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Hey everyone.

I've recently found myself once again really wanting a V70R, and I am in a position to be able to buy a pretty nice one. I'm coming from an Infiniti FX50S. While that car is a blast to drive and abnormally powerful, it's just too much car for me and it's a bit too flash for my liking. I have always loved the understated, sleeper look of the V70R. So, I started looking into what ownership for one of these cars is like. The problem is that I keep getting very mixed signals. One person will say that they're perfectly reliable and very durable, but the next person will say that they're maintenance hogs, and some people have said that it's "expensive to own" one.

So, is anyone willing to offer up advice on what I should expect if I get one? Is it reliable? Is it actually expensive to own?
 

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I'm a hobby mechanic and have done all my own work. I bought a car that i thought was in pretty good shape at 91k in 2015 and im at about 143k now . I've spend about 6k in parts and equipment alone. Included in there is a second set of wheels and 2 sets of tires, mounts, balance, alignments, totaling about 1.9k bringing it down to about $4.1k. Full disclosure I generally replace all the stuff in the general vicinity of work being done so i probably go overboard. This included a full suspension refresh, brakes, timing belt, water pump, PCV and a few little odds and ends like a short throw shiftier and some load bars aside from all the other stuff. If i weren't doing my own work i couldn't justify owning the car. If the car you are looking at had the full suspension refreshed ($$$), the PCV and timing belt done, and some decent tires, most of that cost will be negated. After all that stuff was done its been pretty solid (note that there is more stuff in there but those were the majors.)

Its been the most expensive car to maintain that i've owned, it loves to chew through rubber bits (bushings and tires), but it was a very unique combo that i couldn't get elsewhere (AWD, 6MT, Roofline for daaaaaays, lazy boy seats, and some pep under the hood). The maintenance cost offset the discount you buy the cars at compared to more modern variants. My other cars were subarus(basic) , hondas (basic), and acuras low maintenance.


Got me through some gnarly snow to remote locations for snowsports with winter tires, and piles up the miles in comfort on the daily grind. It also fits damn near anything between the roof and the folded back seats and worked as good as a pickup truck for some major home renovations. I love my car. Questionable if i'd do it all over again but i don't regret it.
 

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It all depends what you are used to own and pay maintenance for. If you are coming from a Toyota expect sticker shock from parts to labor to how often things have to be fixed.
If you're coming from an European car then you'll be accustomed with the prices and take it as a way of life.

I have not own a Nissan/Infinity so no idea on how reliable they are.

The large variation is coming from the history of the car you buy and how you use it/maintain it. These cars do not like to be neglected. Yes, you can do it but then you put a load of money in fixing them, or sale. They are not like old Toyota that you can go on forever before they say enough is enough.

Then there is the modification factor. Many of us cannot just let the things alone. And if you have the bug then you will tend to spend more on "fixing" things that are not actual maintenance but more of "improvements" or problems created by the "improvements". Overtime we forget exactly what was the issue/repair and get the impression that the car requires a lot of work.

There is the expectation aspect. Some people buy them because they are relatively cheap now then they expect to have similar maintenance costs. That does not work like that. I remember that in 1998 you could buy a nice '75 Ferrari for $15,000. But to change a muffler on that car was $2500.

So, if you are not neglecting the car, do not do questionable modifications, do not go for big hp with the stock engine (it cracks), and you started off with a good car then it is not much different than owning other used European cars.

Be warned that the early R's had problems - bugs, that were later fixed. Not all the early cars got the fixes done.

Good luck!
 

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GENERALLY speaking, you can expect an average of $2K a year on maintenance costs. Reliable? Depends on your definition, and how you drive it. Coming from 15 years of owning Lexus' and Toyotas, I'd say the VR is 90% as reliable. I've also owned the first generation Audi allroad as well. So I've had a varied taste of the reliability spectrum. I bought my 07 VR with over 200K miles on it. I daily the thing. It's a great car, but it also came with a binder full of maintenance history and parts receipts.

These cars don't tolerate neglect well. And while parts aren't cheap, they're no more expensive than parts for my Audi, or Lexus were. So for me it wasn't an issue. Coming from a Honda Civic, or Toyota Camry, it might be. Another thing to consider is the lack of aftermarket support. Driving such a limited production car, while cool, can be sad because we don't get the support like much more common vehicles do. Maybe that's a concern for you, maybe not.

It seems like there's this understood rule here on the R forum about Rs. They're generally an $8K car, for a "good" one. If you find one for say $6K, then you should expect, rather promptly, about $2K in maintenance to make it right (aka Stage 0). If it's 8 or more, then you shouldn't need to do anything to it right away. YMMV.

If you want an automatic, later is considered better. If you want a manual (M66) any year is good.
 

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The condition of the car and how well the previous owner treated it or kept up with maintenance will help indicate on how much more or less you have to spend maintaining it. How often will you drive the vehicle? Have realistic expectations 10+ years cars will need stuff replaced; wear & tear items; set aside $$ for a maintenance fund, especially if you don't plan on doing the maintenance work yourself. And find a Volvo specialist shop instead of the dealership. I find that they are most often honest about what is an immediate issue and what is something you can hold off for the next service. 4C suspension is expensive to replace because the part is expensive. Other than that; maintenance on the R is not all that different than any other Volvo or car. You just have to be adamant about keeping up with maintenance if you drive the car a lot. Any car will become a "maintenance hog" when you start putting a lot of miles on them and go past 100k, 150k, etc. My 2000 R had 279k miles on; that was a hog I tried to necessitate (ended up selling it), my 04 S60R (had for 7 years; 33k start and ended with 60k miles); only replaced the starter. 06 XC70 OR, 116k miles; (previous owner replaced timing belt and water pump) I only replaced control arm. 06 XC90 OR, 150k miles only replaced water pump and serpentine belt.

Look at the mileage and vehicle history if available.
 

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Until recently the R was the MOST expensive Volvo you could own/maintain. At this point in the cars life if you can't do at least some of the work yourself it's going to eat you alive, unless you are independently wealthy.

Example: I bought my VR with 111k about 5 years ago. Immediately at purchase I had to replace the Timing belt, clutch, flywheel, AWD collar and angle gear. That's $2k in parts and I had the luxury of doing the job on a lift myself. In a retail setting thats $5-7k.
 

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These cars are all 12-16 years old now so it all depends on the condition the car is in, how it's been maintained to date, and what still needs to be done to it.
 

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Pretty much everything written above sounds true.
The only maintenance items I've had to do in the year I've owned my R were the 4C shocks and a fuel pressure sensor.
But.....I've thrown thousands at 'upgrades' like all new power flex bushings, heavy duty anti sway bars, and then the issues that arose from those modifications.

I don't do my own work like that as mines a daily driver and anything I break leaves me with no car for a week as all Volvo parts have to be FedEx'd to me, fortunately my mechanic is also a friend of 30 years and he looks after me as much as can be expected.
Was it worth it ? well I really love my car, its by far the most interesting and fun car I've owned and nothing Japanese comes close (if Lexus made a high powered wagon I'd have bought one years ago).
 
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