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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm commuting 70 miles a day for work and I need to get rid of my truck. I have a double cab tacoma that's loaded, worth $20k according to KBB. I've been scouring CL for the last two weeks looking at the different R's that are popping up. Does anyone have any advice for a would-be S60R owner? Things to ask dealerships/owners, things to look for, etc?
 

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Prepare for maintenance costs. Get an auto if traffic is a factor. Did I mention prepare for maintenance cost? Personally, I have had very good luck with things breaking on my R, but I wouldn't recommend the car for a long distance commuter.
 

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I used to commute about the same distance for awhile with my R and while it didn't cause any major item to fail, it's just an increase in over all maintenance. Tires, shocks, brakes require more frequent changing and those parts are not exactly cheap (as compared to other cars).. oil changes are no big deal if you do it yourself. I've put about 22-25k miles a year on my R since I got it and it's been plenty reliable, just needing routine maint. at a more frequent interval..
 

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I used to commute about the same distance for awhile with my R and while it didn't cause any major item to fail, it's just an increase in over all maintenance. Tires, shocks, brakes require more frequent changing and those parts are not exactly cheap (as compared to other cars).. oil changes are no big deal if you do it yourself. I've put about 22-25k miles a year on my R since I got it and it's been plenty reliable, just needing routine maint. at a more frequent interval..
I agree. Sums it up very nicely.

You could also go with a T5 as they don't have all those fancy parts that usually cost a fortune.
 

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I agree. Sums it up very nicely.

You could also go with a T5 as they don't have all those fancy parts that usually cost a fortune.
Im not positive but isnt the R interior exclusive to the R.....95% of my miles are highway, and the seats were the deciding factor for me when shopping.
 

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I drive 50 miles a day to and from work. As Bumpin said, it's frequent repairs on pricey parts. However, I figure that if I have to spend so much time commuting, I want a car that I truly enjoy being in -- whether at full speed or stuck in traffic. My SR has been good to me; I do regular maintenance with no modifications. And after 7+ years, I still love climbing into it every morning and crawling to work. I get close to 400 miles on a full tank in LA traffic, so even that's not a huge drawback. If only everybody had fantastic Brembo brakes, my SR would be completely unscathed.

ETA: The seats are incredible. I'm 6'6" 300# and they're comfortable and have held up for 120K+ miles.
 

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Oh how I miss my R seats. R cars are getting a bit past what I would want to buy as my daily commuter for that distance. But it will be comfy and fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Prepare for maintenance costs. Get an auto if traffic is a factor. Did I mention prepare for maintenance cost? Personally, I have had very good luck with things breaking on my R, but I wouldn't recommend the car for a long distance commuter.
What can I expect to be breaking on the car between 60-100k miles? I definitely want an auto, my truck has a 6 speed and the traffic every morning is no fun. I've been thinking about picking up an old tahoe or explorer and pocketing the $ for gas and repairs, or buying an A4/A4 Quattro or S60R.

I drive 50 miles a day to and from work. As Bumpin said, it's frequent repairs on pricey parts. However, I figure that if I have to spend so much time commuting, I want a car that I truly enjoy being in -- whether at full speed or stuck in traffic. My SR has been good to me; I do regular maintenance with no modifications. And after 7+ years, I still love climbing into it every morning and crawling to work. I get close to 400 miles on a full tank in LA traffic, so even that's not a huge drawback. If only everybody had fantastic Brembo brakes, my SR would be completely unscathed.

ETA: The seats are incredible. I'm 6'6" 300# and they're comfortable and have held up for 120K+ miles.
400 miles in LA traffic sounds much better than what I'm getting right now. I've been looking at other cars that get 30-40 mpg too but I think the extra money spent on the R would be worth it.
 

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Im not positive but isnt the R interior exclusive to the R.....95% of my miles are highway, and the seats were the deciding factor for me when shopping.
05+ T5s have pretty much the same interior except for the colors and minor things like the steering wheel and blue gauges. However you can get sport seats and a similar if not better steering wheel in a T5 (the one with perforated leather insert). Also I believe the later T5s have the same style gauges as the Rs but with black faces. I am not sure if they're the same seat as the R but my T5 with sport seats look similar to the Rs (at least when it comes to the stiching and bolster placement) but it does look like the bolstering on my T5 isnt as stout as an R but that can be due to the amount of wear and the lighter oak color.

What can I expect to be breaking on the car between 60-100k miles? I definitely want an auto, my truck has a 6 speed and the traffic every morning is no fun. I've been thinking about picking up an old tahoe or explorer and pocketing the $ for gas and repairs, or buying an A4/A4 Quattro or S60R.

400 miles in LA traffic sounds much better than what I'm getting right now. I've been looking at other cars that get 30-40 mpg too but I think the extra money spent on the R would be worth it.
It's not that the miles will cause anything to break in particular its just that more miles mean more frequent servicing and Rs are a costly car to maintain, it's around 1200 for the four shocks, parts for a front brake job will run you 2 to 300 easy. It is also common for the angle gear to leak or the collar strip and on manuals for the slave cylinder to fail.

