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Looking for a new car for my wife. Despite loving my own S60R, there are a few items on the S40/V50 that struck us as being a concern. Although the floating dash thingy is neat, all those teeny buttons don't work too well for 40-ish eyeballs. Also, although some aspects of my Volvo service experience have been very positive, we are not confident that she will be able to get the same level of service without doing the whole TNN and forum search etc to keep on top of the issues (which she is not willing to do on a regular basis).<p>So the 325xi and Saab 93 are our current front runners. Any comments on that? We've got one kid, 7. She wants a small car that she can see the corners on easily from the driver's seat. She wants peppy, but not high performance. Currently driving a 2001 Jetta 1.8t, 200 HP would be a nice step up for the next car. The IS350 would be almost perfect, except the backseat is too small. Any ideas or thoughts?
 

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Re: S40 vs. 325xi vs. Saab 93, your opinions? (vizwiz)

If you can find a good service department that doesn't lie to you on a regular basis, you won't need to keep on top of the issues...<p>Stick with Volvo. Wait for the C30 even <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/smile.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Re: S40 vs. 325xi vs. Saab 93, your opinions? (vizwiz)

I'd personally go with the BMW 325xi, although you could probably get a better deal on a Saab 93. <br>Other choices-<br>Mercedes C230(although not much a step up from the jetta, it has 201 hp)<br>Mercedes C280(228 hp, available in AWD)<br>Acura TSX/TL<br>Audi A4<br>Volvo S40 <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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I'd second the vote for the Acura TSX. It's a sporty car, with a ton of standard features, and everything else that's good about Honda/Acura, without being too expensive. I'd definitely check out the Saab 93 as well. I've been doing some computer work for a group of car dealerships (in the Chicagoland area actually), and had a chance to check out the 93 Aero, and thought it looked great. It seems like you get a lot for the price with the Saab.
 

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The 93 isn't AWD, since you are looking at the 325xi I'm figuring that will be a concern?<p>I test drove a 93 Aero and it drove quite nicely but if you don't like the buttons in the Volvo, you won't like the buttons in the Saab.<p>Get a 330xi if you can afford it. And look at the Lexus IS250 with AWD while you're at it. Don't make your decision based only on some forum trawlers <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/wink.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Re: (Crashy)

I'd go with the Acura TSX if you are worried about service for the s40. I don't care much for the Saab and as for the BMW 325xi, I'll never buy one of those or recommend one of those to anyone after seeing so much stuff go wrong with my friend's xi and how much it's cost him! <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/eek.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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You'll prabably get the best deal on the Saab b/c of low demand. you also will get the biggest initial depreciation hit with the Saab. I'm 40 )almost 41) and have no trouble at all with the buttons on the S40. 95% of the time the only ones I'm using are the 4 big ones anyway. I've owned 7 BMW's and they have all given me very good service but BMW isn't knows for all wheel drive. The TSX is bland if you ask me. Looks like a tarted up Civic. I do think it's a nice car but, it's just too expensive for the look of it (IMHO). <p>I've got a T5 S40 (FWD) and love it. The only option I'd add would be AWD. BTW: If you have an R, you know about the horrid turning radius of the the 60 series. No trouble with the 40/50. They turn on a pin. <p>BTW: Don't discount the V50. My wife drives one and absolutely loves it. Despite being a wagon, you can toss it around pretty good.
 

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Re: (f1fnatik)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>f1fnatik</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">BTW: Don't discount the V50. My wife drives one and absolutely loves it. Despite being a wagon, you can toss it around pretty good. </TD></TR></TABLE><br>Toss it around <B>better</B>, I think. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/wink.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>Tom.
 

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Re: S40 vs. 325xi vs. Saab 93, your opinions? (vizwiz)

Your post seems to indicate you are concerned mainly with reliability and quality of service.<p>I don't think the Bimmer will prove more reliable (but the dealership experience will likely be better), but you can be sure that the Saab will be worse *and* the service won't be as good.
 

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Re: S40 vs. 325xi vs. Saab 93, your opinions? (vizwiz)

I cross shopped the Saab, but it had too many negative comments on Edmunds, and I saw it at a new car show. As soon as I touched the handle to open it, I got a 'cheap' feel. Eliminated right there.<p>The A pillars on the S40 tend to get in the way when looking ahead of the car while going around curves. But that will be something she'll notice or not when test driving.<p>I was just in Chicago, and I wondered why anyone would bother getting a nice car, seeing everyone's bumpers all messed up from playing bumper cars, getting in and out of parking. Awful.<p><br>
 

