind rear seats, 62.6 ft³ with rear seats flat
P3 Volvo V70/XC70: 33.3 ft³ behind rear seats, 72.1 ft³ with rear seats flat

When I got my '10 V70, I was torn between the two, but ultimately went with the V70 for future-family needs (didn't have kids, now have 2 toddlers), so the V70 has been a better choice for the two car seats, two strollers, tons of little-kid-stuff, mulch bags, hay bales, etc.

However, if I was still in College, I would have 100% gone with the V50 for my trips between Newtown and Storrs. The V50 T5AWD (22/30) is better on gas than the V/XC70 (18/26 for FWD), it's physically smaller (easier to park on campus), and would have been more fun to "zoom" around.

The T5AWD is rated at 227hp (corrected) and the 3.2 engines are either 225 or 235 hp (depending on if it's a PZEV model or not).

If you're set on a V/XC70, I've got a Red '10 V70 RDesign with 65,000 miles that I would be willing to part with for $20,000! :)
 

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The T5AWD is rated at 250hp and the 3.2 engines are either 225 or 235 hp (depending on if it's a PZEV model or not).
And this is a case of the numbers not telling the whole story. The Turbo 5 cylinder apparently has a MUCH BETTER torque curve than the 3.2. The 3.2's torque peak is at a MUCH higher RPM than the T5.
 

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The T5AWD is rated at 250hp
The T5 engine in the V50 is rated at 218hp (2004.5-2007) and 227hp (2008-2012), getting the Polestar tuning will net you 250hp. The newer T5 engine on the S60/V60/XC60/XC70 have 250hp right out of the gate (no Polestar tuning available).
 

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