I had spent several months searching for a good R with service records in my area and couldnt find one I liked. After all of my research I decided to go with a T5 since my internship was nearing (a 100 mile daily commute) and AWD wasn't a priority since I have been driving RWD cars since I got my license. The T5 has a nearly identical engine but is a much cheaper car to maintain all four struts can be had for about the price of 1 4c, you can do front and rear brakes for about the price of a decent set of front rotors and pads for an R, and since its fwd you do not have to worry about AWD failures.

Also during my 100 mile commute I got nearly 30 mpg without a tune and many R owners get similar mileage. That included my driving around Boston as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
05+ T5s have pretty much the same interior except for the colors and minor things like the steering wheel and blue gauges. However you can get sport seats and a similar if not better steering wheel in a T5 (the one with perforated leather insert). Also I believe the later T5s have the same style gauges as the Rs but with black faces. I am not sure if they're the same seat as the R but my T5 with sport seats look similar to the Rs (at least when it comes to the stiching and bolster placement) but it does look like the bolstering on my T5 isnt as stout as an R but that can be due to the amount of wear and the lighter oak color.



It's not that the miles will cause anything to break in particular its just that more miles mean more frequent servicing and Rs are a costly car to maintain, it's around 1200 for the four shocks, parts for a front brake job will run you 2 to 300 easy. It is also common for the angle gear to leak or the collar strip and on manuals for the slave cylinder to fail.

I had spent several months searching for a good R with service records in my area and couldnt find one I liked. After all of my research I decided to go with a T5 since my internship was nearing (a 100 mile daily commute) and AWD wasn't a priority since I have been driving RWD cars since I got my license. The T5 has a nearly identical engine but is a much cheaper car to maintain all four struts can be had for about the price of 1 4c, you can do front and rear brakes for about the price of a decent set of front rotors and pads for an R, and since its fwd you do not have to worry about AWD failures.

Also during my 100 mile commute I got nearly 30 mpg without a tune and many R owners get similar mileage. That included my driving around Boston as well.
I've only ever driven a few cars, I've always had a truck or SUV. Moving to a car is going to be weird for me, I really want something AWD so I can at least drive in the snow.
 

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even a t5 will make an a4 feel cheesy, IMO(atleast compared to my buddies 04 b6)

If awd is not imperative and you're trying to be cost conscious... t5.

Tstats and i might just be T5 fanboys though, I'm sure we will get badgered in future posts for suggesting an inferior front wheel drive piece of appliance.

edit: should have known with a user name like "frost" you'd want/need awd...
 

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I've only ever driven a few cars, I've always had a truck or SUV. Moving to a car is going to be weird for me, I really want something AWD so I can at least drive in the snow.
AWD can be a major plus in the snow but tires are the most important part to driving in the snow, so a good set of snow are a must if you live in a snowy area with or without AWD.

Tstats and i might just be T5 fanboys though, I'm sure we will get badgered in future posts for suggesting an inferior front wheel drive piece of appliance.
Agreed :D
 

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What can I expect to be breaking on the car between 60-100k miles? I definitely want an auto, my truck has a 6 speed and the traffic every morning is no fun. I've been thinking about picking up an old tahoe or explorer and pocketing the $ for gas and repairs, or buying an A4/A4 Quattro or S60R.



400 miles in LA traffic sounds much better than what I'm getting right now. I've been looking at other cars that get 30-40 mpg too but I think the extra money spent on the R would be worth it.
The A4 and the S60R will give you similar repair costs. VWs/Audis are famous for being incredibly not cheap to repair. With the S60R having SO many electronics it can be a similar story (though careful maintenance will lessen the costs significantly). As far as a Tahoe or Explorer I wouldn't get them because they are just as unreliable (despite being much more simple in every design aspect) yet offer no benefits other than having cheaper parts, but then again they get significantly worse MPGs so you won't really be saving much...
 

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I used to commute about the same distance for awhile with my R and while it didn't cause any major item to fail, it's just an increase in over all maintenance. Tires, shocks, brakes require more frequent changing and those parts are not exactly cheap (as compared to other cars).. oil changes are no big deal if you do it yourself. I've put about 22-25k miles a year on my R since I got it and it's been plenty reliable, just needing routine maint. at a more frequent interval..
I completely agree with this as well.

I had an 80 mile round trip commute when I was taking class at the (sort of) local university. The R absolutely shines on the freeway, in fact, just talking about that makes me want to take mine on the freeway haha. Comfortable seats, good ride, and lots of torque for passing. The AWD, headlight wipers (snowstorms) and 4C settings make it even better when the weather becomes inclement. Of course it comes at a price in terms of maintenance.
 

