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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, here's the deal. I've been a lifetime Volvo and Saab person but currently my only Volvo is a 1969 1800S project car. However I'm looking to replace my wife's aging 1998 Saab 9000 Aero and am considering the V70R (manual transmission). I used to have a 1997 850 T5 wagon which I enjoyed except it was an auto and that car confirmed for me that I really do need to drive a manual (and my wife refuses to drive anything but a manual). Since the V70Rs, especially in 6MT form, are few and far between, I'm not going to get many test drives, so I was just wondering how it compared to the older 850 from which it is derived?

I currently drive a 2004 Saab 9-5 Aero wagon, which is OK, but I don't love like I did the 9000's I had before that, so that's why I'm not looking for another one of those.

Thanks

Rod
 

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Can't compare a P2 VR to an 850T5. Totally different cars. I've driven an S70 T5 with an M56 and a FWD and AWD P80 V70XC. The P2 V70R blows them all away in terms of effortless power deilvery. Also, the P2 is not based on the 850. It may share several components such as the engine, delta link IRS, front McPherson struts, brakes, the fact its transverse, and some design cues but they are unrelated in every other way. P2R is fast. Very fast. Short gearing means you can really pick up speed quickly. Also the seats and ergonomics are far better.
 

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It may share several components such as delta link IRS...
Not even that. The FWD P2 cars are similar to the AWD cars with an upper control arm and three lower links. They still handle great though.

I agree with the consensus so far, P2 cars are incredibly ergonomic and comfortable, I've never had a Volvo previously that dialed in to a comfortable driving position so perfectly before. I actually don't have the seat all the way back, which is a first for me.

Where are you located Trirod? Someone in the local Volvo club might let you take a drive in theirs, I have a T5 manual I'd let you drive if you're in Denver.
 

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I currently have both in the stable, though not manuals, and can tell you that they are pretty different from one another - about the only things in common are 5 cylinders and the name on the front of the car. The P2R is a much newer design so benefits from improvements in ergonomics, NVH, performance and comfort at the cost of added complexity.
 

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In the Driveway I have a 98 T5, 2000 Xc. I used to rotate driving them as my daily drivers, but since I got the 2007XC it pains me to drive the 98 or the 2000. They have been relegated to my Catering business full time. The 98 is guts and has some get up and go the the 2006 VR and the built 2007XCR are in a totally different league
 

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Yep. Drive a P2 XC70 and then a P80 XC and you'll never go back. There's more power, the adaptive AW55 is better than the adaptive AW50 in so many ways. Driving position is better. Seats are better. An R only magnifies this.
 

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I own a t5r wagon with original motor and AT, 16t angle flange, OBX DP, IPD catback, ST 17 psi map, ID sways, koni yellows on stock springs, the 302mm front brakes and minor other stuff- and a 2007 VR GT that is stock except for IPD lowering springs. One thing for sure, the 2.3 sounds way better that the 2.5. i think it is because of the giant aluminum horn of an IM hanging off the front of the 2.3. In any case the deep bass rumble at idle and induction honk on throttle is really great sounding.

The 1995 2.3 really jumps from dead stop or slow roll and the wheel spin and torque steer is entertaining in the dry. There is no traction in the wet or on cold tires. There is no traction exiting corners, it under steers terribly, the brake and steering feel is decidedly non sporty and vague. It is fine touring car- the ride stops being jittery and crashy at freeway speeds. For a car 20 years older that the V70R, it is similarly comfortable and the seats have the same DNA in evidence.

The interior of the 850 is quite rattly even after tightening the dash, adding foam behind some panels, adding fasteners to others, adjusting the tailgate- yada yada yaa. Thankfully it stops rattling on the freeway. All in all it is a very enjoyable, practical, and engaging touring car. To me, it has never felt like a 'sports sedan' . I drove Audi A4 and BMW 3 series from the same era fairly extensively and both were much more balanced drivers cars but neither were as comfortable, practical, or nearly as good at swallowing miles on long road rips. The BMW (never drove a M3) liked to be driven hard and was really good on secondary roads. 9/10ths felt good while the Volvo is done at 7/10. That said the Volvo can give allot in the corners and still reel most cars in on the straits while staying composed.