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Re: S40 vs. 325xi vs. Saab 93, your opinions? (vizwiz)

vizwiz,<p>I feel like all the cars you're looking at are generally going to have small backseats, so maybe you shouldn't toss out the Lexus IS350.<p>Saab 9-3- The reliability is sketchy, but the car looks good and is cheap. Also the dealer network sucks. Between the 2 cities I commute to regularly, I have an option of 4 Volvo dealers and 1 independent I know of. There are only 2 Saab dealers. I passed.<p>BMW 325xi- If you are happy with the looks, don't need lots of power (the car will move, but not as effortlessly as some of the other cars here- you'll need to work the engine), and can afford it, I'd go with the BMW. I'd even more strongly recommend a BMW if you've never owned one before. <p>Volvo S40- Only look at it if you can live without the status or you might be unhappy with it. I like the design of it, you can easily save thousands of dollars going with the Volvo vs. a similarily equipped German car. You get lots more toys and lots more power. <p>You should take a look at the upcoming BMW 3-series coupe- it's got AWD and the styling is hot.<p>If you want more performance, I would take a look at the G35x sedan and Legacy GT.<p>And why not take a look at the Audi A3 and A4?<p>
 

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Re: S40 vs. 325xi vs. Saab 93, your opinions? (vizwiz)

I compared the 9-3 SportCombi, Audi A3 and A4 Avant with the V50 - my old car is a 1994 SAAB 900S.<p>I ended up buying the V50 T5.<p>I've been a big fan of SAAB, but there's too much GM in the current models. The SportCombi is a decent car - it beats the V50 in cargo capability and handles well. I find that the steering feedback in both my 94 900S and the new SportCombi is far better than in the V50, which has very little on-center feel or feedback, particularly at highway speeds. The seats, shift linkage and controls on the SAAB were the deal breakers. I found the front seats unacceptably slippery, with inadequate support - far inferior to the cloth seats in my old car. The rear seats are too low, and less comfortable than those in the V50, with less room. The 5 speed shifter is as crunchy and imprecise as my old SAAB. The shifter and clutch in the V50, on the other hand, are amazingly precise and easy to coordinate. The V50 seats were among the best - right up there with the A3.<p>SAAB's current controls and displays indicate they they fired all those aircraft engineers who used to do their human factors work - a maze of tiny black buttons and oddly located knobs with illogical functions. Changing the track on a CD requires navigating a series of menus and looking at a screen. SAAB used to have the best control layout and functionality in the industry - this is a disaster. I particularly hated the too-clever-by-half parking break handle - apparently no one at GM drives a manual car in an area with hills.<p>The A3 is a great car (an absolute blast to drive, with a great interior), but has too little cargo space with the seat up for me, my GF and our dog to travel together. I drove, and liked, some used A4 Avants. Very much comparable to the V50, with a bit more of a nod toward the luxury side. The 1.8T reliability and dealer issues scared me off, though. New, comparably equipped A4 Avants are $6 - 7K more than a V50.<p>I know what you mean about middle aged eyes (I'm 50) but the controls and displays in the V50/S40 are better than average. Most of the functions you need to deal with while driving are controlled by the four big knobs on the console, and they use the big display screen for nice graphic displays of the radio frequency, fan speed, etc. It's still more complex than I'd prefer, but all cars seem to have sacrificed clarity for style.<p>Bottom line - I expect you'd find the V50 a good choice, particularly with a child. More cargo versatility then the S40, and you give up nothing in terms of performance. I love the looks of mine, particularly in the Brilliant Blue paint. Two features I really appreciate, but would not have ordered if they had not already been on the car, are the automatic climate control and the rain sensing wipers. The wipers work amazingly well, and I find them a real safety feature. I would avoid the Sport package (which I have) if you often drive on broken pavement or rough roads. The handling is great, but your teeth will be clicking together a lot.
 

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Check out the A4 - Great car with excellent reliability to top it off...
 

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Re: S40 vs. 325xi vs. Saab 93, your opinions? (vizwiz)

well get the saab, very good car and exellent choice if you want to drive the car a few times a month. The bmw XI sucks!! is the worse awd system on the market and will give you a pain in the a$$. So your second option is the Volvo, for me your safe is the main point.
 

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Re: S40 vs. 325xi vs. Saab 93, your opinions? (volvos60t5x)

well it depends.. If your wife is ok with the new 3 series looks or not?<br>Personally I would put it like this:<p>S40T5 AWD<br>9-3<br>325Xi<p>I beleive that you got more for your money with the Volvo.
 

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Re: S40 vs. 325xi vs. Saab 93, your opinions? (vizwiz)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>vizwiz</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">She wants a small car that she can see the corners on easily from the driver's seat. </TD></TR></TABLE><p><br><A HREF="http://www.arielmotor.co.uk/04/frames.htm" TARGET="_blank">http://www.arielmotor.co.uk/04/frames.htm</A> <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>
 

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Re: S40 vs. 325xi vs. Saab 93, your opinions? (vizwiz)

I see many suggestions about the Acura TSX. I own both a '05 TSX and a '06 V50 T5. The Acura is a very fine car and a better value than the Volvo, but I never drive it anymore after buying the Volvo. It seems boring and lacking in character. The Volvo just seems to "fit" better. The difference are subjective and don't reveal themselves right away. <p>Right now I'm wondering what I'm going to do with a new TSX with 10K miles gathering dust.<p>The Saab should be a fine car and they have a very attractive oversea delivery programme. I'd wonder about resale value though.<p>I shopped the new BMW last fall before I bought the Acura. It was nice, but the interior was disappointing in both design and materials.
 
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