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Prepare for maintenance costs. Get an auto if traffic is a factor. Did I mention prepare for maintenance cost? Personally, I have had very good luck with things breaking on my R, but I wouldn't recommend the car for a long distance commuter.
Both of my last two volvos were daily commuter cars.
My 03 XC90 T6, yeah the bad trans T6, was a 200 mile daily commuter car. Guy racked up 35k in one year. Bought it at 143K. All the PO did was get the oil changed every month, bought a new set of tires and @ 137k bought a trans @ $4500. Only to sell me the whole car two months later @ $6000

My 05 VR was bought @ 158k with the PO being a traveling sales guy, he racked up 50k in 18 months. When i got it, it needed the usual stuff. Control arms, engine mounts, strut mounts, 4c, compressor shim, FPS, gas cap and a bunch of other little stuff. totaling ~ $2100 but the purchase price reflected that. Similar cars that needed no work would be coming in @ $7k more than what i paid. I have racked up 7k since i owned it and even with all these "problems" it has not left me stranded for one minute. this is my daily driver too.

What i am getting at. The R will be a real fun car to drive. I did a 1100 mile weekend trip with the wife and the kids with no complaints. Seats were comfy, gas mileage was averaging 27mpg @ 70mph. doing 60mph jumped up to 29mpg.

If your current ride is worth $20k were you going to spend it all on a R? Since you are coming from a truck, are you getting a V = wagon or S= Sedan? I opted for a wagon since its my daily and can use the extra space if needed.
If you going to spend $20k on a "R" there are a bunch of fine examples with decent miles to get that pops up. Good person to ask to help you find one is user name "JRL" he is a car dealer that specializes in volvos. Jim has a great reputaion for selling quality used volvos.
Here is my R for reference :)

 

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My '07 S60R is my daily commuter, and have done 36-54-68 mile/day commutes for the last 2.5 years (moved, carpooled, hence the different numbers). Bought with 34K, now has 76K. Nothing crazy has happened. As long as you understand that maintenance will cost you more than the average Toyota you should be fine (but what besides maybe Honda doesn't). Stuff like bushings tend to be considered wear items, but this seems to go for all Volvos, not just the R. In the span I've owned my car, I've replaced control arm bushings with polyurethane (should now be good for the life of the car), spring seat bushings when I installed TME springs (highly recommended for any S60--rides SO much better in all modes), OEM rotors and pads (great prices from Tascaparts.com). Oh and one outer tie rod. Usual suspects are all okay: original shocks are still working great, no AWD issues, radiator is fine, trans is fine, seats are fine, fuel pump is fine, etc. Had the Valvebody update performed by the dealer, if you buy an '06-07 check that this has been done since they are now old enough to where if it needs it odds are it will be out of your pocket. While these cars have several features that set them apart, at the end of the day they are not Ferarris. Do your homework, find a car with a documented history (that goes for any car you pick actually), pick a good one, and it will be good to you. Cars with 150K+ are not rare, and IIRC there are some guys with around 200K on their cars.

If AWD is a must and you don't want a stick, you could also look at the S60 2.5T AWD (I actually almost bought one instead of the R). I found it just as comfortable and it turned noticeably tighter, but ended up getting the R because it was just a few thousand more, I liked the idea of an extra gear in the trans, more power, better brakes, being able to disable the DTSC, and hold lower gears (for going down long grades). But I personally would have been content with a 2.5T AWD, though all you’ll really save on maintenance wise are brake jobs and shocks. So far shocks are fine and a couple extra hundred for brakes every few years is no big deal to me (worth it for the cool brakes actually).

As for A4's, we've had 4 in the family and all have been reliable and fun to drive. We still have one and plan to get another A4 convertible. The only thing I'd suggest to avoid is anything with the AVK3.0 V6.

Hope this helps…
 

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My theory, proven over 50k kms in the last 14 months, is if you are going to spend a lot of time in your car you might as well choose one that you like to drive. And I disagree about higher maintenance costs vs a high-mileage Toyota - have you seen Toyota part prices recently? The difference with an R is that you care more if your bushings are getting soft (how can you tell with the Toyota?). The only situation in which I would hesitate with the R is stop-and-go city commute over bad roads: sucks premium fuel and even the 'comfort' mode isn't.

I'd recommend Conti DWS tires: less expensive, higher wear rated, perform well, and are acceptable in light winter conditions.
 

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My 04 has been reliable and is my daily driver. I average between 15-18,000 miles a year. Now with 140,*** miles its still running strong as ever. Fun car, good gas mileage (26.5 mpg average on my 40 mile round trip), and most importantly great in snow; which I need.
 

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The only situation in which I would hesitate with the R is stop-and-go city commute over bad roads: sucks premium fuel and even the 'comfort' mode isn't.
emphasis on sucking premium fuel... they dont get the best mpg in traffic....
 
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