The V70R is a better car in every way (one would hope so...). It handles much better, under-steers but not all the damn time, and obviously has no traction issues at all. The 4C sucks on lowering springs but I'll withhold judgement until I get the stock springs back on the car as the front struts are new and the rears are working. The brakes are fantastic, the steering feel is disconnected but much more accurate, the 6 speed box works great (I consider the car a GT.. that helps with the expectations), the throttle response is O.K.. The seats are wonderful, the interior is divine, the car rattles more than a 2007 should but is much better than the 95. The interior is still carnivorous and it is a great looking car as is the 95. Once I get the 4C working in harmony with the correct springs and failing that put Bilstiens on the car, the 2007 is a slam dunk winner, as it should be. The 1995 is quite a package for it's day and is easy to keep running so I like it allot too.
 

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I own both a 850 T5-R and a S60R

I have owned both stock and modified and I personally prefer the 850 over the S60R all day every day.

My Wife prefers to drive the S60R


They both had advantages and disadvantages but for me the KISS standard for automotive design makes the 850 the better car to own and live with day to day.

That being said the S60R has advantages like AWD, Traction control, Brakes (The 850 comes standard without brakes oddly), Manual without having to do the swap, Vastly Superior Pedal Box and Shifter Location.

Pretty much the only advantages I am going to give it though and its list of downsides is long.

S60R Disadvantages, AWD Angle Gear (cost more to replace then a 850T5 Motor + Trans from a parts cost standpoint!), Internal Slave (Holy God the Labor), Duel Mass Flyhweel (Why?, The Good news is though that they did lighten the crank!), Electronic Throttle Body(Traction Control is cool but the electronic throttle sucks expecially when you let off and it doesn't drop revs), Servotronic Steering (Dumb!). Less Space(Aero+Plushy = Less space), Odd motor(Please God, Why did you make the block so weak).
 

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I think a great, reliable car would be a manual V70 T5. Throw in a limited slip and it should give you trouble free fun for years with minimal maintenance. I got a 2000 V70R and I love the way it drives. I like my S60R too, but the V70R Would make a great long-haul car. R-trim seats are great (but not the same as in a P2 R). The P80's have much better leg room in the back. P2's laugh at you when you mention rear leg room. Also, another thing to beware of is the P2 R has the turning radius of the RMS Titanic. Watch out for icebergs!

This is all in addition to the things previously stated. I don't want to sound like I'm knocking the P2 R, it just seems that most of the good stuff about them has been covered pretty well.

I can't blame you for wanting to get out of the Saab. They are even more expensive to maintain. I have a friend with a '08 9-5 Aero wagon, and it's one cool car. It chirps the wheels when you mash it at 50MPH.
 

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I think a great, reliable car would be a manual V70 T5. Throw in a limited slip and it should give you trouble free fun for years with minimal maintenance.

I have the limited slip in my R and the awd is not working right now. Honestly it is impressive how well it works. Before I had the LSD and a failing awd, the pump was slowly going bad, I could spin the tires in the wet at 100km/hr easily. With the LSD you can still spin but not as easily. For hard driving/track duty you have to adjust your driving style. With awd you hit the apex and floor it, with the LSD and no awd you have to be more patient and feather in the throttle or you'll induce heavy understeer.

If you're not in the snowbelt a manual T5 could make a great fast car with the addition of an LSD and bigger brakes. You have the benefit of a stronger engine that is very tunable, no awd to crap out and no 4c to worry about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the responses. Good information there. One thing I've noticed when perusing the forums is there seems to be a worrying number of incidences of cracked blocks. Is that actual a fairly rare thing or is there actually a fairly good chance of that happening on a higher mileage vehicle?

Thanks again

Rod

1969 1800S (project car)
2004 Saab 9-5 aero wagon (DD)
1998 Saab 9000 CSE (wife DD)
2005 Lotus Elise (fun car)
1997 850 T5 wagon(sold)
1989 240 wagon (sold)
 

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There is a chance... Depends on a lot of factors. It's not a hard fix though... Swap it and forget about if it happens. You have several options... Used 2.5l R block, 2.3l T5 block, 04-07 XC 2.5l block (same as R, just way cheaper), or sleeves.
 
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